It’s been said that books shape the individual we evolve into. From Jane Eyre to Amy Schumer and Tina Fey, the landscape has evolved manifold for women everywhere. Forget about the boys turning men classics, the evolution of girls turning into women has been noted in several coming-of-age novels and even classics, whether by way of the author or the story itself.
From romance literature, to graphic non-fiction these mind boggling, life changing reads will shape the way you think as a woman. The 20s can be a gruelling phase for anyone. You experience some of the best and worst times at this age – college, jobs, heartbreaks, romance, friends!
These 10 books are the perfect go-to to remind you each time that you’re not in this alone. These are 10 books every girl should read before 25. Being a #GirlBoss is on its way!
10 Books Every Girl Should Read Before 25
1. Matila by Roald Dahl
This novel has been iconic for years now and not simply due to its legendary author, Roald Dahl. Matilda follows the story of a smart young girl who along her journey realises she has magical powers with the help of her kind teacher, Ms. Honey, despite being neglected by her family.
This classic story teaches that women have value beyond what others see in them, and that even if none stand to appreciate you, you’ll always be special and mustn’t lose your shine. So shine on, you crazy diamonds!
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
No matter what your gender might be, this one is a sure-shot must read. Written by Pulitzer Prize Winner Harper Lee, the novel follows a harrowing tale of racism during the era of the Great Depression. Even then, the book portrays the story of the 6-year-old protagonist Scout Finch who pushes to work against society’s standards.
Not only does she strive to achieve gender and racial equality as a symbol of feminism but the author herself paved the way for many female writers to challenge and widen the horizon with the stories they had to tell.
Unabashed, raw and gripping. This tale is one for the ages and if chances are that you haven’t read this before you hit 25, you definitely need to, right now!
3. Bossypants by Tina Fey
If the recent hilarious video by Lily Singh didn’t for once and for all quash the notion that “women can’t be funny”, then this book serves it up straight and hot! Tina Fey’s book is a laugh-till-I-cry, stomach-clutching, mind-blowing, fit-inducing autobiography.
It talks about valuable lessons in feminism and body image today and most of all, gives you major reliability nostalgia, from the time her mother gets squeamish about explaining menstruation to her, to the time she first visited her gynaecologist and passed out.
This New York Times Bestseller has major LOLs and a must-read for every woman in her 20s looking to read about real women in the modern narrative with the occasional chuckle.
4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
This 1969 autobiography of Maya Angelou has been inspirational to many over the years. So much so that it has even gone on to be used in schools and universities. Maya Angelou’s gruelling story and her journey from child to woman and all the atrocities she faced in between make up for an awe-inducing novel.
Her fight against a male-dominated society, racism, sexism, sexuality and literacy has gone on to create the novel’s central character to be known as “a symbolic character for every black girl growing up in America”.
This book is truly one for the ages and a definite must-read in our countdown of 10 Books Every Girl Should Read Before 25!
5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar is the only novel written by Sylvia Plath and has etched herself in literature with this celebrated novel. The story follows the life of Esther which is constructed on Plath’s own experience at a woman’s college called Smith and then going on to win a scholarship and work at a New York based magazine.
The books follows a theme that sheds light on gender issues, feminine independence and mental health. It explores Esther’s journey as she sets on a path that highlights the problems with the oppressive patriarchal society of mid-20th century America.
It questions the socially acceptable identity of a woman well beyond the labels of a homemaker or a mother, with no option for independence. It’s a symbol of teenage angst makes it a compelling read for anyone well on their way towards adolescence with a no-nonsense ‘tude.
6. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
Next on the list of 10 Books Every Girl Should Read Before 25, is the voice of every late 20-something. It’s mad inspiring, informative and valuable to any age.
If you have just started college and your old friends start to feel far and horribly few and you are open to seeking new friendships, MWF Seeking BFF is your guide. The book is the author’s journey of finding a new BFF after moving in and eventually marrying her boyfriend in Chicago.
It has major LOLs, lovingly awkward at times, but mostly shows the power of female friendship and importance of women being there for women. We absolutely love!
7. Yes Please by Amy Poehler
“Good for her. That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again.” The quote from the book alone should be reason enough to read it yet we can’t help but gush about this entirely amazing comedienne, woman, actress and kick-ass human.
Swinging by another quote – “I think we should stop asking people in their twenties what they “want to do” and start asking them what they don’t want to do.” Now if this does not make you want to read this all around awesome book, we do not know what will! We are surely grabbing this page-turner!
8. Deenie by Judy Blume
Deenie by Judy Blume was the first book that really looked at how a young girl might actually be feeling and what she might be thinking as she goes through puberty, with the additional element of negotiating having to wear a spinal brace.
The book explores how the protagonist, Deenie, comes into her own and rises above her mothers vanity and pigeonholing. It’s inspirational, encouraging and real. Self-acceptance, self-love and honesty – this book covers all that and much more!
9. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Being a feminist in the 21st century can be difficult. Especially so when you have a penchant for things that go against the very ideology. Roxanne Gay’s book is a godsend which proves that identifying yourself as a feminist and balancing it with a love for pop culture need not be mutually exclusive.
Exploring it through her essays, Gay’s personal experiences covers vast topics from race, to gender, to entertainment and everything in between. It is intelligent, delightful and downright amazing!
10. Stargirl by Jery Spinelli
And last on our countdown of the 10 Books Every Girl Should Read Before 25, is Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. The story follows Susan, a newcomer to Mica Area High School, who despite the challenges in her new surroundings refuses to conform to society’s expectations.
Rather than falling prey to self-doubt or hatred, she responds to hate with love, kindness and duly inspires girls to be proud of who they are and their individuality. She is everything every school girl wishes she could be but will never dare to be. She does the last thing someone who wants to fit in will ever do. She smiles at everyone, and this classic will make you too.