Ten Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For Feminist YA


I think that all books that treat the concerns/thoughts/goals/desires/experiences of teenage girls as important are inherently feminist. That means books about crushes and making out and make up. It’s one of my favorite things about YA that it can be dominated by female authors and female characters. I mean the fact that strong female fantasy leads is considered an overused trope is pretty awesome. Obviously there are problematic books and gender inequalities in how authors are treated and lots of other issues … but, for now, here are some of my favorite overtly feminist YA novels. Please share your thoughts or your own feminist YA recs with me in the comments. And happy Tuesday!

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly book meme!

23 thoughts on “Ten Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For Feminist YA

  1. ooh i LOVE this take on this week’s topic!! beautiful, truly. I haven’t read some of these, but of the ones I have (graceling, the disreputable history, etc) I have loved them all. Definitely will be adding the ones I haven’t read to my TBR! šŸ™‚ awesome list
    here’s my TTT!

    1. Graceling and Disreputable History are two of my favorites on this list. I loved your topic too. I read so many classics in high school and college. I really miss it!

    1. Really pumped and intrigued by your comment. Are you defining choice feminism as the idea that women should be able to choose between have careers and staying at home with husbands/kids? I guess I’d argue that even in books where the characters aren’t feminists the books can be by presenting female experiences in intelligent, interesting, and important ways. Twilight I think is a battle ground where it is very easy to interpret as both feminist and, more commonly, anti-feminist. But I agree with you that in my reading I don’t see Bella as a feminist character. Excited to read your TTT!

      1. True, it’s important to represent diversity in female experiences, but what I meant by not supporting “choice feminism” is that I believe that not all choices made by women are feminist in nature simply because a woman made the choice. For example, I support a woman’s choice of adoption over abortion if she has certain moral or religious objections to abortion. I do not support, however, a woman who inflicts her position on other women. Therefore, I strongly believe that a woman cannot be a “pro-life” activist and a feminist.

        In other cases, there are choices that are, in my opinion, more feminist than others (keeping your maiden name, supporting yourself financially, not participating in sex work, etc.). It doesn’t mean that you’re a bad woman if you’re a sex worker or you’re staying at home with the kids, it’s just that women should acknowledge that the patriarchy is being upheld in both these cases. I support women’s choices personally and politically (even advocating for legalized prostitution), but I wouldn’t necessarily call them feminist choices.

        I’d say my opinion is more old-school and unpopular to most third wave feminists these days, but I just find the idea that we’re all in feminist solidarity with all women to be problematic. In essence, labeling yourself a feminist is a choice, and I feel that women need to earn that label and not just have to handed to them because they’re female, no matter what they do in life.

        Ok sorry for the long-winded reply! Getting off my soapbox now šŸ™‚

      2. Got it. I’ve heard the term choice feminism used a few times, but can’t find a consistent definition. And no need to apologize for long winded replies! There are so many different views within feminism (like all movements), it’s really interesting to hear your perspective.

  2. I couldn’t really get into Graceling but it is a kick ass feminist book for sure! That character is awesome for girl power! And I love Libba Bray, but I haven’t read the book you list!

    1. I have a lot of books like that. And yay Libba Bray! Seriously any of her books could probably have been on this list – but I think this one is particularly in your face with feminist themes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s