1. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
This book gave me some hope of finding new friends when I didn’t think I could. A lot of people are able to hang on to their childhood friends, whether that is primary or secondary school buddies. People also make friends through work. Making any new friends outside of any of those people is especially difficult if you move to a new city – it’s like dating. You have to go on friend-dates to see if you get on with this person. You even treat their response times via texts as an indicator of how much they like you – just like a new relationship. Rachel does all that in the book, going on 52 friend dates to find her new best friend. She certainly sounds a lot braver than I when it comes to meeting new people – but every time I’ve re-read this it has inspired me to think that yes I can meet new people if I put the effort in and not let the social anxieties get in the way.
2. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
A lovely light novel about a girl, Franny Banks, who is trying her damnedest to follow her dreams of becoming an actress. Through working a part time job to keep the money flowing in and going to auditions after auditions, you follow her story as she experiences the same fear that we all feel – the fear that we simply aren’t good enough to achieve our goals. Franny gives herself a deadline to reach her goal – something that is perhaps even more brave to do. A timeline to your dream would certainly force you to get your bum into gear, though I would be scared shitless of reaching that day and having to bury my dreams six feet under. The book can be a little cheesy at times, but sometimes a little cheese is what we need on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
And yes, it’s written by one of the Gilmore Girls. Even more reason to read it.
3. How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
Caitlin Moran is undeniably an awesome writer – everyone knows that with her public successes of both How To Be A Woman and How To Build A Girl. How To Be A Woman has many inspiring parts to it – whether you’re reading about Caitlin’s start to her career, how she was an oddball at school, or how she describes feminism. This book is what made me realize that feminism isn’t in fact a dirty word, but actually for anybody who believes in equality of the sexes. Also, her very sweet and simply put romance between herself and her husband is incredibly cute – it’s a insight into what real love is, which is something everybody can learn from. And of course, this book is full of laughs – something you cannot miss with anything that Caitlin writes. She’s fabulous.
4. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Following the story of Ursula Todd, each chapter Ursula dies, and each new chapter, she has been reborn and corrects her mistake that kills her in the first place. Overall she dies A LOT, and I mean A LOT. But that’s what makes this book so addictive. Set in the times of war, Kate creates a character that has true spirit which perhaps is the key to her amazing powers to be reborn. She goes through horrific domestic abuse and an attempted assassination of Hitler. Though Ursula gets lots of chances at living her life right, the book gives you the idea that things can be fixed and there is hope after all. Though we don’t have the ability to escape death, we do have the ability and strength to get through the worst of times. That’s what I think the message really is throughout this wonderful book. Ursula is a heroine that can live over and over again, and yet you can’t help but fall in love with her and hope that this chapter is the one where she doesn’t die.
5. The Best of Everything by Jona Raffe
If you feel like a lost twenty-something, this is a book to read. It may be set in the 50’s, with jobs being fairly easy to land compared to nowadays where you must have 5 years experience plus be fresh out of university – the story includes plenty of life events that we can empathize and sympathize with. Throughout the book you follow a group of young women; Caroline, April, Barbara, Mary and Gregg; as they all try their hardest to go after what they want, whether that’s a career, a fairy tale ending of love and marriage, a man who cannot be tamed, the best they can provide for their daughter, or just some cash money. It all feels incredibly glamorous for the girls at first, but once you go deeper into their stories, the glamour turns into harsh realities. You can’t help but fall for each heroine, wanting them to trudge through the hard times and make it – support that everyone needs, whichever decade they live in.
6. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
An absolute classic book that needs to be read. With sex, friendship and gender as the main topics of the book, you’ll have something to relate to within this semi-autobiographical story. And you simply must read the part about the fig tree. Please read the part about the fig tree. It’ll make you feel better about which path or paths to take in life.
7. The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang
A small book but a powerful one nonetheless. You follow the story of Sprout, a hen who is fed up of the laying eggs, who questions the normal lifestyle of a chicken, who decides to create a better life for herself despite what others say. She plans to live in the wild, outside of the barn, away from the farm, and to raise a chick of her own. Sprout faces her fair share of obstacles, and throughout the book you become her cheerleader, willing for her to go on. If you feel like changing things up a bit, or if someone has ever told you that you can’t do something, then read this book.