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Five fiction novels featuring strong women

By Admin User on March 13, 2020

In honour of International Women’s Day, here are some of my favourite books that star women who aren’t afraid to speak their minds and lift up those around them.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

1. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Tibby, Lena, Carmen and Bridget have been best friends since they’ve been born. Before spending their first summer apart, they find a pair of jeans that magically fit each one of them. Through letters and these pants, they prove that distance means nothing when it comes to friendship.

I remember thinking how incredible it was that this story focused on friendship instead of romance. As I entered the world of young adult (YA) literature, I found that many of the stories revolved around a love story. Now, I’m all for reading about cute couples, but this was refreshing. My friends have always been like family to me, so to see this represented on paper was wonderful. Each character struggled, but knew they could rely on their friends to pick them back up. Plus, I find myself relating to a different character each time I read the story, depending on where I am in life.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This novel follows sisters Jo, Amy, Meg and Beth March as they grow up and begin to pursue their passions.

Let’s face it: if you’ve read this book, odds are you wanted to be Jo. She was the feisty, independent, feminist one who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. But what I appreciate about this book is that each character was so well-rounded and flawed. As a reader, you could see yourself in any of the sisters.

Also, if you haven’t seen Greta Gerwig’s movie adaption yet, you should. It’s beautiful and made me see Amy in a whole new light; Florence Pugh is perfection.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Elizabeth Bennet is in desperate need of a husband- at least, according to her mother. However, she’s not willing to settle for just anyone. Enter Mr. Darcy, a seemingly snobbish man who Lizzie could not like less. But as they keep bumping into each other, they realize first impressions are not always correct.

Odds are, you at least know the basic plot, if you haven’t already read it. It’s a classic! But for good reason. During a time when women were so dependent on men, Lizzie was willing to risk her future and turn down several proposals because she didn’t like the men. She was outspoken, witty and loyal to her family (even when they were a bit nuts). Plus, she learns and grows throughout the novel, leading to a more satisfying end.

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

4. The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Mia Thermopolis is just trying to survive high school. But when her father reveals to her that she is actually the princess of Geneva, her life becomes a bit more complicated.

I laughed out loud reading this book. Mia is the perfect embodiment of how awkward teen years are. But she’s passionate, hilarious, and a great friend. While her friend Lily gets all the attention in the movie adaptation, I am team Tina all the way. Mia and Tina’s friendship is so wholesome and precious, and is one of my favourite relationships in the book.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath and her twin sister, Wren, are off to university. But while Wren is branching out and making new friends, Cath’s anxiety is making it difficult to feel like she belongs. Fortunately, her new roommate steps up, showing Cath there’s more to life than the online world. But is Cath ready to give up her successful Simon Snow fiction blog?

This novel took me by surprise. At first glance, Cath isn’t someone I would initially connect with as a protagonist. However, her quiet strength- and loud struggles- makes her incredibly relatable. New situations can be scary for anyone, so watching Cath navigate her way through university feels so rewarding. While Cath may not be the typical “strong female character”, she is resilient and refuses to let her setbacks squash her dreams.

I hope you find these books to be as wonderful and empowering as I do!



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