What’s the best way to show your fierce feminist colors this summer (besides crushing on Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot all season)? By picking up a book (or seven) with a kick-ass female lead. Whether you’re spending your days poolside or indulging in a city staycation, these are the tales and heroines that will make the most empowering company.
1. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty ($11): Okay, okay, this isn’t a new summer read, but you can’t say the words “fierce” and “female” without bringing to mind bestselling author Liane Moriarty. The paperback release of her outstanding book Truly Madly Guilty hits bookshelves in July, and it’s absolutely mandatory to include in your summer reading plans. Plot reminder: drama-filled neighborhood barbecues, old BFFs, big personalities, parenthood woes, sex complications, mistakes, and regrets. Summer reading doesn’t get any hotter than this classic.
2. Saints and Misfits by SK Ali ($13): The best heroines are often found in the pages of the next “it” YA novel, and we’re betting this is the one. Saints and Misfits is a gorgeous coming-of-age tale centered around a teenage Muslim girl growing up in suburban America (and the dark monster at her mosque). Bold and, frankly, overdue, Saints and Misfits is an authentic story of Muslim teenagehood everyone should read.
3. Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker ($17): Two teenage sisters go missing. One returns, while the other’s whereabouts remain a mystery. When forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter dives into the case, she uncovers a dark and twisted riddle of secrets, narcissistic parents, and a dangerously dysfunctional family. Sure to make adrenaline flow from the first page to the last, Emma in the Night is 2017’s most profound psychological thriller.
4. Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki ($14): The drama of the Hollywood Hills, dark secrets, broken families, and irresistible lust… Woman No. 17 is a seductive cocktail of all that (and more). A shadowy tale that takes place in the heat of summer, this tense and unpredictable story about a writer, her children, and the magnetic female artist that comes into their lives will leave you spellbound.
5. Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson ($11): Craving the best historical fiction romance of summer? Lucky for you, we found it, and a new fictional female journalist to inspire your career goals. American journalist Ruby Sutton heads to London in the summer of 1940 to report on the war, only to discover her own life could be destroyed by it. It’s an enchanting historical escape that will leave you swooning all season long.
6.The Goddesses by Swan Huntley ($18): If you’re itching for a new fictional heroine, we have great news: You just found two. A woman moves her family to Kona, Hawaii to save her marriage but ends up discovering an incredible friendship in her female yoga instructor that could alter the course of her life. A dazzling story of manipulation, unexpected connections, and answering your heart’s true desires, The Goddesses is one of the boldest reading experiences of 2017 (oh, and you’ll finish the book with major Hawaii wanderlust).
7. The Guineveres by Sarah Domet ($10): Four extraordinary young women named Guinevere are delivered to the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration Convent by their families, each with a terribly complicated past. As they grow up under the strict rules and wisdom of nuns, the girls find themselves sharing a similar enlightenment: They were brought together for a brilliant reason that goes far beyond their sequestered lives and identical name. Daring, bold, and a celebration of the feminine spirit, The Guineveres is the girl-power reading experience to indulge in this year.
What’s on your reading list this summer? Let us know @BritandCo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
(Feature photo via Getty)