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Girls Just Wanna Feel Seen: Book Recs for Relatable Icons

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Whether you’re exceptionally awkward, indecisive, or jaded with the way your life is going, most of us can relate. Thankfully some people know how to put these feelings and experiences into words; they let us know that we can make a meaningful and satisfactory life ourselves, regardless of our struggles. Here are five books that will make you feel seen

Circe, Madeline Miller

Circe is a retelling of the classic Odyssey but from the POV of goddess Circe. The book takes us on a journey of Circe’s life as she evolves from being meek and demure under her father’s shadow to a badass icon when she taps into her potential and reclaims her power. The story also tastefully features other Greek mythology tales such as the stories of Icarus, Ariadne and the Labyrinth while keeping the main plot on Circe. Disclaimer: Prepare for tears. 5/5 ★

The Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata

Society has always had unspoken and abstract rules, but what happens when you don’t fit in the mold or complete the milestones expected from regular people? Keiko is an outlier and navigates life not meeting these expectations, nor does she care for them much. She has difficulty relating to people and fails to understand why, and as a result, resorts to emulating what “normal” people do in an attempt to blend in. Although I was slightly unsettled while reading, I think it’s an important read as it’s based on one of my fave topics — the pressure of societal standards. 3/5 ★

Maybe In Another Life, Taylor Jenkins Reid

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another” – Deepak Chopra. After reuniting with her best friend and high-school sweetheart for the first time in years, Hannah couldn’t decide which of them she wanted to go home with. The story takes us through both of these possibilities in alternate realities side-by-side. My take away from this book is that life will work itself out in the end no matter what route we take. I found it a little sad but hopeful and refreshing. 5/5 ★

The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

Nora Seed is dissatisfied with her life and after a suicide attempt, she stumbles upon an opportunity to try on the different lives she could’ve lived and to redress the regrets she has in her current life. If you ignore the slight “YOLO” undertones of this book and read it as a fictional story instead of a self-help book, you might love it the way I did. In my opinion, this book is a gentle reminder that there is no better life than your own. 4/5 ★

Such A Fun Age, Kiley Reid

Emira is a black twenty-something-year-old graduate who is struggling to find her path. She has a job as a babysitter for a white family; one night on the job, she is accused of kidnapping the baby during a supermarket visit. The book addresses the themes around dating, feeling like you’re behind, and the tendencies to compare where we are in life to the people around us. It also dives into conversations on race, navigating the world as a black woman and performative activism. I gave this book a rating of 2/5 ★ because although it touched on necessary topics and I found myself relating to Emira at times, the story itself fell a little flat for me. But don’t let my rating deter you as this book won the Goodreads Choice Award for best debut novel (2020)!

Happy reading!

Words by Amantle Marobela

(@amantle.m_ on IG)

Edited by Lucy Eaton

(@llucyeaton on IG)


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