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Books Every Girl Should Read

ZuluQueen
The list author says: "These are all books that I read and thoroughly enjoyed. All of them have changed my life, in some way or another. I would recommend reading all of these books."
A Little Princess
A Little Princess
"For little girls. A nice fairy tale about never giving up hope. This is a classic you should read just for the experience."
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
"Ditto. From same author."
Ella Enchanted
Ella Enchanted
"It is a thrilling, bolder version of the Cinderella story. Ella is spunkier and fierce. She has to get rid of the spell of obedience. It's for all ages, but it's told in an almost sexy way. Very detailed; the world really pulls you through. I would recommend this author and all of her books. Gail Carson Levine just has a very smooth way of writing."
Prep: A Novel
Prep: A Novel
"Definitely for older readers. This book devastated me; I read it when I was fifteen. It's about a girl who is middle class. She goes to a rich prep school, and she has to learn how to fit in with the world. Curtis Sittenfeld makes brilliant observations about the world Lee is in. Insanely quotable; the ending made me cry so much, I practically dehydrated myself."
The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, Vol. 1)
The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, Vol. 1)
"A girl finds out she's actually a princess. The first four books in this series are fun to read, then it starts getting redundant. It's funny because such silly things happen. The grandma is actually really mean, there's a lot of name-dropping. It's silly, light, frothy fun. Great for girls who have crushes and love to gossip. The first three audio books are good, too. Read by Anne Hathaway."
The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club
"Classic. A lot of hearbreaking stories about how Asian American girls deal with their mothers in America, where the rules change. It's about sacrifice, understanding, all that good stuff. No book has ever made me feel guiltier. Helps you appreciate your mom more."
Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics)
Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics)
"Another classic. It's really sad because it's about thwarted love. Everyone should read this. Heartbreaking."
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
"This series is a little more serious, but it is great. Ann Brashares can really relate to teen girls. It's about four girls and what they experience, from the suburbs to Greece. About romance, friendship, all that good stuff. The three sequels are all good, too."
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Book 1)
Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson (Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, Book 1)
"Super funny. It's about a really immature girl who narrates what happens to her in a diary. It's for people who like immature jokes. Shallow, but in a bubbly, enticing way. It's hyper and cute. You will probably laugh out loud. The first four of these are awesome, then it starts getting redundant... I was reading one of these in public and couldn't stop laughing."
A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
"This first one is good. Its two sequels aren't. This book is a gothic, sexy fairy tale about a girl who has to take down a monster. Something like that. It's fantasy, and exciting. Also dark. It's thrilling, okay? It's fun and exciting to read."
Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel
Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel
"This is a really convincing story of a geisha, even if it was written by a white guy. Some of the facts about the culture are wrong, supposedly, but the story itself is lovely. It's a love story about a girl who works as a geisha while being in love with some guy that doesn't even notice her. Really detailed, you'll get lost in this world."
The Agony of Alice (Alice Books)
The Agony of Alice (Alice Books)
"It's about Alice, and how she learns about life. It's shallow, but still fun. It can be pretty intoxicating, and Alice grows along with readers. So when she gets older, more mature things start happening to her. It's a really quick read. Fun to squeal about. There's drama. Let's just say, it's a watered-down, cheerful version of My So-Called Life."
Girl
Girl
"Another devastating book. I love the stream of consciousness style of writing Blake Nelson uses. About a girl who hangs out with a band and falls in love with an aloof singer. Sex, romance, excitement, taking chances, friendship. Very intense and exciting. A fast read. The movie was awful, but this book is dynamite. Unlike the trash that's out there today. Timeless and lovely. For older teens."
Jacob Have I Loved
Jacob Have I Loved
"About jealousy and wanting more than you have. Heartbreaking story about a girl who competes with her sister for nearly everything. Sad, but empowering."
Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter
Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter
"A heart-breaker. A true story; an autobiography. She actually has a wicked stepmother and her father is still alive, but is very neglectful. Adeline Yen Mah has to learn to make her own way in the world without the support of her family. I cried at least once."
SOLD
SOLD
"Definitely for a more mature audience. A young girl from Nepal is given away by her stepfather to a Indian brothel, where she is mistreated and must eventually make the decision to be free. The author tells Lakshimi's story using lovingly crafted sentences. But the book is, of course, very painful to read. It really makes you appreciate how easy your life is, compared to others."
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
"An explosion of empowerment. The main character is overweight, and she has to deal with that and romance, etc. For older teens. There's also a major event she has to cope with. About being yourself. Inspiring."
Daddy-Long-Legs (Puffin Classics)
Daddy-Long-Legs (Puffin Classics)
"A cute, old-fashioned story about a girl who writes to a benefactor who pays her college tuition. It's funny and lovely; you read her letters as she grows up and learns new things. Also, romance and newbie drawings by the author."
Saving Francesca
Saving Francesca
"Chick lit, but still fun and occasionally serious. About a girl whose mother becomes depressed. Romance, empowerment, friendship, being who you are."
White Oleander (Oprah's Book Club)
White Oleander (Oprah's Book Club)
"Earth-shattering story about a girl who goes from violent foster home to foster home. Exquisite description, a scary mother. Beautiful and tragic. Gritty and in-your-face."
Little Women (Signet Classics)
Little Women (Signet Classics)
"This is a really engaging book about the lives of four sisters, and how they deal with poverty, love, friendship, etc. A substitute for those who grew up without any sisters. You feel like they're family. Comforting and encouraging."
Anne of Green Gables (Unabridged Classics)
Anne of Green Gables (Unabridged Classics)
"A wonderful classic about a little red-headed orphan who finds a home. Don't let the excessive details about nature throw you off. A sweet story, with childhood romance. The three sequels are good, too. It gets boring once she gets married to... you'll have to read to find out! I love this book, it's very near and dear to my heart."
Saffy's Angel
Saffy's Angel
"An extremely charming series about a slightly weird English family. There are really cute, funny bits. Rose is my favorite character. About love, family, friendship. Makes me happy. Books 1-3 are written in third person and are fantastic. Books 4-5 are written in first person (yeeks), and lack the strength of the first three. I recommend listening to the audio version of Saffy's Angel."
I Capture the Castle
I Capture the Castle
"This is also very good. You just have to wait until the brothers get there to start enjoying it; the beginning's wicked boring. But it will be very rewarding once you do! About an English girl living in semi-poverty who has to make the best of it with her sister, father, step-mother. And two hot American neighbors. Yes! The first time we have some culture clash."