When I was young, under ten, my mom would try to get me to read certain classic books she had enjoyed as a child – Little Women, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, and others. Hopelessly contrary kid that I was (and still am, to a certain degree), I groaned and rolled my eyes and went back to reading my R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike books. Or Babysitter’s Club and Sweet Valley High. I wanted satisfying, modern shlock, Mom! Geez.
It’s hard to find novels with female characters who read like actual women. In this list of some of my favourites, I’ve tried to present women who lead their own lives, who aren’t sidelined for men, whose stories don’t revolve around other people, and who have depth and complexity existing beyond the necessities of plot. That meant I had to cut some obvious candidates (sorry, Hermione). There may be spoilers ahead. Read More Totally Awesome Women in Fiction