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- Reese Witherspoon's Book Club has recommended over 55 books so far, all with female protagonists.
- Nine of them are young adult books, all of which you'll find below.
- Want more books? Check out the best young adult romance novels.
Disappearing into a great young adult book feels like magic. We're swept away into different lives and worlds for hours at a time, finding stories that can help strengthen our values, cultivate our imagination, and learn how to approach a spectrum of emotions and experiences -all from the comfort of a book.
If you're looking for your next YA book (or a great gift for a teen), you might want to consider these nine from Reese's Book Club. Each title, like all 58 Reese Witherspoon book picks, focuses on female protagonists, whether they're moonlighting as an advice columnist or reluctantly campaigning for Prom Queen to win the college scholarship of their dreams.
The 9 YA books selected for Reese's Book Club so far:
Descriptions are from Amazon and edited for length and clarity.
By day, 17-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie."
When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender.
While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta's most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light."Tokyo Ever After" by Emiko Jean (Summer 2021)
Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in — it isn't easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it's always been Izumi — or Izzy, because "It's easier this way" — and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father's identity… and he's none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.
In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself — back home, she was never "American" enough, and in Japan, she must prove she's "Japanese" enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?"Firekeeper's Daughter" by Angeline Boulley (Spring 2021)
18-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi's hockey team.
Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.
Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars."You Have a Match" by Emma Lord (Winter 2021)
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it's mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie...although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.
But she didn't know she's a younger sister.
When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, Instagram star Savannah Tully, it's hard to believe they're from the same planet, never mind the same parents. The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby's parents put Savvy up for adoption."The Light in Hidden Places" by Sharon Cameron (December 2020)
It is 1943, and for four years, 16-year-old Stefania has been working for the Diamant family in their grocery store in Przemysl, Poland. She has even made a promise to one of their sons, Izio — a betrothal they must keep secret since she is Catholic and the Diamants are Jewish.
But everything changes when the German army invades Przemysl. The Diamants are forced into the ghetto, and Stefania makes the extraordinary decision to hide Max Diamant, and eventually 12 more Jews. Then they must wait, every day, for a knock at the door. When the knock finally comes, it is two Nazi officers, requisitioning Stefania's house for the German army.
With two Nazis below, 13 hidden Jews above, and a little sister by her side, Stefania has one more excruciating choice to make."A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow" by Laura Taylor Namey (November 2020)
For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) Take over her abuela's role as head baker at their panadería, 2) Move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) Live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything — including Lila herself — fell apart.
Worried about Lila's mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell."Fable" by Adrienne Young (October 2020)
As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home 17-year-old Fable has ever known. It's been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day, her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive, she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her.
The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so, Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father."Furia" by Yamile Saied Mendez (September 2020)
A powerful contemporary young adult for fans of "The Poet X" and "I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter" set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line — even her blooming love story — to follow her dreams.
In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.
At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother's narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother's shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.
On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she'd get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.
Filled with authentic details and the textures of day-to-day life in Argentina, heart-soaring romance, and breathless action on the pitch, "Furia" is the story of a girl's journey to make her life her own."You Should See Me in a Crown" by Leah Johnson (August 2020)
Liz Lighty has always believed she's too Black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it's okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: Attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz's plans come crashing down… until she's reminded of her school's scholarship for prom king and queen.
There's nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she's willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington. The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She's smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams… or make them come true?