Louise O’Neill’s Essential Reads for Teenage Girls (Part 1)

Described by The Guardian as “the best Young Adult fiction writer alive today”, it’s fair to say Louise O’Neill knows a thing or two about books for teenagers. So she made us a list…

Sometimes I think that I wrote my book, Only Ever Yours, as a sort of love letter to my fifteen year old self. If I could travel back in time, I would hand her a copy of my novel along with a few other books that I think should be mandatory reading for teenage girls.

The list will NEVER be complete, but would include:

Forever by Judy Blume

A seminal text. One of the first books to describe sex from a teenage girls point of view honestly. Also notable: the male protagonist has a name from his bits (Ralph, since you ask).

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Very exciting story of two women during the Second World War. Multi-layered heroines and complex emotions. Lots of adventure.

Girls will be Girls by Emer O’Toole

Will change the way you think about gender and feminism forever, and asks what does it really mean to “act like a girl”. Also, very funny.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s epic autobiography. An account of what life was like for a black girl in the Deep South in 1930’s. Astonishing for many reasons, most notable her lack of self-pity and awesome use of language.

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

We don’t want to ruin Jane Eyre or anything, but have you wondered about the mad woman in Mr. Rochester’s attic? Wonder no more. The ultimate silenced woman’s counter-narrative.



Louise’s Essential Reads for Teenage Girls will be continued very soon…

Tweet Louise: @oneilllo