She’s Only Getting Started
Becoming an adult is a lot of work, and doing so as a woman is harder. These novels are about women figuring out what they want, who they want to be, and how to get where they are going. The protagonists are all interesting, complicated and bright women sorting out their priorities in a world that is only growing more difficult to navigate.
Sophia of Silicon Valley, by Anna Yen
Sophia Young is a young, hip woman with a banking degree and a very, very overprotective family. She’s diabetic, and her parents and older sister treat her as though she is made of glass. Added to that, Sophia feels the pressure to meet the perfect man, one who will provide for her and give her a family. Naturally, she starts working in banking to find that man, but stumbles over a career instead. Falling almost by accident into the world of start-ups and tech billionaires, Sophia stands out with her tenacity and drive, her ability to get things done. Overwhelmed, and not taking care of herself, Sophia begins to question the life she thought she wanted, and what form success truly comes in for her. The book is sprinkled with not-so-subtle real-life characters and companies, but Sophia stands out. Tackling office politics, sexism, and the drive to keep going, Sophia is a powerhouse, and only becomes more admirable when she puts herself first.
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, by Meg Cabot
The Queen of Babble books are a funny, intense trilogy that tackles the post-collegiate freefall into “real life” with Cabot’s usual over-the-top sense of humor. The final volume, Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, is by far the best. Lizzie Nichols, our heroine, is finally getting her life together. She has a great career, is finally engaged to her commitment-phobic French lover, Jean-Luc, and is living in New York, finally in charge of her own life. Of course, as soon as she seems to be on top of everything, Lizzie gets hit by a tidal wave of new problems. Her so-called true love is making her miserable, her job security is questionable after her boss has a heart attack, and a family tragedy makes her question what actually makes her happy. If a chateau in France is truly her destiny, why does Lizzie prefer to spend time with her best friend’s ex, who just so happens to also be Jean-Luc’s best man? Lizzie is in freefall, and has to make some hard decisions, fast. Can she push aside what she has always thought she wanted, in order to actually be happy?
Grace After Henry, by Eithne Shortall
Grace has everything you could ever want- a loving partner, a great job cooking at the weirdest restaurant in town, and a bright future in the home she and Henry, her beloved, have just closed on. Then, the accident. Henry is killed, and Grace’s life divides into two, Before, and after. Moving into the house they would have shared, Grace wallows in her grief, going through the motions of her days, and seeing Henry in the faces of men all over Dublin’s streets. Then, the miracle: Andy appears, the spitting image of Henry, him, but also not. Inexplicable Andy becomes a secret part of Grace’s life, a tie to her lost love, and a path forward, should she choose to take it. When Grace comes to a crossroads in her life, she still mourns Henry, but has to decide if she can move on, or take the harder road to heal her loss. Full of sparkling prose and charmingly Irish witticisms, Grace After Henry is sweet, tragic and hopeful, with characters of incredible depth and strength. Grace shows the reader that life isn’t always a straight line, and that finding your way forward sometimes requires you to step back, and understand the past.
Intercepted, by Alexa Martin
It’s the tale as old as time, boy meets girl, boy dates girl, boy cheats. Marlee was the perfect NFL girlfriend for ten years, only to be burned by a breakup to rival the revolutionary war in its hostility. Vowing to steer clear of athletes, Marlee gets back on her feet, only to find herself being pursued by the team’s newest addition, Gavin Pope, a face from her past that has Marlee rethinking that rule. Marlee’s ex, however, isn’t exactly thrilled about her moving on, and the team wives have never been fond of her, so forces align against the couple’s romance. Marlee isn’t putting her life in a man’s hands ever again, she lived with her ex for years, and isn’t willing to give up her independence for anyone. For the first time in her adult life, Marlee is calling all the shots, and she’s not going to let anyone tell her what to do. Marlee is a compelling underdog, and a force to be reckoned with, a modern romantic heroine who forges her own destiny.
Juliet Takes a Breath, By Gabby Rivera
Juliet has just completed her first year of college- she’s a budding feminist, a proud Latina and a lesbian. She has the most exciting internship lined up with her favorite author, but before she leaves for the summer Juliet wants to come out to her family. When that doesn’t go as well as it could have, Juliet gets on the plane to Portland, feeling alone. Juliet has to spend a whole summer on the West Coast, away from her family and her girlfriend, trying to figure out what her place is in the world, now that she’s out. This book is a beautiful journey from dependence to self-reliance, from self-acceptance to self-love. Juliet will steal your heart.