Nancy Jo Sales
A riveting yet horrifying look at the secret social media lives of girls in America. This book came out in 2016 and while the social platforms may have changed, the issues and emotional resonance are still as relevant as ever.
Such a Fun Age
This incisive book follows Emira, a young black woman who lives and works in Philadelphia as a babysitter, and Alix, her well-intentioned but misguided white employer. In this generous and flawless book, Reid navigates race, privilege, friendship, power dynamics, woke-culture, and the question of who owns their story in the age of the overshare.
A wild journey behind the scenes with the two New York Times investigative journalists who broke the Harvey Weinstein story. The book is informative but never dull, and it progresses at such a pace that it often reads more like a thriller. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in the subject, and in telling the story of a few brave women, Kantor and Twohey also expose some of the systems in place to protect powerful abusers like Weinstein.
What Red Was
A story about a young woman, Kate, navigating her life in London after being assaulted in the family home of a close friend. It’s a heart-wrenching and powerful look at the complexities of privilege, friendship, trauma and family ties.
I’ve always been a sucker for a good campus thriller, and Bunny is no exception. Awad tells the story of Samantha, an MFA student who is initially repelled by her classmates, a clique of girls who call themselves the Bunnies. Reality and fiction start to blur when the Bunnies invite Samantha to a ‘smut salon’, and the plot takes a sinister (and wild) turn.
The Girl with the Louding Voice
In this compelling debut, Adunni is a Nigerian girl whose dreams of getting an education are seemingly destroyed when she is sold off as a wife at the age of fourteen. What follows is a moving and powerful read as Adunni experiences setbacks, hardships, and beautiful acts of friendship on her journey to find her voice.
Grace Turner was one movie away from Hollywood’s A-List. So no one understood why, at the height of her career and on the eve of her first Golden Globe nomination, she disappeared. Now, one year later, Grace is back in Los Angeles and ready to reclaim her life on her own terms. When Grace is asked to present a lifetime achievement award to director Able Yorke—the man who controlled her every move for eight years—she knows there’s only one way she’ll be free of the secret that’s already taken so much from her. The Comeback is a moving and provocative story of justice—a true page-turner about a young woman finding the strength and power of her voice.
In The Comeback, I explore the impact of early stardom and abuse on a young Hollywood actress, Grace Turner. There are multiple power dynamics explored in the book, including the connection between Grace and her audience, who think they own part of her; the dysfunctional relationship Grace has with her parents, who feel both indebted to and abandoned by her; and her destructive bond with the director who controlled her life for eight years.
Here is a list of other books that explore similar topics. From the secret social media lives of teenagers in American Girls to an exploration of race, privilege, and transactional relationships in Such A Fun Age, all of these picks have the theme of power dynamics running incisively through them.
Featured Image: IMBD, © TM and 2006 Twentieth Century Fox. All rights reserved.