Features, Memes, Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday: YA Books for My High School Self



Hello & welcome to my Top 5 Wednesday post!

T5W is a weekly meme is hosted by Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes.  You can visit the Goodreads T5W group for more info.


This week’s theme is…

September 12th: Books For My Younger Self
— This was recommended as a topic on twitter and I love it! Books that you wish your younger self would have read to learn a life lesson, get more self confidence, open your eyes to a new perspective, etc.

I decided to spin this to share YA books I’ve read in the past few years that I feel would have been important for my high school self to read because they include important themes.  Sure, there are tons of books that I know my younger self would have loved to read, but I wanted to include books that taught me something as an adult, that would have benefited me as a teenager as well.


» The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis



The Female of the Species addresses a very important topic: rape culture.   Far too often rape and sexual assault are watered down in YA books, but Mindy chose to tell it like it is.  One particular scene, the student assembly on sexual assault, included great information for teens.  Mindy highlights how sexual assault is grossly underreported & why many victims hesitate to report any assault.

You can read my full review here → Book Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

» The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas



Inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, THUG lays out what the movement stands for, and what it doesn’t.  This book has many important themes: racism, family dynamics, community, etc.  I found THUG to not only be book I learned a lot from, but also one that was entertaining too.

» March (Books 1-3) by John Lewis


These graphic novels are the perfect way to present such an important part of U.S. history: The Civil Rights Movement.  These books really made me realize how this part of history was glossed over in my education.  The Civil Rights Movement deserves more attention in schools.   I also think John Lewis did a wonderful job shedding light on the lesser known people, organizations, and events in this movement.

» Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin



Symptoms of Being Human was the first book I’d read that focused on gender issues & gender fluidity.  I didn’t really grasp the concept of gender fluidity before reading this book, but Garvin takes a complex idea and really makes it easy to understand.  This book tackles deep issues like suicide, hate crimes, bullying, anxiety, etc.  There were also some shocking statistics included.

You can read my full review here → Book Review: The Symptoms of Being Human

» Asking For It by Louise O’Neille



Like The Female of the Species, Asking for it tackles rape culture.  This book is very difficult to read as it is very raw and honest.  One of the criticisms of this book is that it is too over the top and farfetched, but was it really?  I think it is very important what O’Neill did here.  Does the victims past actions, the way they dress, or the situations they put themselves in mean they were “asking for it?”



Which YA books would you give your HS self to read?

Comment below & let me know 🙂

*Feel free to link to your own T5W

25 thoughts on “Top 5 Wednesday: YA Books for My High School Self”

  1. I really wish I had read THUG when I was younger too! It’s such an important and educational read. I also really want to read Asking For It. Recently I have been reading a few more novels about sexual assault so I can’t wait to tick it off my list! Great post😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I would give my HS self some Holly Black fae books to read. I think I would have loved them at that age – to be fair, I loved them when I read them but I just wished I’d found her books earlier.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your choices Amanda and your spin on the topic, too! ❤ I agree with THUG, I wish that this book existed years and years ago already, it's the kind of book that really matters and I hope that it opened many many eyes and minds!
    I have heard great things about The Female of Species, but I am not certain that it would be a book for me because of the trigger warnings I've heard from it. Still, I'm happy to hear it's an important book for you ❤


  4. GREAT post, Amanda. I loved the spin on the topic! I totally agree that THUG is a super important book; when I was in high school, I didn’t live in the US and so wasn’t aware of race relations in such diverse societies like the United States. When I came here, it took me by surprise but I owe it to books to keep educating me (even when they don’t mean to!) I really want to read The Female of the Species and Asking For It, too. Heard great things!

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks


    1. I think The Female of the Species and Asking For It are very important books for high school aged kids to read. It really makes you think how absurd we treat rape & sexual assault in society today. They are not books you “enjoy” reading per se, but the type of book that makes you mad that this is the way the world is.


    1. Hi Eleanor! I know you reached out to Amanda specifically, but I thought I’d chime in here and help out — that said, feel free to ignore my advice if you don’t agree with it!

      For a lot of bloggers, they build community through social media. I find that doesn’t work well for me, as I don’t particularly engage with those platforms. Instead, I have built a following by consistent blog hopping, commenting, and making certain I start a dialogue with the blogger about their post. Blogging is all about building a community through connections.

      No matter how you do it, if you are working on building connections with people, you’ll build a following. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much for your advice, I then it’s so true that building connections and interacting is a great way to find new platforms to spread my own content, and converse with like minded people! I do enjoy promoting on Twitter, but it is definitely not the same as becoming involved with the blogging community… thanks again for your advice, it means a lot that you took the time to speak to me 💕

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Hello there! Thanks for stopping by 🙂 I’m honored that you would ask ME for advice, since I consider myself to be a smaller blogger too lol My best advice is to be super active in the book blogging community! Get out there and read & comment on other blogs. Also, use social media (twitter, Instagram, and facebook) to share your blog posts. You also need to be active on those platforms as well. It is all about networking 🙂 I also recommend having different types of posts – reviews, discussion posts, ets. Creative content to set yourself apart. If you are just starting out, a good way to get your name out there is to participate in weekly memes like top ten Tuesday or top 5 Wednesday.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your advice! I definuely do some of those things, but others I have yet to try! I’m not exactly a new blogger, but due to other commitments I’m certainly a small one! I really appreciate you taking the time to give me this advice- and I will take it on board in the future! Best of luck with your growing blog, have a great week 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You picked some intense and powerful books here, Amanda! I’m impressed. I love the idea of picking themes your high school self would have wanted to learn. I haven’t read March yet, but all three volumes are on my TBR!

    I would include Moxie which is about discovering feminism, gender equality, and activism in a high school setting. As an adult, it was a little cliche, but I know high school Jackie would have eaten it up and set up a rally or something. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are plenty of books that I know I would have ENJOYED as a teenager, but I wanted to share some books I think it would have been important for me to read at that age.

      I think you will love the March series! Very powerful books. I think John Lewis made a good move choosing to tell his story in graphic novel form. The illustrations just make it all the more moving.

      Ooooo I’ve seen the cover for Moxie, but never stopped to read the book description. Will you be reviewing it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I should TOTALLY review Moxie. It was one of the books I read during my original blog hiatus this year (O_o) — In fact, we read it for my bachelorette and had a book club. XD Because I’m so cool. I think younger me would have appreciated the writing a bit more than I did as adult, but I will still recommend this book to any woman.


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