Top Books for Young Women

I'm sorry for my unexpected hiatus last week – things got pretty busy, and I was out for a couple days with a strange cold, but I used the time off to lay up a store of blog post ideas and I'm really excited about them!  
Today, even though it's Friday, I am here to talk about some books I enjoyed a couple years ago and still enjoy that I think are awesome for any girl going through her teens.  You know how I love my round-ups!  I will do a real quick overview of the book and I'll have a link to purchase each book as well.  Let's do this! (click on title of book to be taken to Amazon)
True Beauty by Carolyn and Nicole Whitacre:  I think I picked this book up in the first place because the cover is so pretty.  It's all watercolor-y and colorful and a nice texture.  It's the little things, guys.  Anyway, I love this book!  It's a refreshingly straightforward look at beauty: the huge emphasis our culture places on it, and the Bible's liberating and contrasting standard of beauty.  This book isn't filled with feel-good fluff or inspirational quotes to boost your self-image.  It provides a solid, Biblical look at beauty – how God sees beauty, and what He sees when He looks at his daughters.  This book looks at the truest book to find out what true beauty is.  If you or someone you know struggle with your appearance and with seeing yourself as God sees you (basically all women), get this book.  It's great. 

A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman: I read this book last year, I believe, and I want to reread it this year.  A Million Little Ways is a beautiful book about art.  The kind of art we should live.  In this book, Emily describes art as the stuff God calls you to do: however small or seemingly insignificant.  It's all beautiful art to Him.  And when we create art, we not only bless and glorify God, we bless others.  Because God gave us each something to do that no one else can do the same, and when we obey, it's beautiful.  We are children of a creative God and He calls us to create.  I absolutely love this book: it opened my mind up to what art is (hint: not just painting) and my heart to wanting to live fully alive.  What I loved most about this book is how it absolutely destroys the idea that there are artists – and then there are the rest of us.  No.  We are artists – all of us.  We are God's art and He calls us to live art, every day.  It's a beautiful book and I highly recommend it for anyone of any age! 

Graceful by Emily P. Freeman: When I read this book, I needed it.  Graceful is all about young women's relationship with God should not be a list of things to check off – it's a relationship.  We don't need to have our life together.  We don't need to look perfect.  We don't need to have the perfect life.  We don't need to be perfect, because God is our perfection.  We don't need to be perfect, but do we trust the One who is?  In this book, Emily encourages readers to let go of their try-hard life and be liberated in the grace of God.  It's a message that young women desperately need to hear.  Every budding young woman needs to read this book! 

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris: This book is fairly well-known, maybe a little infamously, but it's essentially a book about doing relationships with guys God's way.  I read this book several times a couple years ago, and what I learned from it has helped me throughout my teens in my interactions and relationships with guys.  Joshua Harris is not absolutely against dating, he is FOR doing relationships God's way and in a way that honors God.  This book is a steady, unwavering cry for a revolution in the way we do relationships with the opposite sex as young people, and it is awesome.  If you are in your mid-teens and dealing with the stickiness of relationships with the opposite sex, this book is for you.

It's Not That Complicated by Anna Marie & Elizabeth Botkin: A couple years ago, this was my favorite book.  I reread it many times and it made my friendships and interactions with guys all much simpler.  This book is about approaching relationships and interactions with guys in a Biblical way.  It's about how we, as Christian young women, are specifically called to build up our brothers, in how we act around them, in what we say, and in how we treat them.  The Botkin sisters show that we have  a duty towards our brothers in Christ in lifting them up, but many times we make a mess of it because our heart gets in the way.  In this book, they offer practical, straightforward Biblical principles that should guide our relationships with guys and that make it all much simpler.  Guys are people too, and we are called to love them with a sisterly love that wants nothing but God's best for them.  This book really helped me during a time in my life when all the guy vs. girl stuff seemed complicated and messy and hard, and the stuff I learned from it still help me in my friendships with guys.  If you are a girl coming into your teens or somewhere in the middle and struggling with the girl/guy thing, you need this book!

Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy: In this book, Leslie Ludy calls young women to be set-apart from the world for God.  This book is about being set-apart for God's service and the amazing things that can happen when we totally surrender to Him.  When we let Him move through us and when we lay down our desires to be replaced with His.  This book is a hard book – it's not easy, doesn't make you feel good about yourself, but it is a good hard.  It will change you.  This book is a call to hand over the reins of your life to Jesus Christ and to serve Him passionately as your King.  When it is all about Him, it's no longer about how you look or how you act or you anything.  This message is liberating, but it is not for the faint of heart.  It is for the young women who crave meaning in their lives, who are willing to sacrifice everything to be set-apart for the service of a sovereign God.  I appreciate this book and its straightforward message, and if you are a teen looking to deepen your relationship with God and infuse your life with meaning, this is the book for you!

And that's it!  Those are some of my favorite books for young women who are anywhere from pre-teen to a couple books that are awesome for any stage of life.  All of these books have touched my life in some way and I am grateful to have read them.  I am leaving next week for Spring Break, so I'm not sure how many posts will go up as of yet, but I hope to get my last review up on Monday.  Thanks for reading! xo, Ella

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