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“Embrace” novels

Date Published: 07/03/2023

As we are celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD) this week (Wednesday the 8th of March), we thought we would share some of the great fiction reads available in the iCentre that cover #EmbraceEquity which is the IWD theme for 2023.

Sensitive by Allyne L Webster

Samantha suffers from chronic allergies and eczema, she’s sick of the itchiness and pain and she’s sick of looking and feeling different. So when she moves to a new town, Samantha decides to become SJ, a girl who is cool and mysterious and above all she is going to pretend to be healthy.

After ‘SJ’ makes new a friend in Livvy and likes a cute boy called Sam she decides she will do whatever it takes to keep her illness a secret and appear ‘normal’. After all, would Livvy & Sam still want to hang out with her if they knew the truth? This is a beautiful story about self-acceptance and the power of friendship.


Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Willow Dickson (Dumplin’ to her mum) has always been comfortable in her own skin. She truly believes a bikini body is any body with a bikini on it!

But when life as Willow knows it changes and she suffers from an unaccustomed and unwelcome attack of self-doubt, she decides to enter into the local beauty pageant to take back her confidence!

This is such a fun book, full of heartfelt characters and memorable moments about embracing yourself and your inner Dolly Parton – its also been turned into a movie currently playing on Netflix.


Skin Deep by Hayley Lawrence

Scarlett was gifted with beauty, but in one horrifying moment she becomes scarred for life by a fire. Scarlett feels like she is the ugly smudge in her perfect world, so her solution is to retreat from the modern world for Matilda Mountain, which is desolate, isolated, and forlorn. Perfect.

But mountains are not always as lonely as they appear, and unexpected friendships can be found in the wilderness. It’s these friendships that challenge Scarlett about perfection and her place in the world.

Will Scarlett break free from the confines of her beauty obsessed culture to discover who she is beyond the layers of her skin?


Rules for being a Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

Marin attends a privileged high school on the East Coast of USA where she:

  • is co-editor on the school newspaper with her best friend,
  • achieves A’s in her AP English class (where the students call their teacher Bex because he is THAT cool,)
  • has a jock boyfriend and
  • her life is easy and comfortable…

Until something devastating happens that makes Marin realise she’s not happy following all the ‘Rules for Being a Girl’.

This is such a great read; it explores issues regarding the control we feel we sometimes don’t have over our own lives.


Deenie by Judy Blume

Deenie, beautiful Deenie who everyone says should be a model is stuck wearing a brace from her neck to her hips for four years. She feels ugly, angry and frustrated as she knows she is the only one who can find the courage to deal with it.

A Judy Blume classic from the 80’s, this story is still relevant…teaching us how to dig deep and understand it’s who we are on the inside and how we cope with challenges that gives us our self-worth.


If you would like to learn more about this years IWD theme we have added a link to a YouTube clip that can help explain it further.


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