Books are entertainment, yes, but they also carry valuable life lessons. One of the major overarching themes in many books that doubles as a life lesson is self-love, self-respect, self-agency and self-reliance. These books aren’t preachy, but through fictional worlds, they show readers that self-love is not just a word but a way of life, and one that can make a world of difference in your life. Here we have listed books that teach you about self-respect and self-love.
Books That Teach You About Self-Respect And Self-Love:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
This is a book about a newly single divorcee who travels the world to heal her heart and embrace herself. She goes to Italy to treat herself to food, India to connect with her spiritual self and Bali to fall in love, with herself and the right partner. This not only screams self-care, but also inspires you to respect yourself to walk out of relationships that are bad for you and to love who you really are.
What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
As the title suggests, this is a beautiful YA story revolves around Maisie, who unwillingly enters a beauty pageant, being underconfident. The arrival of her super gorgeous sister does nothing to elevate her self esteem, but one thing leads to another and she ends up participating. But the body conscious Maisie is soon to discover the wonder that her body and heart is, just like everyone should.
Home is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo
Elhillo’s books in verse are tender and beautiful. Here too, she tackles serious and important topics with lyricism and sensitivity, as she writes about identity. In this book, a girl takes up a different identity and ends up finding herself. Since so much of self love hinges on introspection, self-awareness and finding yourself, this fits in very well with the theme.
My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmermann
This YA novel is about loving yourself and your body the way you are. It follows Greer Walsh, a fifteen year old with a bra size of 30H, which she is very embarrassed about. With a bit of volleyball drama and a cute boy, this is a heartwarming book about self love.
Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee
This follows the weight loss journey of an overweight girl whose gorgeous mother runs a beauty shop. This book is as heartwarming as it is humorous, and also has important lessons about loving and owning yourself. It will remind you of what is really important in life.
Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart
A fire tears the life of our protagonist Ava apart in this book, leaving her bereft of her parents, normal life, friends and even her face (which is now burnt). But then Ava meets a fellow survivor, Piper, who bluntly forces Ava out of her comfort zone and introduces her to boys. Together, the two trauma ridden girls find their way through life, learning to rebuild themselves and their life. They learn to take care of themselves alone, and to embrace their bodies and trauma-ridden minds. They learn to be self-reliant even in their lowest moments.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
This is as much a book about not conforming to society as it is a tender exploration of first love. We follow Leo, who knows that he must conform to his unwritten high school rules. But when home-schooled Stargirl comes into the high school and adds a riot of colour to it, everyone shuns her. While Leo falls for her eccentricities, the two chart a way to be themselves in a world that forces them to fit in. This is a book about self acceptance more than anything, but it also talks about being okay with being different.
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