The most inspiring books about finding yourself (for senstivie teenage girls)

Who am I?

Growing up, I didn’t understand the hypersensitivity I felt to my own inner world and the outer. Highly alert to both interoceptive and exteroceptive data, I often felt overstimulated and overwhelmed by the intensity to which I experienced my own feelings, the feelings of others, and sensory inputs. I thought there was something wrong with me because being a feeler is generally seen as a weakness. I now write novels about quiet, sensitive, introspective young people for others who feel like I did, as a way to share the true power within this way of being, which I have discovered to be a gift, not a curse over time.

I wrote...

Maya of the In-Between

By Sita Bennett,

Book cover of Maya of the In-Between

What is my book about?

A young woman's journey of self-discovery is set against the backdrop of two contrasting inter-dimensional worlds. One is Dystopian-a future in which humans ignore the repercussions of excessive industrialization on nature, and the other is Utopian-where humans live in harmony with nature and each other.

"If you, or someone you know is quieter than most, intelligent, observant, a sensitive, this book is a dream find... It is the journey of a shy girl stepping boldly into her personal power as life unfolds chaotically around her." -Goodreads Review 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Clan of the Cave Bear

Why did I love this book?

This was my favourite adventure series as a teenager - set in pre-historic times - and remains embedded in my heart because the main character, Ayla, had such a beautiful balance of qualities that I hadn’t read in other female-led YA novels, and made me feel so empowered over my transition into womanhood.

She is fiercely brave, independent, smart, and courageous, but at the same time can be vulnerable, gentle, loving, and express qualities that are traditionally feminine. The way she navigates adversity and the challenges of being an outsider in a tribe who all look and behave differently to her is inspiring.

A true example of staying true to yourself regardless of external pressure to change.

By Jean M. Auel,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Clan of the Cave Bear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Through Jean M. Auel’s magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear.

A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by…

Book cover of The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi

Why did I love this book?

Full of Sufi wisdom and fundamental human and spiritual truths, this book has the power to awaken something profound within the heart of any reader but is especially relevant for women on a path of finding, or in Ella’s case, re-finding herself.

As someone who read Rumi poetry books until the pages start falling out, Shafak’s thoroughly researched depiction of the relationship between Rumi and his Sufi master Shams was profoundly impactful.

It is so beautifully seeped with ancient wisdom and insights into the Sufi path walked by sincere seekers of love and freedom themselves I found myself hanging onto every page.

Interwoven with the modern day story of Ella - a woman who is on her own journey of self-discovery and redefining love, it is very acceptable to the modern reader.

By Elif Shafak,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Forty Rules of Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The international bestseller from the author of the Booker-shortlisted novel, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World, The Forty Rules of Love is part of our Penguin Essentials series which spotlights the very best of our modern classics

*One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped the World'*

"Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven't loved enough..."

Ella Rubinstein has a husband, three teenage children, and a pleasant home. Everything that should make her confident and fulfilled. Yet there is…

Book cover of Selected Poems of Rumi

Why did I love this book?

This is a book of poetry, but it speaks so deeply to the exquisite beauty, simple joy, and profound presence available at the heart of us all, if we are quiet and still enough to listen.

People who are already sensitive seem to drop into this space more fluidly than others, more consumed by the outer world because they are, by nature, closer to the source and often more aware of the subtle forces that run beneath the surface. These ‘ecstatic’ poems always help me return home to the space inside that reminds me what a blessing it is to have the capacity to feel so deeply.

By Rumi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Selected Poems of Rumi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In recent years the stirring, unforgettable poetry of Jalālu’l-Dīn Rūmī (1207–1273), the great Sūfi teacher and the greatest mystical poet of Iran, has gained tremendous popularity in the western world. Although he died over 700 years ago, his poetry is timeless. In the best modern translations, the passion and playfulness of his words reach across the ages to communicate themselves to people today with an undiluted fervor and excitement.
Rūmī produced an enormous body of work — as many as 2,500 mystical odes, 25,000 rhyming couplets, and 1,600 quatrains — some of it instructional, some personal and emotional, much of…

Brida: A Novel

By Paulo Coelho,

Book cover of Brida: A Novel

Why did I love this book?

The story of a curious young woman on a quest for knowledge and insights into the deeper mysteries of the world.

With the guidance of a wise shaman and a witch who have both walked the path of truth before her in different ways, she learns magic and how to overcome fear. It is a book that takes the reader on a journey alongside Brida and leaves space for one’s own moments of self-discovery, learning, and growth.

By Paulo Coelho,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brida as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the story of Brida, a young Irish girl, and her quest for knowledge. She has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom, who begin to teach Brida about the spiritual world. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her about overcoming her fears and trusting in the goodness of the world; and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world, and how to pray to the moon. As Brida seeks her…

Book cover of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Why did I love this book?

The title almost says enough. This is a deeply healing book for a shy, sensitive, introverted, or just generally quiet person who may not yet understand the power within feeling deeply and contemplating perhaps a little more than others.

Personally, this was a very intimate read that I wish I could have read as a teenager. It would have helped me sift through so much of the confusion of being a quiet-natured, introverted teen in a society that celebrates extraversion and loud voices.

Susan Cain’s gentle, deeply compassionate voice shines through the words, serving as an example of the power that can be conveyed through softness. It was a turning point in my journey of truly embracing my own softer nature and learning how to be unapologetic. 

By Susan Cain,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Quiet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



Our lives are driven by a fact that most of us can't name and don't understand. It defines who our friends and lovers are, which careers we choose, and whether we blush when we're embarrassed.

That fact is whether we're an introvert or an extrovert.

The most fundamental dimension of personality, at least a third of us are introverts, and yet shyness, sensitivity and seriousness are often seen as…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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