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Chloe's Book Club

Chloe's Book Club is all about girl power for back-to-school

This time of year, we're all doing the exact same thing—going back to school! I'm starting college soon, and while I'm excited for my new adventure, like everyone, I'm a little nervous, too. What will my new school be like? Will the classes be hard? Will the people be nice?

New school years are all about embracing the unknown—and I'm cool with that! This month, I found three books that really helped me sort out my jitters and made me feel so much better. I breezed through these picks—and I just can't stop thinking about Girlish by Alana WulffPerfectly You by Mariana Atencio and The New Girl Code by Niki Smit

Girls are amazing humans and, if you ever doubt that, these reads will pick you right up. They'll make you feel like you can do anything—because you really can. In these pages you'll find real-world tips on how to follow your heart, enjoy your journey and never stop believing in yourself as you chase your dreams.

Over these final summer days, I hope you can find some time to relax and dive into these books. I'm sure they will inspire you the same way they inspired me. And when it's finally time to head back to school, just remember the one thing I was reminded of while reading these selections: The most important thing you can do is just be you!

Do you ever doubt that you can change the world? You absolutely can—and this book gives you the inspiration, support, advice and historical facts to unleash your inner magical unicorn feminist.

You know that feeling when the U.S. Women's Soccer Team won the World Cup this summer? That's the same feeling you'll get when you flip through the pages of this book.

Maybe you're already a fierce feminist. Maybe you're just learning. Either way, Girlish by Alana Wulff pulls you in a super positive direction to promote full equality and respect. It's part journal prompts, part advice handbook and part inspiring stories.

I loved everything about Girlish. You can decorate your locker or your Instagram feed with the book's cheeky advice such as: "How to dress like a girl: Be a girl. Put on literally any piece of clothing. Congratulations—you are now dressed like a girl!" I found so many great sayings, thoughts and jokes on every single page. I would smile or think or say, 'Wait! That's exactly right!' Another one I adore: "Your vibe attracts your tribe." 

Famous women share powerful quotes, and the author sprinkles in history from Marjory Stoneman Douglas to Michelle Obama. (P.S.: I think this book would be stellar for a book report because it covers so much territory from the beginning of feminism to where we are now.) 

Or maybe you need some fresh advice about social media or crushes or body image. If so, this book can help. It also provides you with little places to scribble out your musings, ideas and preferences. I love the diary part of the book—mine is filled with doodles and drawings along with my most private and personal thoughts. This book is fun and fast and great for just about any mood you find yourself in.

OMG, I loved learning about TV journalist Mariana Atencio's true story. You won't be able to put it down.

I know what it's like to be on TV and to want to be the very best at what you do. So, I really related to this girl-power memoir called Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real. When the cameras are constantly watching, the mistakes always seem so major and you want to be as perfect as you can be. That's what Mariana and I definitely have in common. If you make a mistake, you may get upset for a second. But then you brush it off and say, 'Everything is going to be okay—I learned from that!'

However, her story is completely different from mine. She grew up in Venezuela as it became more and more politically unstable in the 1990s. She's 34 now, and I'm just starting college. Mariana is Latina and struggled to break through to English-speaking American TV. 

After a really scary man mugged Mariana while she was hiking one of her favorite mountains in Venezuela, she decided she had to immigrate to the United States for her safety. And her story begins. Find out how she became a broadcast journalist first for Latin TV (Univision) and then English TV (Fusion). Her climb to be taken seriously—as a woman and a South American—feels so raw and her determination is awe-inspiring.

You'll read about her career, her family, her heartbreak and finding her soulmate. All of that is really gripping, but what I really loved were those nitty-gritty details about the scary stories she broadcasts live. She could've died covering the epicenter of all these major hurricanes and earthquakes and much, much more. I just loved every page of this book by this fiery, unique and talented woman.

Who hasn't dreamed of creating an app that goes crazy viral and makes you a superstar? I certainly have—and this story makes you visualize how it could happen!

I love a sweet, strong story about friendship, bullies (overcoming them of course), love and success. But what really surprised me is that this story is about one Brooklyn, NY, girl's fascination and talent with all things STEM. I hope The New Girl Code by Niki Smit encourages more girls to go the route of the book's main character, Charlie.

Charlie starts out as a regular 15-year-old in high school in the uncool part of Brooklyn. She loves Michelle Obama (who doesn't?), her best friend Emma and her super white Converse sneakers. In the beginning, Charlie feels like she's living in Emma's shadow because her BFF is so beautiful, charming and practically perfect, but she soon starts to find herself.

Coding and STEM clubs are Charlie's true passions—and she's eager to learn more so she can continue her studies in college. The problem is that the clubs at her school are all closed. So, she dreams about STEM as she reads the first chapter of her math book—she does that for fun!

Charlie then comes up with an idea for an app called The Fashionist where girls follow other girls with styles they like—so you can get constant style inspo. Charlie decides to join some coding chats online to learn more about app creation. Kids in the chats think Charlie is smart, and she starts gaining confidence.

That's the setup—I don't want to give away everything. Just know that Charlie does create her app, it *is* fabulous—and then some stuff goes seriously wrong. Hacking, fake friendships and some other drama take place. But do you think that gets Charlie down? You'll have to read the book to find out!

The end of the book lists lots of cool sites where you can learn how to code—including Girls Who Code, MinecraftEdu and Scratch, to name a few. I personally would love to learn more about coding and I'll definitely be checking them out. Like the book says, #bethenerd! 

Want to read with me? We're giving one lucky book club member the chance to win a copy of each book *and* a Barnes & Noble gift card. To enter, just click the pink button below. Enter as many times as you want until August 31, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Good luck!

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by Chloe Lukasiak and Chloe's Book Club | 8/1/2019
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