Meet the Rebel Girls

I’m one half of the Rebel Girl Reads challenge, and the first meetup is this week, so we thought we’d give a bit of a back story and a more detailed explanation of how it all works! 

Rebel Girl Reads was coined by my flatmate Michelle and I immediately jumped on board, then we both kept coming up with ideas and escalating things and now here we are, having an actual meetup this week that people seem to be planning on coming to?? Crazy!

Who are we?


Hi my name is Michelle and I am half of Rebel Girl Reads! I love books, like really love them, and last year I decided I wanted to read more widely, so I did the Book Riot 2017 Read Harder Challenge. It was really amazing and got me reading a lot of new things. Some were not destined to stick around but others made me fall in love with reading all over again.

When I was nearly finished, I felt a bit sad to be done and thought about doing the 2018 version but I was also doing a lot of thinking about what was important to me and what I wanted 2018 to be about. That lead to a decision to read only kick ass lady books for the year! It gave me a way to narrow my reading field a wee bit while still keeping it super diverse.

I already had a bunch of books to read that fit and had some of my newly discovered Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie books to go but a tiny bit of research has lead to one never ending list! I had planned to share it on Instagram but when I told Sarah about my plans she was keen to join in and we started talking about making it bigger! I came up with a few challenge ideas and we added more together and Rebel Girl Reads was born! I am so excited to be able to share all these amazing books with everyone and meet new like-minded people. Education is how we change the world and any tiny way I can help more women feel more empowered is a win.

I love historical and non-fiction reads and have a huge thing for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at the moment. I’m also an Early Childhood teacher with two mini Rebel Girl nieces so will be reviewing some kids books too!


If you’re reading this, you may already know me, but you might not know how much of a wordnerd I am. I love reading and always have. When I was growing up, it was my family’s routine to go to the library every Friday after school and get a stack of books for the weekend, then get fish and chips and sit around reading together that evening. It was my favourite part of the week.

In recent years I haven’t read as much as I would like – or as much of the sort of thing as I would like, would be more accurate. I read a lot of trashy fiction, which I put down to being unwell and having bad brainfog and unreliable concentration.

So when Michelle started talking about wanting to read books by and about badass women, I knew it was something I wanted to commit to doing. It’s totally in my wheelhouse, I already had some books in mind, and the idea of being able to read things and share that experience with others was really appealing. Like Michelle said – education is how we change the world.

I’ve already read a few things from the Reading List and I’m hoping to keep up the momentum! I’m looking forward to how everything evolves during the year.

The Reading List

We made an open Google doc for book ideas, which anyone can add to. The Set Book for each month will be chosen from this list, but it also provides lots of options for additional reading, especially if you’re doing any of the MiniChallenges. I’m aiming to read everything on the list, though that might be hoping for a bit too much! Please add your ideas

The Set Book

There will be a Set Book each month (The January book was I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, and the February book is Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay). This is the only book that is recommended reading (nothing is required reading – we’re not about being prescriptive), and will be discussed at the end of each month and at the meetups. So if you aim to read each of the Set Books that’ll be twelve in the year.

The MiniChallenges

There are five minichallenges, which you can do in addition to the set book each month. There’s no hard-and-fast deadlines on these and they’re super open to interpretation. It’s just another way to read more books by great ladies if you want to!

  • There are five minichallenges, each calling for you to read five books
  • You can choose to read the set book PLUS five books for each challenge. That would mean 12 + 25 = 37 books overall, throughout the whole year.
  • BUT there will be a lot of crossover opportunities. For example, the January set book, I am Malala, is also nonfiction, and also a “ladies of today,” AND also by a woman in marginalised groups. So it can count towards one of these challenges – you choose which.
  • You will see Michelle and me posting pics/reviews of lots of different books on social media. This doesn’t mean you have to read all the same books! We’re both fast readers and like sharing, plus there’s two of us running the Facebook page etc. You can just use our posts as ideas. Most of what we’re reading will be from the Reading List.

The Meetups

We are hosting a meetup each month at Volume bookstore in Nelson – though you are more than welcome to organise your own in other centres – that’d be awesome!

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Please ask questions if you have them!

We look forward to reading with you 🙂 🙂