Girls! Girls! Girls!

ryanIf you’ve been keeping up with The Booklist Reader this summer, you may have noticed that certain book trends—titles, in particular—have become of significant interest to us. Last month, Biz Hyzy published a mammoth list of books that tracked the alarming rate that the words “wife” and “daughter” have appeared in book titles since 1997. Following this startling revelation, a number of readers requested that we do a follow-up list of titles that use the word “girl.” The success of bestsellers like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Steig Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo affirms our readers’ keen sense of this subject’s popularity. But just how extensive is the trend?

If we told you that over the past eight years, 364 titles have contained “girl,” with four more set to come out in 2017, would that qualify as extensive? What if we told you that, in 2009, only one book with the word “girl” in the title appeared, but in 2011, there were 48? How about the fact that the number would jump 63% in the next five years to 79 titles?

Before you blame Stieg Larsson, consider The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo came on the scene in 2005, its similarly titled brethren in the Millennium series shortly thereafter. And Lena Dunham’s HBO series Girls and Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl  both appeared in 2012, by which time the trend was already well underway. What, then, is responsible for this astonishing spike in popularity?

In an interview with NPR earlier this year, crime novelist Megan Abbott—author of 2015’s The Little Men (catching on yet?)—offered one possible explanation: “If [a book] has ‘girl’ in the title, then I know what to expect.” Regardless of its origin, “Girl” titles offer potential readers a glimpse into the novel’s plot and character profile. By naming a work “The____Girl” or “The Girl Who ____” (amid a myriad of other variations), authors infer the broad categories upon which they map their particular narratives. These “girl” titles could be read as a signal to the reader, a gesture or promise that this novel will think in some way on the experience of girlhood or femininity.

hannahThis thought leads me to ponder the male equivalent of girl-titled novels—if there truly is one. Do these works use similarly infantilizing nouns in their titles? (Why does it have to be “girl”?) Are those titles also structured in the basic “The (Adjective) Boy” or “The Boy Who ____” format?

We offer you this list of all “Girl” titles published since 2009 in our system (linked to their Booklist reviews when applicable) so that you may draw your own conclusions.


Alarm Girl, by Hannah Vincent (2016)

Bad Girl, by Roberta Kray (2013)

Bad Girl by Night, by Lacey Alexander (2011)

Bad Luck Girlby Sarah Zettel (2014)

Ballywhinney Girlby Eve Bunting (2012)

Beautiful Girl, by Fleur Philips (2015)

Beautiful Girl, by Keisha L. Burton (2011)

Best Girl, by Sylvia Maultash Warsh (2012)

Birthday Girlby Meredith Badger (2013)

Bohemian Girl, by Terese Svoboda (2011)

Bond Girlby Erin Duffy (2012)

Brooklyn Girl,

Just two totally original books about Brooklyn and girls

Just two totally original books about Brooklyn and girls

Brooklyn Girlsby Gemma Burgess (2013)

Brown-Eyed Girl, by Lisa Kleypas (2015)

Burn Girlby Mandy Mulencak (2015)

Cabin Girl, by Kristin Butcher (2014)

Cam Girl, by Leah Raeder (2015)

Camo Girlby Kekla Magoon (2011)

Capital Girls, by Ella Monroe (2012)

Cemetery Girl, by David Bell (2011)

Cinderella Girl, by Carin Gerhardsen (2015)

Circus Girl, by Clare Pernice May (2014)

Clever Girl, by Tessa Hadley (2014)

Cold Girl, by R. M. Greenaway (2016)

Crow Girl, by Kate Cann (2012)

Dangerous Girls, by Abigail Haas (2014)

Dangerous Girls, by Abigail Haas (2013)

Dream Girl, by S. J. Lomas (2013)

Drum Dream Girlby Margarita Engle (2015)

drummer girlDrummer Girl, by Karen Bass (2011)

Dust Girl, by Sarah Zettel (2012)

Earth Girlby Janet Edwards (2013)

Empire Girlsby Suzanne Hayes (2014)

Factory Girl,  by Josanne La Valley (2017)

Fadeaway Girl, by Martha Grimes (2011)

Fang Girl, by Helen Keeble (2012)

Flower Girlby Chrissie Perry (2013)

Flower Girlby Barbara Bottner (2012)

Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby (2015)

Gadget Girl, by Suzanne Kamata (2013)

Gangster Girlby Dreda Say Mitchell (2011)

Geek Girl, by Holly Smale (2015)

Geek Girl, by Cindy C. Bennett (2011)

Ghost Girl, by Lesley Thomson (2015)

Girl about Town, by Adam Shankman (2016)

Girl against the Universe, by Paula Stokes (2016)

Girl at the Bottom of the Sea, by Michelle Tea (2014)

Girl at War, by Sara Novic (2015)

Girl before a Mirrorby Liza Palmer (2015)

Girl Held in Home, by Elizabeth Searle (2011)

Girl in Pieces, by Kathleen Glasgow (2016)

Girl in Reverse, by Barbara Stuber (2014)

Girl in Shades, by Allison Baggio (2011)

Girl in the Afternoon, by Serena Burdick (2016)

Girl in the Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse (2016)

Girl in the Dark, by Marion Pauw (2016)

Girl in the Moonlightby Charles Dubow (2015)

Girl in the Shadowsby Gwenda Bond (2016)

Girl Last Seen, by Heather Anastasiu (2016)

Girl Mans Up, by M-E Girard (2016)

Girl Meets Boy, by Kelly Milner Halls (2012)

Girl Meets Class, by Karin Gillespie (2015)

Girl Meets Ghost, by Lauren Barnholdt (2013)

girl of nightmaresGirl of Nightmares, by Kendare Blake (2012)

Girl on a Plane, by Miriam Moss (2016)

Girl on a Wire, by Gwenda Bond (2014)

Girl on the Golden Coin, by Marci Jefferson (2014)

Girl Online, by Zoe Sugg (2014)

Girl Out Loud, by Emily Gale (2012)

Girl Reading, by Katie Ward (2012)

Girl Runner, by Carrie Snyder (2015)

Girl Sent Away, by Lynne Griffin (2015)

Girl Singer, by Mick Carlon (2015)

Girl through Glass, by Sari Wilson (2016)

Girl Underwater, by Claire Kells (2015)

Girl Unmoored, by Jennifer Gooch Hummer (2012)

Girl Unwrapped by Gabriella Goliger (2011)

Girl Waits with Gun, by Amy Stewart (2015)

Girl Wonder, by Alexa Martin (2011)

Girls in Charge, by Debra Moffitt (2011)

Girls in the Moon, by Janet McNally (2016)

Girls in Trouble, by Douglas Light (2011)

Girls in White Dresses, by Jennifer Close (2011)

Girls Like Me, by Lola StVil (2016)

Girls Like Me, by Tanya Savory (2016)

Girls like Us, by Gail Giles (2014)

Girls on Fire, by Robin Wasserman (2016)

Girls Standing on Lawns, by Daniel Handler (2014)

Girls Who Travel, by Nicole Trilivas (2015)

Glitter Girl, by Toni Runkle (2013)

Golden Girl, by Mari Mancusi (2015)

Golden Girl, by Sarah Zettel (2013)

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn (2012)

Gonzo Girl, by Cheryl Della Pietra (2015)

Good Girls, by Glen Hirshberg (2016)

Good Indian Girls, by Ranbir Singh Sidhu (2013)

Gridley Girls, by Meredith First (2016)

Gum Girl!, by Rhode Montijo (2013)

Gun Street Girl, by Adrian McKinty (2015)

Herring Girl, by Debbie Taylor (2014)

Hockey Girl, by Natalie Hyde (2012)

Honey Girl, by Lisa Freeman (2015)

Hyacinth Girls, by Lauren Frankel (2015)

Imaginary Girls, by Nova Ren Suma (2011)

Incendiary Girls, by Kodi Scheer (2014)

Island Girl, by Lynda Simmons (2010)

Island Girls, by Nancy Thayer (2013)

Jesse’s Girl, by Miranda Kenneally (2015)

jockey girlJockey Girl, by Shelley Peterson (2016)

Kayak Girl, by Monica Devine (2012)

Lilac Girls, by Martha Hall Kelly (2016)

Local Girls, by Caroline Zancan (2015)

Longbow Girl, by Linda Davies (2016)

Lost Girl, by Adam Nevill (2016)

Lost Girl Found, by Leah Bassoff (2014)

Lost Girls, by Ann Kelley (2012)

Mafia Girl, by Deborah Blumenthal (2014)

Mannequin Girl, by Ellen Litman (2014)

Memory Girl, by Linda Joy Singleton (2016)

Midnight Girls, by Lulu Taylor (2011)

Miracle Girls, by MB Caschetta (2014)

Modern Girls, by Jennifer S. Brown (2016)

Mystery Girl, by David Gordon (2013)

Nerd Girls, by Alan Lawrence Sitomer (2012)

Nerd Girls, by Alan Lawrence Sitomer (2011)

New Girl, by Louise Park (2015)

New Girl, by Paige Harbison (2012)

North Woods Girl, by Aimee Bissonette (2015)

Nowhere Girl, by Susan Strecker (2016)

Nowhere Girl, by Ruth Dugall (2016)

Nowhere Girl, by A. J. Paquette (2011)

office girlOffice Girl, by Joe Meno (2012)

Oleander Girl, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (2013)

Party Girls, by Sabrina James (2011)

Peach Girl, by Raymond Nakamura (2014)

Pretty Girls, by Karin Slaughter (2015)

Push Girl, by Chelsie Hill (2014)

Rabbit Girl, by Mary Arrigan (2011)

Radio Girl, by Carol Brendler (2013)

Radio Girls, by Sarah-Jane Stratford (2016)

Rape Girl, by Alina Klein (2012)

Razor Girl, by Carl Hiaasen (2016)

Red Girls, by Kazuki Sakuraba (2015)

Roller Girl, by Vanessa North (2016)

Running Girl, by Simon Mason (2016)

Sarong Party Girls, by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (2016)

Savage Girl, by Jean Zimmerman (2014)

Scar Girl, by Len Vlahos (2016)

September Girls, by Bennett Madison (2013)

Shadow Girl, by Patricia Morrison (2013)

Silver Girl, by Elin Hilderbrand (2011)

Sleepover Girls, by Jen Jones (2014)

Small Town Girl, by Ann H. Gabhart (2013)

Smart Girl, by Rachel Hollis (2016)

stalker girlStalker Girl, by Rosemary Graham (2010)

Star Girl, by Karin Littlewood (2014)

Sticker Girl, by Janet Tashjian (2016)

Strange Girl, by Christopher Pike (2015)

Street Girls, by Linda Regan (2012)

Subway Girl, by P. J. Converse (2011)

Tenement Girl, by Anne Douglas (2013)

The After Girls, by Leah Konen (2013)

The Almost Girl, by Amalie Howard (2014)

The American Girl, by Kate Horsley (2016)

The Blue Girl, by Laurie Foos (2015)

The Boston Girl, by Anita Diamant (2014)

The Casquette Girls, by Alys Arden (2015)

The Chalk Girl, by Carol O’Connell (2012)

The Circle Girls, by Anya Novikov (2013)

The Clay Girl, by Heather Tucker (2016)

The Crow Girl, by Eric Axl Sund (2016)

The Different Girl, by Gordon Dahlquist (2013)

The Divorce Girl, by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (2012)

The Dreaming Girl, by Roberta Allen (2011)

The Drowning Girl, by Caitlin R. Kiernan (2012)

The Drowning Girls, by Paula Treick DeBoard (2016)

The Eliot Girls, by Krista Bridge (2015)

The English German Girl, by Jake Wallis Simons (2013)

The English Girl, by Daniel Silva (2013)

The Fairbairn Girls, by Una-Mary Parker (2013)

The Fire Horse Girl, by Kay Honeyman (2013)

The Firelight Girls, by Kaya McLaren (2014)

The Flood Girls, by Richard Fifield (2016)

The Forever Girl, by Alexander McCall Smith (2014)

The Forgotten Girl, by David Bell (2014)

The Forgotten Girls, by Sara Blaedel (2015)

The Girl from Old Nichol, by Annand Betty (2017)

The German Girl, by Armando Lucas Correa (2016)

Girl at midnightThe Girl at Midnight, by Melissa Grey (2015)

The Girl at the Center of the World, by Austin Aslan (2015)

The Girl Before, by Rena Olsen (2016)

The Girl Behind the Glass, by Jane Kelley (2011)

The Girl Below, by Bianca Zander (2012)

The Girl from Everywhere, by Heidi Heilig (2016)

The Girl from Felony Bay, by J. E. Thompson (2013)

The Girl from Home, by Adam Mitzner (2013)

The Girl from Krakow, by Alex Rosenberg (2015)

The Girl from Summer Hill, by Jude Deveraux (2016)

The Girl from the Garden, by Parnaz Foroutan (2015)

The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom, by Alison Love (2016)

The Girl from the Savoy, by Hazel Gaynor (2016)

The Girl from the Well, by Rin Chupeco (2014)

The Girl from Venice, by Martin Cruz Smith (2016)

The Girl in 6E, by A. R. Torre (2014)

The Girl in a Coma, by John Moss (2016)

The Girl in Berlin, by Elizabeth Wilson (2013)

The Girl in Red, by Aaron Frisch (2012)

The Girl in the Blue Beret, by Bobbie Ann Mason (2011)

The Girl in the Castle, by Santa Montefiore (2016)

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar, by Kady Cross (2012)

The Girl in the Garden, by Kamala Nair (2011)

The Girl in the Gardens, by Melanie Wallace (2017)

The Girl in the Gatehouse, by Julie Klassen (2011)

The Girl in the Glass, by James Hayman (2015)

The Girl in the Green Raincoat, by Laura Lippman (2011)

The Girl in the Ice, by Lotte Hammer Mar(2015)

The Girl in the Mirror, by Meg Kearney (2012)

The Girl in the Park, by Mariah Fredericks (2012)

The Girl in the Picture, by Alexandra Monir (2016)

The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress, by Beryl Bainbridge (2011)

The Girl in the Red Coat, by Kate Hamer (2016)

The Girl in the Road, by Monica Byrne (2014)

girl next doorThe Girl in the Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz (2015)

The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross (2011)

The Girl in the Torch, by Robert Sharenow (2015)

The Girl in the Tower, by Lisa Schroeder (2016)

The Girl in the Wall, by Daphne Benedis-Grab (2012)

The Girl Next Door, by Ruth Rendell (2014)

The Girl Next Door, by Brad Parks (2012)

The Girl of Fire and Thorns, by Rae Carson (2011)

The Girl of His Dreams, by Amir Abrams (2013)

The Girl of the Wish Garden, by Uma Krishnaswami (2013)

The Girl on the Best Seller List, by Vin Packer (2016)

The Girl on the Cliff, by Lucinda Riley (2012)

The Girl on the Run, by Gregg Olsen (2016)

The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins (2015)

The Girl They Sold to the Moon, by Chris Stevenson (2014)

The Girl Who Became a Beatle, by Greg Taylor (2011)

The Girl Who Blew Up Her Brother, by Christopher Milne (2012)

The Girl Who Came Back, by Susan Lewis (2016)

The Girl Who Came Home, by Hazel Gaynor (2014)

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne M. Valente (2011)

The Girl Who Could Not Dream, by Sarah Beth Durst (2015)

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, by Meg Medina (2012)

The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, by Andrea Kane (2011)

The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill (2016)

The Girl Who Fell, by S. M. Parker (2016)

The Girl Who Fell beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, by Catherynne M. Valente (2012)

The Girl Who Fought Napoleon, by Linda Lafferty (2016)

The Girl Who Heard Colors, by Marie Harris (2013)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, by Stieg Larsson (2010)

eagleThe Girl Who Married an Eagle, by Tamar Myers (2013)

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes, by Mark Pett (2011)

The Girl Who Never Was, by Skylar Dorset (2014)

The Girl Who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson (2009)

The Girl Who Saved Christmas, by William Thomas Thach (2014)

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, by Jonas Jonasson (2014)

The Girl Who Saved Yesterday, by Julius Lester (2016)

The Girl Who Slept with God, by Val Brelinski (2015)

The Girl Who Soared over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, by Catherynne M. Valente (2013)

The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, by Heather O’Neill (2014)

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die, by April Henry (2013)

The Girl Who Would Speak for the Dead, by Paul Elwork (2011)

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Brush Her Hair, by Kate Bernheimer (2013)

The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, by Kelli Estes (2015)

The Girl Who Wrote Loneliness, by Kyung-Sook Shin (2015)

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, by Peter Swanson (2014)

The Girl with Borrowed Wings, by Rinsai Rossetti (2012)

The Girl with Brown Fur, by Stacey Levine (2011)

The Girl With Chipmunk Hands, by Binks (2013)

The Girl With Death Breath, by Christopher Milne (2013)

The Girl with Ghost Eyes, by M. H. Boroson (2015)

girl blueThe Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes, by Lawrence Block (2015)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Steig Larsson (2016)

The Girl with the Glass Bird, by Esme Kerr (2015)

The Girl with the Iron Touch, by Kady Cross (2013)

The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head, by Daisy Hirst (2016)

The Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo, by Lars Arffssen (2011)

The Girl with the Windup Heart, by Kady Cross (2014)

The Girl with the Wrong Name, by Barnabas Miller (2015)

The Girl Without a Name, by Sandra Block (2015)

The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes (2013)

The Girls, by Emma Cline (2016)

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, by Genevieve Valentine (2014)

The Girls from Corona del Mar, by Rufi Thorpe (2014)

The Girls in the Garden, by Lisa Jewell (2016)

The Girls of August, by Anne Rivers Siddons (2014)

The Girls of Gettysburg, by Bobbi Miller (2014)

The Girls of Mischief Bay, by Susan Mallery (2015)

The Girls of No Return, by Erin Saldin (2012)

The Girls She Left Behind, by Sarah Graves (2016)

The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica (2014)

The Good Girls, by Sara Shepard (2015)

The Good Luck Girls of Shipwreck Lane, by Kelly Harms (2013)

The Hanging Girl, by Jussi Adler-Olsen (2015)

The Hidden Girl, by Louise Millar (2014)

The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz (2015)

The Hollow Girl, by Reed Farrel Coleman (2014)

The House Girl, by Tara Conklin (2013)

The Hypothetical Girl, by Elizabeth Cohen (2013)

The Ice Cream Girls, by Dorothy Koomson (2012)

The Indigo Girls, by Penni Russon (2012)

The It Girl, by Katy Birchall (2016)

The Johnstown Girls, by Kathleen George (2014)

The Last Dead Girl, by Harry Dolan (2014)

The Last Girl, by Joe Hart (2016)

The Last Girl, by Jane Casey (2013)

The Last Girlfriend on Earth, by Simon Rich (2013)

The Last Good Girl, by Allison Leotta (2016)

The Lost Girl, by R. L. Stine (2015)

The Lost Girl, by Sangu Mandanna (2012)

The Lost Girl of Astor Street, by Stephanie Morrill (2017)

The Lost Girls, by Heather Young (2016)

The Lost Girls of Rome, by Donato Carrisi (2013)

The Marked Girl, by Lindsey Klingele (2016)

The Meanest Birthday Girl, by Josh Schneider (2013)

The Melody Girls, by Anne Douglas (2010)

The Miracle Girl, by Andrew Roe (2015)

The Missing Italian Girl, by Barbara Corrado Pope (2013)

The Never Girls, by Kiki Thorpe (2013)

The New Girl, by Laurie Calkhoven (2012)

The Ninja Girl, by Sanae Ishida (2015)

The Only Girl in School, by Natalie Standiford (2016)

The Painted Girls, by Cathy Marie Buchanan (2013)

The Perfect Girl, by Gilly Macmillan (2016)

The Pirate Girl’s Treasure, by Peyton Leung (2012)

The Pretty Girl, by Debra Spark (2012)

The Raven Girl, by Kathy Cecala (2011)

The Red Blazer Girls, by Michael D. Beil (2012)

The Red Blazer Girls, by Michael D. Beil (2011)

sandcastle girlsThe Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian (2012)

The Second Girl, by David Swinson (2016)

The Shadow Girl, by Jennifer Archer (2013)

The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes (2013)

The Shore Girl, by Fran Kimmel (2012)

The Silent Girl, by Tess Gerritsen (2011)

The Snow Girl, by Robert Giraud (2014)

The Stone Girl, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (2012)

The Summertime Girls, by Laura Hankin (2015)

The Sweet Girl, by Annabel Lyon (2013)

The Talk-Funny Girl, by Roland Merullo (2011)

The Turtle-Girl from East Pukapuka, by Cole Alpaugh (2012)

The Typewriter Girl, by Alison Atlee (2013)

The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood (2013)

The Wild Girl, by Kate Forsyth (2015)

The Wild Girls, by Ursula K. Le Guin (2011)

The Winter Girl, by Matt Marinovich (2016)

The Wrong Girl, by Hank Phillippi Ryan (2013)

The Zig Zag Girl, by Elly Griffiths (2015)

These Girls, by Sarah Pekkanen (2012)

Thief Girl, by Ingrid Lee (2011)

Thirty Girls, by Susan Minot (2014)

Those Girls, by Chevy Stevens (2015)

Those Girls, by Lauren Saft (2015)

Throwaway Girl, by Kristine Scarrow (2014)

Throwaway Girl, by David Heinzmann (2011)

Tiffany girlTiffany Girl, by Deeanne Gist (2015)

Tokyo Girl, by Brian Harvey (2016)

Tragedy Girl, by Christine Hurley Deriso (2016)

Trickster’s Girl, by Hilari Bell (2011)

Ugly Girls, by Lindsay Hunter (2014)

Vanishing Girls, by Lauren Oliver (2015)

Vegas Girls, by Heather Skyler (2016)

Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler (2016)

Wedding Girl, by Stacey Ballis (2016)

White Collar Girl, by Renee Rosen (2015)

Wild Girls, by Mary Stewart Atwell (2012)

Wish Girl, by Nikki Loftin (2015)





About the Author:

Post a Comment