This might be a weird thing to say, but I always get weirdly excited whenever the main character in a book gets or talks about her period. No matter whether it’s an adventure, contemporary, historical or whatever novel, I just love it when it is mentioned. Call me crazy, but it sometimes annoys me how something that is so natural almost never happens in stories. Why is there such a taboo on menstruation? Why can’t we acknowledge its existence? These are the important questions, people!
Pantomime by Laura Lam
This is one of the two books on this list where menstruation is an actual part of the story. The main character is intersex, both male and female, and during all the confusion she’s feeling, getting her period for the first time is not what she needed.
Gene’s life resembles a debutante’s dream. Yet she hides a secret that would see her shunned by the nobility. Gene is both male and female. Then she displays unwanted magical abilities – last seen in mysterious beings from an almost-forgotten age. Matters escalate further when her parents plan a devastating betrayal, so she flees home, dressed as a boy.
The city beyond contains glowing glass relics from a lost civilization. They call to her, but she wants freedom not mysteries. So, reinvented as ‘Micah Grey’, Gene joins the circus. As an aerialist, she discovers the joy of flight – but the circus has a dark side. She’s also plagued by visions foretelling danger. A storm is howling in from the past, but will she heed its roar?
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
In this apocalyptic novel, the main character FINALLY makes sense and worries about her tampon stock now supermarkets have closed. This is about the most rational thing you can do once you’ve secured water and food, and yet I’ve never seen it in any other book. I would definitely lug a year’s worth of tampons if I was wandering around in such a world.
After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
In this book, I learned what getting her period does to someone with OCD. It’s not pretty and very cringe-worthy, yet so interesting to see how something so common as menstruation can impact some girls’ life.
All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…
But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Another adventure book where nature’s monthly gift isn’t a part of the actual story, yet mentioned nevertheless. And I loved it.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.
Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.
Editing Emma by Chloe Seager
It’s not surprising that this contemporary mentions periods as it about as realistic as a contemporary can get. I don’t EXACTLY remember how it’s mentioned (*cough* I’m a total professional), but I still loved that it was acknowledged.
When sixteen-year-old Emma Nash is ‘ghosted’ by the love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any normal teenage girl would do…
Emma spends the summer lurking in her bedroom, avoiding all human contact (and the shower), surrounded by the collection of chewit wrappers she saved from packs Leon gave her, back when he actually acknowledged her existence…
But seeing Leon suddenly ‘In a relationship’ on Facebook with the perfect Anna, spurs Emma into action and she embarks on a mission to make positive changes to her life (or ‘edits,’ if you will) and vows to use the internet for more than obsessively stalking Leon’s activities! Instead, she will use it for good and noble causes like finding someone who will actually be nice to her, and recording her findings for the rest of the world to see (i.e. BFF Steph and her mum) on her new Editing Emma blog.
But Emma soon discovers her ‘habit’ is harder to break than she first thought – turns out she’s not the only one ‘editing’ herself online (thank you Tinder for finding her mum’s profile, age 35, really?) and that life through an Instagram filter isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. But it could be worse, she could have outed her best friend, accidentally chatted up a 12 year old boy and revealed to the world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s time or virginity… oh no wait, that’s exactly what happened…
Did you read any other books where periods are mentioned? Let me know in the comments!