Okay, so you hate men. Or you don’t. Maybe you just love books with a strong-minded, unapologetic and opinionated female lead. Or maybe you like the retelling and reinvention of stories by women. Is that too much to ask for?! Either way, today we are going to give you books from “POV: You Hate Men” on BookTok. These books examine the psyche of rather tenacious female characters and authors, ones who give a vibe that they simply do not need men for anything.
The one that is honest about the womanhood transition
The Idiot is one of those books that is relatively plotless, yet it still manages to deliver an intriguing and hilarious stream of consciousness in its more than 400 pages. With the same title as the Russian classic by Fyodor Dostoevsky, this book discusses the amusing growing pains of self-construction during a truly formative period of life. Set in 1995, the story follows Selin, the daughter of a Turkish immigrant who has just started her first year at Harvard. Over email, Selin begins to message an older student named Ivan, who is the love interest in the story. Selin does not embody the “POV: You Hate Men” BookTok trend in the most obvious sense. In fact, you will definitely think, this is not very POV: You Hate Men of Selin, throughout the story. However, for those looking for a book with a female character that is so sure in her ability, this is the book for you. The truly powerful part of the story is Selin’s earnestness, which will hit you like a truck.
the one with a complex female character
My Year of Rest and Relaxation is another book that is driven by a forceful and compelling narration of the main character. The unnamed narrator is a young and beautiful girl who just graduated from Columbia University. Both of her parents passed away while she was in school, yet her internal sadness has been brewing long before then. She decides to sleep off her angst for an entire year by using an absurd concoction of sleep medications, but whether this period of relaxation will actually do that for her is something you will have to find out by reading! My Year of Rest and Relaxation gives off “POV: You Hate Men” vibes with the narrator’s obvious detachment from everything around her. She has every material thing she could want: beauty, a powerful college degree, a good job, a successful boyfriend, a hefty inheritance. Yet, she still feels an internal longing for purpose that goes far beyond anything material.
The one where a classic is reclaimed
Circe by Madeline Miller is more of a direct feminist read, and a central part of the story is witchcraft, which for obvious reasons gives off very strong “POV: You Hate Men” energy according to TikTok. You might have heard of Circe before in Homer’s The Odyssey as the woman who turns Odysseus’ men into pigs after they wash up on her shore. Well, Circe retells her story and delves into why Odysseus’ men deserved it. In this story, Circe is the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and she is banished to an island by Zeus for using her magic to create monsters. When she uses her power of witchcraft, she ends up angering one of the most powerful olympians. However, Circe is not content with hiding her greatness, which makes for a great read about how powerful women navigate a world dominated by men.
The one that emphasizes the female gaze
If you’re looking for a book where the female author is the force to be reckoned with, you need to give Outline a read. Outline by Rachel Cusk is a book that follows 10 conversations that the main character, Faye, has with several people during her trip to Greece where she is teaching a fiction writing class. There are a range of different characters whose motivations are revealed through Faye’s conversations with them about love, life, marriage and more. These conversations also help to reveal more about Faye in her own responses, but also in the way that she listens. Not only is the content of this novel great by giving us a story told through the female gaze, but it is also great for the way that it reinvents aspects of storytelling.
The One where men literally go extinct
Finally, for those who want a more literal BookTok recommendation from “POV: You Hate Men,” The End of Men by Christina Sweeny-Baird poses an interesting question: what would life be like if there were only women? In 2025, a virus starts in Scotland and impacts only the male population. Although the virus was originally disregarded, it turns into a global pandemic, threatening to wipe out the entire male population around the world. The story takes on first-person narratives of many different perspectives including scientists working for a vaccine, government officials trying to figure out how to reorganize society and women who use this situation to their own advantage in various ways.
There are many sides to “POV: You Hate Men” on BookTok that range from subtle to obvious. Obviously you don’t actually hate men, but hopefully these books will help you explore more of the great contributions that women have made to fiction.
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