Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Friendships in YA

I was thinking about the book EXTRAORDINARY by Nancy Werlin, and how it focuses on a friendship between two girls and doesn't actually contain a working romance. Which I feel like we don't see much in YA, because the romantic relationship often seems to eclipse friendships once it gets going.

I started thinking about other books with friendships that I really liked. In Rae Carson's FIRE AND THORNS trilogy, Elisa has a couple friendships that made me smile. First was the unlikely friendship that developed with Cosme. I also loved Elisa and Mara's relationship. They were realistic, and explored power dynamics very interestingly (especially since Cosme originally very much dislikes Elisa.)

I also love the friendship that develops between Lirael and Sam in Garth Nix's LIRAEL and ABHORSEN. Even though they're also technically related (sorry, spoiler, but the book has been out forever,) they didn't grow up knowing each other, and it's nice how they end up relying on each other, helping each other, and supporting each other through the two books.

Do I even need to mention Harry, Hermione, and Ron?

I asked our teens and operatives what their favorite female friendships were (because, for whatever reason, I could think of more guys than girls, so I was curious about this) in YA books.

Lissa: Wow how sad is it that I can't even think of one off the top of my head, but I can list 10 romances if needed...

- Jellicoe Road: Taylor, Raffie, Jonah and Santangelo

- The Hunger Games: Katniss and Cinna

- Vampire Academy: Rose + Lissa

- The Book Thief - Liesl and Rudy
Katy: I think Hannah Harrington's SAVING JUNE has a really fantastic female friendship, as well as Robin Benway's AUDREY, WAIT!. Also, I think the dynamic between the girls in Lauren Oliver's BEFORE I FALL is fascinating and realistic. I love the friendship between Cath and Reagan and Cath and Wren in FANGIRL as well.

Lynsay: I second what Katy said about Audrey, Wait!. Really nice friendship.

Leigh: I'm super late to this--sorry!!! But I've always really loved the friendship between Halley & Scarlett in SOMEONE LIKE YOU by Sarah Dessen. (Still one of my faves by her...)

What about you? Any favorite female (or male!) friendships from YA books you want to give a shout out to?


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