About books with friendships between girls, and what those books are usually about, and when and how the friendship matters to the plot and the characters.
And what does it mean when I say, “I’d like to read a book about girl friendships.”
Which, I think, isn’t as obvious as it sounds. Because, well, readers’ advisory. Which some people think isn’t cool, or is simple, or is something that a computer can do if we just have the right program or data.
But, well, I don’t.
And here’s why — well, it’s a bit like when I wrote about romance, and how when I say “I want a book with romance” what I mean is “and at the end of the book, the characters still need to be together. No break up, no deaths.”
When I want to read about friendships, I want that to be the front-and-center story. I want it to matter. And, my default is to read about relationships that aren’t toxic or manipulative.
So, what are some examples to show you what I mean?
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. The entire story is about the friendship between Julie and Maddie: how they became friends, what that friendship meant to them, how that friendship helps them survive.
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. Basically, a year in the life of two best friends. But not just any year: Scarlett’s boyfriend is dead and she’s pregnant; Halley is falling in love for the first time.
All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry. Two best friends share family, love, music — only hell and temptation could separate them.
Now, there are some books that have strong friendships in them, true; but the point of those books aren’t the friendship. It’s the romance, or saving the world, or solving a mystery.
So, what would you add to my list? And why?