What is the saddest thing about YA books these days? For me, that is female friendships. The distinct lack of them, that is.
(Thankfully, things are slightly different in adult fiction. Or I’ve just been ridiculously lucky in my adult picks. You never know with these things. Please do tell if I am wrong.)
Let me put it this way: Off the top of your head, how many female besties can you name? If it’s more than ten, I beg you to go into the comment section and share. Because I certainly couldn’t.
It’s as if all those pretty young girls have neither moved past their movie-like high school experience nor heard the quote: “Real queens fix each other’s crowns.” Honestly, don’t they know that few things in life are more valuable than a true female friend? With whom you can laugh and cry? Who will both have your back and kick your butt when it’s much needed?
And so, in celebration of National Women’s Friendship Day (because yes, that is a thing, as it should be) I give you my most beloved girl friendships from books. If you’re craving some beautiful female camaraderie, do give these books a try. They won’t disappoint. And don’t forget to be a friend and share your own recommendations!
Women of 300 Fox Way from The Raven Cycle
Appreciating and loving your friends is one thing, but living with them? That’s something else and definitely not for everyone. But it does seem to work for the enigmatic magical psychic women of the 300 Fox Way street. And not just work, but it makes all of them shine, each distinct personality fitting with one another like a puzzle. They may not be the main characters in Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series, but each sneak peek into their weird and wonderful life where support (and magic) is key is a treasure.
Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir from the Vampire Academy
Talk about knowing what your best friend is thinking! If you have read the series, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t… What are you still doing here? Go grab a copy of Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. In all seriousness, though, this is the kind of high school friendship I wish there was more of. Rose and Lissa are as opposite as they come, and they don’t always agree, and boy trouble is, well, trouble. But at the end of the day, they will always choose each other. While working on their boundaries because you do need to have those.
Mac Lane and Dani O’Malley from Fever series
Well, murder certainly can put a damper on things, as shown in the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. (Did you honestly think I could make a list without including Fever in it? Ha!) Not on this friendship, though. That’s how mega epic it is. Especially considering that due to the age difference, it’s more of a big sister/little sister kind of bond. Which just makes it all the more precious. Mac has had all the familial love she could possibly hope for her entire life. Then she experiences a loss of her dearly beloved sister. Dani, on the other hand, has had very little love and pretty much zero female attention/influence. Theirs is the kind of friendship where they paint each other’s nails after fighting a horde of monsters. And it’s all the more beautiful for it.
Kate Daniels and Andrea Nash from Kate Daniels series
Sass, sass, so much sass. If you have read any of Ilona Andrews’ books (or have stalked her on social media), you know she excels at it. What she also excels at is the friendship between Kate and Andrea. It’s just so real and mature and fun. They have their share of troubles (both magical and male related), and life certainly is not easy for either of them, but it’s how they are always there for each other. They know that even when the entire supernatural population of Atlanta plus some deities (because why not) are having some serious bloodthirst issues in relation to one of them, they will fight on the same side, for each other, till the end. And that? That’s beautiful.
Aelin Galathynius and Lysandra from Throne of Glass series
Not all friendships begin on a positive note. See: Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. (Come to think of it, did any of the relationships in the series start out well? Oops. So much for great first impressions.) Female characters, though, are the reason I sold my soul to Sarah J. Maas almost instantly. It’s how they are, what they do and what they say that makes me love each and every one of them so, so much. Being a powerful self-assured woman is not easy. That is why you need female support and friendship. Because they understand. What I love most about this particular friendship is how Lysandra’s relationship with Aelin the friend fits with her loyalty to Aelin the queen, and vice versa. If you have read Empire of Storms, you know what I’m talking about (and are probably dying as well, waiting for the conclusion). Basically, they are queens with shady pasts who support each other fully and realise that they can rattle the stars only when they stand together.
Karou and Zuzana from Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy
What do you do when your BFF’s boyfriend is a narcissistic douche? Zuzana from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy wanted to make her own boyfriend pee in a balloon to then drop it on the guy. If this alone hasn’t sold you on this friendship, I don’t know what else I could possibly tell you. No, wait, I know: for once, when one of the girls discovers magic, the non-magical girl is not forgotten. In fact, the non-magical girl becomes all the more important. Because friends don’t just cast each other out of their lives once they discover something more interesting. Like a supernatural boyfriend.
The Gallagher girl squad from Gallagher Girls series
Lessons learned from Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls series: when you put five young female spies in the same room, it results in #UltimateSquadGoals. With cool weapons and all sorts of spy tricks up their sleeves. Oh, and boy troubles. The best thing is that they all are so, so different: the wallflower, the kick-ass, the nerd, and the fashionista. Instead of hating on each other, they teach other, inspire each other, and have awesome nights in where they talk about international terrorist organisations and boys. Because spies or not, girls will always be girls. And that’s precious.
Have you also felt the distinct lack of female friendships in fiction, particularly YA? How do you feel about it? And what are you personal fictional female friendship faves? Share in the comments so we can all enjoy them, too!