Oh, the Books! Bookish Guides is a monthly recommendation feature in which we share books we love that fit a certain hard-to-find category. If you are having trouble finding a book that contains a certain feature and you want our help, send use the suggestion box on our Bookish Guides page and we may feature it on a future post!
Since this is the Oh, the Books! Grand Opening month, we thought it would be fitting to choose a topic that relates in some way. Our friendship with each other is very important to the success of our group blog, and therefore we decided to look for strong female friendships in books we have read to recommend. We hope you enjoy!
[stextbox id="asti" caption="Asti Recommends..."]I have to admit, I actually had a hard time coming up with recommendations for our first Bookish Guide! I feel like most of the books I read may have female friendships, but they aren’t actually there for anything else than allowing the MC to talk about her feelings for a boy. So disappointing. But hey, I did manage to think of two…
The first one I settled on was the one that always come to mind when I think of female friendships: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares. It’s been so long since I’ve read this series, and yet I still remember how amazing the relationship between these girls was. They each had their own distinct personalities and were sometimes separated by large distances, and yet that didn’t stop them from being friends. I mean, really, it makes me want to send a pair of pants or something to Kelley and Leanne just thinking about it!
The second book I chose was Golden by Jessi Kirby. I really enjoyed this book when I read it last year and that’s partially due to the great friendship between the MC Parker and her best friend Kat. Unlike other YA stories where the best friend sort of disappears or only stays around for fluffy conversations about boys, Kat was always there for Parker. It was nice to see a MC have that female support system to help them get through their problems, whether bo-related or not. It made the whole story better.[/stextbox]
[stextbox id="leanne" caption="Leanne Recommends..."]I think we’ve all read and loved Cinder by now. But since I was spouting ideas out like crazy when we thought of the topic, I nabbed Cinder first! YOINK. ;) Cinder and Iko may be two of the most unusual beings to pick for a female friendship, seeing as how one is a cyborg and one is an android. But Iko goes way beyond her supposed limiatations, using her rich personality to support Cinder in every way she is needed. The two have been together ever since Cinder brought Iko back to life from a heap of junk parts, and quickly became the closest of friends. I love how they both have their quirks that make them odd in society’s eyes, but they couldn’t be a better match for each other.
Karou and Zuzana are totally girls I want in my own circle of friendship. Not only are they both artsy and clever, but they are *fiercely* loyal to each other. Their friendship is strong enough to span across two worlds, and also helps provide a delicate balance between magic and normalcy – something each of them yearns for.
[stextbox id="kelley" caption="Kelley Recommends..."]I wanted to choose examples from books that neither Asti nor Leanne had read, so I went with these two, and I think they’re both pretty shining examples — although quite different overall — of my preferred female friendship type.
Probably my favorite example of female companionship in YA is in the Prophecy of the Sisters series by Michelle Zink. The series is about a set of twins, Lia and Alice, who have basically been estranged and at odds with one another their entire lives — definitely not your typical twins story. But the series focuses on Lia, and one of the things I love about it is that all throughout these three books, she forges strong, deep friendships with three other girls. She meets each one separately, under different circumstances, but the bonds that these girls form really just captured my heart.
Next, let’s talk about Celaena and Nehemia from the Throne of Glass series. What I love about their friendship is that it seems to be a kind of refuge for both of them. Each of these girls is firmly planted in a world and role that requires a lot of things from them and doesn’t allow them to truly enjoy or express themselves most of the time. But when they’re together, they share a special bond; they can just be girly, they can play games with the dog, they can go shopping for fancy dresses and talk about guys and just relax. They trust each other implicitly, and it speaks volumes about both of them and their relationship.
I almost added Rose and Lissa from Vampire Academy to this list, because I like the way they so fiercely defend, protect, and take care of each others. But then I remembered how stupid both of them were, and the inconsiderate decisions they made in regards to each other (especially Rose), and got so annoyed that I changed my mid about the whole thing.[/stextbox]
Of course, we didn’t want to just limit our bookish guide to only books that we have read! We asked for your recommendations on the Oh, the Books! Twitter and here is what you said:
Some of you also suggested books we included in our recommendations above.
Recommendations from Around the Blogosphere
We’ve also found some great discussions and recommendations of strong female friendships in YA from other bloggers:
- Cayce shared some of her favorite Hungarian novels, one which includes a strong female friendship.
- Jessica Spotswood stopped by Stacked to discuss positive girl friendships in YA and give some examples.
- Liz shares some of her favorite books with positive female friendships.
- Sarah Rees Brennan answers a reader’s question about female friendships in her novels.
What Do You Think?
Do you like our new feature? Are there any books featuring strong friendships that you think we missed? Let us know in the comment section!
[stextbox id="group2" image="null"]UPDATE: We got so many wonderful recommendations in the comments (thank you all so much!), that we decided to create a list for this on Goodreads! That way it will be easier to see all of the books together and find more information about them. Check out our Goodreads list and feel free to vote and/or add more![/stextbox]