Why Friendships Make Great Novel Fodder

Friendship-Images-8

I love to read books about friendships–great ones that endure over decades, terrible ones that need to be severed, confused ones which might actually lead to something more, or “we started out as enemies, but now are best friends” ones. It really doesn’t matter what kind of friendship is the main focus of the book–if a friendship is the focus of a well-written story, I will probably be hooked. I think the reason many of us enjoy reading books about friends is that friendship is such a shared human experience that crosses all boundaries. Friendship is universal. We either cherish our friendships or lament the lack of friendships we have. And over the course of a lifetime we might feel both ways.

I’ve just written my first YA novel, and it was the first book I’ve written in which I heavily focused on the protagonist’s friendships. I’ve had a ball writing this book, and it has started me thinking about how much I have always enjoyed reading stories about the bonds of friendship. I thought I’d list my top five favorites, just to stir up some conversation. What are your favorites?

1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.Don’t get me wrong, every book in the series has amazing dialogue and interaction between the three main characters. But in this first book, Harry has never had a real friend and the discovery of all of the wonders of friendship unfolds before our eyes in this book. Through the series, the friendships are tested but in the end remains my all time favorite book about a group of friends.

2) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.As one of the larger girls in my circle of friends growing up, I loved this concept of one pair of jeans that fit all of the girls, even though they were clearly not all the same size and shape. I’ll admit, that is what made me read the book in the first place. But I loved reading about the coming of age experiences of each of the girls while she was in possession of the traveling pants. It’s a book that has stayed with me for a long time.

3) The Bridge to Terabithia. I’m not a huge fan of books with sad endings in general, but I loved the friendship that evolved in this story. I had some male friends growing up, and I think that friendships between boys and girls during this age are always interesting reads.There is always that potential for the friendship to blossom into something more, and wondering if it will is half the fun.

4) A Tale of Two Cities. I will be the first to admit, I didn’t like most of the books that I had to read for school. But this one was a huge exception. I was still in middle school, and missed some of the more subtle elements of the plot but the sacrifice made by one man to ensure the happiness of another (with the woman he loved no less!) was impossible to miss.

5) To Kill a Mockingbird. Don’t get me wrong, my favorite part of this book is the relationship between Atticus and his kids. But I also love the friendship with the quirky kid who visits in the summer and the friendship (of sorts) that develops between the kids and Boo.

I’d be really interested to hear which books top your list!

photo credit: http://wallpapers111.com/friendship-images/

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