Specifically, male/female friendship in YA.

Specifically, how rarely I see it.

I mean, yeah, okay, fine, girls and guys are friends, like, ALL THE TIME in YA books. But by the end of the book they’re usually realizing their feelings for each other and whatever. Bonus points if they’ve been BFFs since they were born!

What about all the other friendships? The ones where they are…well…just friends?

I love romantic storylines as much as the next person, but I wish there were more of these platonic friendships, because it’s not like every single friendship you have with someone of the opposite sex has to end up with you two getting together, right? I feel like we need more books that reflect that.

Examples Of Platonic Male/Female Friendships In YA:

  • Aria and Roar from Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
  • Harry and Hermione from the Harry Potter Series
  • Cinder and Thorne from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
  • Ruby and Chubs from The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

…and I’m blanking on other examples.

[Click for source.]

[Click for source.]

My point is, though, these relationships were just as satisfying as all of the romantic relationships that populate YA books. And I’d say in some cases – for example, Aria and Roar – I actually liked the friendship more than the romantic relationship (which is saying something, because I love Aria and Perry together).

Also, there’s that part of me that worries what sort of messages we’re sending. Just because he’s a dude and he’s nice to you means he’s looking for something? You can’t be just friends with someone? I feel like this might be part of that whole bigger thing in YA where romantic relationships > friendship.

Speaking of which…don’t even get me started on girl/girl friendships. That’s a subject for another post.

Any other examples of platonic girl/boy friendships in YA?

11 thoughts on “Friendship

  1. Rebekah says:

    Another good example is Clary and Simon in The Mortal Instruments. Sure, they kinda date, for like a hot second, but ultimately they remain just best friends. It’s one of my favorite things about that series.

  2. anxiouseducator says:

    The only example I can think of (which may not even be legit because I didn’t read the whole series) is Lyra and her friend (whose name I can’t remember) whose daemon got separated from him in The Golden Compass. Pretty sure they were just friends.

  3. Susan Gourley says:

    Excellent point. My daughter’s best friend in high school was a young man and I know she’s his BFF too. They stay in constant touch now that they seperated by three states and attend different colleges. They talk about everything.

  4. Madeline Mora-Summonte says:

    I often get tired of the romance angle in YA books, and I would really like to see more strong friendships in general. (To be fair, I get tired of a lot of the romantic angles in most books – I don’t need a love story in everything I read.) 🙂

  5. Tizzy Potts says:

    Completely agree. There aren’t enough simple, platonic friendships in YA. As soon as a new guy is introduced and they seem to get along I just think ‘oh, here we go again’ as I can predict where it is going to lead. Why can’t they just be friends? I like Harry and Hermione’s relationship in Harry Potter, as there were so many rumours that they were dating, but they just kept their cool and ignored it.

  6. Julie Flanders says:

    I can’t think of any other examples, but I totally agree with you, I love these kinds of relationships in books. Harry and Hermione is my favorite example, but they are all fun to read to me. Sometimes romance gets a bit tedious to me in books because it can end up being so predictable.

    Just stopping by from the A-Z! I hope you are enjoying your weekend. 🙂

  7. Colin says:

    It does seem as if for some YA writers, the stereotype is that when you’re a teenager, every opposite-sex relationship is romantic, or unrequited. They forget the number of opposite-sex friends they had in school. I don’t know about you, but I had female friends in school, and I didn’t want to date all of them. Only some. 😉

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