5 Fantastic Female Friendships in YA Books

5 Fantastic Female Friendships in YA

Posted December 11, 2018 by Amber in Bookish Things, Memes / 9 Comments


Hi loves!

There was a Top Ten Tuesday topic a couple weeks ago about great friendships in YA, and I really wanted to join in because I’ve been trying to remember to jot down awesome, healthy female friendships when I come across them as I’ve been reading YA books this year.  Unfortunately, since NaNoWriMo was afoot, I really didn’t have time to balance new blog posts and plow ahead with The Novel, so I didn’t make the deadline.

That said, I still wanted to join in on this topic!  I know that I’ve missed some, and it pains me to disclose Anna Shirley and Diana Barry’s friendship from the Anne of Green Gables books, but I really wanted to keep it to some more recent YA books.  So with that, here’s five female friendship in YA books that I totally love!

witchy divider

Laila and Zofia

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Okay okay okay guys I know.  This book isn’t out until next month, but trust me y’all are going to like it.  You’ll hear all about how much I liked it in my review at the beginning of January, but in the meanwhile, you’re just going to have to trust me.  Just to give a hint, I really feel like this is the most recent response to fans who love Six of Crows, but that’s all you’re getting.

Ahem.  Anyway!  Laila and Zofia are an excellent pair.  Laila takes care of Zofia in the basic human ways that Zofia doesn’t handle well all by herself, plus she lures her with cookies.  And in return, Zofia keeps Laila safe.  They are precious.



Gwen & Lesley

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

I feel like it’s been too long since I’ve waxed poetic about Ruby Red. 🙂 On top of this book just being buckets of fun, Gwen and Lesley have the best friendship.  Not only does Lesley stick loyally by Gwen’s side whence runs to her and tells her that she’s began traveling through time instead of her cousin, but Lesley also helps her figure out some of the stuff her family isn’t telling her.  These two girls get brownie points for loyalty despite impossibility, and they’re also just super funny together.

I actually featured this book back in a study of kickass ladies in YA fantasy earlier this year, and I think that still stands.  Gwen and the girls in Ruby Red in GENERAL are a fantastic, formidable bunch.



Aly & Dove

Trickster’s Queen by Tamora Pierce

Tamora Pierce practically invented girl power in YA fantasy, so of course two of her ladies are going to show up on any list that I make.  Aly is my favorite of all Pierce’s heroines (that I’ve read) and her and Dove’s friendship is one of my favorites.  Aly comes from a land where woman have started to slip into positions of influence and power, but in the Copper Isles, things are not so hopeful.  When she learns that Sarai and Dove are the rightful heirs to the throne, she joins in on the rebellion.  With their combined intellect and contacts, Aly and Dove work side-by-side to restore the proper ruler to the Isles.




Aza & Daisy

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

I felt it was really important to include a female friendship on this list that isn’t perfect.  Among the many other things that Aza goes through in Turtles, she is forced to reckon with the fact that her and Daisy’s friendship has become a bit toxic.  So why is this friendship on this list?  Because the two girls work it out.  They ultimately talk about their problems and agree that things haven’t been handled in the best way and that they still want to be friends.  This was a refreshingly healthy resolution to a troubled friendship, and it was really great to see it on paper.

Not all friendships will be shiny and perfect.  Friendship takes work, but when both sides sit down and objectively look at the problems and find solutions, things can be really great.  And Aza and Daisy are really a fun pair, doubly so once they address the elephant in the room.


Amari & Zelie

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

This friendship may be my favorite of all time.  I’m sorry to Six of Crows and to the trio in the Harry Potter series, but I love Amari and Zelie.  There’s this scene late in the book where a lot is resting on Zelie shoulders and she’s feeling broken and afraid and she doesn’t know what to do.  She ends up in Amari’s cabin, and she sits on her bed and Amari braids her hair and the two girls just talk it out.  And I mean everything.  The future, the past, their initial impressions of one another, and how they’ve grown.  There’s a lot in Children of Blood and Bone that is truly excellent, but this scene is my favorite.

As a side note, I’ve read quite a few posts of people shipping Amari and Zelie and while I think that the rep is great, I really hope this doesn’t happen because their friendship is so beautiful, and not all beautiful friendships need to end in romance.

As I mentioned above, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday was a freebie and I’m so glad because I’ve had this post half-finished and sitting around for a little while, and it seemed like the perfect thing to link up this week.  I adore a good, healthy female friendship in the books I read, and I think it’s important to point them out and celebrate them, because they are still the exception instead of the norm.


What are some female friendships you love in YA?

Do you disagree with any of these choices?

What books did I miss?

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9 responses to “5 Fantastic Female Friendships in YA

  1. I’m DYING to read Children of Blood and Bone, Turtles All the Way down, and I’m excited for Gilded Wolves! But I’m SUPER excited about Ruby Red because I just got the first two books of that series from Book Outlet! It sounds like such a fun series and I can’t wait.

    (Also, big shout out to our otp female friendship Anne and Dianna! ❤️)

    Loretta @ The Laughing Listener recently posted: T5T: I’m A Failure
    • Amber

      Ruby Red is SO. MUCH. FUN. I seriously can’t wait to see your reviews – I still have only read book #1, but it was just delightful and yes, you must read it. 🙂

  2. Great topic! I think The Gilded Wolves sounds awesome. I’m thinking about friendships in YA now haha- I might have to do a post on that at some point.

    • Amber

      I think that’s great – definitely do one! ? There’s been a historical tendency in YA for friendships to either fizzle out to unimportance or become romantic relationships. It seems to be refocusing into actual maintained friendship though, which is awesome. ?

  3. Ooh, I really want to read The Gilded Wolves! It sounds so good! And I picked up Ruby Red at a thrift store over the summer and then forgot about it, but now I’m all excited to read it again! And I LOVE Aly and Dove.

    I think my absolute favourite female friendship in a book is probably Nina and Inej, because they are just PERFECT. I adore those two girls and how they’re always there for each other. Also the ladies in Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy are AMAZING. And also the girls in I Was Born For This have a beautiful friendship!

    Okay I admit… I totally ship Amari and Zelie… The majority of the time I would be with you and rooting for them to stay as friends, but these two would just work so WELL as a couple. I completely understand where you’re coming from, but I can’t help myself. I really really ship them!

    • Amber

      Honestly, until I went looking for fanart with Amari and Zelie (there’s this one scene that I NEED someone to draw please), I had no idea people were even shipping them? If they end up as a couple I’ll be happy for you and other shippers, but I reeeeeally just want a strong friendship that doesn’t lead to romance. But maybe we’ll find out in a few months!

      I haven’t read either Petticoats OR I was born for this… but I really want to read them both. ESPECIALLY Petticoats. I’ve been moving it in and out of my Amazon cart for months.