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Books to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

Galentine’s Day is a very special holiday from Parks & Recreation, where Leslie Knope and her lady friends have brunch on February 13th. “It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst, plus frittatas.” Basically, it’s a time during the season very focused on romantic love to recognize other relationships in your life, like female friendship.

galentines day

This week and next we’re featuring many booklists that focus on romance, but in honor of Galentine’s Day, these titles focus on strong friendships between young women. After all, at least for many teen girls, female friendships are the most important relationships in their lives.

Young Adult Literature with Strong Female Friendships

Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson (2016 Great Graphic Novels)

Five friends and supernatural adventures! With quippy lines and a strong message of female solidarity, this is a perfect comic for Galentine’s Day!

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

Set against the lush backdrop of the 90s grunge rock scene in Seattle, this is a story of an incredible friendship between the beautiful and charming Aurora and the devoted, soulful unnamed narrator. A retelling of the Orpheus myth, this is very much about the bonds of female friendship.

A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith

The world needs more books like this one — books about female friendship, and how fraught with complications they can be during adolescence. This is the story of Annabeth’s senior year of high school. For years, she’s been buoyed by her close friendship with Noe. But now Noe is pulling away from her, and she’s feeling alone and uncertain. Ultimately, she works through these issues — and several others, all wrapped in Smith’s fierce and intimate prose.

Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

A steampunk mystery, this is about three young women who are thrown together in their quest to solve a murder in turn of the century London. Full of fun and adventure with a diverse cast, this is a romp that celebrates female friendship.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (2010 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults)

Karou has a lot going on in her life beyond art school—like coping with the loss of the only family she’s ever known and a mysterious angel from a past she doesn’t remember, plus being drawn into an ancient war. Luckily, she has Zuzana, who is not only accepting, but enthusiastic, even when she takes up the position of resurrectionist for a race of warrior monsters. Now that is real friendship.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

This is a paranormal mystery with a hint of a love triangle and a healthy dose of both wit and angst — but ALSO strong female friendships. Kami may be an aspiring journalist with a weird relationship with a voice in her head, but she’s got friends in Angela and Holly, and they don’t fade away when the romance gets going.

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

This graphic novel is about a group of girls all named Jane who form an art-loving gang of People Loving Art In Neighborhoods as a way to survive the horrors or high school.

Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Reagan and Victoria are ready to escape their town after their senior year of high school, as long as its together. A road trip to visit potential challenge their friendship in unexpected ways in this poignant novel.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

This March release has a powerful friendship at its core. When Hermione is drugged and raped at an end of cheer camp party, her best friend, Polly, is unwavering in her support. The fierceness and loyalty between these two is inspiring and comforting.

What are your favorite young adult novels that feature a strong friendship between teen girls? Share in the comments! 

— Molly Wetta, currently reading This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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Molly is the Senior Librarian for Youth Services, Programming, and Marketing at Santa Barbara (CA) Public Library. She is a former member manager of YALSA's The Hub.

7 Comments

  1. Jennie Jennie

    Oldies but goodies: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series!

    • Do teens still check those out at your library? Mine have very low circs – just enough I didn’t weed them on my last go around. I’m wondering if it’s worth replacing the worn copies with the new paperbacks with updated covers.

      • Sarah Sarah

        Our copies still circ a bit, but they were worn and looking rough. I went ahead and ordered the new covers and they feel more current now :)

        I can’t bare to weed the series…one of my favorites growing up!

  2. Rosemary Pearce Rosemary Pearce

    Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.

  3. Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler! Hudson & Dani’s relationship!

  4. Mary Worthington Mary Worthington

    Roller girl by Victoria Jamieson

  5. Willowdean and Ellen in Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
    Minnow Bly and Angel in The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

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