Skip to content

Tag: Friendship

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.

7 Comments

Reality Scoop: Promoting Mental Wellness with YA Literature

There are no shortages of books for young adults that tackle mental illness; The Hub has focused on books for Mental Health Awareness Month and also written about the trend of suicide and depression in Young Adult literature in just the last year. But today for Reality Scoop, we’re focusing on characters in YA novels who develop coping mechanisms for dealing with depression and anxiety throughout the course of the story.

YALSA realistic fiction column

Fiction According to National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), about 20% of teens suffer from mental health issues and nearly 30% have depression before adulthood.  The impact on teens is more than just statistics, it’s the feelings and the emotions that they deal with that hurt the most.  Mental health problems just make things so much harder for teens.  It makes their home life, school and socializing much more difficult than it should be.  

Comments closed

Interview with Julie Halpern, Author of The F-It List

The F It ListJulie Halpern has a knack of taking you back to high school by pulling out our best and worst memories of that time through her writing.  Her spot on comedic tone and skilful weaving of a story,  perfectly channels the essence of the high school experience. She has  been recognized on YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults lists twice: in 2010 for Into the Wild Nerd Yonder and 2013 for Have a Nice Day.

The F-It List is Halpern’s fifth novel for teens, and it has laugh out loud humor while at the same time delivering an emotional punch to the gut.  The F-It List hit bookshelves this past Tuesday, November 12, and centers on the friendship of Alex and Becca.  When Alex’s father passed away, her best friend Becca made a poor choice and slept with Alex’s then boyfriend.  Needing a break from the drama, Alex spends a summer keeping away from Becca.  When she is ready to forgive at the start of the next school year, Alex discovers that Becca has cancer.  Together they rebuild their friendship while trying to complete Becca’s bucket list, or as they call it the F-It list.  Through this process Alex discovers a lot about grieving, love, friendship, and even herself.  Visit Julie Halpern’s website, juliehalpern.com, to learn more about her work.

This is your fifth novel for teen readers.  Has your writing style or writing process changed since your first novel was published?  What has stayed the same?

I don’t know how much my style has changed, except that (hopefully) it has improved! Practice makes perfect, and all. I have had a similar writing process for all five books, where I tend to write the first few chapters and then let them sit for a bit before I continue writing the book. I don’t outline, but I do make a list of important events (sometimes the list looks neat, sometimes it’s randomly-placed post-its) that I need to include. I tend to write my books on a schedule, meaning that the events in the book take place over a certain amount of time and I need to figure out how to make the schedule work in order to keep the book organized. Otherwise, I write my books through the eyes of the main character, and the characters dictate the words. Also, in terms of process, I hand-write all of my books into notebooks with a pen, and when I finish the first draft I have to type it all in (which becomes my second draft).  By now I know that I usually require two or three revisions after the second draft before I’m comfortable sending it to my editor. No one sees it before then.

Comments closed

Like Peas and Carrots: Girls’ Friendships in YA Lit

The month of September celebrates women’s friendships, which lead me to think about friendships within books and some of my favorite books dealing with friendships. There are times when I feel so closely connected to a character that I wish they were real so we could be best friends. When I was in middle school, I adored Just as Long as We’re Together by Judy Blume. I read that book until it fell apart — and then kept reading it. I loved the new friendship between Stephanie and Alison. I really believe in the idea of having more than one BFF.

Teen literature is full of strong female friendships. Sure, there are books about frenemies, or fake friends, or even the BFF who betrays you. The ones that stand out the strongest in my mind are the books about true best friends: best friends who wouldn’t date the boy you might like, best friends who stand behind your decisions even if they don’t agree with them, and best friends you know you can count on even if you just had a massive fight.

Some of these books don’t start out with the main characters as best friends. Instead, something throws the girls together. Going through the situation creates and cements the bond of friendship.

2 Comments