No, pins don’t really have anything to do with this book, but I decided to go with them to represent the main three friends in this book, protagonist Charlie and Patrick and Sam, as well as some others who were less prominent. I read this book a couple of months ago and first saw the movie a year and a half or so ago, so this was one of the first books that popped into my head for this topic. I definitely identified with Charlie in some aspects, so to see him starting to branch out and connect with people, including the amazing Patrick and Sam, seemed as much a triumph for me as it was for him. This group of friends definitely had their ups and downs, but they still stuck together and everything ended well and realistically, which is always a great combination.
I included this book on a past Top Ten Tuesday for my favorite secondary characters, and that’s why it’s being repeated here: they’re amazing characters and they have great friendships with the main character, Josie. There are different kinds of friendships – she has a mentor-like relationship with the brothel owner, Willie, a genuine friendship with the adult Cokie, a genuine friendship that seemed to be some more with Patrick, and some others. She is surrounded by a great cast of characters and friends, and that was one of the greatest things about this book.
One of my favorite things about this book is the friendship between Angela, Maddie, and Zoe! They’re such great friends, and yes, that means they have some epic fights and hurt feelings and misunderstandings, but that’s what real friendship is all about – having issues, but making it through because you’re stronger together than apart. I know that the text message/IM format isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t mind it, then you’ll get a great story of friendship amidst the perils of high school.
Oh, and while writing this post, I discovered that there’s apparently going to be a new book in this series!! They’re in college now and it’s going to use up-to-date technology (like tweets, apparently) and this could go terribly wrong but I don’t care because I want more of these friends!! Also, they updated the covers – that I do mind because I have all three of the old covers and if I end up loving the fourth book and want it, then I want them all to match! But I can worry about that later…
I fell in love with this book earlier this year for multiple reasons, but one of the biggest was the friendship between Gigi and her two best friends. As far as I remember, they had some small squabbles but were there for each other no matter. Gigi was willing to put herself in harm’s way by skiing with Bea (even though Gigi was not a good skier. Like, at all) and even tried out for the school musical to support Neerja. They were genuine friends, and that meant they were willing to push each other out of their comfort zone in order to help each other, which is something that all friendships should do.
I decided to go with a butterfly to represent Ruby (and not think of other things to represent all the others because that would fill up the graphic way too much) because, despite all her friendship issues, she really does turn into her own version of a social butterfly. She starts The Boyfriend List with major friend issues and is quite alone, but by the time you reach the end of Real Live Boyfriends, you realize that she’s managed to find many different friends and relationships along the way. And yes, I’m including her parents as friends because I think that their relationship, as two parents and an only child, had similar ups and downs to friendships, and they were better for all the trouble by the end.
It was great seeing three different girls come together to save the day and work together. They didn’t need men or boys helping them out – Cora was the brains, Michiko the muscles, and Nellie the heart (that wasn’t her only contribution to the group, but it was the thing that popped into my head first). They were able to work together and slowly become closer, and they were a strong little unit because of that.
This is very much a brother-sister-esque friendship, which is probably partially because Tahereh Mafi apparently based Kenji on her brothers. They were completely platonic, and Kenji especially was always there to tell Juliette when she was being a whiny, angsty baby, which was always great to see. He often said the things that the reader wanted to yell at Juliette, and he was just a fun person all around, and definitely an amazing friend to Juliette. And, when Juliette became stronger, she was able to reciprocate that friendship better; that being said, I went with the sad-looking tree to represent Juliette because she really was a bit sad throughout much of the series – but Kenji helped bring her out of her shell!
The Garretts! They’re such an adorable family, and so large (thus the picture of a bunny – aren’t I so clever?!), and it was great seeing Samantha begin to open up to a relationship with them all, especially Jase, of course. And Tim was a great friend for her, much like Kenji (although Samantha had less issues for Tim to complain about), and it was great seeing how the friendship of Samantha and the Garretts helped Tim in turn. They were all helping each other, and it was so great to read about that!
I’ve only read a couple of these books so far, but one of my favorite things about them is the friendship between protagonist Rose and her best friend, Lissa. Something about their friendship just seems so genuine and rare in YA, and it’s great to see that among all the scariness and vampire-ness surrounding them on a daily basis. And, just so you know, Rose is the genuinely-scaring-looking monster while Lissa is the one who looks more cute than scary, because that seems to represent their characters pretty well based on what I’ve read!
This is a real brother-sister relationship, but I couldn’t not include it when it was so amazing and one of my favorite things about this debut! Plus, Bennett comes from a surrogate mother, so I’m using that as an excuse to include them in the friendship pile in addition to the family one. Anyway, they were so great together, and were able to rely on each other so much, and that was great to see. I also included Lexi, Bennett’s twin, because I really loved her and hated the way that Chloe often treated her in her head (and in person – Chloe often wasn’t a nice person when it came to poor Lexi), and loved the fact that they were getting better by the end of the book. I would love getting a sequel from Lexi’s point of view and getting to see her interact with the close relationship between Chloe and Bennett more.