So, about a week ago I found out that my best friend got into med school. Obviously, I am very happy for her and this is very exciting news since she’ll be fulfilling her dream of becoming a doctor and will serve humanity.
But at the same time, I’m obviously very sad, since she’ll be gone abroad for almost four years. And yes, there are modern inventions like the telephone and Skype and stuff that’ll help us keep in touch, but it’s not the same, y’know? (F, if you’re reading this, I was actually holding in tears when I saw you on Saturday ;( haha I’m kidding).
So while I was feeling sort of bittersweet, I kind of wanted to compile a list of all the great best friends found in YA lit. With so many YA books so focused on love and love triangles, it isn’t very often that you find a tight group of friends, since friends seem to take the backseat when the love story starts in earnest.
So this post is dedicated to all the best friends of the heroes and heroines of YA lit, because honestly where would the protagonist be without them?!
Ron and Hermione
These two are actually a couple on their own, but before that, Ron and Hermione were known as the best friends of Harry Potter.
This is naturally my favourite group of friends ever, because I grew up with them, and at times felt like a silent, invisible fourth member of the group (sad, I know). They were pretty amazing kids on their own, but combined? Well, they pretty much defeated evil and saved the world.
Yes, yes, Harry is the chosen one, but he honestly wouldn’t have made it as far as he does, without the help of Ron and Hermione, and he’s humble enough to admit it.
My favourite scene has got be in the first book when Ron defeats McGonagall’s chess challenge, while Hermione outwits Snape’s potions test. Without them at his side, Harry definitely wouldn’t have gotten through the tests put in the way between him and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Even though there are some pretty big fights between Harry and them, there isn’t much that Ron and Hermione aren’t willing to do for Harry, whether it’s try to cheat the rules of an international competition to help him win, to leaving their families and lives for a year to help him hunt down horcruxes, to breaking international laws to turn back time to save his godfather.
They’re so amazing that I wouldn’t mind having a pair of my own!
Gale from The Hunger Games is another friend I wouldn’t having, and not just because of how good looking he is! Before Gale became embroiled in the love triangle, he was Katniss’ best friend and sole confidant.
Gale is a great example of how good friends can save your life. Katniss and Gale’s relationship is one of balance where they both rely and lean on each other for food and resources. Naturally, Katniss isn’t just going to rely on someone without giving something in return, which Gale knows so he strikes a bargain in order to help her without hurting her pride. And that’s pretty awesome.
With the burden of his own family resting on his shoulders, Gale also shoulders the responsibility of Katniss’ family as well, when she volunteers for the Games. In such a cutthroat world where resources are scarce, I wouldn’t really blame him if he had left the Everdeen family to their own devices. But Gale isn’t just that kind of guy; he promises Katniss that he will look after their family and will make sure they won’t starve. And not only does he promise, he actually follows through with this.
Yes, his romantic feelings for Katniss make him do a lot of these things, like taking a whipping for her in the second book, but you can’t help but admire him for his loyalty and bravery to Katniss, especially in a time when she was just Katniss and not the girl on fire.
So this is a bit of unique case, since Halley is the protagonist, while Scarlett is her best friend, but if anyone deserves the best friend award, it’s Halley.
I read this book several years ago, but I still remember being in awe at Halley and Scarlett’s tight relationship, one that refuses to be broken even when Scarlett becomes pregnant after her boyfriend dies in an accident, in her senior year of high school.
Thus, it’s Halley’s job to become Scarlett’s boyfriend and mother as she tries her best to help Scarlett through her pregnancy and through the rumours. It’s not always easy as Halley struggles to balance her own school work and her own social life, but she manages to pull through with Scarlett till the very end.
While he didn’t get much screen time in Shelley’s original Frankenstein, Oppel has definitely remedied this in his retelling of the classic as Henry is as fleshed out a character as Victor or Konrad.
Having grown up with the Frankenstein kids, Henry is well versed in their crazy antics and schemes. Despite this, he has a hard time performing the same schemes as Victor, Konrad and Elizabeth, yet his many fears and phobias don’t prevent him from helping his friends.
When Henry is too afraid to climb the massive trees to get an ingredient for Konrad’s elixir, he doesn’t just abandon Victor and Elizabeth to their mission. Instead he remains on the ground and acts as their guard.
Time and time again, Henry faces his fears in order to help his best friend Konrad regain his health and life, even though it nearly kills him to do so. Yet, he becomes stronger and more strong-willed in the second book because of this, which causes some arguments between Victor and Henry.
Despite these fights, Henry remains on Victor’s side, no matter how stupid or irrational he becomes.
Carmen, Tibby, Lena, and Bridget
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants isn’t about one protagonist, but a group of girls who support each other.
The girls from this series are probably another one of my favourite group of friends since their story is about the friendship between them. Sure, family, boyfriends, life decisions, college, and stuff are there, but the story’s always about their relationship and how it changes and evolves.
That’s not to say they don’t argue or disagree, because like all friends, they do. And sometimes their arguments are even more harsh, because they’ve known each other their whole lives and know each other’s weakest points. Sometimes, knowing everything about each other can get exhausting since there’s no room to pretend to be someone else; all secrets have been laid bare.
But sometimes it’s knowing everything about each other that alerts the girls when things aren’t right, or when one of the girls is struggling, but won’t say.
And even though they go their separate ways in life, and aren’t always physically together as they embark on new and different chapters, they’re still there for each other, just like when they were kids.
I hope you enjoyed reading this list of some memorable relationships between friends in YA lit! I’m hoping to make some more lists of YA topics soon (since I love lists), so look out for those!
Thanks for reading,