Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books with platonic relationships to die for

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CJ's Selections

Non-romance relationships never get enough credit. I love books that actually give friendships, sibling relationships, and family ties some solid screentime. And not just like "oh this person has friends with names" but actual developed relationships.   
1.Mirage / Somaiya Daud - So I mean yeah, Idris is bae, but the twisted relationship between Amani and princess Maram is one of the gems of this book. Amani is Maram's body double by force and they basically meet for five seconds before Maram sicks a bird on her. But over time, Amani's compassion and straightforwardness draw out the princess's more vulnerable innards, and they develop almost this sisterly connection. Obviously shit gets stirred up, but I can't wait to see where it goes.


2.Iron Gold / Pierce Brown - I will never not bring up Darrow and Sevro for this, because their bromance is one of the most epic in fiction. They have a rock solid brotherly connection. Sevro is a bit of a sidekick, but not uncritically--he's always there to call Darrow on his bullshit, which creates some of the most heartwrenching moments in IRON GOLD. Their bond is all the stronger because Sevro is a fully realized character, not just a prop for Darrow.


3.Royal Bastards / Andrew Shvarts - This list could basically be a who's who of my faves, because I love books with solid friendships. The friendship between Tilla and Lyriana is a core of this book. It starts with Tilla saving Lyriana's life, and grows into a true partnership. Check out CITY OF BASTARDS for more of their shenanigans.


4.A Blade So Black / L.L. McKinney - Portal superhero books are often pretty sparse on the outer relationships, but Alice's friends get their share of adventure in this debut. Cortney knows Alice's secret from the beginning, and becomes actively involved in the fight against Nightmares. Elle showcases some friend drama and how they get through it, which adds to the realism.


5.Truthwitch / Susan Dennard - Is there a better example of a dynamic duo in modern YA? No. No there is not. Safi and Iseult have a bone-deep friendship built on trust, mutual understanding, and equality. They play off each other. Their bond is solid even when they're apart. Follow them in WINDWITCH and the upcoming BLOODWITCH.



Whitley's Selections

I had a real tough time with this week's topic, which is rather upsetting to me. I can't tell if I'm really that lacking in platonic books that I love, or if it's just a quirk of my memory, which has been pretty bad as of late. (Or maybe it's just that I read a loooooooooot of romance novels when I'm in a down cycle.)  
1.Everything by Lorraine Heath - Speaking of romances...No, wait, hear me out! Most romance that's in a series focuses on a family or a group of friends, each of which has their own independent story/romance. And while the romances do take front and center, there's so many where that family thread runs throughout all the books, and some of them are really good. I've a fondness for Lorraine especially because her 'family' is so large and sprawling, and every time someone gets a partner they're folded into the family for future books in such a natural and warm way. There's plenty of actual, blood siblings but also found family and close friends all woven together in a complex manner that literally needed an explanation guide on her website, haha. But every time the other characters show up in a book, they're loving and supporting and everything a found family should be.


2.The Will of the Empress / Tamora Pierce - Speaking of found family, I will never stop pushing the Circle of Magic series on people. Four young kids with special magic are brought together for training after their magic gets them into severe trouble. They bond together not only in kinship but also by mixing their magic together by accident, and they grow up as a family unit. The first quartet is all about them coming together, the second quartet sees them leaving home four years later, and Will of the Empress has all of the travelers meeting up again as 18-20 y/o (ish) adults and rediscovering their connection after years apart. I love the variety of different relationships within the family group and how each are given equal weight and validity regardless of what manner they take.


3.Heroine Complex / Sarah Kuhn - Friendship is a central part of the Heroine series, as the two main leads have been best friends since grade school and still are. Although, as adults, they've drifted apart despite still being psychically close together. A major storyline through the whole series is how much they still care for each other and value their shared history and how, even though things have gotten rough, each is willing to put in the work required to keep their friendship healthy and thriving. It's a wonderfully nuanced look at a friendship that has slid towards toxic but that both parties are working to save. I really liked that, in the second book, this theme was still present because Evie and Annie couldn't just realize they had a problem and then bam, fixed. Heroine Worship was eeen more about the "two steps forward, one step back" aspect of fixing things, but the two ladies remain close and dedicated throughout all their problems.

Also cupcakes turn into demons and who doesn't love that?

4.Mask of Shadows / Linsey Miller - Sal and Maude aren't what one would call traditional friends, since Sal showed up to be in a murder competition and Maude was the random servant assigned to them. But that doesn't stop the two from having some great back and forth and plenty of snark. I just absolutely love Maude's whole exasperated attitude towards Sal, but she's still there for them throughout the competition and Sal doesn't take that kind of support for granted.


5.The Impostor Queen / Sarah Fine -A little unconventional, since it's not a relationship that's front and center in the book, but I really like the connection between the 'queen' and the 'princess' in this world's magic system. Every queen and her successor are identified by a birthmark when very young, so when a queen rises to the throne, the population starts searching for a little girl with a flame birthmark that points her out as the new princess. But both queen and princess have a magically induced connection, an instant sense of love and devotion to each other that is almost parent/child in nature. There's lots of culture shenanigans involved in the relationship between queen and princes that keep things interesting, and I really liked the way it was described when in Elli's POV, both her feelings for the old queen and the instant affection she has when she sees the newest princess later on in the book. It's a neat quality and I really really need to get to the last book in the series so I can see how it's handled and why have I been putting this off? *looks at whole rest of TBR* Oh, right.


Your turn! What platonic relationships are your favorite?

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