Top Ten Tuesday: Sometimes It's Not About Romance: Platonic Relationships

Top Ten Tuesday: Sometimes It's Not About Romance: Platonic Relationships
Top Ten Tuesday  was created by  The Broke and the Bookish  in June of 2010 and was moved to  That Artsy Reader Girl  in January of 2018.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

I had forgotten that one of my favorite things about TTT is the fact that when you are asked to make lists like this it shows your reading biases. Exhibit A: I am very much attached to the idea of Soft Boy Friendship™. I probably could have made a couple of list of just books featuring them. But I thought the list would be more interesting if I diversified it a bit more and included different kinds of platonic love. I was looking for a book with a great mother daughter relationship and nothing that I could come up with seemed to fit. I am super close with my mother so it makes me wonder if I have bizarrely high expectations for that relationship portrayal. If you have mother daughter books that you think I should read please comment. I think that this is an area that I need to explore.

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

Far from the Tree
by Robin Benway

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: Stand Alone
Published: October 3rd 2017 
Rating: All the hearts
Times read: 1
Recommended by: Eric Smith on the Hey YA podcast but I had already bought it because I have a book buying problem.

That’s what parents do. They catch you before you fall. That’s what family is.

I finished this book last night and it made the list already. This is a book about what really makes family and how we let them into our lives. Maya, Joaquin, and Grace learn to become siblings in spite of their fears and the obstacles in the way.

From Goodreads:

A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.

This cover is perfection

This cover is perfection

Darius the Great Is Not Okay
by Adib Khorram

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: stand alone
Published: August 28th 2018
Rating: Full review of Darius the Great is Not Okay
Times read: 1
Recommended by: Twitter?

‘We have a saying in Farsi. It translates ‘your place was empty.’ We say it when we miss somebody.”
I sniffed.
”Your place was empty before. But this is your family. You belong here.’

Darius and Sohrab’s friendship is everything. There is just something so touching about these two boys who have always struggled to connect with by and be understood others finally find someone who accepts them without reservations.

This might be a slightly controversial pick. This book gets shelved under LGBTQIA sometimes. I didn’t read it that way but I can understand if you did. The book is awesome either way you interpret it and if you haven’t read it, you need to get on that, right now.

From Goodreads:

Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He's about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it's pretty overwhelming--especially when he's also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom's family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what's going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don't have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he's spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush--the original Persian version of his name--and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he's Darioush to Sohrab. When it's time to go home to America, he'll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.

We'll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss

We'll Fly Away
by Bryan Bliss

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: no
Published: May 8th 2018 
Rating: a watershed book
Times read: 1
Recommended by: Eric Smith on the Hey YA podcast

We are not living in a world that stands still.

I don’t want to say too much about this book because I don’t want to spoil anything. But the themes of intersecting lives and the things that we do to protect our friends looms large in this book. You will think about it long after you finish it.

From Goodreads:

Uniquely told through letters from death row and third-person narrative, Bryan Bliss’s hard-hitting third novel expertly unravels the string of events that landed a teenager in jail. Luke feels like he’s been looking after Toby his entire life. He patches Toby up when Toby’s father, a drunk and a petty criminal, beats on him, he gives him a place to stay, and he diffuses the situation at school when wise-cracking Toby inevitably gets into fights. Someday, Luke and Toby will leave this small town, riding the tails of Luke’s wrestling scholarship, and never look back.

But during their senior year, they begin to drift apart. Luke is dealing with his unreliable mother and her new boyfriend. And Toby unwittingly begins to get drawn into his father’s world, and falls for an older woman. All their long-held dreams seem to be unraveling. Tense and emotional, this heartbreaking novel explores family, abuse, sex, love, friendship, and the lengths a person will go to protect the people they love. 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before By Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
By Jenny Han

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #1
Published: April 15th 2014
Rating: Full review of Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before here
Times read: 2
Recommended by: reread after watching the movie

Yes, this is a swoony romance and yes, that part is seriously adorable. BUT what makes this book really special this wonderful relationship between Lara Jean and her sisters Margot and Kitty. Sisters before misters is literally the story catalyst. More of this please and thank you.

Sisters are supposed to fight and make up, because they are sisters and sisters always find their way back to each other. But the thing that scares me is that maybe we won’t.

From Goodreads:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

This Adventure Ends
by Emma Mills

Goodreads Amazon
Series: no
Release date: October 4th, 2016
Rating: Full review of This Adventure Ends
Times read: 1
Recommended by: my deep love of Emma Mills

Squad goals in book form. ‘Nuff said. Emma Mills is the queen of secondary characters.

From Goodreads:

Come on,” he says. “I’m like the yellow Starburst of this group.”
My lips twitch. “You’re at least the orange Starburst.

Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed. 

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Save the Date
by Morgan Matson 

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: Stand Alone
Published: June 5th 2018 
Rating: scoff
Times read: 1
Recommended by: I love all things Morgan Matson

A huge family. An upcoming wedding. What could go wrong? This book is worth reading if for no other fact than one of the characters reads the word “Scoff” when he is in middle school and then decides that you are supposed to say, “scoff” instead of the sound in spite of all of his brothers and sisters piling on him. The rest of the book is also hilarious and I love every single one of these characters.

From Goodreads:

So maybe I wasn’t just the youngest, the one who didn’t get told things. I was also the one who came to help, who tried to make things work, who they called when they were in trouble.

Charlie Grant's older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can't wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There's the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won't stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren't speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner's nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she'll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

A List of Cages
by Robin Roe

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Published: January 10th, 2017
Rating: Full review of A List of Cages
Times read: 2
Recommended by: Cait from Paperfury

The is probably the most Soft Boy Friendship™ book of all time. Adam and Julian are sweet and adorable and have feeling and aren’t afraid of them. It is also a book about the impact that we have on others in small ways and large. I’m not crying.

Who am I kidding? Yes, I am.

From Goodreads:

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he's got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn't easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can't complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian--the foster brother he hasn't seen in five years.
Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He's still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what's really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives. 

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Goodbye Days
by Jeff Zentner

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible
Series: no
Published: March 7th 2017
Times read: 1
Recommended by: Me because I loved The Serpent King

Funny how people move through this world leaving little pieces of their story with the people they meet, for them to carry. Makes you wonder what’d happen if all those people put their puzzle pieces together.

I am putting this on the list but I can’t think about it too hard because there lies ugly sobbing. Carver has lost his three best friends to a car accident but their presence still looms large in his life. The flashbacks are so fun and their relationship so tight that the reader feels the loss all the more.

From Goodreads:

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

The Way You Make Me Feel
by Maurene Goo

Goodreads Amazon 
Series: no
Published: May 8th 2018
Rating: Frickin' awesome
Times read: 1
Recommended by: I auto-bought it because Maureen Goo

I hated when my dad gendered the stupid truck. To retaliate, I called my boobs Brock and Chad, which my dad hated with equal fervor.

Maureen Goo has written two of my favorite father daughter relationships in all of YA. Appa and Adrian Shin are perfection even though they are their daughters are very different. It was almost impossible to choose between them. But The Way You Make Me Feel also features one of my favorite enemies to friends storylines evah which swayed me! I would watch the Clara and Rose reality show. I need to reread.

From Goodreads:

From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? 

With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein 

Goodreads Amazon | Audible
Series: Code Name Verity #1
Published: February 6th 2012
Rating: Full review for Code Name Verity
Times read: 4
Recommended by: Goodreads, in like, 2012

Strangely, I had a very hard time coming up with books with exceptional female friendships. Do I have higher expectations of women and their relationships than I do for men? Is this really the double standard I want for the world? That’s a thought that is going to fester.

Having said all that the friendship in this book is one of the most genuine and powerful. Maddie and “Verity” have the kind of friendship that can weather any storm and that each will do anything for the other. And if yo have read the book you know why that is so heartbreaking.

From Goodreads:

Oct. 11th, 1943 - A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. 

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. 

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage and failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 

Harrowing and beautifully written, Elizabeth Wein creates a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other. Code Name Verity is an outstanding novel that will stick with you long after the last page.

Do you have book recs for mothers and daughters or an exceptional female friendship? I looks as if I need to read some more of them.