This week’s Top Ten list are books featuring strong friendships. Certainly, there were a whole slew to choose from. I had to select those that have been what I would consider as unforgettable. I admit that a couple of these books are somewhat unconventional, but friends come in different forms.
It is not difficult to define what friendship means, but much like love, it’s hard to explain exactly what draws a person to another.
In no particular order, here are my choices:
1. Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson Emily and Sloane couldn’t be more different than night and day; where Sloane is the bright sun that lights Emily’s world, she’s the cloudless starry sky of the darkest night. She shines in her own way, but not bright enough for everyone to notice. What’s great about their friendship is how much of Sloane’s courage she imparted on Emily when she left. Emily found herself when she lost Sloane.
2. Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan The friendship between Josie and Stu is one that’s probably the most conventional. They’re neighbours; they grew up together, and they have one thing in common: brainiacs. They are the only ones who understood each other on a level that even their families do not. I picked this book because it was a classic example of a relationship that transcended friendship.
3. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein This is unselfish friendship exemplified. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this to my boy, but every time I read it, it makes me stop and think.
4. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen Yes, I realized that Lizzie and Jane are sisters first before BFFs, but I still envy their friendship. From a meddling mother to a disapproving Darcy, Lizzie and Jane had each other’s backs through a lot of things.
5. Open Road Summer by Emery Lord Reagan and Dee, much like Emily and Sloane are worlds different. Through Reagan’s rebellious stint, Dee never once judged her or left her side. Reagan, on the same account, has been Dee’s fierce defender. They are like siblings, in a way that they are fiercely loyal.
6. Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare. What could be more telling of a true friendship than someone who would break his own heart for the sake of his friend? Given the choice, I think both boys would’ve done what the other had the guts to do.
7. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt This book has a couple of equally heart-breaking friendships: June and Finn; June and Toby. Of course they had one common thread, and that is Finn. It’s hard to describe the friendship between all three; it’s one of those, it just IS.
8. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa Their relationship went beyond domestic service she got paid for. She was patient, understanding, and she truly cared for an old-man who’d lost most of his mental capacity in an accident. Touching story.
9. Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland A group of friends who stood by each other through the years; it’s like The Big Chill except that the one person they have in common was in a coma for years. This was an odd book, but even through the tumultuous changes every one has gone through, their friendship remained staunch.
10. Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz. One can argue that the heroic things Aristotle did for Dante is rooted to the fact that he was in love with him. But, I digress. Much like Emily in Since You’ve Been Gone, Aristotle was an introvert who found comfort in being alone. Dante broke him out of his shell, and had showed him a brand new perspective of the world he lived in.