Friendship is such an important part of life and yet it received so little attention in YA, lost in the throes of romance and world-building. Let’s celebrate some awesome platonic love that doesn’t get the credit it deserves!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
KAROU AND ZUZANA
Karou has always been strange; an art student whose monstrous and ethereal drawings are a glance at her life as an errand runner for the mysterious Brimstone. Zuzana has never questioned her almost-dangerous lifestyle; disappearing for days on end and returning with scars, wounds, and little baubles from exotic places. Karou needs a friend who doesn’t ask too many question and Zuzana is just nosy enough to get answers without stepping on any toes.
The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
HAN AND DANCER
The day Han Alister caught Micah Bayar setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea, his fate was sealed. Now armed with a strange amulet that contains more power than he could even imagine, he has no doubt the Bayars will do just about anything to get it back. His friend Fire Dancer, born of the clans and Han’s childhood friend, is keeping secrets while doing his best to help Han out of the situation he’s been thrust into. But as magic threatens to pull both of them under, they only have each other’s friendship to count on.
Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver
LENA AND HANA
In a world where love is illegal, Lena struggles to come to terms with this reality while discovering love for the first time. Unlike most YA friendships, Hana directly influences the plot and her relationship with Lena is complex, layered over years of companionship and severe differences.
Angelfire (Angelfire #1) by Courtney Allison Moulton
ELLIE AND KATE
Ellie dreams of monsters every night, hiding behind the shadows and clawing for her. However, one day she finds out that these monsters are anything but imaginary…and they are after her soul. Despite Kate’s ignorance of Ellie’s position as a Reaper killer, she is always supportive and never asks too many questions. The trust is binding and sweet; always allowing Ellie a chance to step away from her chaotic world and simply enjoy being a teenager.
Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Rachel Hawkins
SOPHIE AND JENNA
When Sophie Mercer’s spell goes horribly wrong in the middle of her high school Prom, she is exiled to Hex Hall, a reform school for Prodigium: witches, vampires, shape-shifters, and fey. Jenna is a vampire outcast; the entire school both terrified of her existence and stunning her for her attitude. But when Sophie, a fellow freak since she’s never even met another Prodigium, becomes her roommate, they become fast friends.
Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre
DEUCE AND COMPANY D
Although Company D is not fully formed until book three, Horde, Deuce’s rag-tag band of zombie fighters accumulates members through the three books. In a post-apocalyptic world where hordes of flesh-eating monsters roam the overground, Deuce lives in tunnels with her people, hiding from the outside. Until one day, she is cast out of her village and forced to the surface along with a boy named Fade.
Wither (Chemical Gardens #1) by Lauren DeStefano
RHINE, JENNA, AND CECILY
Rhine lives in a world where her maximum age will be 20, the result of a botched scientific effort to create the perfect human race. Because of this, girls are stolen and sold off to rich husbands in order to procreate before their deaths. When Rhine is dumped into Linden’s mansion and meets her sister wives Jenna and Cecily, she will do just about anything to survive. The love and trust these girls develop for each other starkly contrasts the harsh and unforgiving world they live in.
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
CINDER AND THORNE
Cinder is a cyborg from New Beijing who ends up caught in an intergalactic war between the Lunar people and her own country. Based on the fairy tail Cinderella with a sci-fi twist, Cinder is thrust straight into politics, magic, and her own strange past. Although they don’t meet until the second book, her and Captain Thorne become unlikely partners after she ends up on his ship. Their witty banter and hesitant trust towards each other blooms slowly over the course of the story.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
VERITY AND MADDIE
Verity is a female spy who has been captured by the Gestapo during WWII and agrees to give them whatever information they want in exchange for something simple – time. So she gets an endless supply of paper (but not an endless supply of time) and a pen to write down her story. And she writes about Maddie, her best friend who pilots planes for the British army. Their time together was brief but beautiful and the story is heart-wrenching from start to finish.
The Raven Boys (Raven Boys #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
GANSEY, ADAM, RONAN AND NOAH
Blue has never been able to see the soon-to-be dead; unlike her mother, who attends St.Marks eve every year to find out who will be dying in the upcoming months. However, this year the ghost of a boy walked straight much to her and spoke, rattling her to the core. The boy’s name is Gansey and he comes along with three other Raven boys with their own problems and baggage. Loyalty digs deep in their bones and each owe Gansey in their own way. However, he needs them just as much as they need him.