Discussion Time: Relationships We Need to See More of in YA Books

A little while ago I wrote a discussion post on Diversity in YA Books but don’t worry this isn’t going to be more of the same and simply a list of diverse relationships we need to see in YA books. This is a more of a general list of the types of relationships that I feel are maybe missing or not represented enough when it comes to certain genres/books.

Everyone has relationships they love seeing in books, or books they enjoy more because they’ve got a good example of that relationship woven into the story. Just like diversity is important to see in books I think healthy romantic relationships, strong family bonds, and close friendships are just as important aspects that need to be represented as well.

Relationships We Need to See More of in YA Books

Relationships We Need to See More of in YA Books


Parent/Children Relationships

There’s a reason this one is first on my list this week, and that’s because when it comes to fantasy books there seems to be a severe lack of decent parent/child relationships. The main character is either an orphan, or becomes one within the first few chapters, or has seriously neglectful parents who don’t seem to care what happens to their child.

I guess it can be hard to save the world, or travel to other worlds, or take down an oppressive government with parents on your back about curfews or homework, but there’s got to be a happy medium somewhere. If J.K. Rowling can do it in Harry Potter I’m sure most authors can.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


Decent Friendships

Girl hate is something I’ve seen in a fair few books, but there are also books when the main character doesn’t seem to have any strong relationships or friendships outside of their love interest. It’s either that or when s/he meets their love interest the friendships they had at the beginning of the story tend to get pushed to the sidelines to make room for their developing romance.


No-Angst Relationships

Maybe this is something I’ve only noticed now I’ve gotten older, and maybe this is a point you don’t agree with, but nothing annoys me more than when two characters have a major plot line that revolves around their lack of communication. Healthy relationships mean people talk to one another about their problems, and I’d love to see less angst and more communication in all relationships in YA books, not just romantic ones.


Sibling Bonds

Scarlett and Tella from Caraval, Rhy and Kell from the Shades of Magic series, Seven and Starr from The Hate U Give. I was looking around my shelves for more examples and couldn’t find many. There are a lot of characters in both fantasy and contemporary books that are only children, or do not have close relationships with their siblings. Those kinds of bonds are my favourite to read because siblings are pretty much like having a best friend who lives with you.

Relationships in YA Books - Sibling Bonds


Extended Family

Considering the fact that the more characters you have the more individual development you need to give them maybe this isn’t possible, but people do not pop up from nowhere. Parents have their own parents and siblings so it would make sense that the main characters would potentially have grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins. Where are they because I can’t think of one book off the top of my head that even mentions them?

Yes extended family members are not always a big part of some people’s lives, but they can be a huge part of other people’s.


Diverse Relationships

I have dedicated a whole post to this point before but there can never be too much diversity in books, and we’re always going to need more. So give us relationships on the LGBT spectrum, give us families who struggle together through one person’s mental health issues, give us strong friendships between different POCs.


Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:

What relationships would you like to see more in YA books?

Do you think the relationships I’ve featured in this post are extensively represented, or not?

Are there any books you can recommend that feature great examples of any of the above relationships I mentioned? Or are you looking for books that do as well?

Let me know in the comments below.

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88 thoughts on “Discussion Time: Relationships We Need to See More of in YA Books

  1. There are so many comments here that I’m afraid to write anything more hahaha but I need to say YES!! This lack of diverse relationships in books have been bothering me for quite some time now. I even went on a spree searching for “strong female friendships” or “books about friendship” and it’s insane how few of those we have. They all end up in romance. (and it’s the same with films)
    I do love siblings relationships, strong friendships and also grandparents/grandchildren.
    I find that Maggie Stiefvater does a good job on this front. The Scorpio Races has a very good siblings relationship and even if the Raven Cycle does have romance, the friendship and familiar relationships are even more strong. Also the Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch has a very good take on friendship.

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    1. Ha, oh never be afraid to write anything more. I love reading everyone’s thoughts on these discussion topics! šŸ˜€
      I guess when it comes down to it at the moment romance sells more than friendship does. It’s a shame because based on what other people have said everyone wants to see more strong friendships in books, and more diverse relationships as well, but we have to search for them like you did.
      Same here, and yes I’ve only read Maggie Steifvater’s Raven Cycle series but I loved the family and friendship dynamics she wrote. I’ll have to more The Scorpio Races up my to-read list, and check out the Gentleman Bastard series as well! šŸ˜€

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  2. I would love to see more positive parent and child relationships in books! And I agree, most fantasy books don’t really have those – which is too bad. I am fortunate enough that I’m very close to both of my parents, so seeing nonexistent parent and child relationships in any genre is very weird for me – it just seems unrealistic that every single character doesn’t have parents or that they are crappy. :/
    I adore it when a book has great friendship and sibling relationships! They always just make me really happy. Girl hate is something that I deeply dislike and there is too much of it, there definitely needs to be more good friendship portrayed in books. I’m actually don’t have any siblings, so I don’t think I’m the best judge when it comes to sibling relationships but I would definitely love to see more of them in books. They exist in our normal life, so why shouldn’t they exist in books as well.
    Great post Beth! šŸ˜€

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    1. It’s the same for me, and it does make me wonder if writing a strong parent/child relationship, in fantasy books especially, can even be done because so far no one’s done it. It would be nice to see and it would definitely present new challenges and obstacles for the main character to overcome.
      Same here, that’s something else I’d love to see more of. It seems like there’s a lot of it in some books, and it’s always books that have girl hate that seem to be lacking in positive female friendships. It’s as if the author has to choose between positive or negative female relationships.
      Thanks so much Anna! šŸ˜€

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  3. I would love to see more platonic friendships that actually stay platonic. While I love the “childhood friends fall in love” story sometimes, I would love to see more stories where the friends are legitimately just friends, with no one developing feelings for each other. Not every pair of people who have known each other a long time end up dating or interested in dating.

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    1. Yes I completely get what you mean. šŸ™‚ In a way it kind of discounts the friendship representation in books when the friend becomes a love interest. Also one trope I cannot stand is when one friend develops feelings for the other that aren’t requited. It really bugs me because why couldn’t they just remain friends with no feelings getting in the way?!

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      1. Exactly, or the fact that the childhood friend almost never can compete with the new love interest. Whenever there’s a love triangle between a person, their childhood friend, and a new love interest, it almost inevitably ends in favour of the new one.

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      2. I always feel bad for the childhood friend in those cases. This is a person who has a real history with the main character (often seems to be females who end up in love triangles), knows them well, has been with them through absolutely everything…and then gets passed over for the random person she just met and fell in insta-love with.

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      3. I’ve never thought about it that way before but I think if a character is friends with someone, and the friend develop feelings for you can’t really expect the main character to suddenly develop feelings in return can you? I enjoy reading the friends to lovers trope, but not the friend unrequited feelings one.

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      4. In individual cases, no I definitely wouldn’t expect the person to develop feelings in return. I was thinking of it more as a problem in general that the childhood friend almost never gets chosen, especially when they get passed over for insta-love. I know someone you’ve been friends with for a long time often is not seen as a potential partner at all, but I guess I’m biased since I don’t think it’s possible to fall in love at first sight. It just seems that the friend sometimes gets rejected because the attractive new guy just showed up, and suddenly she loves him instead.

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      5. Oh yeah I get what you mean now, and actually I can think of so many examples where that’s happened. It seems a shame because it would be nice to see the friend get chosen over the insta-love, new attractive character. Especially because you normally see the relationship with the friend developed better than the insta-love relationship so those feelings seem more real for me you know?

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      6. Exactly. I find it hard to buy into a relationship where the people barely know each other, especially when there is another option that is very well-developed. I can understand not seeing your friend that way, but I’m sure someone in one of the stories somewhere would at least consider it…

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      7. It almost makes me thinks in situations like that that the main character chose the one person, when she goes for the lesser developed romance over the better developed one. There are probably a few books out there that do that, especially if the characters are developed in that direction.

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  4. I agree with you on all of these types of relationships. Their lack of inclusion wasn’t always something I was aware of, but I’ve been becoming increasingly aware of the lack of healthy/positive relationships with family especially. I feel like having some positive rep of parent relationships and friendships are particularly important given that these are relationships a lot of teens are likely to struggle with, and it may be nice to see that they can work out. Great post!

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    1. No it wasn’t something I was aware of either, especially when I was younger and I was first starting out reading YA books. I think after years of reading these stories I’ve started realising what relationships are missing and what ones I’d like to see more. Yes I completely agree, when you’re a teenager the relationships you have with your friends and you parents are such a huge part of your lives, they really need to be represented more in books.
      Thanks so much Sarah. šŸ˜€

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  5. I definitely agree with you that a lot of the types of relationships you mentioned in your post aren’t that represented in YA. I, personally, want to see more diverse relationships too. Some books I can think of that do a good job with this are When Dimple Met Rishi and The Sun is also a Star. Also, I’m reading The Lady Midnight right now and it features a lot of sibling bonds!!

    Rachana @ Spun

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    1. Yeah after a while, reading YA books with the same relationships over and over again, you realise more what’s missing from all the books you pick up. And the list I came up with is what I’ve noticed the most. I’ve read When Dimple Met Rishi but oh not The Sun is also a Star yet, and I have Lady Midnight on my to-read list so I hope you enjoy it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it. šŸ™‚

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  6. Ohhh fantastic list. I definitely like the first one. Parent/Children relationship could definitely be explored more, but I can’t say if it hasn’t been done much. So impressive how you always have a great topic to discuss every month, and sometimes more than one hahah šŸ˜€

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    1. Thanks so much Lashaan! šŸ™‚ Yeah we need more parents in YA fiction especially in fantasy because they really are missing in that genre more than any other, I honestly can’t understand where they all are.
      I have a list of possible topics, and a few in my Drafts as well. I seem to be pretty inspired when it comes to discussions at the moment! šŸ˜€

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  7. Wonderful discussion post Beth! we absolutely need to see more of these relationships in our books. I’ve also noticed the lack of parents in Fantasy & i’m not sure why this is always the case. Also, as a person who has a sibling but not the bond…I look for books that have these types of relationships & can’t say it’s not w/out challenge. The last Fantasy book I read with a sibling relationship I loved was The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. Also, extended families add so much character and serve to flesh out the main characters lives as well so I’m not really sure why they’re not written about more. Food for thought, again wonderful discussion Beth šŸ˜‰

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    1. Thanks so much Lilly! šŸ˜€ Yeah these are a few of the relationships that I’ve noticed are missing from books more often than not. Family is a big one, especially when it comes to parents in fantasy like you said. I’m the same, I have a younger sister so I love reading books that have those types of relationships. I love the dynamic you can have between two characters who are related to one another. I have The Bone Witch on my to-read list, definitely need to move it up my to-read list if that’s the case! šŸ˜€ I’ve heard plenty of amazing things about it so far.
      Thanks so much Lilly! šŸ™‚ ā¤

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  8. I agree with pretty much ALL OF THESE, especially the no-angst relationship one! Although I think I’d probably term it as more… of an adult relationship? I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but so many books focus on the “get this couple together!” part and then it’s happily ever after since, which is definitely, definitely not realistic. šŸ˜›

    I’d also love a book with more extended family stories — mine plays a HUGE part in my life and I very rarely see that reflected in books, though that could be a cultural thing more than not. Great post, Beth!

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    1. God yes, there’s nothing that bugs me more now than relationships full of angst. Then again I guess that could be a side-affect of growing up. I get what you mean not everyone gets a happily ever after, though it can be nice to read books where all the characters do I’ll admit, but there have got to be better ways to create tension than miscommunication.
      My extended family don’t play a massive role in my life but I’m a lot closer to them now than I was a few years ago, so I agree it’d be nice to see something like that in YA books. šŸ™‚
      Thanks Reg! šŸ˜€ ā¤

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  9. Great topic, Beth! I’d love to see more of these relationships in YA as well šŸ™‚ It bothers me that many female relationships are often defined by girl hate, but I’ve recently read quite a few books that have emphasized strong female friendships. I hope that trend continues. Sibling and parent/child relationships are also important to include in books. Often times siblings in YA hold a rivalry or aren’t very present, but I love how some authors are changing this up (Kell and Rhy are my favorites). It’s awesome that you mention extended family relationships! That one never came to mind but I do think it’d be wonderful to include those types of relationships in YA! And it’s always important to include a bit of diversity in books nowadays šŸ™‚ Love this post! ā¤

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    1. Thanks so much Azia, šŸ™‚ Yeah I think I’ve been seeing a lot more books with strong female friendships in than not, but compared to the amount of books lacking them it’s just a drop in the ocean. Still hopefully it will continue, we’re always going to need more I think. šŸ™‚
      I love reading books that feature siblings, something about those relationships just seem so important to me, and I’d love to see more of extended family members too. I’m a lot closer to my cousins, aunts and uncles now than I was a few years ago so it’d be interesting to see them incorporated into YA books more as well.
      Thanks so much Azia! šŸ˜€ ā¤

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      1. It’s true. We still need so many more strong f/f friendships in many more books. Sibling relationships are my favorites. I’d love to see more brother relationships in particular. I haven’t read that many now that I think about it! Glad you’re getting closer to your family members. I’d love to see the rest of my family members represented in literature, too šŸ™‚
        No worries! šŸ˜€

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      2. Actually now you mention it I haven’t seen too many either. It’s either two sisters or a brother and a sister. I guess that could be because there aren’t many books with male protagonists compared to female ones.

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  10. Great discussion Beth! I completely agree with you. I wish there were more parent/child relationships and family dynamic in general, including extended family and sibling relationships. Not everyone is a only child and not everyone has a bad relationship with their sibling. Also, not every parent let’s their kids do whatever they want. I know that at least for me, when I was a teen, my parents had to know exactly where I was going, who I was with, and had a very strict curfew.
    I would also love decent friendships, especially f/f friendships where the girls don’t hate each other or drift away from one another for plot reasons. I love these discussion post Beth!

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    1. Thanks so much Gretchen. šŸ™‚ Yeah, and I mean it’s not like only children or bad parents are the minority or anything but they’re certainly not the majority they seem to be in books at times. When I was a teen my parents weren’t as strict as they could have been, I mean they probably wouldn’t have let me run off and save the world but there are ways to write parents in fantasy books and have them work.
      Same here, decent f/f friendships are something I want to see a lot more in books because at the moment they’re sorely underrepresented.
      Thanks again Gretchen! šŸ˜€ ā¤

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  11. I’d like to see more sibling bonds. Most of the time, the protagonists are an only child, which is fine, but when they do have a sibling, often the sibling has died and the MC is grieving. I can’t name too many books where the MC has a normal relationship with their sibling(s), which is a shame.
    And YES to more friendships, especially girlfriends. The girl on girl hate is annoying and it needs to stop.
    Great post, Beth!

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    1. Same here, again I think the whole only child/dead or absent parents tropes are something we see more in fantasy than any other genre. I can think of a fair few amazing sibling relationships in contemporary books but very few in fantasy ones.
      It really does, there have got to be better ways to develop female characters than using jealously or girl hate.
      Thanks so much Lauren! šŸ˜€

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  12. YAY! I really love this post! I heartedly agree with every one of these relationships but I’m really jonezing for sibling and friendship relationships! There are so many guy / girl best friend books and meh we’ve read that so much and yes it happens a lot on high school but sisters that are best friends or just plain girls that are best friends would be really great! We can have the guys of course but lets be well rounded characters with multiple relationships šŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much Dani, and I’m glad to hear that. šŸ™‚ Yes strong female friendships are something we need to see a lot more, especially because it seems like when there isn’t a female friendship there’s normally feelings of jealousy between the main character and other females they interact with. I’m not a fan of that at all.
      Yep, well-rounded characters are a must! šŸ˜€

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  13. I really dislike when the author drags an argument on and on by making characters not speak to one another. It’s so frustrating when that happens.
    Also, I completely agree : We need more siblings relationships. Best friends are cool but siblings should be more present.

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    1. Same, it’s one of my major pet peeves when it comes to books because how much time and heartache could have been saved if they’d just spoke to one another.
      They should, friends can come and go but siblings are always there! šŸ˜€

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  14. Great post Beth ! And I agree we need more of all of these, the ones I want more of are interracial relationships involving 2 POC as well as relationships (platonic or romantic) involving queer characters.
    Oh one book with extended family is GIRL OUT OF WATER by Laura Silverman, the MC spends the summer with her aunt and cousins.

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    1. Thanks so much Fadwa. šŸ™‚ I think we just need a wider variety of all kinds of relationships. Diverse relationships of all kinds are on my ‘I want to see more of this’ list, especially some of the less represented LGBT+ identities.
      Ohh, thanks for the rec, I’ll be sure to check Girl Out of Water out at some point. Sounds like it could be an interested read. šŸ™‚

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  15. I like that you said siblings and parents because the whole ‘here, take my credit while i fall off the face of the book’ is just dumb..parents doo have to appear at some point. And it’d be nice if a sibling could also be a best friend or something, I don’t even remember the last time I saw that. I’d personally like to see a couple in a book where their problems are always about their relationship and it’s just the two of them dealing with some other problem togeether. Kinda goes with the whole communication thing you mentioned. Really great discussion!

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    1. Ha, yeah that seems to happen in fantasy books. There’s no family for the main character so it’s almost like they appeared out of thin air. šŸ™‚ It would be great to see more fantasy books integrate family relationships into their stories the way contemporary books do. Yes I LOVE reading books where siblings are also best friends. And yes that does go with the whole communication thing I mentioned, and I agree it would be interesting to see that in a book as well. maybe one day we’ll get to. šŸ™‚
      Thanks so much Melissa! šŸ˜€

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  16. Ooh, I definitely agree with non-angst relationships! I’ve always hated miscommunication as a trope, and I’ve always much preferred the relationships where both people involved see themselves as equals. I can’t really say much about others because I don’t really have a SUPER close relationship with my family, and I only have a couple of friends that I consider close to me, so I honestly wouldn’t really relate to a main character with those types of relationships (but I’m probably an outlier). šŸ˜‚

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    1. Same here, I don’t think I minded it as much when I was younger but now I can’t stand it. I just find myself thinking how much pain and page time could have been saved if the two characters would just talk to one another.
      I think seeing different kind of family relationships and friendships would be an interesting route to take; I mean not everyone is close to their family but some people are so it would be nice to see characters that represent all kinds of family dynamics you know? šŸ™‚

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      1. Yeah, that’s why I said I’m an outlier! Like, I’m not close to my extended family at all – I barely visit them and couldn’t name them if you asked – but I know most people are! It really depends on how you grow up, and my extended family lives in different states, and my close family doesn’t travel much. It’s different for everyone! šŸ˜„

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      2. I’ve actually become a lot closer to my extended family (or at least some members of my extended family) in recent years. When I was younger I was probably the same as you; didn’t visit them much and couldn’t name them all. But yeah, it’s different for everyone so it would still be nice to see those differences in YA books.

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  17. I completely agree with all of this, but I would especially like to see more strong friendships. There is such a big focus on romantic relationships and there is a major lack of friendships in YA novels. My friends have such a major place in my life and I wish there were more in YA books.

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    1. I’m glad you agree with this post Emma, and yes strong friendships are something I feel I’ve talked about a lot recently but it would be great to see more of them. You do see a lot of romance in YA books and that’s not all life is about. Yeah it’s the same for me, and when I was a teen my friends were more important than any boys that came into our lives. šŸ™‚

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  18. OMG yes, I haven’t read many YA but there’s a serious issues about parents/children relationships in there! Either they have no clue or no purpose, or they are completely out of the picture! Or worse, they send the wrong picture and it looks like families with their strengths and problems are a myth! I love siblings relationships because I’m an only child so it gives me a glimpse of what it’s like to have a sister or a brother šŸ™‚
    Great discussion post!

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    1. I’ve read a lot of YA so it’s something I’ve become almost used to, but if you’re noticing it any you don’t read a lot of YA then you can really tell there’s an issue can’t you?
      Relationships within families are the most important ones teens have, so it would be great to see them represented more; both the strengths and the problems they have.
      Ahh, I have a younger sister so I like seeing sibling relationships that kind of remind me of our relationship. šŸ™‚
      Thanks so much Meggy! šŸ˜€

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  19. Great post! Your list of relationships we need more of is spot-on. I personally thought Scarlett and Tella’s sister-bond felt a bit one sided (does Tella ever take anything her sister is saying seriously?), but I completely agree with your other examples and the spirit of the list. It’s so encouraging to find a great non-romantic relationship in books because in real life those are way more common and it’s weird and unfortunate to be missing them in literature.
    The parent/child relationships especially bug me when the parents just let their kids run amuck and don’t seem to care at all what they’re doing with their lives. Emily Henry’s new YA release A Million Junes has probably the best parent/child relationship(s) I can ever remember reading, and I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for more caring parents in YA. It’s a magical realism Romeo and Juliet retelling, but the focus of the story is really on the phenomenal father/daughter relationship and loving your parents even if you don’t love everything they’ve done in the past. There’s also a great female-female friendship. Highly recommend.
    I really hope we do see more positive examples of the relationships on this list from YA authors in the future!

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    1. Thanks so much, and yes I’d love to see all of these relationships more in YA books. Oh I never really saw it that way. Scarlett and Tella’s relationship reminded me of a typical big-sister/younger-sister one. I could see some of my own younger sister in Tella’s actions. Either way at least the other examples are spot on! šŸ˜€
      Yeah life isn’t all about romantic relationships so it would be great to see others. The lack of parent/child ones bugs me when it comes to fantasy books, because it seems to be the only genre that has a solid run of the absent parent trope. Yes I’ve read A Million Junes, I am a massive fan of Emily Henry’s writing so I had to read that as soon as I got my hands on it after it was released. I agree it is an incredible example of parent/child relationships, and proves it can be done when it comes to fantasy books as well.
      Same here, it would be a welcome change for quite a few people I think. šŸ™‚

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      1. I’m glad you liked A Million Junes! I hadn’t read anything from Emily Henry before, but I was so impressed and will definitely be reading more of her books in the future.
        I agree with fantasy being a problem area for absent parents. I can’t think of even one example off the top of my head of a fantasy hero with good, present parents. I guess it makes sense for heroes to endure a lot of challenges, but it is odd that a lack of parents is ALWAYS one of those challenges.
        I think talking about these problems we want to see changed in YA is the first necessary step. Hopefully the next step will be publishers listening. Thanks for the discussion! šŸ™‚

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      2. I really did, and oh if you haven’t read her other book it’s one I’d highly recommend. She’s an amazing writer and if you enjoyed A Million Junes I’m sure you’ll love The Love That Split the World as well. šŸ™‚
        Neither can I actually. It’s a shame because I think you could work loving parents into a fantasy novel and still give your characters challenges to face. It would be interesting to see someone attempt it one day I think. šŸ™‚
        Well I’ll keep my fingers crossed, I see a lot of people talking about some of these subjects so you never know do you? That’s all right, thanks for commenting! šŸ˜€ ā¤

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      3. I added The Love That Split the World to my TBR immediately after I finished A Million Junes. šŸ™‚
        I hope someone does attempt it. It’d be so much more fun to read about new scenarios than recycled tropes.
        And yes, there’s already a lot of discussion popping up about changes to YA, but the more talk the better, I think. A couple of years ago I wasn’t reading YA at all anymore, and since I’ve come back in the last year and a half, I’ve already noticed a lot of change with wider range of plots and character representation and such. It’ll be a slow process, but the readers will be heard! That’s what I hope, anyway.

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      4. I hope you manage to get around to it soon in that case, and I hope you really enjoy it as well.
        I guess the more discussions there are the more hope we have that eventually we’ll see changes in the genre. It would be nice to see a variety of tropes in books, rather than the same ones over and over again.
        I was the same actually, a few years ago I wasn’t reading much YA but now I am and I have seen a load of changes compared to when I was a young adult as well.
        Give it a few more years and there’ll be loads more changes! šŸ˜€

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  20. Fantastic post, Beth! I agree with all of these relationships you mentioned here, we SO need to have more parents / children relationships in books. They’re hard to come by these days and it’s sad because for teenagers, the main characters of the books, they’re supposed to be major relationships in their lives?! Yet more often than once they seem to be forgotten, which makes me so sad.
    Siblings relationships are my favorites in books, I love them so, so much, especially when they’re complex but even more when they’re close relationships just like Rhy and Kell, it’s so great ā¤ ā¤
    And oh, friendships, we need more books featuring friendships only, strong ones, with their complications, but actual, real friendships and not all of the angst happening more often than not :/

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    1. Thanks so much Marie! šŸ˜€ Yes we really do, I see great parent/child relationships in contemporary books so I wonder where they all are in fantasy books. I agree with you relationships between parents and children are so important in the lives of teenagers, so why aren’t they being represented? Who knows but I’d love to see more of them in all kinds of books.
      They’re mine as well, I love the dynamic you can have between siblings. Rhy and Kell are probably my favourite two, every scene the two of them had together in the Shades of Magic trilogy was great fun to read.
      I’m not a fan of angst at all, so any kind of relationship without angst is one I want to read about. I feel like I talk about strong friendships in books a lot but it’s just something I really want to see! šŸ˜€ ā¤

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  21. Yesss at all this whole post!! I really want to see more familiar relationships in YA. It’s something that’s so neglected. I hate the absent parent trope ect. I really just want to see more friendships in general. It’d be great to see more things where romantic relationships aren’t what’s prioritised.

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    1. Same here, and based on the comments on this post so far absent parents are something we’ve all noticed and we all want to see less of. It’s one of the things I enjoy about reading contemporary books, they’re more likely to have a strong family dynamic in the story.
      It would interesting to see more books where there was just friendships, no romances. I think it’s something we need more of because like isn’t all about falling in love, there’s so much more. šŸ™‚

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  22. Yes yes yes to all! We need more of all of these! I’m always sad that a lot of parents in ya are not there or dead and I need to see more normal parent relationships. Also, siblings! We all definitely would benefit with a good taste of sibling love.

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    1. We really do, and hopefully one day we’ll see more of these relationships as well. I know, it’s something I notice more in fantasy books than any other genre, which I guess makes sense for the story but it would be interesting to see a fantasy story where the main character has a family to go back to.
      Definitely, I’d love to see more stories with and about siblings. šŸ˜€

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    1. Thanks so much Destiny. šŸ™‚ Family relationships seem to be something everyone wants to see, makes me wonder where they all if so many of us want them. šŸ™‚
      I have Royal Bastards on my to-read list, and hearing you say that means I have to move it up my to-read list now. I love healthy siblings representation! šŸ˜€

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  23. I’d love to see all these relationships more in YA books, especially familial relationships. Most YA fantasies do have a tendency to isolate the main character and then they become solely reliant on their love interest and then that relationship overshadows the whole book. I loved Kell and Rhy sibling relationship in ADSOM! šŸ™‚

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    1. I completely agree, on both parts. One of the things I love about reading contemporary books is seeing the strong family relationships because you’re right the main character in fantasy books does tend to be isolated until they meet their love interest (which is a whole other discussion all together I think). Yes Kell and Rhy were two of my favourite siblings so far. I loved all the scenes the two of them had together. šŸ™‚

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  24. Yes!!! Seriously! Especially parent child relationships. So often the parents have either passed on or they just aren’t in the picture. I need something real! A parent who is caring a supportive and actually has a part of their child’s life!!

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    1. It’s what happens a lot in fantasy books isn’t it? You have the parent killed off so the child can run around saving the world. I think it would be interesting to see a story where the child runs off saving the world and still has a supportive loving parent waiting for them. Could be interesting to read. šŸ™‚

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  25. YES YES YES! I think parent/child relationships are so so important, especially in fantasy, and I’m thankfully starting to have that in my writing (along with a bit of extended family)! I mean, killing off the parents or having them out of the way is always convenient, but it’s so much better to a reader when you have healthy relationships between the parents and children!

    And YES to friendship, especially between girls! There’s a lot of girl hate and it makes me really frustrated because not all girls are like that. I loooooove seeing friends in novels (also as an alternative to romance) and I think YA needs to have more of it!

    Great discussion, Beth. šŸ˜ā¤

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    1. Same here, but it seems to be in fantasy that there aren’t parent/child relationships. I remember a book a read a while back the mother was literally killed off in the first chapter. :/ I mean yeah it was convenient for the character’s journey but kind of not what I’m looking for anymore you know? Oh I’m glad you have family relationships in your writing, maybe we’ll start seeing them in books more in the future.
      Girl hate is something I really hate. I don’t know any girls like that, and maybe I was just lucky in high school that I wasn’t exposed to it but there’s too much girl hate and not enough friendships.
      Thanks so much May! šŸ™‚ ā¤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, it’s very convenient, but I so want to see parents in books more often! I’m sure authors can think of creative ways to have awesome parents but still work it out.

        And I think girl hate DOES exist, but not as much novels are portraying it as??? I haven’t experienced any myself yet — and hopefully I never will!

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      2. It would be an interesting challenge to have in a fantasy book, but there are plenty of authors who I know could do it, and do it well.
        Yeah there’s always going to be an element of it, but books can go to the extremes in representing it. Either way it would be nice to see less of it in YA books. šŸ™‚

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  26. Most of these are relationships that I’d like to see more of in YA, too, especially family relationships. That was one of the reasons I loved THUG so much – Starr’s family actually played a big role in the story. One book I can think of where extended family plays a role is Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova. I feel like stories written by Latinx authors would feature more extended family members (at least more so than most other stories) just because of the role family plays in many Latinx cultures.

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    1. Family relationships are something I always love seeing in YA books. I think because they aren’t always there, or not well written ones like in THUG, so when I find a book that has one it makes it even more special you know?
      Oh yes I’ve read Labyrinth Lost, it was actually a great book and you’re right there are plenty of extended family relationships in that one. It’s the only one I can think of that has that though. šŸ™‚

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