By Jordyn Turney, 22, reporting from San Diego, CA, on YA novels that aren't afraid to explore the heartbreaking nature of friendships
I just read I Heart Daily co-editor Melissa Walker's newest YA novel, Unbreak My Heart, and it really got me thinking. The book is, on the surface, about a romance. But underneath that—at its core—the cute, sun-soaked story is really about a best friendship fractured and the painful question of whether or not it can be repaired.
Friendships, broken and unbroken, are in our lives, on my mind, pretty much all the time. I even wrote about one personal experience of such a split. Unbreak My Heart doesn't shy away from the complicated side of friendship, and these other great YA books don't either.
Mostly Good Girls, by Leila Sales
This book manages to be both funny and heartfelt and a little bit excruciating, all at the same time. Violet and her best friend Katie attend an all-girls private school and, in their junior year, discover how different they really are. It's a realistic tale well told.
Like Mandarin, by Kirsten Hubbard
In the brilliantly written setting of Wyoming, good-girl Grace pursues a friendship with Mandarin, the wild girl she longs to be. This book explores the thrilling and fast-paced friendships that so many girls experience at one time or another. The friend that's just a little prettier, just a bit more popular, and—so you think—a lot more perfect.
Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler
As in Unbreak My Heart, there's a boy at the center of this book as well. A boy and a secret that, in a summer of beginnings, threatens to tear best friends Anna and Frankie clear apart. The all-too-familiar struggles, secrets, and fights are heartbreaking in this moving story.