1. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume - To me, this is the quintessential book on friends. Vi and Caitlin have a loving, yet complicated relationship spanning years. I can read this book again and again.
2. The Book of Bright Ideas: A Novel by Sandra Kring - Another set of unlikely friends, Button & Winnalee, that spend a summer learning what it means to grow up. This is actually one of my absolute favorite books of all times.
3. A Life of Bright Ideas: A Novel by Sandra Kring - The sequel to #2 on my list. Years later, Winnalee suddenly appears in town, bringing with her a new whirlwind of excitement and mystery.
4. Emma by Jane Austen - Oh Emma Woodhouse, you meddling kid! She loves her friends dearly - wanting to match them up with one another for life - but her schemes, as usual, end up backfiring on her.
5. Before I Die by Jenny Downham - Although she grows closer to her best friend and new boyfriend in the book, my favorite part is the friendship between Tessa and her father. No one loves her more than him.
6. My Sister's Keeper: A Novel by Jodi Picoult - The friendship here is between two sisters, Kate who is dying of cancer and Anna who was conceived to save Kate's life. The true friendship here, although it isn't expressed a lot in the book, is between the sisters. As we find out in the end, their friendship is deeper than anyone knows - deeper than life and death. It's about the sacrifices we are willing to make for those we love.
7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - If you haven't read this yet and are worried that the storyline won't live up to the hype surrounding it, pick it up anyway. You'll not only find true friendship, but beautiful prose as well.
8. The Bitches of Brooklyn by Rosemary Harris - Sex in the City meets Pretty Little Liars. You'll laugh out loud, share secrets and even solve a mystery in this book. The premise: How well do you know your friends?
9. A Time for Dancing by Davida Wills Hurwin - This one hits me close to home because my own bestie has had cancer twice. It's the story of Sam and Jules who grow up taking dance lessons together. Their plans for the future after high school come to a halt when Jules is diagnosed with cancer and the friends must face the possibility of her death. There's also a movie version that I love too.
10. The Notebook Girls by Julia Baskin, Lindsey Newman, Sophie Pollitt-Cohen, and Courtney Toombs - This is a real notebook kept by real teens during their 4 years of high school. There's a lot of drinking and pot use inside, but there is also a lot of friendship and growth and change.
Have YOU read any of these and what did you think of it?