The best books about best friends

Who picked these books? Meet our 90 experts.

90 authors created a book list connected to best friends, and here are their favorite best friend books.
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What type of best friend book?


Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai

By Debbi Michiko Florence,

Book cover of Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai

Jennifer Richard Jacobson Author Of Crashing in Love

From the list on middle grade about first love.

Who am I?

Although I was an avid reader of romance when I was a tween, the middle grade novels I wrote prior to Crashing in Love were about more “serious” topics. Yet, much of the mail I received from kids had pressing questions about the future of potential love interests. That’s when I realized that I’d been guilty (like many) of considering romance to be “light” fiction. What could be more important, more serious, than discovering ourselves while making genuine connections with others? Those letters changed my mind. Learning to love is essential and not to be taken lightly at all.

Jennifer's book list on middle grade about first love

Discover why each book is one of Jennifer's favorite books.

Why did Jennifer love this book?

This sweet story brings me back to the rush of heady (albeit sometimes fleeting) infatuations and reminds me that simple friendship rules such as “Don’t let guys come between us” are not always as simple as they seem. The best part? Although Keiko ends up with the right romantic interest (there’s a scene that will melt your heart), she learns that self-love is paramount.

By Debbi Michiko Florence,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just Be Cool, Jenna Sakai as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Fans of Judy Blume and Jenny Han are sure to fall head-over-heels
for this funny, sweet story of crushes, competition,
and the confusing reality of middle school.
"Heartbreak is for suckers."

When Jenna Sakai gets dumped over winter break, it confirms what
she learned from her parents' messy divorce: Relationships
are risky and only lead to disappointment.
So even though she still has to see her ex-boyfriend Elliott
at newspaper club, Jenna is going to be totally heartless this
semester - no boys, just books.

But keeping her cool isn't always easy.

Jenna's chief competition for a big journalism

I Like You

By Sandol Stoddard Warburg, Jacqueline Chwast (illustrator),

Book cover of I Like You

Sarah Williamson Author Of Elevator Bird

From the list on teaching kids kindness.

Who am I?

Of all the lessons that we should be teaching kids, I think kindness should be at the top of everyone’s list. If people treated every human and sentient being with kindness and compassion the world would be a better place, which is something we all want. The more we can illustrate this for children the better so that they can understand that we are all in this together and that everyone deserves respect.

Sarah's book list on teaching kids kindness

Discover why each book is one of Sarah's favorite books.

Why did Sarah love this book?

I love this charming book about the kindness that comes with friendship. Pen drawings accompany the text, which is at certain times silly, other times fun, and at the best of times poignant. Point in case:

“And I like you because

When I am feeling sad you don’t always cheer me up right away

Sometimes it is better to be sad."

I’m not sure every child would understand the significance of that sentence. But the words at some point in their lives will come back around. The book lists reasons why we like our friends, namely because they offer us kindness and empathy when we are down. And when we are up, they take pleasure in the moment right alongside us – a valuable lesson for kids.

By Sandol Stoddard Warburg, Jacqueline Chwast (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Like You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic and funny hardcover picture book is the perfect way to say I like you.

A deeply affectionate celebration of all the reasons we like each other, here is the book that Romeo would have given Juliet, Charlie Brown would have given Snoopy, and you can give to some very special friend.

This book expresses the true meaning of friendship in a long list of ways with charming accompanying illustrations by Jacqueline Chwast. For example: I like you because you know where I'm ticklish, and you don't tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes!

Whether for…

Book cover of The Boys in the Back Row

Chad Lucas Author Of Thanks a Lot, Universe

From the list on middle grade books to counter toxic masculinity.

Who am I?

When I was in school, I often struggled to figure out where I “fit”. Yeah, I know that’s a common struggle among angsty teens. But as a biracial, bisexual kid who loved basketball and books, I didn’t feel totally at home in any of the stereotypical Breakfast Club-style categories that showed up even in many of the books I read: jock, nerd, prep, etc. Now, as a dad, coach, and writer, I know those boxes aren’t real. I’m passionate about giving kids stories that challenge old ideas about what boys are “supposed” to be and help them explore the full range of who they can be.

Chad's book list on middle grade books to counter toxic masculinity

Discover why each book is one of Chad's favorite books.

Why did Chad love this book?

In this frequently hilarious novel about a pair of comic-loving band kids planning a big adventure, Mike Jung delivers a beautiful portrait of middle-grade male friendship. The caring, affectionate relationship between best buds Matt and Eric stands out as they defy stereotypes and preconceptions about how boys are “supposed” to act. And did I mention it’s laugh-out-loud funny?

By Mike Jung,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Boys in the Back Row as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Best friends Matt and Eric are hatching a plan for one big final adventure together before Eric moves away: during the marching band competition at a Giant Amusement Park, they will sneak away to a nearby comics convention and meet their idol-a famous comic creator. Without cell phones. Or transportation. Or permission. Of course, their final adventure together is more than just that-really, it's a way for the boys to celebrate their friendship, and their honest love and support for one another. That's exactly what we love so much about The Boys in the Back Row: it's an unabashed ode…

Before the Ever After

By Jacqueline Woodson,

Book cover of Before the Ever After

Darlene Beck Jacobson Author Of Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully

From the list on in verse with emotional themes.

Who am I?

I love the way verse novels eliminate unnecessary background and scene-setting. They cut straight to the heart of conflict and emotions. We instantly feel what the characters feel. The lyrical flow of words, figurative language, and freedom to arrange the poems in different ways on the pages taps into a different creativity for an author. Each poem stands alone, telling its own story. While writing Wishes, Dares, and How to Stand Up to a Bully, eleven-year-old Jack insisted I tell the story his way. Raw, unflinching, unfiltered. I am in love with this form and plan to write more novels in this format. The book is a 2021 NCTE notable verse novel.

Darlene's book list on in verse with emotional themes

Discover why each book is one of Darlene's favorite books.

Why did Darlene love this book?

This book lets young readers know that not every ending is neatly tied up in a bow. It helps readers understand that pro sports can cause serious injury to players and affect the lives of their families. Even if you aren’t a football fan, you can relate to the conflicting emotions of the main character ZJ as he comes to terms with the changes he sees in his football-hero father after numerous concussions. A thought-provoking subject that is sure to spark conversations.

By Jacqueline Woodson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Before the Ever After as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson's stirring novel-in-verse explores how a family moves forward when their glory days have passed and the cost of professional sports on Black bodies.

For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone's hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he's as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ's house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things…


By Devi S. Laskar,

Book cover of Circa

Reenita Malhotra Hora Author Of Operation Mom: My Plan to Get My Mom a Life... and a Man

From the list on South Asian young adults.

Who am I?

I have a passion for this topic because I too am a South Asian author. I read these books to stay informed about the latest ideas shaping our understanding of the South Asian young adult, both within and outside of the geographical boundaries of South Asia. I want to see more stories out there with South Asian themes, characters, settings— contemporary stories in particular. I’d like to see South Asians in ordinary life and not stereotypical situations like The Indian Wedding. We have so many stories to tell! I hope you enjoy the books on this list as much as I have!

Reenita's book list on South Asian young adults

Discover why each book is one of Reenita's favorite books.

Why did Reenita love this book?

Even though today's South Asian families are extremely progressive when it comes to issues relating to their daughters, this was not always the case. Up until very recently, the choice between education and marriage was a very real one for a South Asian young woman. Devi captures this issue beautifully in her story which is set in the 80s. Devi captures this beautifully in the story of her protagonist, Heera, whose experience presses up against the expectations not only of her family but of what it means to be a brown woman in America in the 80s. 

By Devi S. Laskar,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Circa as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of The Burning Girl by Claire Messud and Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, a stunning, gut-punch of a novel that follows a young Indian American woman who, in the wake of tragedy, must navigate her family's expectations as she grapples with a complicated love and loss.

On the cusp of her eighteenth birthday, Heera and her best friends, siblings Marie and Marco, tease the fun out of life in Raleigh, North Carolina, with acts of rebellion and delinquency. They paint the town’s water towers with red anarchy symbols and hang out at the local bus station to pickpocket…

My Best Friend

By Rob Hodgson,

Book cover of My Best Friend

Becky Scharnhorst Author Of My School Stinks!

From the list on fiercely funny friendships.

Who am I?

Three of my favorite things are reading, writing, and laughing. So, of course, my favorite books are usually the ones that make me giggle. I also have a slightly dark sense of humor which means I have a soft spot for books where one of the characters may get eaten. But I think the very best books are ones where unexpected friendships occur instead. So often our perceptions about others are wrong, and if we just take the time to get to know the animal (or person) behind those extra sharp teeth, we may find we have more in common than we realized. 

Becky's book list on fiercely funny friendships

Discover why each book is one of Becky's favorite books.

Why did Becky love this book?

Some of my favorite books are ones where the text is saying one thing and the pictures are saying something completely different. I also adore books where the reader is in on a secret from the very beginning. My Best Friend does both. It’s told from the perspective of a mouse who is describing their “best friend” Giant Owl. The reader knows Giant Owl is planning to eat Mouse, but Mouse is blissfully ignorant. You can’t help but laugh as Mouse recounts their playful games of hide-and-seek, and then praises Giant Owl’s generosity in giving him as many donuts as he wants. The ending is surprisingly sweet, but it leaves open the possibility of a darker future. By asking kids what they think will happen next, you prolong the fun and spark their creativity. 

By Rob Hodgson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Best Friend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Mouse! Mouse lives in the tree with his best friend... Giant Owl. They used to do the most fun stuff imaginable! They'd play chase and Giant Owl would nearly catch Mouse, but not quite. Giant Owl loved Mouse so much that she used to give him as many doughnuts as he wanted and the most amazing presents, including his own house (a cage)! But then one day something happened, and now Mouse has found himself stuck in a very dark place... will his best friend help come to his rescue?

This deliciously dark tale of a mouse and the…

Dough Boys

By Paula Chase,

Book cover of Dough Boys

Laurie Morrison Author Of Coming Up Short

From the list on for athletes and non-athletes alike.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved watching and playing sports, and now I love writing about them, too. As a former teacher, I’ve seen firsthand how sporty books appeal to sporty kids. But after publishing my novel Up for Air, which is about a star swimmer, I’ve been struck by how many readers tell me they connected deeply with the main character even though they don’t like sports at all. That made me think about what makes sports stories resonate, and now I look out for books that capitalize on all the most exciting and relatable things about sports while also offering compelling hooks to readers with all sorts of interests.

Laurie's book list on for athletes and non-athletes alike

Discover why each book is one of Laurie's favorite books.

Why did Laurie love this book?

I love Dough Boys because it’s an engrossing, authentic story about basketball, music, friendship, and the hard decisions thirteen-year-old kids sometimes have to make. It follows Rollie and Simp, best friends who play on an elite basketball team in their low-income neighborhood...but playing on the team means getting involved as lookouts for a local drug ring, and the boys have very different feelings about the pressures and responsibilities they face. Basketball scenes provide an entryway into important topics, and through the two well-developed protagonists, Chase explores what happens when a sport feels like your only chance at the future you want, and what happens when you’re no longer sure you love a game that used to be part of your identity.

By Paula Chase,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dough Boys as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the companion to her acclaimed So Done, Paula Chase follows best friends Simp and Rollie as their friendship is threatened by the pressures of basketball, upcoming auditions, middle school, and their growing involvement in the local drug ring.

Dough Boys is a memorably vivid story about the complex friendship between two African American boys whose lives are heading down very different paths. For fans of Jason Reynolds's Ghost and Rebecca Stead's Goodbye Stranger.

Deontae "Simp" Wright has big plans for his future. Plans that involve basketball, his best friend, Rollie, and making enough money to get his mom and…


By Emma Vieceli, Claudia Leonardi (illustrator), Andrea Izzo (illustrator)

Book cover of Dust

Casey Wolfe Author Of A Mage's Power

From the list on LGBTQ fantasy and science fiction.

Who am I?

A member of the LGBTQ community, I set out to write books about people that looked like me, that were under-represented in the media. I’m disabled, living with multiple medical conditions and mental health issues, which also inform my writing. I self-identify as a “full-time geek” – I have a passion for history and science, as well as being an avid gamer. My reading (and writing) time is spent wandering through fantasy realms, traveling the outer reaches of space, or delving into historical time periods.

Casey's book list on LGBTQ fantasy and science fiction

Discover why each book is one of Casey's favorite books.

Why did Casey love this book?

Fans of DONTNOD’s time-bending sci-fi video game will love this ongoing comic series, as will new readers. It’s like leaping straight back into the world of the game, following Max and Chloe’s relationship in the wake of the destruction of their hometown. The magic of the game is captured perfectly on the page. It’s a beautiful story, with equally beautiful art, that stays true to the lore of the source material.

By Emma Vieceli, Claudia Leonardi (illustrator), Andrea Izzo (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Titan Comics and SQUARE ENIX(R) are thrilled to announce an all-new graphic novel set in the world of the critically acclaimed, award-winning, highly successful video game series, LIFE IS STRANGE(TM). Titan Comics' LIFE IS STRANGE(TM) returns readers to the setting of Arcadia Bay, offering fans the opportunity to dive back into the story of its beloved characters.

The popular and celebrated video game, LIFE IS STRANGE(TM), is available on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, XBOX and iOS. Achieving undeniable success, LIFE IS STRANGE(TM) has sold over 3 million units to date across all formats.

The first game in the series, LIFE…

Dead Girls

By Abigail Tarttelin,

Book cover of Dead Girls

Sarah A. Denzil Author Of The Housemaid

From the list on for fans of Gone Girl.

Who am I?

I’ve enjoyed dark fiction ever since I picked up Dracula for school. But I mostly avoided crime and thriller fiction. I couldn’t relate to a rogue detective with an alcohol problem or an FBI agent on the heels of the next Hannibal Lector. Police procedural books just aren’t my thing. But then Gone Girl came out and changed the genre. The domestic suspense subgenre has exploded over the last decade, and now there’s an abundance of books centered around the dangers within our family and friendship circle. And isn’t that the scariest part of life? Serial killers are rare, but domestic violence is, unfortunately, not rare. Where is more dangerous than in our own homes?

Sarah's book list on for fans of Gone Girl

Discover why each book is one of Sarah's favorite books.

Why did Sarah love this book?

This book is difficult to describe. One part crime, the other part literary fiction and narrated by a child, Dead Girls is unlike any other thriller I’ve read. I couldn’t put it down. When Thera’s best friend goes missing, despite being eleven years old, she decides the grown-ups are doing a bad job at finding Billie and begins investigating on her own. This is a super dark tearjerker about violence towards girls and women. But do check trigger warnings because this one is disturbing.

By Abigail Tarttelin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dead Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When her best friend Billie is found murdered, eleven-year-old Thera - fearless and forthright - considers it her duty to find the killer.

Aided by a Ouija board, Billie's ghost, and the spirits of four other dead girls, she's determined to succeed. The trouble with Thera, though, is that she doesn't always know when to stop - and sometimes there's a fine line between doing the right thing and doing something very, very bad indeed.

Tense, visceral and thought-provoking, Dead Girls is the new novel from Abigail Tarttelin, the critically acclaimed author of Golden Boy.

Book cover of Maybe He Just Likes You

Dayna Lorentz Author Of Wayward Creatures

From the list on exploring ideas of justice and accountability.

Who am I?

As a parent, I’ve been struck by the fierce sense of justice my children have, from the unfairness of one getting more screen time to bigger injustices, like bullying or discrimination. Kids have an innate sense of what’s right, of what’s fair, but they can also lack a sense of nuance and have rather Byzantine notions of what justice requires. I wrote Wayward Creatures to explore a different way of thinking about justice and accountability. Restorative justice practices seek to bring the offending party together with the people hurt by their actions to acknowledge the harm caused and find a solution together. These five books explore other aspects of what it means to seek justice.

Dayna's book list on exploring ideas of justice and accountability

Discover why each book is one of Dayna's favorite books.

Why did Dayna love this book?

As the title suggests, this book asks readers to think about how to tell when action is required to bring justice to a situation. Mila finds herself on the receiving end of unwanted attention from boys in her class, but her friends tell her she’s overreacting. What’s a hug or a touch from a boy? It’s all just playful flirting, right? But it doesn’t feel playful or fun to Mila. In the end, Mila sets the record straight and makes her feelings heard. The ending features a restorative circle, which is an in-school version of the restorative justice process Gabe goes through in my own book.

By Barbara Dee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Maybe He Just Likes You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2019 The Washington Post Best Children’s Book of the Year (Erin Entrada Kelly Pick)
A 2020 ALA Notable Children’s Book

“The novel’s all-too-familiar scenario offers a springboard for discussion among middle schoolers…Easily grasped scenarios and short chapters help make this timely #MeToo story accessible to a wide audience.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Realistic and heartbreaking.” —BCCB

Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching—and ultimately uplifting—novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates.

For seventh-grader Mila, it starts with some boys giving her an unwanted hug on the school blacktop. A few…

My Best Friend's Exorcism

By Grady Hendrix,

Book cover of My Best Friend's Exorcism

Thomas H. Brand Author Of The Serpent's Eye

From the list on leaving you spooked and unsettled.

Who am I?

Horror was never something that appealed to me when I was younger. However, in adulthood, I realised the fascination of the unsettling. As I began writing, I realised that true horror is not all about monsters and gore but about breaking our everyday complacency and realising the possibility that the world is bigger than us and how we are unprepared to deal with it. This is why I write horror. Not to shock you with a jump-scare, but you leave you thinking about my words long after the lights have gone out.  

Thomas' book list on leaving you spooked and unsettled

Discover why each book is one of Thomas' favorite books.

Why did Thomas love this book?

True horror scares and unsettles us because of how it reflects the real world. And is there anything more terrifying than coping with adolescence in a conservative world? 

When Abby’s best friend, Gretchen, is possessed by a demon, her biggest obstacle isn’t the powers of hell or the terrible thing Gretchen does, but her conservative parents desperate to hide anything that might shatter their perfect Reaganite world, even if that means harming their child and those around her.

By Grady Hendrix,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked My Best Friend's Exorcism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The year is 1988. High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act different. She s moody. She s irritable. And bizarre incidents keep happening whenever she s nearby. Abby s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil? Like an unholy hybrid of Beaches and The Exorcist, My Best Friend s…

In the Wild Light

By Jeff Zentner,

Book cover of In the Wild Light

Sarah Connell Sanders Author Of Small Teaching K-8: Igniting the Teaching Spark with the Science of Learning

From the list on looking inside an adolescent’s mind.

Who am I?

I am the co-author of Small Teaching K-8. I hold Massachusetts teacher licensure in English 5-12, Library k-12, and School Administration 5-8 as well as an M.Ed. from Boston College.

Sarah's book list on looking inside an adolescent’s mind

Discover why each book is one of Sarah's favorite books.

Why did Sarah love this book?

Lovers of John Green’s Looking for Alaska and Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep will appreciate this YA-novel.

In the Wild Light is a coming-of-age story about two friends plucked from rural poverty to attend an elite boarding school. Addiction, class, and friendship are major themes in this excellent portrait of an adolescent’s mind. 

By Jeff Zentner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In the Wild Light as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal

I've always loved when the light finds the broken spots in the world and makes them beautiful . . .

Cash's life in his small Tennessee town is hard. He lost his mom to an opioid addiction and his grandfather's illness is getting worse. His smart but troubled best friend, Delaney, is his only salvation. But Delaney is meant for greater things, and she finds a way for Cash to leave with her. Will abandoning his old life be the thing that finally breaks Cash, or will it be the making of him?

From the…

When the Moon Was Ours

By Anna-Marie McLemore,

Book cover of When the Moon Was Ours

Xan van Rooyen Author Of By the Blood of Rowans

From the list on trans and non-binary characters.

Who am I?

As a genderqueer non-binary person who always felt alone and invisible, it has been incredible to see the change taking place, particularly in YA, as more and more trans and non-binary authors get to tell their stories. Had I been able to read even one of these books as a teen, I might’ve avoided many years of unhappiness. Also, I’ve always been drawn to fantasy and science fiction, perhaps due to my need and desire to escape mundane reality, but I truly love how these genres let the imagination run riot, particularly when authors imagine kinder and more accepting worlds for LGBT+ people.

Xan's book list on trans and non-binary characters

Discover why each book is one of Xan's favorite books.

Why did Xan love this book?

Honestly, I could’ve picked any book by McLemore. They are all absolutely stunning. McLemore’s prose is lush and poetic, rich in metaphor and nuance. Their stories have a timeless quality about them at once grounding them in reality and yet offering glimpses of the surreal and ephemeral. When the Moon Was Ours is an incredibly poignant love story between Sam, a Pakistani trans boy, and Latinx Miel who has literal roses growing out of her wrists. This story provided insight into both Pakistani and Latinx culture while weaving a breath-taking tale of love and identity.

By Anna-Marie McLemore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When the Moon Was Ours as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of The Weight of Feathers comes a young adult novel about a girl hiding the truth, a boy with secrets from his past, and four sisters who could ruin them both.

Recipient of a Stonewall Honor and longlisted for the National Book Award, McLemore delivers a second stunning and utterly romantic novel, again tinged with magic.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known…

Piper Perish

By Kayla Cagan,

Book cover of Piper Perish

Isabelle Laflèche Author Of Bonjour Girl

From the list on YA about finding your way through school.

Who am I?

A wellness enthusiast and environmental activist, Isabelle began her career as a corporate attorney where she worked in Toronto and New York. She decided to follow her calling as a writer and chose happiness and fulfillment over stress and sleepless nights. She’s published eight books, including the international best-selling novel J’adore New York and the teen series Bonjour Girl. She also recently published two self-help books to help others navigate change and transformation. She’s a life coach, an avid speaker, and is the host and author of the Soulful Couture podcast and blog about eco-fashion.

Isabelle's book list on YA about finding your way through school

Discover why each book is one of Isabelle's favorite books.

Why did Isabelle love this book?

Choosing this book was a no-brainer for me as I absolutely adored this novel. It reminded me of my younger self in high school, very artistic and yet still trying to “fit in” with the cool kids and trying to find my own way and destiny. The storyline revolves around a cool Piper Perish who “inhales air and exhales art.” She and her best friends Enzo and Kit, are dreaming of leaving Houston to get into art school in New York City. It’s been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s ready for the Big Apple. Of course, a few challenges get in the way, including boys and family drama, which make the story very relatable and engaging.

By Kayla Cagan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Piper Perish as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There may not be another book published ... that is more perfect for artistic [readers] who love stability yet crave adventure.' - Teen Vogue

Debut author Kayla Cagan breathes new life into fiction in this dynamic, authentic book. Warhol-obsessed Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. What is love? What is friendship? What is family? What should I wear?

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper's dream forever, and now that senior…

Deposing Nathan

By Zack Smedley,

Book cover of Deposing Nathan

Heather DiAngelis Author Of Speech and Debacles

From the list on queer YA exploring mental health.

Who am I?

I’ve struggled with mental health for most of my life, as have family members and friends I love. It’s extremely important to me that we normalize discussions of mental health so that we can find the best solutions. Anxiety and depression have been major themes in all of the young adult novels I’ve written; it’s my little way of furthering these conversations with the people who need them. I hope you’ll find these suggestions relatable, enjoyable, and question-inducing!

Heather's book list on queer YA exploring mental health

Discover why each book is one of Heather's favorite books.

Why did Heather love this book?

Deposing Nathan was everything I'd dreamed it would be—deep, torturous, intense, and beautiful. Zack Smedley’s poignant and relevant storytelling hooked me from the first line to the unexpected twist and through the surprising ending. In this powerful story, Nate has been called to deliver a sworn statement against his ex-boyfriend Cam. What first seemed like a simple premise brought me back to my days of questioning sexuality, religion, family expectations, and familial commitment, and it unearthed memories of the struggles of finding myself as a teenager and navigating complex emotions. 

By Zack Smedley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deposing Nathan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nate never imagined that he would be attacked by his best friend, Cam.

Now, Nate is being called to deliver a sworn statement that will get Cam convicted. The problem is, the real story isn't that easy or convenient - just like Nate and Cam's friendship. Cam challenged Nate on every level from the day the boys met. He pushed him to break the rules, to dream, and to accept himself. But Nate - armed with a fierce moral code and conflicted by his own beliefs - started to push back. With each push, Nate and Cam moved closer to…

Book cover of When Life Gives You Mangos

Callie Browning Author Of The Girl with the Hazel Eyes

From the list on the power (and danger) of love.

Who am I?

I’m an award-winning author whose books are all set on my beautiful island of Barbados. Reading and writing have always been a part of my life and I’m obsessed with books that explore other cultures and lifestyles. There’s nothing more intoxicating than reading about new foods and new environments all interconnected by our shared humanity. They could be fantasy books with great world-building or literary fiction that explore a tiny Asian city I never heard about. All of these incredible books have influenced my writing and expanded my knowledge of the world around me. 

Callie's book list on the power (and danger) of love

Discover why each book is one of Callie's favorite books.

Why did Callie love this book?

This book touched me. I remember reading it late one night and being instantly transported to a culture that sounded like the one I’ve known all my life.

This is a beautifully wrought children’s book set on the island of Jamaica that explores a child’s search for some semblance of the truth. Along the way, readers will love ‘seeing’ her play games, interact with a hilariously miserable old neighbour and take in the Jamaican culture with wonderment.

By Kereen Getten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When Life Gives You Mangos as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nothing much happens in Sycamore, the small village where Clara lives - at least, that's how it looks. She loves eating ripe mangoes fallen from trees, running outside in the rainy season and escaping to her secret hideout with her best friend Gaynah. There's only one problem - she can't remember anything that happened last summer.

When a quirky girl called Rudy arrives from England, everything starts to change. Gaynah stops acting like a best friend, while Rudy and Clara roam across the island and uncover an old family secret. As the summer reaches its peak and the island storms…

Jar of Hearts

By Jennifer Hillier,

Book cover of Jar of Hearts

Michelle Godard-Richer Author Of Fatal Hunt

From the list on fiction with realistic portrayal of crime.

Who am I?

I’ve always had a fascination with crime and human behavior which led me to complete an Honours Degree in Criminology at the University of Ottawa. I studied the minds of criminals and what drives their behavior. It’s truly disturbing that under the right circumstances, people are capable of horrific things. I also studied victims of crime and the impact their suffering has on their lives and the way it can influence their behavior in the future. Naturally with this background, I gravitate towards writing and reading books that explore these topics in depth.

Michelle's book list on fiction with realistic portrayal of crime

Discover why each book is one of Michelle's favorite books.

Why did Michelle love this book?

Jennifer always puts her characters through the wringer, and she keeps you on the edge of your seat with her clever plotting. This story has split timelines in which we get to see the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of a teenage girl and the horrible secrets her friends are forced to live with into adulthood when the truth finally comes out.

By Jennifer Hillier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jar of Hearts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nationally Bestselling Author!

* Winner - Best Novel, 2019 ITW Thriller Award * Authors on the Air Network - Thriller of the Year 2018 * Finalist - Anthony Award for Best Novel * Finalist - Macavity Award for Best Novel * MysteryTribune Ten Women Mystery and Thriller Writers You Should be Reading * Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Best of 2018 * Bustle’s Best Thriller 11 Authors Read This Year * CrimeReads’ 20 Best of 2018 * Writer Types Podcast Favorite Books * LitReactor Best Books of 2018 * CrimeReads Favorite Crime Books of the Year * BOLO Books Top Reads of…

We All Want Impossible Things

By Catherine Newman,

Book cover of We All Want Impossible Things

Nicky Pellegrino Author Of P.S. Come to Italy

From the list on all the feels.

Who am I?

I’ve written fourteen novels about family, friendship, food, and love; stories that I hope transport people so completely and utterly, that they almost forget they are reading and instead find themselves walking in the shoes of the characters. That’s what I’m aiming for anyway. As a reader it’s what I want also – to laugh and cry, and feel the characters are people that I know and feel sorry to leave them behind when I turn the last page. 

Nicky's book list on all the feels

Discover why each book is one of Nicky's favorite books.

Why did Nicky love this book?

This is the most devastatingly beautiful book.

It is deeply, deeply sad and yet also uplifting and life-affirming, perhaps surprisingly so for a novel that is largely about the end of a life. Edi and Ash have been best friends since childhood. For 40 years they have been through every milestone together and share many memories. Now their friendship is in its final days.

Edi is suffering from incurable ovarian cancer and doesn’t very have long left. And Ash’s world is reshaping itself around the hospice where she is slowly dying. It all sounds too sad to bear but even as it was breaking my heart this novel was making me smile.

By Catherine Newman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We All Want Impossible Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Catherine Newman sees the heartbreak and comedy of life with wisdom and unflinching compassion. The way she finds the extraordinary in the everyday is nothing short of poetry. She’s a writer’s writer—and a human’s human.”—New York Times bestselling author Katherine Center

“A riotously funny and fiercely loyal love letter to female friendship. The story of Edi and Ash proves that a best friend is a gift from the gods. Newman turns her prodigious talents toward finding joy even in the friendship’s final days. I laughed while crying, and was left revived. Newman is a comic masterhand and a dazzling philosopher…


By Emma Jane Unsworth,

Book cover of Animals

Kate Tough Author Of Keep Walking, Rhona Beech

From the list on realistic female friendships in challenging times.

Who am I?

I’d thought I was writing a novel about someone putting a life back together after everything fell apart but, when I’d finished, readers told me I’d written a book about vivid, authentic friendships. It was a welcome surprise. From Charles Dickens to Sylvia Plath, nuanced characters have always interested me and so, when writing, I set myself the task of believable dialogue and interactions which readers can relate to like it’s their own friends sitting around a table; laughing, crying, or bickering. When a life falls apart it’s often friendships that are tested to breaking but then become stronger as a result.

Kate's book list on realistic female friendships in challenging times

Discover why each book is one of Kate's favorite books.

Why did Kate love this book?

How are women supposed to behave, discreetly? Are their friendships always a saccharine Hallmark card? Not in this novel. Living loudly, louchely, in chaos, with hedonistic nights out and all-day hangovers, Laura and Tyler are a tight, whip-funny twosome… except one has a wedding on the horizon to a teetotal stable man, and she’s wrestling with whether marriage is a legitimate life milestone anymore. The friendship portrayal here is a messy, clever, and foul-mouthed foray into the moment when inseparable friends face the prospect of their familiar relationship disappearing through the unstoppable forces of adult life. And we’ve all had impossible choices when we haven’t known which loyalties to put first – one’s duty to oneself or to one’s best friend?

By Emma Jane Unsworth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Animals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An utterly triumphant ode to female friendship, in all its intense, messy and powerful beauty” from the internationally bestselling author of Grown Ups (Elle).

It is the moment every twenty-something must confront: the time to grow up. Adulthood looms, with all its numbing tranquility and stifling complacency. The end of prolonged adolescence is near.

Laura and Tyler are two women whose twenties have been a blur of overstayed parties, a fondness for drugs that has shifted from cautious experimentation to catholic indulgence, and hangovers that don’t relent until Monday morning. They’ve been best friends, partners in excess, for the last…

Big Bear Was Not the Same

By Joanna Rowland, John Ledda (illustrator),

Book cover of Big Bear Was Not the Same

Ellen Leventhal Author Of A Flood of Kindness

From the list on the healing power of kindness.

Who am I?

I am a teacher, writer, mother, and grandmother who sees the debilitating effects of meanness and the healing effects of kindness daily. In case that isn’t reason enough for writing A Flood of Kindness, I’m also what some call “A Floodie.” Like my character’s home flooded, so did mine. As devastating as it was, the kindness of others was overwhelming. I spent time with children whose homes also flooded. Aside from losing material things, it is easy to feel powerless. Like myself, I found that the children began their healing when they were able to give back, even in very small ways. I knew this had to be my book. 

Ellen's book list on the healing power of kindness

Discover why each book is one of Ellen's favorite books.

Why did Ellen love this book?

The idea of being kind and understanding when a friend is having a difficult time has always been important to me. Often, so-called friends are quick to leave when someone is going through a rough patch. In this lovely book, Big Bear was frightened by a forest fire and wasn’t the same afterward. Although Little Bear wasn’t sure what was going on, he never left Big Bear. When Little Bear realized the problem, he stayed by Big Bear’s side. With Little Bear at his side, Big Bear could begin to heal. Rowland’s words resonate with me, and Ledda’s beautiful illustrations add another layer. 

By Joanna Rowland, John Ledda (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Big Bear Was Not the Same as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One scary day can change everything . . .

Little Bear loves the woods, his home, and going on adventures with his best friend, Big Bear. Big Bear is so big and strong and brave. He always protects Little Bear and helps him feel safe. Then something scary happens to Big Bear. He's caught in a forest fire. Even after he escapes and is safe, Little Bear can tell that Big Bear is not the same. He runs, roars, or freezes in fear when ordinary things happen in the woods that remind him of that traumatic day. How can Little…