Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Let’s be real, friendships are super important. If you’ve got them and they're great, it’s all good. When you’re young, friendships can come and go like the seasons. Sometimes, these friends leave an indelible mark on your existence, other times, not so much. This list is dedicated to those relationships that burn an endearing path to our hearts and leave us all the better for it.
Here is my list for #Goals Friendships in YA Fantasy and Sci-Fi fiction:
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Characters: Hetty, Byatt, Reece
Why them? The friendships between the three are tested in this Dystopian world where a deadly virus is running rampant. The friendship between the three girls is fierce with the backdrop of unimaginable cruelty. The girls are brave and resilient in the face of all the horror they must go through.
It's been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty's life out from under her.
It started slow. First, the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don't dare wander outside the school's fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
Survivors of the Rising Sea by Nicole Adrianne
Characters: Margot and Kiona
Why them? Margot's entire world expands when she meets Kiona, a girl who lives a completely opposite life. The first thing Kiona does in the story is save Margot's life. Gradually, Kiona's humor, straightforwardness, and respect impress Margot. Eventually, their friendship gives Margot the self-esteem and courage to escape a toxic relationship. Get yourself a bestie like Kiona today!
Middle-class Viking Margot is stuck in a dead-end job, working for a powerful, thankless boss. When a sudden workday storm leaves Margot shipwrecked and floating in the raging sea, she's ecstatic to be rescued—until she discovers her rescuer is a mafia pirate.
If you're craving the danger of The Hunger Games and the morally grey dystopia of Neal Shusterman's Arc of a Scythe, then you'll be addicted to Nicole Adrianne's thrilling new tale of survival.
The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos
Characters: Sam, James, Delia
Why them? Change is inevitable in friendships and this novel deals with the changes that occur between the best friends. Some of the changes are awkward, in part due to romance, others are due to poor or unexpected choices amongst the group. We go along on this journey as the relationships implode and heal all with the backdrop of magic.
Living in a small town where magic is frowned upon, Sam needs his friends James and Delia—and their time together in their school's magic club—to see him through to graduation.
With so many fault lines threatening to derail his hopes for the year, Sam is forced to face the fact that the very love of magic that brought his group together is now tearing them apart—and there are some problems that no amount of magic can fix.
Girls Save the World in this One by Ash Parsons
Characters: June, Imani, and Ziggy
Why them? Girl power is on full display in this one. These friends get to be a strong support system for each other and kick some zombie butt. They care about each other and it shines through as they navigate this convention that turns into a real Zombiecon. You will fall in love with the characters; they are that amazing.
Mega-fan June Blue's whole life has been leading up to this moment: ZombieCon!The Ultimate in Undead Entertainment has finally come to her hometown. She and her two best friends--gorgeous, brilliant Imani and super-sweet, outrageously silly Siggy--plan on hitting all the panels and photo ops, and meeting the heartthrob lead of their favorite zombie apocalypse show, Human Wasteland. It's going to be the best time of their lives--and one of their last adventures before they all split up for college.
Shatter Me by Tahereha Mafi
Characters: Juliette and Kenji
Why them?: Kenji is the best – okay, yeah, that’s my opinion. He keeps it real with Juliette. Who says girls and guys can’t be friends? There is no romantic subplot with them, they are just friends. He adores her, and she loves him, too and it comes across more and more as the series continues. They have easy banter and hilarious encounters. They are the epitome of friend goals.
Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her - people with gifts - and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.
Sisters of Sword and Song By Rebecca Ross
Characters: Evadne and Halcyon
Why them? Who says you can’t be blood and still be besties. Sacrifice is huge. When one sister sacrifices herself, literal imprisonment, for the other I couldn’t think of another reason for these sisters to not be on the list. Would your sister go to prison for you? Or serve some of your time for you? Huh?
After eight years, Evadne will finally be reunited with her older sister, Halcyon, who has been serving in the queen’s army. But when Halcyon unexpectedly appears a day early, Eva knows something is wrong. Halcyon has been charged with a heinous crime, and though her life is spared, she is sentenced to 15 years.
This article was written by Dawn Brazil.
Since the world is not comprised of dreamy book boyfriends, Dawn creates them for everyone to fawn over. She writes Young Adult fantasy and science fiction with romance – always with romance. When not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book. She also loves to recreate an array of dishes she pulls from Pinterest. Dawn lives in South Texas with her sports-obsessed husband and they have three technology-infatuated young adults.