#SquadGoals // Monthly Recommendations

Monthly Recommendations

[We’re All In This Together plays in the background]

So I wasn’t planning on making this post AT ALL (I wanted to have my ACOTAR review/rant up but I still need to work on it), but then I checked my YouTube subscriptions this morning and saw a few BookTubers talking about it and I saw the topic was books with amazing friendships and in case you didn’t know strong friendships in books is my favourite thing in the ENTIRE world. Being aromantic I find it hard to get into a lot of romances, but sign me up for all the friendships. One of my favourite tropes in the entire world is when a bunch of misfit characters are thrown together and pretend to dislike each other but actually care about each other a lot (shows like Parks and Rec, The Office, Brooklyn Nine Nine ect.). I appreciate friendships being the focus point in a book so much (especially if it’s a positive female friendship) and I wish there were way more books out there that did it especially in the YA genre.

Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads Group that focuses on recommending books with a chosen theme every month. The group is created by Kayla @ Kayla Rayne and Trina @ Between Chapters. To find out more and how to participate you can visit the group here!

Like I mentioned above this month’s theme is: Friendship!

Covers = Goodreads 

Giant Days by John AllisonGiant Days by John Allison
Illustrated by Lisa Treiman & Whitney Cogar

I read both these volumes just the other day and it has become one of my all time favourite comic series. I could gush over this for the rest of my life. It’s about three characters (Esther, Susan and Daisy) on their journey through university. The friendship between the three girls is amazing. They are all such amazing and unique characters who balance each other out  and despite their friendship being new they are always there for each other. It’s also set in the UK which I thought was cool because most College/Uni stories are set in the U.S. I can’t recommend this series enough it’s absolutely hilarious and the art is AWESOME.

Anna series by Kendare BlakeAnna series by Kendare Blake

Despite being a horror book the Anna series has an AMAZING friendship group. Cas’ friendship with Carmel and Thomas is amazing. They’re not just side characters, they’re just as involved as Thomas is. They’re not afraid to call him out – especially Carmel, which I definitely appreciate. They all care about each other SO MUCH. Thomas and Carmel would honestly go to the end of the world for Cas and he’d do the same for them. The way Anna fits into the group is perfect, too.

The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken

Where do I even begin to express my love for the Black Betty Crew? Ruby, Vida, Liam, Chubs and Zu are EVERYTHING to me. Those kids give me so many feelings. This is one of the most real dystopians ever because the characters and friendships are just so genuine. They all care about each other and support each other, but once again aren’t afraid to call each other out. The friendship with the other kids who they’re tryig to help rescue from the camps is amazing too. It’s just great seeing all these different people working together as a team. I also need to give a special mention to the In Time novella because the friendship in that between Zu and Gabe is heartbreakingly beautiful. You will cry. A lot.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I think that the friendship in The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a great realistic portrayal of what can happen in high school. This book is so important and the fact that it’s banned in some schools blows my mind because I think it should be required reading. Not all friendships are good, but you will eventually find your people and having the right friends can be so benificial for your mental health. It’s okay to screw up and have disagreements and falling out with friends. It happens, it’s part of life. It’s wonderful how many different sides this book shows.  Charlie, Sam and Patrick all go through a lot of growing up together and I love it.

gcsGotham City Sirens by Paul Dini
Illustrated by Guillem March, Dustin Nguyen & Scott Lobdell

So is this friendship group conventional? Hello no. Is it incredibly entertaining and unique and wonderful? Hell yes! Harley, Ivy and Selina may not be your traditional friendship group, but they all care about each other a lot. I love seeing then work together and be a team and kick ass. They are all so complex and layered and even though they don’t ALWAYS get on they always seem work things out. I don’t get why there’s so much attention on Batman and Superman when we could instead be focusing on the glory that is the Gotham City Sirens. Plus Harley/Ivy is OTP. Forever.

Zodiac Starforce by Kevin PanettaZodiac Starforce by Kevin Panetta
Illustrated by Paulina Ganucheau

Zodiac Starforce is pretty much Sailor Moon, but with astrology instead of planets. It’s one of the funnest comics I’ve ever read. The art is stunning and it’s such an awesome representation of female friendships. The girls all deal with coming back together again after time apart and they’re always there for each other and are willing to do whatever it takes to keep each other safe. The girls are really diverse and unique too! I definitely recommend this series if you’re a fan of kick ass lady superheroes who are wonderfully human.

Percy Jackson and The Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Rirodan

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick RiordanHeroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The friendship in these two series is EVERYTHING. We get to see all these characters grow up and see their friendships develop over time and it’s so wonderful. In the first series seeing Percy, Annabeth and Grover go on all these adventures together and seeing how much they cared about each other was the best. Then in Heroes of Olympus when we’re introduced to Jason, Piper, Frank, Leo and Hazel. Also how Nico fits into everything and learnt to not always be so guarded. Then how much everyone wanted to help Thalia. They all fit together so perfectly. Nothing feels forced. The friendship with Luke, Annabeth and Thalia is another thing I want to talk about because UGH. It is so important to me. The way Luke and Thalia took Annabeth in. They were literally a family. BYE.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Okay so I’m pretty sure everyone who’s done this has included this series and how can you not? The friendships in Harry Potter are so good. The Golden Trio is incredible, but then you also have Luna and Neville and the unity with Dumbledore’s Army and all the students that decided to stay and fight during the Finale Battle. There’s also the great dynamic with the students and professors like Hagrid and McGonagall. And the adults as well like Lupin, Sirius and Mrs. Weasley (also the friendship with Marauders!). My favourite friendship in the entire fictional world is the one between Harry and Hermione. I’m not trying to take anything away from Ron (because again I think it’s good to show that sometimes you do get in arguments with your friends), but Hermione never once left Harry’s side. She stuck by him through EVERYTHING and that kind of loyalty is so overwhelming and beautiful and I’m honestly going to tear up.

Lumberjanes by Noelle StevensonLumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Elis & Shannon Watters
Illustrated by Brooke Allen & Maarta Laiho

If you’re looking for a comic series that is crazy and fun and full of positive female friendships and diverse characters then Lumberjanes is something you need to read asap. The things that happen in these comics are so insane, but the friendship between the girls makes it all seem so real. I also love their friendship with their camp counselor – Jane. It would have been easy to make her into like this Mean character, but she really cares about the girls and they love her. There is NO unnecessary drama or angst in Lumberjanes and it is beautiful. These girls are all their own characters and it’s all about them, their friendships and the weird adventures they go on.

The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater

A post where Lauren talks about The Raven Cycle series? Shocking. I know. The friendship in this series IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND MAGICAL AND JUST OH MY GOD. At the core this book is about FRIENDSHIPS and it’s SO BEAUTIFUL. I’m not even going to apologise for the obnoxious use of capslock. I love that even though one of the biggest plots in this story is about Blue not being able to kiss her true love, it doesn’t take over the friendships. The romances that are in these books are so subtle and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Blue and her Raven Boys are my entire sun and stars and moon. Blue isn’t just there either. She is so important to the group and I love that she doesn’t let the boys get away with everything. I also want to specifically mention Ronan and Blue’s friendship because that is quite possibly one of my favourite things in the world. There was a scene in The Raven King that was THE BEST EVER.

Have you read any of the books or comics I mentioned here? Or are you planning to? What are some of your favourite fictional friendships? I would love to hear your thoughts!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic day xx

46 thoughts on “#SquadGoals // Monthly Recommendations

  1. I’ve read Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus. I don’t read graphic novels or comics. I need my words without a lot of pictures, I will make one exception to this with the Harry Potter Illustrated editions.


  2. First I wanted to say that I really liked this post. It was very interesting to read about all the friendships in these books.
    I’ve also read the Harry Potter series of the books you’ve mentioned. I love the friendship of Harry and Hermione. Because that’s all there is, they are best friends. There was nothing more between them. I feel there aren’t many books out there with a friendship between a boy and a girl without them becoming in love (I hope you understand what I’m trying to say, English isn’t my native language). I love it that they care about each other and that it doesn’t feel forced. I’m planning to read Percy Jackson and the Olympians very soon. I’m glad to see the are all friends. I was the movies but I had the feeling that Annabeth and Percy were going to fall in love and I didn’t like that idea at all.


    1. Thank you 😊

      Yes, I totally get what you’re saying (and don’t worry, your English is great!). I definitely appreciate that a lot because I feel like that’s something else that is seriously lacking in books. However, that said they’re actually one of my biggest OTPs 🙈 I can’t help it 😂

      Yay! I hope you enjoy the books, they are so much better than the movies! I really didn’t like Annabeth and Percy’s relationship in the movie, but I have a feeling you’ll really like it in the books. It’s handled so much better!


  3. Oh my god! That ”Giant Days” comic series looks so good! It’s been SO long since I last read a comic book, that I’m definitely going to jump on this one you mentioned! I love friendship stories too!! Thanks for sharing.


  4. WAIT – I had to stop midway through this because I read that you said you’re aromantic. I’ve considered myself to be aromantic for several years now! I don’t meet other people who identify with being aromantic very often, so this is very, very nice for me 😂 It’s also why I usually avoid romance in books – it just makes me uncomfortable. Okay, back to reading the rest of the post! I’ll be back in a bit.

    I literally just went on Amazon and added Giant Days to my wishlist! It looks and sounds so adorable. TDM, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and, obviously, The Raven Cycle, feature the BEST friendships. These were great picks!


    1. Oh my gosh, same! You’re one of the few people I actually have interacted with that also identifies as aromantic! That’s so rad 🙌!! I wasn’t sure whether to mention it because I know it’s not really one of the more known orientations, but now I’m really glad I did 😊

      Yay! Giant Days is so good. I can’t wait to see what you think of that when you get to it!! And thank you, they’re all so wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I do dig a good friendship too, especially since they so often come short for the sake of romance, I find myself thinking a lot “for goodness sake why did they had to end up together in the last 10 pages just let them be friends!”
    And I think the friendships in Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus are so so nice, I love the whole bunch of them.


  6. I would have been really disappointed if you didn’t have Harry Potter on this list! I feel like Ron, Hermione and Harry are the original squad goals group 😀
    Also yes for The Raven Boys and The Darkest Minds as well. I really love books with such strong friendships and both of these have them in spades!


    1. I would have been really disappointed in myself if I didn’t include Harry Potter 😂 Like you said they are 100% the original friendship goals group!!

      Yes, same!! They are characters I CONSTANTLY think about it and it definitely had a lot to do with how brilliant the friendships are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the golden trio are like my number one group of friends in any book series I read, just because I think it was the first time I thought ‘I really want friends like that’!
        I think there needs to be more books with friendships like these. Forget love triangles give me a group of friends like The Raven Boys and I’ll probably love that book no matter the story line 😀


  7. I plan on finishing the Harry Potter books, I have the last two left. Then also I need to read The Raven Boys and The Darkest Minds. I have heard so many great things about them, i’m excited to see what they are like 😀


  8. I LOVE a strong friendship in books, it’s really my favorite thing I think, well, right after a great siblings relationship 🙂 I have yet to read The Raven Cycle series,I already have the first book ready, and I hope to get to it soon, but I am thrilled to know there’s such an incredible friendship in this. it makes me EVEN MORE impatient to finally read it 😀 And the friendship in the Harry Potter series really is GOAL. I love them all so much ❤ (especially Ron, okay. I'll admit it.)


    1. Ooh great sibling relationships are brilliant too! The worst thing is I don’t think I can even recall a book I’ve read with a good sibling dynamic (except Harry Potter).

      Ah, I’m super excited for you to start TRC!! The friendship in that is seriously so magical. I really look forward to hearing your thoughts 😊

      Yes! That series is everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohh well have you read the Jandy Nelson books? They are BRILLIANT and have excellent siblings relationships ❤
        I can't wait to read it, I hope I can get to it soon, I'm so impatient -and a bit scared because of all the hype as well, ahah 🙂


  9. I’m don’t understand why Perks of Being a Wallflower is banned. I mean, it’s not really THAT controversial. lol
    But yeah, I love the entire cast of characters. Wish I had a squad like that when I was in high school. :/


  10. Hell yeah for Percy Jackson and Harry Potter! I LOVE Nico and I was so happy to see him developed in Heroes of Olympus. He fits in with the group really well in the end. 😊


  11. I love this post. Book recommendations are fabulous! I had no idea The Perks of being a Wallflower was banned in some schools. That is crap! I need to read The Raven Cycle, serious. I have read nothing by that author and everyone seems to love her. Harry Potter and The Darkest Minds were great choices for this post.


    1. Thanks so much 😊😊 Right! I’m not sure which countries, but it’s on a list of banned books!

      TRC is so good!! I really hope you enjoy it. I can’t recommend it enough.

      The friendships in those are some of my all time favourites. I think about the characters all the time.


  12. Great post, I love friendships in books! It’s usually one of the main criteria for me that decides whether I like or COMPLETELY ADORE a book 🙂 And you have some great examples with The Darkest Minds, Harry Potter and Percy Jackson. I’ve just started The Raven Boys and though I’m not hooked yet, I love the friendship and I have a feeling I will become obsessed with it soon enough!


  13. The Perks of Being a Wallflower sounds so good, and so important! I had no idea this book was banned in some schools. This kind of thing/controversy makes me sad that I’m a math and not an English teacher 😉

    Wonderful idea to focus on book-friendships! TOO MUCH written nowdays (in my old-soul opinion) focuses on superficial romantic love. And even if you were into that, it’s not the kind of swooning that sticks with you for life, that’s for certain. Friendships on the other hand — YES.


    1. It’s such a wonderful book! I really don’t understand why it’s banned because the issues aren’t even that controversial. It mentions drugs and sexuality and abuse, but none of it is done in a way that is romanticised. It’s not for everyone, but it’s incredibly realistic and I think all teenagers should read it. I totally respect that your a maths teacher. I don’t even think I can do simple equations without a calculator 😂

      Right! It’s definitely something that there needs to be more of – especially in YA. Exactly! The characters that have stuck with me have all been part of amazing friendship groups. If people want to read a cliche romance then each to their own, but that’s not going to impact me like a good solid friendship is!


  14. Great picks! I’ve only read Perks and some of Harry Potter, but I agree that Perks has such a great message of friendship, I definitely agree it should be required reading and NOT banned! I would recommend it to high school freshman/9th graders in a heartbeat.

    Great post!


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