Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started and I discovered through the lovely Samantha‘s videos. If you’re interested you can join the goodreads group to get the topics for each week.
This week’s topic:
September 5th: Favorite Friend Groups
— We’ve discussed bromances before but let’s discuss our favorite ensemble friend groups!
I haven’t done T5W in a while but I couldn’t pass the opportunity to do this topic. I absolutely LOVE friendship groups and they can improve a just-average book immensely for me.
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard – Hotel Valhalla / Floor 19 & Friends
I’ve already talked about many aspects of this trilogy but I don’t know if I talked enough about the friendship element in it. It starts as friendship and it becomes more like found family by the end of the series. I love that we spend enough time with all the main characters (Magnus, Sam, Alex, Hearth, Blitz, and by book three also the other members of floor 19) to see them interact with one another under different circumstances and with different combinations of pairing/subgroups for the different adventures.
I only wanted to mention one friends group from the Riordanverse so I chose this but I also love Percy’s group(s) both in PJO and in HOO, I would actually die for them all.
Six of Crows – The Dregs
I’ve recently reread this duology and I loved being able to focus on the relationships more than on the plot this time, and I love the Dregs even more than I did before (I didn’t think that was possible). I know Kaz wouldn’t like that I’m calling them friends but Kaz is Kaz, and Colm Fahey agrees with me so I know I’m right. It actually made me tear up when he saw them fight and he was like “you all are friends, stop fighting” (something along those lines), it really gave me some perspective on the fact that they’re still teenagers and yeah, they are friends regardless of what Kaz thinks.
Air Awakens – Vhalla’s/Aldrik’s circles
It’s been a while since I’ve read this series but just thinking about its characters makes me want to reread it so badly (and I probably will soon). I might not remember every single detail but basically we initially have two groups, Vhalla’s with Larel and Fritz (and Aldrik, sort of), and Aldrik’s/Baldair’s with Raylynn, Jax, Erion, Craig and Daniel, and then later Elecia. And of course as the story develops Vhalla gets to know Baldair’s guard and she spends time with Aldrik and by the end they’re kind of all a big group (well at least those who survive ahahahaahahahah I love pain). Anyway, the Original™ group is Vhalla/Fritz/Larel and it makes me cry because I want friendship like that.
All for the Game – The Foxes
Who doesn’t love a found family trope!!!! I feel like with the Foxes we kind of skip the “friendship” stage (at least when it comes to the MC, Neil) and we land directly into family territory. The fandom focuses a lot on Andreil as a ship but I think it should give more attention to the group as a whole because there’s just So Much to analyze and love. Unlike some of the other groups I mentioned in this post I definitely would NOT like to be part of the Foxes because they all scare the shit out of me, but I still love them so much as fictional characters you know?? I think they’re one of the best examples of characters that are so interesting to see in fiction but you’d definitely not feel the same way about them if they were real people. But as characters you can project some of your own qualities onto them and see them play out in a much more accented way and there’s something that’s always made me feel vulnerable but also safe about this. Anyway I just UGH I really can’t explain my feelings when it comes to these books and these characters. By the way, while we’re at it you should all go read Jamieson’s post about how she imagines an adaptation of this series would be because it’s fucking amazing.
The Raven Cycle – The Gangsey
Listen, I might have grown to dislike the author and most of her social media presence, but I love this friendship group so much. I’ve been trying not to think about them too much because if I do then I’ll feel like rereading and before I do that I need to get to a place where I get better at separating the art from the artist, but I just couldn’t not include them here. The love they have for each other makes me so soft and also not to be a sap but I think it’s really nice to see boys loving each other so much without it being romantic (I mean besides the One M/M Ship that is in fact romantic)?? Do I make sense??? Ugh why was I given emotions. I didn’t ask for this.
I feel like I had so many more groups to talk about so here’s a honorable mentions of books that have great friendship groups (or trios, which I felt the need to write separately because trios are very different from 4+ groups when it comes to friendships):
Trios: The Nowhere Girls, In Other Lands, The Raging Ones
Groups: Twisted Wishes, Heretic Anonymous, Banana Fish, The Magic Misfits
What are your favorite friend groups? Would you actually want to be part of them?