By: Celine | June 27, 2014 | (28) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.

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This week’s Discussing Through Midnight is about a topic I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I’m talking about friendships between boys and girls in books. Lately I’ve really noticed this, but why is it that in the bookish world, these friendships do not seem to exist? The main character (in this post I’m just going to assume the MC is a girl, though of course this also works the other way around) seems to A) not interact with any boys (besides the LI) whatsoever, or B) have a lot of male acquaintances that are all in love with her.

And I wonder why this is. Why are there so few books that feature a friendship between a boy and a girl that is completely platonic? It appears that if the main characte interacts with boys, there are always hidden/developig romantic feelings. I know some people think there cannot be a friendship between different genders without there being more to it, but I personally think this is untrue. I know that I am friends with a couple of boys and there are definitely no romantic feelings going on there, on either side. It just surprises me that in books, girls never seen to be friends with boys. In reality, I see friendships between boys and girls all the time.

It makes me wonder why most authors seem to refrain from featuring a male/female friendship in their books. Especially in the Contemporary genre, I expect books to at least reflect reality somewhat. I see entirely platonic male/female friendships happen so little in books, and I really wish there would be more of them.

What do you think about male/female friendships? Do you know any books that feature them?

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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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28 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (36): Male/Female Friendships

  1. Siiri says:

    I love Under the Never Sky series so hard! I’d even love that series just for the sole reason that Aria and Roar’s relationship IS so platonic. It’s nothing but platonic, but the brother-sister love they share as friends is just too freaking real for me and I loved that aspect so much! I wish there was more of this. Same goes to Drew ans Nastya in The Sea of Tranquility. Though.. most of the time.. No such thing occours. Idk why. I mean, most of my friends in HS were guy friends. Still are. Trying to think of a few good guy-girl friendships, but these two are like.. two examples that just pop in my mind and no other come like that. Hmph. That speaks for itself. Great discussion, Celine!
    Siiri recently posted…Review: Coming Home by Priscilla GlennMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yes! I love that friendship too 😀 I haven’t read The Sea of Tranquility yet, but maybe I should get on that.

      I also could think of only two examples… Under the Never Sky and Shatter Me. Most other commenters do as well. It’s actually pretty sad 🙁

      Thanks, Siiri! <3

  2. Renu says:

    I so agree! I want to see more male/female friendships. Two that I really love are Aria and Roar from the Under the Never Sky trilogy and Simon and Riley and from the Demon Trapper series.
    Renu recently posted…The Queen of the Tearling by Erika JohansenMy Profile

  3. Kenji and Juliette from Shatter Me. Roar and Aria from Under The Never Sky. That’s all I could think of right now! There should be more books that feature platonic friendships. Or maybe there are, but we just haven’t found them yet. I’d love a recommendation!
    Dre @ Sporadic Reads recently posted…Review 181 : The Truth About Alice by Jennifer MathieuMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Those are the only two I could think of as well… Kinda sad, actually 🙁

      If anyone has some great recs, I’ll let you know! I’m very curious myself 🙂

  4. I just finished reading the Shatter Me series and Kenji and Juliette are definitely my favorite platonic friendship that i have ever read. As for contemporary in The Trouble With Flirting by Claire LaZebnik not the main character but the love interest is best friends with another girl…that’s pretty much the only thing i can think of at the moment. I totally agree that more authors should write male/female friendships, personally I tend to enjoy a good friendship just as much as a romantic one when reading. Awesome discussion!
    Nobody@The Story Goes… recently posted…Blog Tour: Infinitude by Ruchi Banerjee – GIVEAWAY! – Excerpt – ReviewMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      It appears that most people can think of a maximum of two platonic friendships! I think that’s saying something… I also love Juliette and Kenji 😀

      Thank you! <3

  5. Oh, this is crazy, but Mime and I were seriously JUST complaining about this over breakfast! Everything is a romance these days…which isn’t bad. But I miss friendships. Like Code Name Verity? EPIC friendship and it was just that: friendship. I think it’s become that way between girls/girls and boys/boys too…which I am in no way against, of course, I just DO miss some old non-romantic friendships. *sigh* They’re important too!!
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Honest YA: The TFIOS EditionMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Ha! We’re like thought-twins! *high fives*

      It’s so sad that there are so little platonic friendships 🙁 I (and most other commenters) could only think of two… Now that’s just sad. And yep, everything just needs to be a romance these days! Or so it seems…

  6. This is the reason I write girl/boy friendships in my books – I miss them in published books! There’s such opportunity there for stories and I know that a LOT of teens are friends with people of both genders, so there’s no reason not to have those relationships 🙂 great post!
    Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer recently posted…Book-Buying BansMy Profile

  7. I agree that there aren’t a lot of these, but there are some. American Girl on Saturn by Nikki Godwin, Chasing Forever Down by Nikki Godwin, Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Those are all the ones out of the top of my head. I’m sure there are others. 🙂
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  8. Tanja says:

    I haven’t thought about this but now when I do I see that you’re right. There are only love interests of some kind in m/f relationships. Not really friendships though. I really hope that we’ll see more of them though. I’d love to. Great post, Celine! 🙂
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  9. This is a really good point Celine! I always think that, like why must there be a triangle, or unrequited feelings for them? Why can’t we just have friendships, I mean, I have loads of them, none of them romantic, so why aren’t they included, they should be! Great topic! 😀
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  10. Lyn Kaye says:

    I am sick to death of all friendships become either romances or failed attempts at a romance. It just wears me down.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #91My Profile

  11. This is an awesome discussion topic, I’ve noticed the same as well and wondering why can’t girls and boys just be friends? I like how in Harry Potter the dynamic between Hermoine and Harry. But if we’re not in love with them then we will fall in love with a friend who is a girl/boy it seems. I wish there were more books focused on platonic friendships!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Indulgence Insider #1 – Rebranded!My Profile

    • Celine says:

      Thanks, Jeann! <33

      Yes, that was definitely one of the many things I liked about HP because hey, m/f friendships exist. Lately it seems that every "friendship" must have some kind of romantic feelings behind it...

  12. I so agree with this! It’s like every time a girl and guy have known each other since forever, they’re bound to have a romantic relationship in the book. And while I don’t mind that — find it kind of cute, actually :3 — I would appreciate if we could see some platonic guy-girl relationships at the same time! I can’t think of any books right now that features friendships like that. Except maybe Harry Potter? LOL. There’re plenty of guy-girl platonic relationships in those books. 😛

    I think the main reason why authors don’t do this, though, is because romance has become such a necessity in YA books these days — c’mon, people complain when there isn’t romance — and because a lot of people are obsessed with the whole girl falls in love with her guy best friend idea. And it IS a sweet idea, though like you, I wish we could see more of the non-romantic friendships!
    Megan (Adrift on Vulcan) recently posted…Not Your Typical Ghost Story: The Vanishing Season, Jodi Lynn AndersonMy Profile

    • Celine says:

      Yes! I do love a good romance, trust me, but I just wish that there would be at least *some* platonic friendships. And yes, there are plenty of them in HP but Harry Potter is just awesome all around, LOL.

      Yes, I do think that might have something to do with it! But even then, you can be friends with more than one guy and there could still be completely platonic friendships with the guys that aren’t the love interest.

      Thanks for stopping by, Megan 😀

  13. So… I went through my GoodReads a while ago looking for platonic male-female relationships… and they are practically non-existent. And the few I found are practically all cases where the guy is gay.
    My two best friends are guys – and only one of them is gay. I want to read about friendships like that.
    BarefootMedStudent recently posted…Book Review: The Country of Ice Cream StarMy Profile

  14. I agree! I feel like authors think it’s either there has to be “a gay bestfriend” “a guy bestie that becomes a lover” or not boy friends at all. Or well, the other way around if the protagonist is a boy. I’m not sure if it’s because authors don’t want to keep up with heaps of characters but what’s wrong with a group of friends with girls and boys? That’s how my group of friends is. None of the guys are my bestfriends but they’re still my friends and I don’t have any romantic feelings towards all of them. Great discussion! 😀
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Stacking The Shelves #37: Writing Broken RainMy Profile

  15. YES, this should be a thing. And there should be no romance involved too. Sometimes it starts good and then ‘more feelings start to develop’ and I’m like NOOO, you can be friends WITHOUT falling in love! I’ve been friends with boys for as long as I can remember. Female/male friendships are great and should be more explored. The only ones I can think of are from Middle Grade books, because there is no romance there.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 269. A.C Gaughen – Lady thief.My Profile

  16. Kathleen says:

    When you’re single, verging to adulthood and you have a flock of man-friends, sooner or later there’s a chance that romantic feelings do develop. I agree that it’s not always the case but then being in a relationship as friends is the best way to know a person.

    There’s alway Harry and Hermione- my favorite couple. I would have loved seeing them end up together but alas JK Rowling had other ideas. It was such a tease when Rowling said in an interview that she really thinks Hermione should’ve ended up with Harry.
    Kathleen recently posted…Showcasing my Stack (5)My Profile

  17. You know you’re right. I hadn’t thought about it but there really is a lack of male/female friendships in YA. Aria and Roar come to mind but that’s it really. Great topic post!
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…July To Read PileMy Profile

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