Monday, 18 February 2013

Family in YA

Hi! So, where I live, today is a holiday. More specifically, it's Family Day! At home, we've been sitting around and enjoying each others' company with some good movies (Harry Potter, Toy Story, etc.) and a good few games of Scrabble. I wanted to continue the family spirit on the blog as well so here I am!
I haven't made it a secret that I think family importance in YA is like the BEST THING EVER. So today I thought I'd share a couple of books which I think emphasize this and hopefully you'll have some for me as well!

Storm (Elemental, #1)The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer

The Merrick brothers are just fantastic. I find the complicated, messy relationships in it just fascinating and also so realistic. They drive each other to their extremes but at the end of the day, they care so strongly for one another. 

The Demon's Lexicon series and Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Family isn't always biological and Nick and Alan have such a touching, tenuous relationship. Kami's relationship with her parents and brothers in Unspoken makes me so happy just because they're so NORMAL. In my opinion, relationships are what SRB does best.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

The Lonely Hearts ClubIf you ask me, what made Mia's situation so heartbreaking was the fact that she had such an AMAZING family life. Not to say that it was perfect, because it wasn't, but the bonds in Mia's life were so well-written and emotionally-charged. Reading about teens that want to hang out with their parents never fails to make me smile.

The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg

Not only were Penny's parents super cool, they were also so supportive of Penny! It was really, really fantastic to see the way that they stood by their daughter through what she was going through.


Being an (obviously) very, very incomplete list, I'm hoping that you can add to it! What are some of your favourite YA reads that have a familial element to them? It can be fundamental to the storyline or just there. Any suggestions?


  1. I'm also of the view that family is important in YA, there are so many YA books out there where family is not even a part of the story and the main characters rebel against their parents. Not good.

    Some of the books that I've read which make use of the family values are The Hunger Games trilogy, Perfect Chemistry trilogy, Cursed by JLA and All These Things I've Done.

    Great post!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

    P.S. I really like you blog header. In fact, the blog design in general =D

    1. Yes to the Hunger Games and Perfect Chemistry! I haven't read Cursed or ATTID yet but I'll definitely be bumping them up the list after that comment :) Thanks for sharing, Sana!

      And thank you! <3 I can't take credit for the header but I'm so glad that you like it!

  2. Twilight, Imaginary Girls, My Life Next Door, Perfect Chemistry just to name a few

    1. I have GOT to read My Life Next Door... I've heard so many good things and ahh, I've heard it has the BEST sibling relationships! Thanks, Beth :)

  3. Eee, LOVE this topic. I'm crazy-blessed in that I get on pretty well with both my younger brothers, and I really enjoy it when characters get on well with their family. I think there's just so much potential material there for the author - I mean, when you think about it, the sibling relationship is likely to be the very longest relationship you'll ever have - even longer than your parents, best friend or partner, which makes for so much time to accumulate in-jokes, bizarre nicknames, and a whole heap of memories. And your siblings, far more so than your friends, get to see you at your very best and your very worst - who you are when you're at home, without the mask, without the makeup. :-) Augh, now I'm rambling - can you tell I'm slightly passionate about this topic? :-P
    The other underrated relationship that I'd love to see more of - and that pops up all the time in my own writing - is cousins. Because in many ways that can be much the same as the sibling relationship, only maybe half a step removed.
    Anyway, good books... totally agree with your Merrick brothers and Kami's family (SO GOOD) and Beth's suggestion of My Life Next Door - Jase is such an awesome big brother to his little siblings. I'd also suggest Francesca and Luka in Melina Marchetta's Saving Francesca for an example of a really uncomplicated I-just-love-you sibling relationship, Suite Scarlett and Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson for a slightly more quirky family, Jena and her sisters in Juliet Marillier's Wildwood Dancing for a more faerie-tale vibe, Mara Dyer and her brothers in the Mara Dyer books... Oooh, and the Weasley family, of course!

    Lilo and Stitch is one of my favourite movies EVER.
    My cat was called Stitch, so, when another cat started hanging around, wouldn't go away, then decided to have kittens under our house, so we had to take her in and love her and take car of her, we called her Lilo ♥

    YES. THE MERRICKS. I love the messy family they have. And I loved the family side of Mara Dyer -- her brothers are wonderful.


    I loved Lola's Dads in Lola and the Boy Next Door. They were perfet ♥

  5. Where you live must be a pretty cool place! ;) Like Alex, I'm so happy I live in a family who values love and having good relationships. I may not have always gotten along with my sisters, but well - siblings DO have the tendency to want to annoy each other, I guess.

    Thanks for sharing all these books! I've never read any of them before (ack), but I've heard really great things about IF I STAY and the Elemental series, so hopefully I'll get a chance to check them out soon. :) Family books? TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. I know - it's a classic, but I love that book to death, and the father, son, and daughter all have wonderful relationships with each other. It's beautiful.

    Wonderful post, Sonia! <3

  6. What about the Lightwood siblings(TMI)? Not the parents, but Alec, Izzy, Jace and Max are always looking out for each other and quite literally saving each other's lives. Oh and the flock from Maximum Ride. BTW I love this topic!!

  7. I love family emphasis in books! I'd love to see more of it, personally. I agree with Unspoken and the Elemental series. The Merrick brothers are just perfect! They fight and bicker, but they stand up for each other when it counts. It's wonderfully real. :)

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