Being a junior high English teacher (it's true, by the way, teaching Jr. high kids is as ridiculous as you would imagine), I've been reading a lot of Young adult fiction. In case you are interested, or want to keep these titles on tap for when your babies turn 13, my recent favorites have included the following: The Divergent series, the Matched series, The Fault in our Starts, and anything by Rick Riordan (like the Percy Jackson series). However, seeing as I'm also a grown woman, I've been trying to read some more age appropriate books, which is what I would like to recommend to you all!
The beauty of an age-appropriate book is that it is so much more relatable to our current experiences. My top recommendation fits that relate-ability perfectly. It is a book called Firefly Lane, by Kristin Hannah. This book follows the story of two best friends- Kate and Tully- from childhood, to high school and college, and finally into adult life. Ultimately, this book is about the bond and struggles of friendships between women. As a brief generalization, Tully is outgoing, loud, charming, career oriented and successful, but incredibly insecure. Kate is quiet, plain, stable, a mother, and (slightly less than Tully) insecure in her own way. In the beginning of the book, Kate relies on Tully to learn how to be social (which is easily the most important thing to a high schooler, right??), but as the story goes on we see that the real dependency is the one that Tully has on Kate. Kate is behind the scenes, but is the rock. As you can guess, and as you've experienced, when you have a pair of best friends who are opposites, there are problems and hurt, but also forgiveness and love.
As I was reading this book, I thought so much about my own friendships. To some I am the "Tully" and to some I am the "Kate." I can be outgoing, but inconsiderate, like Tully, and I can also be a behind the scenes rock. Maybe you can easily identify with one of the roles, or maybe you identify with both. Regardless, I'm sure you can see that no matter the frustrations in a friendship, and no matter the inevitable hurt and, hopefully, forgiveness, the joy and support women receive from each other is so needed and quite a beautiful thing. We all love the men in our lives, but our best friends offer us something so special that I think we often take for granted.
This book is engaging, a great read, and a perfect reminder of the love we have for our best friends. It does such a nice job of illuminating the changes friendships go through and the challenges that accompany those changes. I promise you you'll probably laugh, cry, and then write your bestie a note.
My other recommendations are by Lisa Genova and they are called Left Neglected and Still Alice- both about women struggling to maintain their lives with a limitation (Alzheimer's and Left Neglect). Again, just great reads for adult women.
So, buy one of these on your Kindle or visit your local library and treat yourself! All three of these books pair nicely with a beer, cup of tea, or glass of wine! Merry Christmas, friends!