9 books you definitely need to read with your bestie
We’re kicking off the release of our first HelloGiggles book, A Tale of Two Besties, with an epic celebration of friendship and stories about friendship. Read an excerpt of the book, buy a copy, catch us on our cross-country book tour, and share your photos from our events by tagging us @hellogiggles #ATaleofTwoBesties.
In the meantime, join the party right here. All week long, our contributors will be sharing stories, essays and odes to their very own partners-in-crime. Read, laugh, cry (because you’re laughing) and share with your bestie!
Reading is generally seen as a solo project, and it’s a pretty amazing thing to do by your self (if I do say so myself). But sometimes reading with your BFF is an awesome way to spend time together (who doesn’t love talking about books?), and expose yourself to new literature. Think about it as a book club of two, where there’s never any tension over whose turn it is to bring canapes. It’s also another way to explore your relationship and get to know one another even better.
When it comes to your very own, exclusive book club, any novel is game. But if you want to stick to a friendship theme, here are some stellar recommendations.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
To say A Little Life is an emotional roller-coaster would be an understatement: This book is heart-crushing and incredible and a must read. That said, it’s an easier book to take in when you have someone there for you mopping up the puddle made of your own human tears because this book is also that devastating. Following Jude St. Francis, A Little Life is about a broken man who is haunted by his unspeakable past. It’s also about an (almost) impenetrable group of friends who go through the deepest darkest hells of life together. It’s beautiful, and thought-provoking, and will give you enough to talk about with your bestie for hours and hours.
How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti
In How Should A Person Be?, Sheila Heti meditates upon the self and what it means to be an important human being, an individual. She draws inspiration from her friends, who are all artists —especially Margaux, who becomes her very best friend. But their friendship weathers through some storms. Sheila becomes too clingy, buying the same dress Margaux wanted to buy. She ignores Margaux when she should be apologizing. She tries to start over in New York without saying goodbye. But in her journey, Sheila does learn how to be a person —and more importantly, a friend.
After Birth by Elisa Albert
Elisa Albert’s second book, After Birth, focuses on motherhood and the importance of women’s voices and decisions when it comes to the birth of their children. And it’s also about friendship. A year after Ari gives birth to her son, she’s left lost-ish. She wants to finish her doctorate, but is unable to part with her baby. Ari also can’t get over her C-section and the turbulent relationship she and her mother had before she died. But when Mina, a visiting poet, shows up in Ari’s small college-town, she feels like she finally has someone to talk to. This book is perfect for friends who found each other at the right time, in the right place.
Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter
Ugly Girls is a story about two friends — Perry and Baby Girl — who probably shouldn’t be friends (if they were honest with each other). When they’re not chatting with dangerous stranger online, stealing cars, and going behind their parents’ backs, they’re constantly in competition with one another. While Perry and Baby Girl’s relationship is definitely not admirable, it does teach us a lot about how NOT to be a friend. Ugly Girls is also just a really dark, sinister, addicting novel you won’t be able to put down for a second.
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
When Roxane Gay isn’t editing The Butter, teaching college-level writing and literature, freelancing for websites like Salon and The Guardian, she’s writing books that examine how women are treated in various cultures, novels that are intensely smart and illuminating. In Bad Feminist, her essay collection, Gay discusses the idea of “feminism,” what it means, and how she (and all of us) can relate to it. In one section in particular, Gay discusses friendships with women, and how some of us innately feel as though we need to compete with one another and engage in toxic ways. This is such a prevalent dynamic in so many friend groups —even with our bestest of best friends — and it can be helpful to read about why we feel this way (and we we shouldn’t).
The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe
Mia and Lorrie Anne come from very different families, but they remain best friends up until their early adulthood. Up until Lorrie Anne gets pregnant and decides to marry the baby’s father —even though he’s probably not the best person for her. While Lorrie Anne has always been the soft, kind-hearted, “good” one out of the duo, she’s the character who suddenly starts to endure tragedy after tragedy. Her life spirals out of control, and Mia watches, helplessly. Good, kind Lorrie Anne becomes someone else entirely, someone Mia doesn’t recognize at all. While this isn’t a heartwarming BFF novel that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, it’s a gorgeous, harrowing story that illuminates the strain that can be put between two people as they change.
A Tale of Two Besties by Sophia Rossi
Our queen and CEO Sophia Rossi has created a friendship so tender and beautiful and inseparable, that you can’t help but love it fiercely. Lily and Harper are the very best of friends, and nothing can stop it. Not even going to different high-schools and boys. That’s right —NOT EVEN BOYS. Even though the two girls are totally different (Lily is the more ~creative~ one, busting out fairy wings with her outfits, while Harper is far more outgoing and extroverted), they find a way to stay close even when distance and tweenhood gets in the way.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Quiet, introverted, super-smart Charlie is a freshman in high-school, and he’s having a hard time fitting in. Shy and awkward, Charlie finds it hard to connect with people (don’t we all?), until he meets Sam and her group of rad, accepting friends. If you didn’t read The Perks of Being a Wallflower in middle school/high-school, then you absolutely need to read it now. Read it with your bestie. Read it with your sibling. Read it with someone and laugh and cry and gasp together —because this book is shockingly beautiful.
Local Girls by Caroline Zancan
The girls of Local Girls will remind you what it’s like to spend countless summers with your best friend doing absolutely nothing (and absolutely everything). Maggie, Nina, and Lindsey are friends for life who grew up in a sleepy Florida town, where summers are endless and dull. Until one night, they meet a celebrity —Sam Decker. With him, he brings jealousy, heartbreak, and a special kind of sorrow only felt when a friend betrays a friend. Local Girls is infinitely entertaining, and its drama will make you thankful for the amazing girl relationships you do have.