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For this issue, I chose to focus on the healthy, happy, and well written relationships we see in stories. Not just the romantic ones, but the platonic ‘I will do anything for you’, the ‘you drive me insane but I will support you’, and memorable ‘we’re a family, no matter what’. Here’s a few books that have written some of the my favorite relationships.
Just forewarning, there is slight spoilers for the series I bring up, not detailed, but if you want to read the books before reading this, that’s what I recommend doing.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Everyone and their mother is familiar with this series, and its three main characters: Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and the main man himself, Harry Potter. The three friends compliment each other’s personalities quite well: Ron’s insecurity is overcome with Harry and Hermione’s encouragement, Harry’s emotional control is helped (some of the time) by Hermione and Ron’s guidance, and Hermione’s tense personality is loosened by Ron and Harry’s laid-back attitudes.
The relationships between the trio aren’t the only ones well written. Ms. Weasley and Professor McGonagall’s fierce protection of Harry rivals any mother’s. Ms. Weasley ensures Harry gets big helpings and fears for his safety. McGonagall wants to ensure the best for Harry and encourages him towards his goals.
As for family relationships- look no further than the Weasley twins, Fred and George. They finish each other’s sentences, help one another with pranks and quidditch, and have each other’s backs till the end. Their wits, ambition, and humor are rivaled by no other.
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Not exactly a book about picnic berries and singing in meadows (not entirely anyway), The Hunger Games is a grim dystopian with chilling oppression, where children are forced to fight to the death in a gruesome arena. However, one of my favorite things about the series is the relationships that help shape the characters. Katniss, the main character, risks life and limb for her little sister, Prim. She hunts in the woods to provide for her family, she takes her sister to the village to see the cakes in the shops, and when her sister isn’t there with her in the arena, she allies herself with another girl who reminds her of Prim. Prim is within every decision Katniss makes throughout the series, from hunting for food, to volunteering for the arena, to becoming a symbol of rebellion. Katniss tries to put on a brave face for her sister and tries to ensure she doesn’t grow up too fast.
Rick Riordan Universe (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard)
One of the best authors for writing good, healthy relationships, in my opinion, is Rick Riordan. His diverse and realistic writing of relationships makes for an important part of his stories and the characters’ choices. In his Percy Jackson/ Heroes of Olympus series, the cabins are separated by godly parent, and bonds are created among cabin members through competitions against other cabins, but when there is a threat to the camp, they can come together and protect one another by playing to their strengths. In his Kane Chronicles series, siblings Carter and Sadie Kane trust and protect one another, yet are still written in a realistic way: they drive each other crazy and fight all the time. When it comes down to it, they support one another and would trust each other with their deepest secrets. And in his Magnus Chase series, relationships grow and change with support, love, and trust; and bonds are formed.
The use of relationships in novels are some of the most important tools of a writer. They don’t always have to be romantic to be special. Throughout all of these stories, there are different types of relationships, platonic, romantic and family, but they are all made of the same elements; Trusting one another with secrets and fears, supporting each other no matter what, protecting and having each other’s backs, and helping one another through thick and thin.