So something I keep seeing around the book community, which I agree with, is a desire to see more sweet, heartwarming, and overall good relationships between parent and child in YA books. Too often the parents are conveniently absent to allow for the plot to continue, or are part of a negative plot twist to damage the character. It is rare to see a real, honest relationship in YA books between the parent and the child, where the parent is present, and cares about their child enough to watch out for them. This desire inspired me to write a list of my favorite parent-child relationships in YA, to promote the books with good family relationships.
The Book of Broken Hearts- Sarah Ockler
One of my favorite parent-child relationships takes place in this story between Jude and her father. They’ve always had a close relationship, and now, as her father succumbs to Alzheimers, they spend more and more time together learning each other and enjoying each other’s company before it is too late. Her father looks out for Jude and gives her advice, and Jude loves her father with all her heart.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before- Jenny Han
Another father-daughter relationship that I love. Lara Jean’s father actively tries to preserve their culture, protects his daughters, and is always there as a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen to their problems. He obviously loves his daughters, and basically puts his life on hold to look out for them and be present with them after their mother dies.
The Replacement Crush- Lisa Brown Roberts
This is a mother-daughter relationship that never fails to make me laugh. Vivi and her mom have a language of their own, and both support each other. They are close, with Vivi confessing that she tells her mother everything, and when Vivi is upset, her mom is always there to make her feel better.
The Distance Between Us- Kasie West
Can I make it through any list without including Kasie West somehow? Caymen and her mom only have each other, which leads them to grow super close. They also support each other, have their own language full of sarcasm, and look out for each other. Yes, there are some problems in their relationship, but both of them take steps to fix it, which I also think is a good marker of a healthy parent-child relationship.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series- Rick Riordan
For a good parent-child relationship represented in a series, check out the mother-son relationship between Percy and his mom in this series. Again, it has always been the two of them (
and some random boyfriends), and the love they have for each other is so heartwarming. You know Percy would do anything for his mom, and his mom has already given up so much for Percy to ensure his safety.
Second Chance Summer- Morgan Matson
This father-daughter relationship is guaranteed to make me ugly cry every time I read it. Taylor has always been a bit of a daddy’s girl, and their relationship is so so sweet. From secret ice cream runs to early morning breakfasts at the diner, they enjoy each other’s company. And when Taylor has a broken heart, she goes to her father for comforting. I love how this book is about Taylor learning to appreciate her relationship with her father.
The Trouble with Dating Sue- Anna Katmore
Kind of my guilty pleasure series, because the writing is pretty weak and honestly there is nothing super special about it, but I love it anyways. The one thing I can say this book does have is many good parent-child relationships, but my favorite is between Chris and his mom, which shows up in the sixth book of the series. His mom watches out for her two boys, and knows when to push Chris and when to let him go. He trusts her, and the most heartwarming scene is when Chris comes to her with his broken heart. His mom supports Chris, goes to all his basketball games, and is just present in his life.
Gallagher Girls- Ally Carter
Maybe a bit younger than YA, but still one of my favorite series. Can anyone deny that Cam and her mom have one of the best relationships? The complete trust they have in each other, and the faith they have is so sweet.
The Upside of Unrequited- Becky Albertalli
This book has a double whammy- two mother-daughter relationships to die for. Molly’s relationship with both her moms is precious. They understand her, and both know what to say to make her feel better. However, they also both know to leave her some room to grow and make her own mistakes, which I really appreciate in a parent-child relationship. They just want her to be happy.
Do you agree with my choices? What are some books you suggest with great parent-child relationships?