When life gets hard, who do you turn to? In The Young Wives Club by Julie Pennell, the answer is friends. Heartache, drama, grief… no problem is too big for this squad to handle. And no matter where these young brides are on life’s roller coaster, they know the other women will always have each other’s backs. In honor of Galentine’s Day and the release of this friendship-driven novel, Pennell shares her favorite books starring some other truly awesome BFFs.
A group of four girls (best friends since birth) discover and share a pair of magical jeans that fit each of them perfectly, despite their different sizes. It’s a tough call to say which I’d love more: a pair of jeans that actually fit me well (why is that so hard to find?!) or being part of this girl group, but both are truly extraordinary. Whether you’re a teenager or just remember being one, this YA book will give you all the friendship feels.
Childhood friends have such an impact on our lives. Whatever happens, they’ll always be a part of who we are and how we grew up. It’s kind of like that first love. Even with heartache, there should be no regrets because those strong bonds teach us and help us become stronger. Judy Blume showcases this well with the story of Vix and Caitlin. Lesson learned: No matter how things end up, the memories will always be there.
Besides the fact that this book made me want to learn how to knit, it also had me fantasizing about starting a weekly gathering of friends. I love how these women had a recurring event set up where they were able to chat about everything from silly jokes to their deepest secrets. As Kate Jacobs writes in the book, “We are, each one of us… held together by the invisible threads of our histories.”
While Little Women follows the lives of four sisters, they may as well be best friends. What this book teaches about the bond of women is that you can get through pretty much anything with the support of your girls. From relationship struggles to family hardships, the March sisters are a beautiful example of the sense of community that happens when women love each other.
Minny and Aibileen’s friendship in The Help is the epitome of truth and trust. These two characters, both African American maids during the Civil Rights movement, were able to share anything with each other and know their secrets were safe (ahem, that chocolate pie incident… ). The unlikely friendship that developed between Aibileen and Skeeter, the daughter of a cotton plantation owner, was also very heartwarming.
Julie Pennell grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she ate her weight in crawfish, used the word “y’all” a lot, and wrote a weekly Teen Scene column for the local paper. After graduating from college, she moved to New York City to work at Seventeen magazine and later Alloy Entertainment as a digital editor. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and is a regular contributor to Teen Vogue, TODAY.com, and The Nest. The Young Wives Club is her first novel. Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @juliepens or her website, juliepennell.com.