Of familiar faces and friends

May 29th, 2008 • Kate

Sitting in my hotel lobby grabbing some free wifi before I head out to a bunch of meetings, I came across these two websites which happen to mention a few kt literary projects. First, Under the Coversthinks Maureen Johnson’s SCARLETT cover model looks like Scarlett Johanssen, while Jose Bloss’ BAND GEEK LOVE seems to deliberately call to mind Alyson Hannigan’s famous band geek character in American Pie. Hmmm…
Then, over on the blog Garish & Tweed, the author ponders the theme of YA protagonists without friends, or somehow separated from their friends for the course of the novel, mentioning SUITE SCARLETT again. I couldn’t help but think also of CRUEL SUMMER by Alyson Noel, whose heroine Colby is an ocean away from her new group of friends, with other actions separating her from another good friend.
Does your WiP or novel fit this mold as well? Or, conversely, what examples can you give me of a YA novel protag with a strong group of friends, not a la Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, when all four friends share protagonist-ship, but a single central character with a realistic numbers of buddies?

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3 Responses to “Of familiar faces and friends”

  1. Trish Says:

    My book separates the protagonist from her friends. I think it's a strong element in YA because sometimes getting away from conflicting voices is the best way to find your own.

  2. Elizabeth Mosier Says:

    I often write about the best friend: the character who reminds the protagonist of her better self. In my first novel, My Life as a Girl, Rosa Gutierrez keeps my protagonist Jaime real; in the novel I'm drafting, geeky Dan keeps narrator Jack grounded. I still have the best friends I had in grade school, high school and college — and these women remind me that, though I've changed, at my core I'm the same girl I used to be.

  3. beth Says:

    I never realized it before, but all my "early book" (the ones hidden under the bed, unworthy even of revision) separate the protag from peers. I never thought of it–I just did it.
    In my current manuscript, the protag doesn't have many friends to start with, but does grow close to others as the novel progresses. In my current work in progress, there are two built-in friends for my protag, and while they participate at times in her adventures, she also goes off alone at times, too.