VOYA calls out one of Travis’ most important relationships

April 9th, 2012 • Kate

Today I’m celebrating another great review of Trish Doller‘s forthcoming debut Something Like Normal, this one from Voya. I love particularly love this part:

This is a compelling look at the aftermath of a tour of duty in a war zone. The nervous awkwardness his family feels around him makes sense—he left them as a high school graduate and returns as a war-hardened Marine. While the relationship between him and Harper is meant to be the story’s focus, it is Travis’s relationship with his mom that gives depth to his character. His annoyance at her nervous chatter as they leave the airport evolves into real appreciation for her vigilance during his tour of duty and seething anger at his father for his disrespectful treatment of his mom.

And it got me thinking about other great familiar relationships in YA. So often parents or siblings are just foils for the main characters, someone for them to act out against, or argue with, or fight with, that it’s a real breath of fresh air to find a relationship between family members that feels loving. I think Scarlett and Spencer Martin in Maureen Johnson‘s Suite Scarlett and Scarlett Fever are another great example, and to call out a non-client, the entire Casson family in any of Hilary McKay’s Series about them, including Indigo’s Star and Saffy’s Angel. What are some of your favorite family relationships in YA or MG?

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4 Responses to “VOYA calls out one of Travis’ most important relationships”

  1. @nickipaupreto Says:

    Holly Black writes great familial relationships – Luis and Dave from VALIANT, and Cassel and his family from The Curse Workers series.

  2. @theoriginaledi Says:

    I love the way John Green wrote Hazel's parents in The Fault in Our Stars. It plays against stereotypes and, more importantly, it's true to the dynamic that I've seen myself in similar situations. Moms aren't always as uncomplicated as we may imagine them and dads aren't always stoic supermen. It's refreshing to see an author writing truly three dimensional and realistic characters.

    I also love the Martin family from the the Scarlett books. Again, I think it's true to how real families interact, which is something you don't see every day in books. I especially love the way Marlene is written. Sometimes even the people that we love aren't the nicest people in the world and, like Hazel's parents, she also shatters a stereotype; namely, sick kids aren't automatically angels. They're real people too and they can be terrors sometimes just like the rest of us.

    I could go on all day but these are two of my most recent favorites. What a great question! Family relationships are an important part of so many stories, but when they're written well they can often become an almost invisible part of the texture of the story. It's nice to think about it specifically for a change.

  3. nlcobb Says:

    I really like Junior's family from Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. They were dysfunctional in all meanings of the word, but they really loved each other in the small way that they could. Also Lola's family in Lola and the Boy next Door, it's rare that we see a loving gay couple that isn't the focus of the story (like an issues book).

  4. swtomp Says:

    I love the relationship between Puck and her brothers in The Scorpio Races!