Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Top Ten Tuesdays: Ten Non-Romantic Relationships

   




    Today's topic for Tuesday is a "Love Freebie", in honor of the upcoming Valentine's Day. If I want to participate, the obvious thing to do is list ten of my favorite fictional ships, right?

    If you're like me, you enjoy all the excuses to eat chocolate and celebrate loved ones every February, but don't necessarily appreciate the widespread emphasis on romance. Healthy romantic relationships (both in real life and fictional) should definitely be celebrated on Valentine's Day, but I think being single should be celebrated too. I mean, how sad is it that the Singles Awareness Day acronym literally spells the word SAD? Valentine's Day shouldn't be a reason for singles of any age to feel insecure about themselves, in terms of if they have a romantic relationship in their lives. So I thought it would be a fun twist to focus on ten awesome, well written relationships between characters, which don't hinge on whether they're single or not.

    Like I did with my Top Ten Recommended BooksI'm concentrating on a certain relationship and writing a small note about why I chose to include them. If you find a book on here that you'd like to know more about, let me know in the comments, and I can provide you with a list of things to know before checking it out. Like every list, I've embedded the Amazon link in the title. If the book is part of a series, I've only included the first book's cover and its link.

    (To see all the TTT lists I've done in the past, click HERE.)


Ten Non-Romantic Relationships
(in no particular order)

1. Shelby and Watson (from The Great Shelby Holmes series by Elizabeth Eulberg) 


(Note: You can find my review of the book HERE.)

Genre: Mystery

Age Target: Middle Grade

Why I Chose This Relationship: I think this fresh take on Arthur Conan Doyle's detective duo is a perfect example of a great boy-girl friendship. Though the two didn't get off to the most wonderful start, there's a lot Shelby learns from Watson, sports information and otherwise. At the same time Watson, fueled by his fascination with the girl's connections and smarts, ends up finding someone he cares about and offers something Shelby didn't expect: kindness. They've got each others' backs, and I'm excited for whatever Elizabeth Eulberg does next with them!

This book also made it on my TTT list for Books That Make Me Smile.

2. The Vanderbeeker Siblings (from The Vanderbeekers series by Karina Yan Glaser)


Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Age Target: Middle Grade

Why I Chose This Relationship: Growing up in a family of five kids myself, I really like reading about close, large families...especially if they're around the same age as my siblings and me! Though the Vanderbeekers fight and are totally different from one another, you can obviously see how much they care for one another, support each others' goals and dreams, and weather life's storms together. Even though it ends in disaster sometimes, I also love how much they care for their parents, friends, and neighbors and are always willing to band together to help someone in need. I would definitely love to read more stories of loving, loyal siblings like these.

This book also made it on my TTT lists for Books That Make Me Smile and Favorite Books of 2020.

3. Alice and Christy (from Christy by Catherine Marshall) 


Genre: Christian Fiction

Age Target: Young Adult/Adult

Why I Chose This Relationship: A few months ago I read this Catherine Marshall classic for the first time, and was blown away by the amazing characters, plotting, description, and overall storytelling. I think that not counting Christy "Miss Alice" (as the locals call her) was my favorite character in the story because of her compassion, courage, and servant heart. I really liked seeing how Alice was able to reach out to the nineteen-year-old protagonist and become a mentor-like figure to her as she adjusted to life in the Cove.

4. Harlow and Teagan (from Off-Script and Over-Caffeinated by Rhonda and Kaley Rhea)


(Note: Find my review of the book HERE, and my exclusive interview with Kaley Rhea HERE.)

Genre: Christian Fiction

Age Target: Adults

Why I Chose This Relationship: One thing I appreciated about this book was that despite being marketed as a romance novel, it wasn't focused on just romantic love. In no way is this more plainly demonstrated than in the fun, quirky relationship between Harlow (the main character) and her sister-in-law, Teagan. I liked that even though Harlow respected Teagan's unique personality, she inwardly resented the idea of becoming legally attached to her, and worried that she wasn't the right match for her brother, before seeing that she was wrong and beginning to support them both. I really enjoyed seeing how close they were in the story, and liked how Teagan continued to be Harlow's unofficial cheerleader/poetic muse/basically adopted twin sister.

This book also made it on my TTT list for Favorite Books of 2020.

5. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy (from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)


Genre: Autobiography

Age Target: Middle Grade/Young Adult

Why I Chose This: If you've ever read through Little Women yourself, or watched any of the many movie or TV adaptations, I think you'll know why I chose to feature the March sisters. Despite the centuries that have passed since Louisa May Alcott first chose to send this American-spun tale of family and life into the world, the March sisters have become known to hundreds of people for each of their quirks, personalities, and aspirations, shared by readers from all walks of life. Like I mentioned in my description of the Vanderbeeker siblings, I love that even though Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are very different people, they still love each other and would do anything for one another.

6. Maddie and Holden (from the My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Fairy Tales series by Jerry Mahoney)


Genre: Fantasy

Age Target: Middle Grade

Why I Chose This Relationship: When I first flipped through My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Cinderella, I wasn't expecting to be impressed. But when I finished reading I ended up loving the whole book, especially the way Jerry Mahoney handled the complicated relationship between Maddie and Holden. Blended families aren't easy to live in, and the fact that both kids came from completely different worlds didn't help them start  off well. I loved that even though Maddie and Holden can be immature and flawed, through what happens to both of them they end up realizing it's better to get along with a stepbrother or stepsister, and that (though they'd never admit it) having someone else by their side can be cool too. You can definitely see how far their relationship has come by the end of the series, when Maddie ends up confused and heartbroken at the idea of Holden leaving her daily life.

7. Penelope and the Incorrigibles (from The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood)


Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

Age Target: Middle Grade

Why I Chose This Relationship: When Penelope takes pity on the Incorrigibles, a sibling trio literally raised by wolves, this leads to a whirlwind of mystery and adventure surrounding her and them. I loved reading about the almost motherly way Penelope claims them as their governess, and her fierce determination (all Swanburne-bred, of course) to raise them to behave as ordinary human children. Though they're often accused of being and acting wild, Penelope continues to fight for them, doing all she can to make sure she's bringing them up well and they're protected from prying eyes and suspicion. Likewise, the young children become equally attached to her, and through her loving nature and steady knowledge, they flourish.

8. Katie, Eliza, and Ashten (from The Carrington Springs series by Erynn Mangum)


Genre: Christian Chick-Lit

Age Target: Adults

Why I Chose This : Erynn Mangum is a master at creating characters and relationships that tug at your heart, and the friendship between Katie, Ashten, and Eliza is no different! This relationship for me is similar to the March sisters in that I enjoy how close they become, and love how they are able to find common ground even though their lives and personalities seem so different. I also like how in the last book in the series (Happily Ever Ashten) Ashten refers to Eliza and Katie as the adopted sisters God gave her. It really testifies to how much they're there for each other and have grown closer together throughout the course of the series. 

9. Fin and Marrill (from The Map To Everywhere series by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis)


Genre: Fantasy

Age Target: Middle Grade

Why I Chose This Relationship: I don't think I could stop rambling about this amazing series and its characters if I tried! 😊 To me, the relationship between Fin and Marrill is all I could ask for in a fictional friendship. Both of them are very loyal to one another, and do everything they can to make sure the other knows they're there and thinking of them (Marrill especially). They've never really become close to other people so they have to learn what it means to be a friend, and to trust the other person, which I loved. I really enjoyed seeing them work together and support each other, especially as the series went on.

This book also made it on my TTT lists for Books That Make Me Smile and Books That Should Be Adapted Into Netflix Shows/Movies (which can probably tell you how much I love rambling about it!).

10. Roger, Ann, Eliza, and Jack (from Knight's Castle by Edward Eager)


Genre: Fantasy

Age Target: Middle Grade

Why I Chose This Relationship: I love that Edward Eager's books have the style of Eleanor Estes' beloved Moffats books while mixing in timelessly quirky magic at the same time. And, of course, he has a talent for putting mild-mannered and fiery characters together in the same adventure! While they may be related, Roger, Jack, Ann, and Eliza don't always see eye-to-eye, and they don't get along until they're forced to go on this wild journey. I liked seeing how they began to use each others' strengths to get through the rougher patches of the story, and reading about how they became loyal to each other, not just because of family ties, but because they began to care for one another themselves.


    Thanks for going through this list with me. I hope you enjoyed reading about all the fictional relationships I chose to include. It was certainly a challenge for me to collect so many, but I'm glad I did!

    What about you? Have you heard about or read any of the books I mentioned? If you haven't, were there any books that caught your eye? What relationships (romantic or otherwise) are you squealing over this February? If you've also participated in this TTT topic, link to your post in the comments so I can check it out.

    If there are any books you'd like to see me review (or see me review the authors for), let me know! As always, click on the Review Policy tab if you'd like to request a different post.

    On Thursday, join me for a different look at Russian history...

17 comments:

  1. I'm a huge Edward Eager fan. Love Knight's Castle.

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    1. You are? That's awesome! I haven't met a lot of people that have read Edward Eager's books. It's so nice to see that you have and you've enjoyed them.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. The Great Shelby Holmes sounds fun!

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-conversation-hearts-on-covers

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    1. It's definitely a winner.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love that you used this week's topic to highlight non-romantic relationships!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/02/09/top-ten-tuesday-302/

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    1. It was definitely a welcomed challenge. I'm so glad you liked my choice!

      Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I too read Christy for the first time last year. Miss Alice is certainly a character to admire!

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    1. I'm glad you agree. I loved reading about her so much.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. What a fun idea for this TTT post! I love both Christy and all of Edward Eager's books. :)

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. And I'm happy we seem to enjoy both books. We seem to share similar tastes in literature...

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Oooh! Interesting list! It's rare that we come across books that have non romances! Great list!

    Here’s my TTT!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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    1. I'm glad you thought my post was interesting. Yes, I agree...often it's hard to find well written non-romantic relationships (especially in genres that are really romance-focused!).

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I love what you did with the topic for the freebie! Great TTT. :) Hope you have a wonderful rest of your week!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by, and right back at you!

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  8. Aaaahh this list was SOOOO EPIC!!!!!!!!! I LOOOVED reading through it!!!!! Hmm...relationships I'm squealing over??? *deep in thought* Probably the friendship between Frodo and Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings. I've just recently started the book but I really love how Sam is there for Frodo no matter what!!!!!!!!!! Anyways, I have a really funny story about Carrie Ryan. I was at a book signing for one of my fav authors and the author had another author friend there but I didn't recognize the name. Well when I got home I was looking at one of my sister's bookshelves and I saw the Map to Everywhere and then I remembered that author's name was Carrie Ryan. So I looked up the author's picture and saw she looked just like the author there. So I have unknowingly seen Carrie Ryan before in person. XD Anyway, GREAT POST and can't wait for the next one!

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    1. I'm so, so glad you enjoyed it! Yes, Frodo and Sam is a great non-romantic relationship (though I didn't put it on here since I never finished actually reading through the LOTR series. I think I got through the first one, but kind of lagged when I was trying to read The Two Towers XD). Wow, that's funnyQ And sounds totally like something I would do :D Thanks for sharing!

      And always, thanks for stopping by! *sends you all the virtual hearts and desserts* Your support for this little pet project (with, admittedly, not much views on a weekly basis) encourages me more than words can say. So, thank you!

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  9. Great post! I recently read the book Happy Singles Day and they talk about how the acronym spells SAD. I didn't realize that was a real thing! Who in the world came up with that?? Ha!

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