For me, the holiday season means spending time and eating good food with my favorite people on the planet: my family! So I figured, what better time to talk about books with a strong family focus? No time like the present!
My favorite family dynamics in books are ones that are complicated but filled with love. Families that sometimes argue or hide stuff from each other but, at the end of the day, have so much love in their hearts and would do anything for one another.
1) SAVE THE DATE BY MORGAN MATSON
Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.
The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.
There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute.
Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
Check out my full review!
This novel contains one of my favorite fictional families ever! (But that’s partially because they remind me so much of my own family). Charlie, the youngest sibling, idolizes her family and struggles to come to terms with the fact that the Grant family is far from being perfect.
I just had so much fun reading about the Grants. They are funny and each member has depth and distinct characteristics.
2) LETTING GO OF GRAVITY BY MEG LEDER
Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.
Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.
Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.
Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.
And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t.
But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.
Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.
That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.
The relationship between the twins Charlie and Parker was my favorite part of this novel. Both of the characters are far from perfect and they’ve both made mistakes in their relationship with each other, but I thoroughly enjoyed uncovering the layers of their sibling-hood.
A quote from my review: “The relationship between the siblings was really well-developed. Like I said, the flashbacks contributed so much to the story, giving these characters so much life. I felt like their history was fleshed out and I could really see the evolution of their relationship and how their feelings toward one another became so complicated.”
3) LOVE AND LUCK BY JENNA EVANS WELCH
Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.
So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.
And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.
That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.
Another novel with a wonderful brother-sister relationship! There are other fin family dynamics within the book, but the main focus is these 2 siblings who used to be so close but have let secrets and anger form a wall between them. The novel opens with the protagonist Addie pushing her brother off of a cliff in Ireland and I was immediately hooked. I was so so so curious to know how exactly they got to that point and absolutely adored seeing them work through their issues and strengthening their bond.
This book has so many wonderful aspects, but as I wrote in my review: “What really stole my heart is the sibling dynamic between Addie and her brother Ian, which is really the heart of this novel, if you ask me. Yes, there’s a bit of romance, there’s a luscious Irish backdrop, there’s a music festival, there are secrets…but this story is about Addie and Ian learning to forgive and listen to each other.”