If you’re looking for a book to gift your friend, we’ve got you covered. We’ve made a list of the 10 best books released in the first half of 2021 that celebrate friendship. Some of these are about high school, others about adulting and some are about best friend turned lovers. Some are mature, others are YA. So no matter what your equation is, you’ll find a shoe (book) here that fits your size (shelf.)
List of 10 Best Books of 2021 You Can Gift Your Friend and Celebrate Friendship:
- Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson
- The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
- People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
- It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland
- Girlhood by Melissa Febos
- Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
- A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions by Sheena Boekweg
- All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue
- The Yearbook by Holly Bourne
- Bad Choices by Lucy Vine
Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson
This is a YA book on friendship with a dash of romance. It follows the lives of two friends Kat and Stevie, who run away from the suburbs to spend the weekend at New York City – the city that never sleeps. Here, they have a crazy night full of fun – but there’s also trouble that ensues. From cute boys and ex-flames to family drama and pets, this book’s a wild ride. If you want to remind your best friend of fun and crazy times you’ve spent together, this is the book for you.
The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
This heartwarming story of the estrangement and reunion of three brilliant friends is set against the backdrop of the second world war. Amidst the violence and gory, the British government recruits three young, promising women to decrypt the German military code. Osla, Mab and Beth are starkly different in their backgrounds and natures but united in their smartness and dedication. As war and loss breaks the friendship, they drift apart. But one last code they need to uncover brings the old alliance back to life, and their friendship has a second chance after all. This book is perfect if you have a group of three.
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
From the author of the wildly famous ‘Beach Read’ has come yet another heartfelt story of love and friendship. Alex and Poppy are two best friends who are nothing alike. He is a homebody, she is a wanderer. While he lives in a small town, she has gone to New York. And while he is sober, she is wild, Yet, their friendship is as beautiful as it is unlikely. Every year, they meet on a one week vacation every summer. But two years ago, something awful happened and they haven’t spoken since. She’s in a bad place, and knows that repairing this friendship is the only way to joy. She asks him for a vacation, and he agrees. Now she has one week to set things right.
It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland
This book follows our four protagonists Eva, Celeste, Gina and Steph, who are part of a pop band. However, a fallout leads them all on different paths. Some become famous, some stay away from the spotlight and some disappear altogether. But a storm that ravages their homelands forces the girls to reconcile and they set up one last show. This heartbreaking tale of friendship and togetherness will feel like a literary hug to your friends.
Girlhood by Melissa Febos
As the title suggests, these are essays about what it means to be a girl. Although this book is not explicitly about friendship, it most definitely is about empowering women, especially those close to you. Striking and powerful, these are essays that will stand the test of time in their message and reach. Reading this book will not only make your girlfriends realize their worth, but also will prove to be an anthem for womanhood that unites you forever.
Good Company by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
A haunting tale of love, friendship and what happens when the two are in imabalance, this portrays the life of Flora. Flora has been happily married for years, but discovers the ring her husband claimed to have lost years ago. Following complications in her marriage, the stpry begins to flashback into Flora’s early life. Her friendship with Margot and its complex dynamics make up a major chunk of it. If your friendship with someone has gone through a drastic change recently, this would make a great gift.
A Sisterhood of Secret Ambitions by Sheena Boekweg
A powerful work of feminist fiction, this novel follows Elise as she goes to a new city with four other teenage girls. All of these have been trained since childhood to become the wife of a powerful man. But when they realize that this powerful man is the President, they understand that they have a chance to be the most powerful woman too. This is not just a tale of friendship, but also a moving tale of being a shadow to a man. Moreover, the ‘Society’ is a sisterhood of women who stand by each other. This will uplift your female friends.
All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue
Mingling fantasy and magical realism with a contemporary tale of friendship, this book offers a fresh take on how our mistakes can change relationships forever. Set in an Irish town with the ebbing influence of the Church, it follows Maeve, who is a tarot reader. Maeve’s ex bestie Lily draws a card, The Housekeeper, that Maeve hasn’t seen before. This quickly devolves into a heated argument ending with Maeve saying allowed that she wishes Lily would disappear. The next day, Maeve finds that Lily has actually disappeared. Now it falls upon Maeve to use her tarot cards and save her (ex?) bestie.
The Yearbook by Holly Bourne
This book is the classic high school drama novel – the novel version of Mean Girls, almost. It follows the school magazine editor, Paige, who is forced to write lies in the magazine in order to make things seem perfect. But when she’s had enough of the lies, she decides to expose her friends in the yearbook. This threatens friendships and relationships of all kinds, and what ensues is pure drama. This book is perfect for your high school besties, to let them know that no drama can come between your friendship.
Bad Choices by Lucy Vine
This is the story of the best friends Nat and Zoe, who have shared good things and bad throughout life. But as they grow up, they might just grow apart. From silly fights and big ones, the two must keep their promise to stick together no matter what. And if you want to let your best friend know that you’ve got their back no matter how bad things get, this is the book for you.