6 Novels That Showcase the Wonderful Dynamic of Platonic Love

Novels often choose to celebrate romantic love, but platonic love also deserves celebrating. Read on to learn about these friendship love stories.

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Book covers of "Radio Silence," "I Thought You Said This Would Work," "I Hate Everyone But You," and "Kate in Waiting" on a background of hearts.

We are so used to novels that tell romantic love stories. The main character’s life seems to be missing something, but suddenly, they are swept off their feet by their one true love, and the story is filled with a blossoming romance. While these stories are often pretty good, there is another type of love that deserves attention. That type of love is platonic love. That kind of love that when two people meet they don’t fall in love with one another and run off and get married but end up becoming best friends and support each other through thick and thin. Friendship love stories show the beauty of a tightknit friendship and that, despite the ups and downs, they have each other to cherish. Here are some stories that display that beautiful platonic love.

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Boys may come and go, but friendships are supposed to be forever. That is how Kate and Anderson sustain their friendship. These two have been best friends for a long time, and they have sworn to never let any cute guy come between them. However, that may change when their summer camp crush transfers to their school.

"Kate in Waiting" book cover with two guys and one girl sitting on stairs reading scripts on a purple background.
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Suddenly, the two friends both have their eyes set on Matt, which may lead to some strain on their friendship. How can they get past this? Kate in Waiting demonstrates the hurdles that can come at even the strongest of friendships. In the end, going through these hurdles can make the love in a friendship even more powerful.

I Hate Everyone But You by Gabe Dunn and Allison Raskin

Long distance relationships are always difficult for both parties involved. The same is true for a long distance friendship. That is expressed in Gabe Dunn’s and Allison Raskin’s I Hate Everyone But You. Two high school friends, Gen and Ava, are going off to college on opposite sides of the country. The two friends are total opposites, with Gen being wild and Ava being a rule-follower.

"I Hate Everyone But You" book cover with a phone having a text message of the book title on a pink background.
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Nevertheless, the two friends refuse to let the distance get the best of them and remain in contact through text messages and emails. Their friendship goes through ups and downs in their time apart, but they are always there to listen to each other. I Hate Everyone But You shows that the strength of a deep friendship can get past any disagreement, and it can also make anything look possible.

I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin

Much like in a romantic relationship, friendships go through breakups. Also like a romantic relationship, friendships can be repaired with a little time, work, and love. That is what happens with Samantha and Holly, who used to be best friends, until their friendship is broken, and they go years without speaking. But then their close friend, Katie, is hospitalized with cancer and needs the two of them to do her a favor. Samantha and Holly are tasked with taking a road trip together to rescue Katie’s beloved dog.

"I Thought You Said This Would Work" book cover with a van going down a winding road on a yellow background.
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The two will do anything to help Katie, but that doesn’t mean they’re happy to go on a road trip together. Nevertheless, this trip gives the two time to reconnect and rebuild their once wonderful bond. I Thought You Said This Would Work is the lovely story of two friends falling back in platonic love, as well as the long road it takes to get back together, both literally and figuratively.

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

While this is a list about love stories that are totally platonic, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List may have a one-sided infatuation. Naomi and Ely have been neighbors and best friends ever since they were little. Even though Ely is gay, Naomi has had a crush on him for a long time and thinks her life would be easier if he liked her back. Despite these unreturned feelings, Naomi and Ely are with each other through thick and thin. They are each other’s personal cheerleaders.

"Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List" book cover with title on a rainy background with blurry colors and a pink symbol of kiss mark with a slash through it.
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However, what happens when sparks fly between Ely and Naomi’s boyfriend? Ely and Naomi’s No Kiss List emphasizes the importance of having platonic relationships in your life. Naomi has to realize how lucky she is to have Ely’s platonic love and how much the two actually need each other.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

While many aspects of childhood fade as we get older, a great friendship may last a lifetime. This is the case in Firefly Lane. When cool Tully moves across the street from nerdy Kate, the two eighth graders end up becoming really close friends. Thus begins a story that shows decades of friendship between the two women. Naturally, not everything is smooth sailing, as most friendships are not static.

"Firefly Lane" book cover with a blue background and yellow firefly-like dots on the bottom.
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However, the bumps in the road are what end up helping them become tighter later on, and they support each other through everything that life throws their ways. This novel presents a true platonic love story that demonstrates the effects a friend can have on a person’s life. Tully and Kate are an example to everyone on why great friends are necessary in life.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Romance is emphasized in so many stories because people believe that it is the most important love out there. Radio Silence shows how that is factually untrue through the story of two people who fall platonically in love. Frances has always worked hard in school to achieve her goal of attending Cambridge University. She never really had any friends. Her only focus has always been on her schoolwork.

"Radio Silence" book cover with two people sitting in a blue bedroom covered in posters with miscellaneous items on the floor.
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The only “fun” thing she does is listen to the sci-fi podcast Universe City. But when she meets the creator of the podcast, a boy named Aled, the meeting begins a brand-new friendship that alters the course of their lives. Through their friendship, the two become more confident, and their friendship helps them confront the problems of their pasts. They form a beautiful bond as friends, and their love story is all about the true happiness that can only come from a great friendship.

People do not need to get married and ride off into the sunset together in order for their love to be valid. The love of a friendship can be just as important, sometimes more so. As long as the love in question has support, compassion, happiness, and a true connection, then that is a love that is worth celebrating.


If you want to read about more great literary friendships, click here.

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