It’s officially the holiday season! It’s the time of year where there’s countless parties, feasts, and get togethers with our often dysfunctional families. But we don’t have to define family like blood–a found family and group of trustworthy friends can sometimes be more loving and supportive than a birth family might. Which makes this the perfect time to give you book recs with the found family trope.
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Genre: FantasyAverage Goodreads Rating: 4.49Of course no found family list is complete without Six of Crows. Set in the same universe as Shadow and Bone, but in a different country, SoC sees a band of misfits grouping together for one magical and impossible heist.
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
Genre: Magical RealismAverage Goodreads Rating: 4.04In Tokyo, 16-year-old Nao is going to end it all. But first she must document the life of her great grandmother, who was a Buddhist nun and a centenarian. Across the Pacific lives Ruth, a novelist living on a private island. She finds debris swept up by a hurricane and the artifacts she collects connects her to Nao.
- One Last Stop by Casey McQuistion
Genre: RomanceAverage Goodreads Rating: 4.00August moves to NYC and is awestruck by a gorgeous girl on the subway. Jane is always on that subway and the commute becomes August’s favorite time of day, until she discovers a problem. Jane is displaced in time from the 1970s, doomed to stay on the subway forever.
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Genre: FantasyAverage Goodreads Rating: 4.13Admittedly, the found family doesn’t really solidify until later the series but this is my favorite series and I had to include it. Cinder is a cyborg in New Bejing, living with an evil stepmother, a sick stepsister, and a mysterious past. Then, she gets swept up in Price Kai’s life, and suddenly she’s in the middle of an intergalactic struggle.
- Lore by Alexandra Bracken
Genre: FantasyAverage Goodreads Rating: 3.80Every seven years is the Agon, where descendents of Greek gods must hunt each other to seize divine power for their own. Lore tried to flee this way of life but two participants seek out her help–her childhood friend Castor and the divine goddess Athena. The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.
- The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara
Genre: Historical FictionAverage Goodreads Rating: 3.86It’s 1980 in New York City, and nowhere is the city’s glamour and energy better reflected than in the burgeoning Harlem ball scene, where seventeen-year-old Angel first comes into her own. Burned by her traumatic past, Angel is new to the drag world, new to ball culture, and has a yearning inside of her to help create family for those without. When she falls in love with Hector, a beautiful young man who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, the two decide to form the House of Xtravaganza, the first-ever all-Latino house in the Harlem ball circuit. But when Hector dies of AIDS-related complications, Angel must bear the responsibility of tending to their house alone.As the mother of the house, Angel recruits Venus, a whip-fast trans girl who dreams of finding a rich man to take care of her; Juanito, a quiet boy who loves fabrics and design; and Daniel, a butch queen who accidentally saves Venus’s life. The Xtravaganzas must learn to navigate sex work, addiction, and persistent abuse, leaning on each other as bulwarks against a world that resists them. All are ambitious, resilient, and determined to control their own fates, even as they hurtle toward devastating consequences.
- The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum
Genre: Science FictionAverage Goodreads Rating: 3.98Ryan lives on the wrong side of town which means her dreams of traveling across space can never come to fruition. Alexandria, a loner, spurns Ryan’s offer of friendship. But when an accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two are brought together and Ryan learns Alexandria’s secret: her mom volunteered to do a none way trip across the galaxy. Every night she listens for radio signals from her mom and the silence between the two grows into something more.
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.46
Monique is a reporter determined to tell the true story of Evelyn Hugo, why she had seven hubands, and who the true love of her life was. Evelyn’s story of moving to LA and making her own way in a world that fought against her is one that Monique didn’t expect.
- We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian
Genre: Young AdultAverage Goodreads Rating: 3.52Tomorrow, the Wildcat varsity field hockey squad will play the first game of their new season. But at tonight’s team sleepover, the girls are all about forging the bonds of trust, loyalty, and friendship necessary to win. Everything hinges on the midnight initiation ceremony—a beloved tradition and the only facet of being a Wildcat that the girls control. Until now. Coach—a handsome former college player revered and feared in equal measure—changes the plan and spins his team on a new adventure. One where they take a rival team’s mascot for a joyride, crash a party in their pajamas, break into the high school for the perfect picture. But as the girls slip out of their comfort zone, so do some long-held secrets. And just how far they’re willing to go for their team takes them all—especially Coach—by surprise.
- Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
Genre: FantasyAverage Goodreads Rating: 4.10Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six. When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate. But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: FantasyAverage Goodreads Rating: 4.05Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.
- Just One Night by Lauren Layne
Genre: RomanceAverage Goodreads Rating: 3.83Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed. After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.