July 30 is the International Day of Friendship, a day for celebrating all of the wonderful friends in your life. Friendships come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and here at SparkPress, we embrace them all. So grab your bestie and a good book and get reading!

The Opposite of Never by Mary Kathleen Mehuron
This novel features the dynamics of a friend group of older women. Georgia, Linda, and Yvonne have been there for each other through everything—marriage, divorce, the highs and lows of raising children. They go boating and on hikes together, and one day, on one of their walks, they meet Kenney. They instantly hit it off and adopt him into the group.

The Thorn Queen* by Elise Holland
Not all friendships are between humans. Our protagonist, Meylyne, is half human, half garlysle (a winged and beaked humanoid creature), and during her journey to save Prince Piam, she befriends a stalliynx (horse’s head, lion’s body, and talons), a human, and an ogre. Together, they discover that the tree that keeps the sphers (soul-eating creatures) at bay is dying, and it’s because of the Thorn Queen.

The Cast* by Amy Blumenfeld
Some of the best friendships are the ones that last a lifetime. This novel features one group of friends in two timelines—one twenty-five years ago, when they’re all in ninth grade, and one present day. In the first timeline, they make a video for their friend Becca to cheer her up while she’s gravely ill. In the second timeline, they reunite, and while they’ve all changed, there’s no friends like old friends.

The Leaving Year* by Pam McGaffin
This sweet YA novel puts interracial friendships front and center. When Ida (a white girl) decides to go to Alaska to chase the truth about her father, she stops and works at the cannery her friend Sam (a Filipino boy) is working at on the way. While on her search, she also befriends a few Native Alaskans, and finds Two-Bit, the Native Alaskan woman her father was friends with.

The Infinite Now by Mindy Tarquini
When you’re a part of the LGBTQIAP+ community, having friends in it so important. Those friendships make you feel accepted and understood in a way that your straight friends can’t. Moreover, it ties you to who you are. Without spoiling too much, because the characters don’t come out until later in the novel, their friendship becomes an essential part of who they are.

The Raven God by Alane Adams
In this riveting conclusion to the Legends of Orkney series, the friends we’ve followed all along once again unite to fight evil together—this time in the form of Fire Giants determined to destroy Orkney, and the God of Mischief, Loki, on the loose hunting down his evil wife Angerboda and their three children. Friends who fight evil together stay together.

Forks, Knives and Spoons by Leah DeCesare
There is a unique bond between friends who meet in college—especially those who live together. This is even more true of freshman year roommates. Cramped in a tiny dorm room, they go through everything together, including the growing pains of transitioning into a more adult life. Follow Amy and Veronica as they go through exactly that, learning to believe in themselves and not to settle.

*not pubbed yet, but available for preorder now