WINNER is M.A.D :)
The Power of Friendship
The Power of Friendship
The premise of my debut novel, SANCTUM, involves a girl who risks everything to save her best friend’s soul. Over the course of the story, Lela’s loyalty and persistence are tested as she struggles to find Nadia despite all sorts of obstacles, both human and … not so human. That friendship is the driving force of the story.
C.S. Lewis, one of my favorite writers, had a few things to say about friendship that capture both its lasting power and its distinctness from romantic love (which turns out to be one of the obstacles Lela comes up against as she makes her choices in Sanctum!). Lewis once defined friendship by saying that it is born the moment one person says to another, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.” It’s a connection, simple and pure, between people who, even if they don’t have similar life stories or personalities, find a thread of experience to share.
From that thread, new friends weave a common story, one they build together through a collection of hours, or dozens of cafeteria lunches, or billions of texts, or any number of moments that link them together. Some become intricate and complicated while others remain basic, but the thread from which they grow is the same. And it isn’t blood, obligation, infatuation, physical attraction … it’s just one person reaching for another, for no other reason than to share a moment. It’s fundamental to our experience as humans.
In The Four Loves, Lewis said: “Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest.” I think this is so true! Side by side … that’s what makes it powerful. Facing the world and what it brings with an ally. Not that romance doesn’t include that aspect; it can include friendship. But it’s that part of it, the outward-facing strength of it, that makes friendship life-altering and soul-sustaining when it’s at its best.
When it shines, friendship is a pure kind of love—one person motivated to work toward the well-being of the other. That can mean brutal honesty. The willingness to cash in some emotional chips if it means telling a truth that can save the other’s life. It can mean patience, compassion. It takes work. And time. And trust. Vulnerability, too. Like any other kind of love, true friendship requires the willingness to allow another person to mean something to you, to open yourself up to hurt. But I think most of us would agree it’s a risk worth taking.
Some of my favorite YA books that include a really cool focus on friendship include the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, Hold Still by Nina LaCour, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. But that’s only a few of many! How about you? What are your favorites?
"My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple."
A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos's best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance – hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn't just anyone – she's determined to save her best friend's soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.
As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she's captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city's endless streets. Their all-too-human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn't – the dark city isn't the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.
Win a copy of Sanctum by Sarah Fine.
Open to US and Canada only.
To enter leave a meaningful comment below and a way for us to contact you if you should win.