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Celebrate #NationalUnfriendDay with these 6 Empowering Friendship Books

by  | November 15

Out of the thousands of digital “friends” and followers you have, how many can you truly count on to be there for you? Who will answer your desperate 3 a.m. calls, or show up at your doorstep, ready to help you move? Who forces you to go to the gym on the days you’d rather be sleeping, or caves in and bakes a vat of brownies with you for the third weekend in a row? I think it’s safe to assume that not all 2,157 of your Facebook friends offer that kind of reliability.

I propose we celebrate National Unfriend Day by cutting out the toxicity and making more room for those we truly care about in life. I, for one, am all for an excuse to divulge in a little self-care. So, go ahead and hit that “unfollow” button on the girl you met in the bathroom line at college three years ago and never hung out with again. Trust me, it’ll be good for you. It’s time to say “goodbye” to your fake friends and “hello” to new beginnings.

Need an extra push? Here are a few books that’ll remind you just how emotionally hindering bad friends can be, and how empowering the true ones can be.

Three Things About Elsie

Three Things About Elsie

by Joanna Cannon

Although 84-year-old Florence’s memory is spotty, she knows one thing to be true—Elsie is her best friend. She always knows the right thing to say to keep Florence looking on the bright side. But after taking a fall in her apartment, Florence begins to confuse past and present events, which sparks her anxiety about a secret she has long kept and kindles her fear that it will be discovered. Through a series of small mysteries, Three Things About Elsie depicts the hardships behind aging, but also the comfort of companionship.

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How Could She

How Could She

by Lauren Mechling

Geraldine is struggling back in Toronto as she longingly watches her two best friends develop thriving new lives in New York City. Both Sunny and Rachel were able to land great jobs and handsome husbands, all while juggling a glamorous lifestyle. So after her fiancé breaks their engagement, Geraldine tries her hand at the Big Apple, but comes to realize that making it there is a lot more difficult than she imagined. Geraldine soon begins to step on her friends’ toes on her way to the top, as jealous fury heightens between the three women. Can you say, “toxic friendships”? How Could She illustrates just how tricky maintaining female friendships can be, and the consequences of letting your emotions (hurts and slights) get the best of you.

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Best Friends Forever

Best Friends Forever

by Jennifer Weiner

Childhood friends seldom remain—which, unfortunately, became the case for neighbors Addie and Valerie. Despite their inseparable elementary school years, they were not on speaking terms by the end of high school, when the fallout from a devastating event left them on opposite sides, feeling betrayed. Fifteen years later, Valerie is succeeding as a local weather woman, while Addie is searching for her Mr. Right. When she finds her long-lost childhood best friend standing on her stoop, Addie is immediately taken aback. Best Friends Forever makes you wonder: Would you forgive a friend years later if she was in desperate need of your help? What if she came donned with blood on her sleeve? Some ties of friendship can never be broken—no matter how much hurt has passed between them.

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The Lying Game

The Lying Game

by Ruth Ware

Sometimes the consequences of toxic cliques can follow you for years. During their time at Salten, a second-rate boarding school near the cliff of the English Channel, Fatima, Thea, Isa, and Kate were known for their manipulative “Lying Game.” The girls would tell fabricated stories to nearly every person they encountered. Complete with a set of complicated rules, their disruptive game was one no one dared to meddle with. After a mysterious death, the four were expelled before completion of their final year at school. Now, more than a decade later, Kate asks the other three for help as they discover their past was not as safely concealed as they once thought....

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That’s What Frenemies Are For

That’s What Frenemies Are For

by Sophie Littlefield and Lauren Gershell

Riches cannot buy you loyal friendships. This is a tough pill to swallow for Julia Summers, who prides herself in owning her swanky Upper East Side apartment and the high price of her children’s private school education. After her so-called friends head out on a Hamptons trip without her, Julia immediately attempts to regain their envy. But in no time, her life begins to fall apart. Between her husband’s arrest, her new friends’ departure, and her old friends’ decision not to support her, Julia must finally face how alone she is in this world. Are you the toxic friend everyone is trying to cut out? It might be time to rethink your ways.

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Emma

Emma

by Jane Austen

Haven’t you learned to never let a love interest stand between you and a female friendship? In Jane Austen’s Emma, this theme is all too present. Although Harriet is entirely infatuated by Mr. Elton, he makes it clear that he prefers Emma to her. Emma, who was once obsessed with setting Harriet and Elton up, is now faced with a decision. Should she continue to meddle with the love lives of her friends (even if those romantic relationships implode)? Is Emma a true friend, or has she exposed herself as a two-faced, nosey fake?

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