All about the fam: Types of families in YA // ft. lists and books

My family, is kind of infuriating.

(Sorry sis, you too.)

I love them, but they’re also the ones who get me the most angry/mad/sad/frustrated and sometimes it makes it really difficult to see the love part of the relationship!

But recently, my father got an injury after falling unconscious for a few minutes (thankfully he’s doing a lot better now) and it just made me remember how nuanced and complex familial relationships are?

I could claim my parents as super overprotective and that I don’t like them, but deep down a) only I can call them that and if it’s anyone else does, beware and b) I do love and appreciate my parents a lot and I would never want to lose them.

Which is why I love seeing family dynamics explored in books, because even if I can’t relate to it myself, there is probably someone who does, and there’s just so much you can do with it?

So that’s why, I’m talking all about different types of families + books that feature them especially in honour of Family Day here in Canada!!

If you’re still “meh” about family, well, let me just toss my casual mini-list at you and bribe you with chocolate.

    • You can get jealous be happy over how amazing the family is
    • You add to your character’s development (since family or the lack thereof can shape a lot of our character?)
    • You add tension! Do the siblings seriously hate each other because one betrayed the other? Do the siblings have differing values that one has to sacrifice for? Do you have a rebellious teen with conservative parents? USE THE TENSION.
    • Good families are as great as having 100 chocolate bars –> THIS IS A FACT.
    • Having bad families but ones that are nuanced and not just bad is good too!! (Because (sadly) not everyone has good families!)
    • Um, it’s more realistic?? Most people generally don’t just have… NO family at all? So you know, having some sort of family member might be a good start if you’re aiming for relatability*?
    • Cause I said so
    • Bye

*WHY ISN’T RELATABILITY A WORD. It should totally be a word. Also my font size isn’t changing and I’m disgruntled @ WP.

1. The loving Weasleys

Yes, the Weasley’s have now become a type. And I mostly define it as the supportive (and loud) family! It doesn’t necessarily have to be as large as the Weasleys (it could be) but generally they’re just super loving and caring and the sweetest!

  • Features a Molly Weasley, aka the caring and protective elder who will allow no harm to their children
  • Can be an actual mom or just the person taking care of the whole family (JULIAN 😭)
  • They’re amazing
  • Also features the Weasley children: more than 2 kids I’ll say?
Well, sweet when you’re not on Molly Weasley’s bad side.

Obviously Harry Potter, but apart from that, some other books are:


Click on the covers to be taken to Goodreads!





Also shoutout to May on showing how to centre multiple images!!

2. The single parent dad syndrome

Soooo many YA novels have single parents!! Which, to an extent is totally fine, because we’ve gotten some AMAZING single parents in YA lit that I adoreeeee. (Namely, Lara Jean’s dad) Some characteristics of this family:

  • Dad usually ends up being super awesome dad or a not-so-great-dad
  • Parent may or may not improve over time in the eye of the teen as a mutual understanding develops
  • Features either a MIA or dead mother or possibly divorced parents
  • Can also be a single mother but I was too lazy to find books that apply


3. The good vs bad/evil sibling contrast

I just finished a book and am currently reading a book that both features this sort of relationship, so this one really stuck out to me! When done well, this is actually quite interesting. (Though I recommend not reading two books back to back with this trope hahahahaha)

Some of its characteristics:

  • Usually seems to be Good Brother vs Bad Brother but isn’t always (can also be Good Sister vs Bad Sister or Good Brother vs Bad Sister or vice versa; many options!)
  • The main character falls for the Good Brother/Sister or has to choose between both
  • (Not much of a hard decision, but hey, maybe evil people just aren’t my type)
  • “Bad” can be the “I am a roguish troublemaker who wants to seduce you” type or the “I’m plotting to murder you in your sleep” type
  • Or both?


Most of those books feature the evil type of brother but there’s also Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare or Tiger’s Curse series by Colleen Houck for the bad-boy/good-boy sibling love triangle aspect!

4. Abusive parents 😦

Where’s my heart, you ask? Oh, just smashed into pieces on the floor there, no biggie.

But seriously, abusive parents or parents with (untreated) mental illness who mistreat their children breaks my heart SO MUCH, especially knowing how it could very well be the reality for many people in real life. I CRY.

Listen, if anyone reading this is an abuse survivor: YOU ROCK and you’re amazing and I love you. And I wish I could send you all the love and support you deserve. ❤❤❤


Bad Romance: Tw for abusive romantic relationship (emotional), verbal abuse –> there may be more that I missed so please be careful! This is not an easy read. Stay safe. ❤

A List of Cages: TW for very graphic physical/sexual/child abuse (I legit want to sob)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: Not as graphic or present as the other two books, but Monty has an abusive father

The Young Elites: Not as present as the first two books either, but Adelina’s father was horribly cruel to her.

I’ve also heard Starfish deals with an abusive household, but I haven’t read it yet and don’t know too much about it?

5. All about siblings

Ah, siblings. What an annoying intricate relationship they have.

I have a younger sister, okay. She’s tiny and fierce and very very annoying!! But I love her.

Seriously, sibling relationships have my absolute HEART okay. They can be so precious and equally vicious and that is amazing. Who else can hurt/love you as much as a sibling? A book NO ONE.

  • Both biologically related siblings or otherwise (step-siblings, foster siblings, etc)
  • Low-key my favourite out of the different familial relationships here
  • Also see the good and evil sibling
  • It pulls at your heart so much seeing siblings either sacrifice for one another or stand up for each other???
  • Also younger siblings wrecking havoc
  • So precious in books
  • (But annoying irl)


Fact #1: Lara Jean, Margot and Kitty are the best sisters ever ❤

Fact #2: Kell and Rhy aren’t related by blood but they’re the most amazing brothers ever

Opinion #1: I didn’t particularly like L&L as much as I’d hoped but YES to diversity and sister-brother relationships

Opinion #2: Vanishing Girls was so good???? Hi, sibling rivalry but also SISTERS. I have a younger sister and I love reading books about sisters okay

6. The “means-well-but…” parent(s)

I think I identify the most with this one haha.

These are the parents who you know have their heart in the right place, but there’s always that “but” where their intentions don’t always work great with their actions. Unfortunately.

More mini-lists!

  • Featuring a teen who disagrees with the parents’ values/opinions (gasp! teens forming their own opinions!)
  • Sadly this is a reality for me
  • Also occasionally ft. parents you feel bad for because the teen is so mean to them but you know the parents are only trying to help
  • Also ft. parents you dislike because they’re being super unreasonable (ughhghghgh)
  • They’re not horrible parents but they’re not always completely good ones either?



Hahaha I was planning to get to 10 buuuuut I’m hungry and I want to go eat lunch sooooo I’m going to end it there!! :))) That’s a good 24 books for you guys to read, right?? GO READ THEM. *chases you down with a chocolate bar*

What other types of familial relationships have you come across in books? Have you read any of the books I listed? What are your thoughts? What’s your favourite type of family explored in books? Any other book recommendations?


(Also happy Family Day to those celebrating!)


44 thoughts on “All about the fam: Types of families in YA // ft. lists and books

  1. This is a great post! Books that focus on families are my favourites. Families are so complicated and I love reading about how those dynamics all play out. Lara Jean’s dad is amazing!

    I love reading about siblings the best. I just finished The Immortalists and it’s about four siblings and it was fantastic! Have you read Far From the Tree by Robin Benway? I think you would love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Ahh I’m so glad I’m not the only one who loves the focus on families in books ahah. Yes! There’s not just one way to be a family, and I love seeing the different relationships in books. HE IS SO GREAT.

      Same!! Sibling relationships are the best. Ooh, I’m going to have to check out that one! I haven’t, though I think it’s on my TBR; definitely going to have to move it higher up ahah. 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love family dynamics in books. It doesn’t matter what kind they are as long as they’re well written and well developed. 🙂 In fact it seems like in fantasy books there’s a lack of family so it always makes it a nice surprise when I find a well written one! 😀
    Rhy and Kell are the very best siblings ever. Even though they’re not actually blood related they’re proof that you don’t need to be related to be family and I love that, and the way they’re so protective over one another as well (God I really need to re-read that series now).
    There are so many books on here I need to read, and reading that they have great family relationships has just made me more excited to get started! 🙂
    Great post. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! So true, as long as they’re developed and well written it’s always so great to read! Oh my gosh yes, it’s always such a pleasant surprise to find good families in fantasy. Hopefully it will become more common though??
      I know right?! 😭😍 They’re the perfect example how family does not have to be blood related and I honestly love that so much as well. Ahhh their love for eachother is just so pure and beautiful!! (I knowww it’s so amazing.)
      Ahah I’m glad to hear that, I can’t wait for you to read the other books! ❤️ Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When you mentioned the Weasley type family, I immediately thought about My Life Next Door and then you featured it and I was like “yes, yes .. we really do think alike!” *nods in agreement*
    I am mostly surprised when parents are really involved in their kids lives in books at this point, just because that trend is so rare, but way more realistic than “oh yes dear, it’s a school night, but you can go off fighting demons till 3 AM. Just don’t forget that life changing test you have in the morning.” Like whaaaat? At this point my mum would have asked me 134823948 times if I had studied enough, but not let me go out to do god knows what at random hours of the night.
    What I really wanted to say was GREAT POST! Family dynamics are always so interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!! My Life Next Door had the most Weasley-type family I’ve read so far haha. That we do!! 🙈
      Hahaha so true, parents are so uninvolved in fiction?? Yet it’s so much more relatable to have parents actually notice when their child is not home at 3AM in the morning and be.. CONCERNED, maybe???? 🤔 Hahah YESSS so relatable!! Same here, my mom would’ve told me endlessly to go study more and wouldn’t randomly let me out of the house. 😂😂 (And I cannot easily sneak out as these characters often do? *rolls eyes*)
      Thank you!! 💕 They really are.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I could never sneak out either! We live on the fifth floor in a huge apartment complex and to get out of my room and out the front door, I have to cross basically the entire apartment. There is no way to close the door without making noise … IT IS IMPOSSIBLE!


  4. this post is incredible?????? I adore book families so much, and I felt so bad for my precious beloved Monty!!!!!! and now i have so many book recommendations ❤ ❤ and I am without hesitation willing to let the Weasleys adopt me. AND BOOK SIBLINGS!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a sweet post…I can’t even! One of my favourites is the whole adopted family thing…like nobody is blood related to each other but they are a family unit – does my explanation make sense? Hahaha or the older brother/sister taking on the role of parent for a bunch of rowdy siblings. Omg I love this post so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw thank you! Omg yes, I totally get what you mean; I am such a sucker for the whole you-choose-your-family thing, it’s just the sweetest to see people bond together as a family without being biologically related? 😍😍 Yesss!! MY HEART. ❤️ Ahh yay I’m so glad to hear that!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The only ones I’ve read are Red Queen and Daughter of the Pirate King, and I LOVED them! I’m planning on at least reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before sometime this year though because the movie is coming out so I need to catch up. 😛
    And I’ve always been interested in brother/sister relationships, or just any sibling relationships. I just find them fascinating and run to read/write about. Probably because I’m an only child. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh Daughter of the Pirate King was SO GOOD! 😍 Haha I hope you enjoy it, it’s so adorable. I’m so excited for the movie!
      Same here, sibling relationships are just so interesting, whether you have siblings or not. There’s just so much to do with it!


  7. I am a HUGE fan of family-centric books, and I love how you broke them out into types. Nice job! The Song sisters are some of my favorite sibs, and I would add Foolish Hearts, Far From the Tree, and The Other F-Word (off the top of my head). Some of my favorite families are up there too. I swear, I wanted the Garretts to adopt me. They were so real, and their home was messy, but filled with a ton of love. LJ dad was so awesome too. I would put Desi’s dad from I Believe in a Thing Called Love in the same class as LJ’s dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!! Family-centric books are so great ahah. I’m so glad you liked it! Yesss the Song sisters see absolutely amazing. Ooh, I definitely have to check out those books! I think I have them on my TBR. I knowwww, they were the sweetest! I would’ve loved to be part of their family haha. 😍 Ooh, I heard so many good things about I Believe in a Thing Called Love! I’m glad to hear Desi’s father is just as good as LJ’s, I need to read that book asap now. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Yess yess yess, I love reading about family centric books!
    It’s so fun wishing to have brothers like Fred and George, and ranting about brothers like Percy, (ofc he came around at the end) but well.
    Also, you mentioned Everything Everything!
    I liked the concept and everything, but I don’t know, I kinda hoped for a different ending. It was a different turn of events, and kinda disappointed me, but maybe that’s just what I think ( secretly hoping that no one hates me) xP
    Also, some books depict such chill family members, like the kid is coming back with a sword in his backpack and like bleeding,
    and his mom is like- have cereal. Amazing innit?

    Anyway, lovely post as alwayyss, runs over to The Burrow, and stares at their clock all day, cause I wonder what it would be like to see my name up there. Probably ‘sleep’ the whole time. Aah, these fantasies, i tell you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aren’t they just the best?! I love them so much.
      Haha so true!! I imagine living with them would be quite… eventful haha. Ah, Percy. How you disappointed everyone. 😤😂

      I did! I remember enjoying it quite a lot when I read it, but it’s definitely not perfect and the ending doesn’t please me very much, looking back on it? I know some people who didn’t like the book very much, so you’re not alone haha.
      HAHAHA yes omg!! The kid could be half dead and the parent would hardly bat an eye. 😂😂 HOW?

      Take me to the Burrow with you pleeeeeaseee!! Ahaha that would be so amazing?! 😂 If only that could be reality??

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post!! As a writer I can empathize about why it might be difficult at times to include complex family relationships, but as a reader I loooooove them! They really do add another element to the main character, and who doesn’t love that? I think the only family member trope I’m getting a bit sick of is the ‘sweet and perfect younger sister’and ‘precocious toddler brother’…I feel like I’ve been seeing it around a lot lately and it starts to feel really tired after awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Ah yes, I figured it’s harder to write complex family relationships, but they’re just soooo amazing to read ahah. 😍 Yes, exactly! Oh that’s so true, it’s much more interesting to change up the siblings’ personalities, and anything can get boring after being repeated so many times!


  10. I love this post it’s so amazing! I often get really mad at YA books because so often they feature completely absent or really incompetent parents so its great to see you celebrating all of the different types! My favourite family relationships recently have definitely been Simon vs and THUG but there’s also a really interesting family dynamic We Are the Ants which made me laugh and cry at different points, and there’s also a really cool single mother-daughter relationship in Moxie! Wonderful post!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh I’m so glad you liked it!! ❤️ I knowwww it’s so annoying to see absent and incompetent parents so often in YA! There are so many better alternatives! Oh yes, Simon vs and THUG had such amazing families?! So supportive and loving. Ooh, I haven’t read those two, but they’re on my TBR. They sound absolutely lovely!! 😍

      Liked by 1 person

    Okay I’m done hahaha, that was such a fantastic post, though ❤ I love love love love LOVE a good family focus on books, in fact I often look for that in my contemporaries ❤ I especially love it when they are mentioning sisters relationships, because I have an amazing sister and I love seeing great relationships like that in my stories. But Vanishing Girls was……. fantastic but I cried a whole lot as well haha. I LOVED the family in Simon vs. and Lara Jean's family was so adorable and awkward and supportive ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • AWW THANK YOU MARIE, SHOUT ALL YOU WANT!!! ❤️😘 I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! Sameeeee, family focus in books are SO AMAZING. All contemporary should have them. 😂 Me too!! Sister relationships just touch my heart so much. I KNOWWWW that book had no mercy on our hearts ahaha. Yes!! Their families were the sweetest and I love them so much. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This is such a great post!!! I love how you broke it down into categories as well. I so admire the Weasley and single parent types! And I love when siblings are portrayed well in books 🙂 And the means well parent is very apt. But I especially wanted to say that I love how you included and expressed yourself about the abusive parent type- it’s a real issue and I think it’s important that it’s reflected in books (seriously liked your words to survivors there).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! I’m so glad you liked it. Same here!! They’re so amazing. Yes! It’s the best. Ahahah the means well parent is too real for me! 😂
      Aahhh thank you! It honestly is so important to acknowledge that this happens in real life, and reflect it in books. I am so in awe of the strength of survivors, but it makes my heart hurt knowing they’ve gone through such horrid things no one should ever have to go through.


  13. Great post!! I entirely agree to your points- and to be completely honest, I feel like since the average human has both bad sides and good sides, parents do too. They can’t be expected to be perfect and yes, they do get on our nerves a lot, but hey, I know I wouldn’t want it any other way 💛
    Lovely post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I LOVE THIS POST. I’m so happy that families are becoming more and more prevalent in YA – I remember the days where the absent parents trope was so popular and just,, ugh. It’s okay if some booms follow that trope, but so many of them did back in the day! It was boring and I LOVE seeing families. I haven’t read all of these, but The Weasleys, Lara Jean’s family, Simon’s and Starr’s are so great ❤️ Also the mom in Everything, Everything OH MY GOODNESS NO. And ugggh I hate Monty’s dad so much but I’m so glad that it was included because abuse is something that needs to be shown more in YA (and not romanticised or normalised which is so often the case with romantic relationships, though thankfully we’re getting more and more healthy relationships in ya!). Great post! 🙂


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