An Only Child Rates YA Sibling Relationships

by - 5:02 PM


Yikes, that small break for Academic Decathlon lasted a heck of a lot longer than I thought it would. But I'm back and coming at you with a new post, one in which I, an only child who has never once wanted siblings, rate sibling relationships in popular YA books. Without further ado, let's dive in! 

note: do not get offended by my words, sibling-havers!! i come from a place of total ignorance. perhaps my analyses are horribly and awfully wrong. if so, tell me kindly and spare the rotten tomatoes.

Declan, Ronan, and Matthew from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

I started out ambivalent towards the Lynch boys' relationship, but I loved it by the end of the series. Although I always liked Ronan, Declan and Matthew initially seemed like two-dimensional side characters not really worth my time. But BOY, was I wrong. I sympathized with Declan so much by the end, and I liked the way he and Ronan fiercely loved their siblings but didn't often show it. These three had my favorite dynamic of any group in The Raven Cycle.

Sadie and Mattie from Sadie by Courtney Summers

Okay, remember that little warning I put near the beginning of this post? The one that says I come from a place of total ignorance and basically don't know what I'm talking about? This is why.

I know that the fierce love Sadie had for Mattie was like . . . the reason 100% of the plot happened. And that Sadie did so so much for her little sister. But by the end of the book, their relationship was just . . . giving me weird vibes. It started to feel pretty unhealthy. They definitely loved each other, but people can truly care about each other and still be in unhealthy relationships. Having finished Sadie, I've decided I'm wary of Mattie and Sadie's relationship. Something about it just feels . . . bad. But like. They had such meaningful love for each other, and I can't put my finger on what exactly bothers me??

Janae and Zuri from Pride by Ibi Zoboi

I know I already mentioned these two in my review of Pride, but I just have to bring them up again. Unlike all the other siblings on this list, I loved their relationship immediately. It's realistic (I think), yet heartwarming and strong from the inside out. They can take a seat next to the March sisters at the table reserved for fictional siblings who have managed the impossible task of making me want my own. 

Andrew and Aaron from the All for the Game Trilogy by Nora Sakavic

This is another super weirdly unhealthy relationship!! they've both literally murdered for the other, yet they can't stand each other. My only-child self is vv confused. But by the end of the trilogy, they seem to have reached a tolerable kind of peace or understanding. So I guess . . . good?

Also, I just love The Foxhole Court.

Mike, Mel, and Meredith from The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Although these three didn't necessarily make me want siblings, they did convince me that maybe siblings wouldn't be the end of the world. I liked how they protected and respected each other and the way all of their different dynamics (Mike and Mel, Mel and Meredith, etc.) combined.

Let's chat! Do you have siblings? Do you love it, or do you wish you were the one and only? Do you agree with my ratings? Who are YOUR favorite and least favorite literary siblings? Comment below, and have a lovely day. <3


You May Also Like


  1. I many siblings...omg you can have some if you want. I mean they're mostly grown up and there's still Too Many and now they're having kids so it's just like WAY TOO MUCCHHHHHH.
    Ahem anyway. Despite that, I really love fictional siblings because they're somehow cooler than the real thing. 😂I would like to say that the part about Aaron/Andrew killing for each other but can't stand each other? Yes, lol, relatable. And Declan/Ronan's relationship is AMAZING just because it's so complex and so full of hurt and fajskfdlad the Ronan trilogy is gonna kill me.

    (I'm trying to write an only-child for the first time and it's so weird because I always write siblings.😂)

    1. I do the reverse! I tend to write characters who either have always been only children or are now only children due to unfortunate circumstances. I just . . . siblings . . . what aRe ThEy??? I can't even begin to fathom what that relationship would be . . . like. *useless flailing* Good luck with your writing!

  2. I have a younger sister and growing up we were very close, but as we grew older, we started doing our own thing but when we get together it's like no time has passed.

    I think Sadie and Mattie's relationship definitely was not healthy, but I think it has to do with their upbringing. They were the only stable constants in each other's lives, so when Mattie dies, Sadie loses her constant which leads her on the path of revenge.

  3. The Lynch boys are so much love. <3

  4. This is such a wonderful idea for a post! I really enjoyed reading about the Lynch brothers too, their dynamic was so fascinating. And Zuri and Janae are sister goals! I love close they are and how much they support each other. I also love the relationship between Elizabeth and Jane in P&P ❤️

    1. Thank you!! Ahhh, I must confess, I haven't read the original P&P, or indeed, any of Jane Austen's books. I've tried, but I can't get through them. I want to like them, though!! I just tend to prefer the Gothic/spooky/MURDERY classics, like Macbeth, Ethan Frome, Wuthering Heights, and Christmas Carol.

  5. I started the Raven Cycle but remember absolutely nothing about it, and I can't wait to read Sadie. Glad to see the one from Pride is good, I might have to read that one soon.

    Ash @ JennRenee Read

    1. Haha that is a MOOD. I'm getting in the third Witchlands book at the library soon, and I remember 0% of what happened in the first two. I hope you enjoy them!

  6. I LOVE the sibling relationships in The Raven Cycle!!! That family is just too cute. Also, I have a single older brother who is not even two years older than me, so we ended up fighting a lot as children. Now that we're a bit older and semi-adultish, we get along better. I've always wondered what it would be like to be an only child though! Since I'm the younger sibling, I've never gone a day in my life without my brother.

    1. I agree! And I like Blue's family a lot as well, even though (and possibly because) they're mostly adults. It's absolutely wonderful is what it's like. But I'm glad you're getting along with your brother better now! I always thought that if I were to have a sibling, I'd like to be the younger one (by 4-5 years). I feel like then I wouldn't get annoyed by my sibling as much, though I bet I'd still be plenty annoying to them.

  7. I love this post :D Even though I've read absolutely zero of the books listed. I have four siblings all together, three brothers and a random sister and...uh...they make me wish I was an only child sometimes, but I love them. I also love sibling relationships in books and have a few favourites. One of the last books I read with a good set of siblings was Children of Blood and Bone. I really liked Tzain and Zelie's relationship, but I though Amari and Inan's was lacking in nuance, especially since they'd had a very complicated family. Other than actual siblings, I love writing and reading about cousins, maybe because I've never had cousins? Anyway, I'm kind of fond of them. Really enjoyed this post :)


Thank you for your comment :) they make my day. Feedback is always welcome.