What makes a book irresistible? High stakes and a fast-paced plot may keep our attention, but the characters are the ones we keep coming back for. Enter the swoon-worthy love interest or the endearing, wise grandparent. And then there’s the best friend, the fun, flawed, ride-or-die character.  Through these friendships, the reader peeks into the hearts of our main characters. And sometimes, these friendships are so authentic that we desperately want to be part of it. Here’s a sample of books with best friends you’ll wish you had.

Waiting to Exhale (Berkley) by Terry McMillan

A classic that depicts the strength and honesty between friends, Waiting to Exhale features a cast of four close female friends in their thirties. Savannah, Bernadine, Robin and Gloria are each in different places in their lives but have found themselves single. This book chronicles their journey as they navigate their identity and what they envision love to be. All the while, their personalities collide, but in the end, will their friendship stand the test of all their challenges?

Slightly South of Simple (Gallery Books) by Kristy Woodson Harvey

This is the first of the Peachtree Bluff trilogy. In this book, Caroline Murphy returns to her mother, Ainsley’s, care after her marriage goes astray, only to be joined by her two other sisters with secrets of their own. Caroline is close to her sisters, the kind that everyone hopes to have. One is thoughtful and intuitive, and the other bold and stubborn. While their reunion at Peachtree Bluff isn’t devoid of its own drama, together the Murphy ladies are that much stronger.

I’m Fine and Neither Are You (Lake Union Publishing) by Camille Pagan

Penny Ruiz-Kar has never pretended to be perfect, though she has placed her own best friend Jenny on a pedestal. But when tragedy befalls Jenny, Penny is left to unpack her expectations of friendship and marriage. In this book, the author explores the timelessness of friendship, the respect and gentility of relationships and the secrets friends may harbor despite how close they might be. And yet, what prevails—and what Penny learns—is that friendship and marriage can both be simultaneously flawed and worthwhile.

American Dreamer (Carina Press) by Adriana Herrera

This fun, sexy and heartfelt debut romance brings it all to the table: food culture, family culture, and strong camaraderie. In this first book in the Dreamers series, Nesto moves his Afro-Caribbean food truck to upstate New York, with a six-month time frame to make it a success. Then he meets and falls for the local library youth director, Jude. The bond between Nesto and Camilo, Patrice and Juan Pablo make this book unforgettable. Their brotherhood jumps off the page with their banter, honesty, humor and unwavering support.

A Distant Heart (Kensington) by Sonali Dev

Will there ever be anything better than a friends-to-lovers romance? I say there won’t, and A Distant Heart depicts this romantic arc perfectly. Kimi and Rahul navigate loss and the complex network of the organ black market. But at the heart of this book is their lifelong friendship. They met when she was 11 and confined to her home due to illness. He was 14 and a hired worker.  Their love and trust for each other runs deep. But what happens when both risk everything to find security and truth?

Which of these books do you plan to pick up? Tell us below.