D.O.A. Romance in YA

To start out I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day! That being said, I also wanted to address my issue with romance in YA. Let it be known that I love romance. I am a sucker for ROM-COM movies, cry whenever I listen to Unchained Melody and just get all mushy when I read a story that has the most amazing love story unfold and flourish before my very eyes. **SIGH**

That being said, although I like romance it is not necessary for me to enjoy a book and most times I would rather not have any romantic activity involved because I feel that some reads have romance thrown in just for the heck of it. I find it increasingly irritating when a couple suddenly "fall in love" for no reason whatsoever, or when the romance is totally predictable and cliched, better yet the overplayed love triangle. Do you see what I am getting at? Does anyone feel the same way, or am I just being to harsh on this day of love and romantic notions?

So, I am asking for any suggestions to books that are awesome with no romantic entanglements. Any help would be greatly appreciated for my romance overindulged brain needs a break.

I'm going to make this interesting. I have loads of swag and a few books that I would like to give to the person whose suggestion I select. So, all you have to do is make a suggestion or more and you can be the lucky winner of bookmarks, postards, rubber bracelets and even a signed water bottle.


  1. I have to agree with a lot of what you said here, especially about love triangles. They seem to mostly happen in the second book of a series and they often don't make sense. As far as book recommendations that don't have a romance angle I would suggest Plain Kate by Erin Bow, XVI by Julia Karr, and Godless by Pete Hautman. Hope those are great reads for you.

  2. Yep--I'm over love triangles (unless they're done really well!), falling in love just because it works for the plot. I really like the books that build a relationship (quickly's okay, esp. in YA, since passions run high for teens).

    No romance? RIVAL by Sara Bennett Wealer is AWESOME!! Sure, there are boys but no major love story, just rival singers (told through a dual perspective, so you get both sides of the story).

    And for a GOOD YA romance, where the romance is much more realistic and sweet, I really enjoyed ALL YOU GET IS ME by Yvonne Prinz.

    Can't wait to see what others suggest--more for my TBR pile!

    The Book Swarm

  3. The Graveyard Book by Gaiman remains one of my all-time favorite reads.
    Feed by Mira Grant is a fascinating, well-written zombie book with no romance.
    Also check out Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock, and Going Bovine by Libba Bray =)

  4. I completely agree with Feed by Mira Grant, Unwind by Neal Shusterman,
    Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer first book in a trilogy,
    The Golden Compass series by Philip Pullman, Genesis by Bernard Beckett,
    Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld first 2 that are out in the trilogy,
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    Skin Hunger and Sacred Scars by Kathleen Duey. first 2 in the trilogy Now with this suggestion, I will say that there is a relationship, but this isn't really romantic in any way. Also, the writing is pieced together really intricately in this series, which is why I suggest it.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  5. Don't worry about being too harsh. I hight it when the characters just fall in love from one page to another. It's much better when their relationship slowly develops or when they at least have been friends for a while.

    For non-love stories I recommend you
    The Book Of Lost Things by John Connolly. It's kind of creepy but also so creative with lots of twisted fairytale elements. (The Gates by the same author is also great).
    I also agree with Vivien's suggestion of Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman even though it has some slight romance in it, I think (very small).
    Another stunning book would be Identical by Ellen Hopkins, there is a little romance in it but it's not the main point of the plot.
    Oh and another good YA fantasy book would be The Secret Ministry Of Frost by Nick Lake.
    One last suggestion: The Eddie Dickens series by Philip Ardagh, it's aimed at younger readers I guess but it's so so funny, no matter what age you are.

    It's really not that easy to find books that have next to no romance.

  6. How to say Goodbye in Robot, I'm pretty sure there isn't any romace in it. ^_^
    The Mysteryious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, it's a MG, but also really good.

    hauntingorchid (at) aol (dot) com


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