I’m not one who would typically endorse YA books without romance, but after reading a book recently that was glaringly void of hormones, I found it refreshing.
I wouldn’t read books with no romance ALL the time, but for every once it awhile, it’s really nice and a nice change.
Great YA Books Without Romance
These are a few books that I’ve read that have almost no romance
Harry Potter 1-3
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban really have zero romance. I mean, Harry is 11 years old.
It’s not until book 4 that Harry starts to notice cute lil Cho Chang. And even then, the romance aspect of the book is minimal – especially compared to more modern YA series.
It’s this series that reminds me – “HEY, these are my favorite books of all time and they have almost no romance AT ALL. I should really give more romance-less books a chance!”
The Abhorsen series
Clariel is what started this whole post idea. I had just finished reading – and enjoying – it, when I realized how few YA books I read without romance.
And, you guys, this book is pretty epic. So much action, so much magic and adventure. It’s incredible.
Plus, Clariel is a prequel of sorts. The other books in the series are Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen. And all of them are focused on leading ladies who are kick-ass and don’t have a lot of time to focus on their love-life cuz their keeping the dead…dead.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
I read this novel for a book club meeting last year. It’s so deep and moving and a surprisingly easy read.
Plus, although there is a little romance, it’s definitely not the focus of the story by any means. It’s really about Junior and his journey inside and outside his reservation.
Finnikin of the Rock
Finnikin of the Rock is a YA fantasy classic, and it is heavy. Sometimes emotionally heavy books seem to stray away from romance, which is probably what makes them so dense at times.
But, this book will make you think and feel all the feelings. That really surprised me considering the teensy bit of romance in its pages.
Despite what the previews will show from The Giver movie, this book does not actually contain much romance. At all. This is another situation where the main character is fairly young (I want to say 13…?) and there’s some attraction business, but nothing super serious.
Which is all great because it doesn’t distract from the amazing writing and the beautiful story. The Giver is truly the mother of all dystopian books.
The Book Thief
This was another book club pick, and I really enjoyed the original storytelling and perspective. I’ve never read a book about World War II from this point of view, and it was eye-opening for sure.
I liked how so many other types of relationships were highlighted in the book – father/daughter, mother/daughter, best friends, neighbors. I loved seeing how all of those relationships played out.
There is some innocent boy/girl feels, but they’re sweet and tame and unintrusive.
The Hero and The Crown
I am really kicking myself for not having talked about this book more on the blog. I read it in high school, and fell in love with Robin McKinley’s writing.
It’s a fantasy-rich story that has an interesting and light-touch with love. I remember being wrapped up in the rich details and the epic-style storytelling.
Definitely a great series starter to check out!
Do you read YA books without romance?