Weekend Ramblings: YA sans Romance

Another blogger brought up the fact yesterday that the overarching majority of YA books have some sort of romantic subplot, even if the main character happens to be running for his/her life and fighting death at every turn.


There’s so much more to a young adult’s life than just finding a boyfriend/girlfriend and dating… especially these young adults who are also off saving the world.

Even within discussions I’ve read among YA authors and other publishing professionals, the rule of thumb seems to be: if you have YA, you have to have some sort of romance.

In looking at my own shelves, I tried to come up with a list of YA *without* romance, and believe me, it’s not easy.

Everlost (Skinjacker, #1)Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Although there is some romantic yearning hinted at between a couple of the characters, there’s very little kissing or PDA in this first book of the series.

Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Again, there is a romantic relationship somewhat hinted at, but the main bulk of this novel has to do with a friendship between two girls during WWII who were too busy flying planes to deal with boy troubles.

The Book of Lost ThingsThe Book of Lost Things by John Connelly

Someone correct me if I’m wrong — it’s been a very long time since I’ve read this book — but I don’t believe that the main character had any sort of romantic interest in it.

Crazy DangerousCrazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

Though there is a boy-girl friendship, it never develops into anything romantic.  Most of the book centers around the main character and his group of guy friends.

Holes (Holes, #1)Holes by Louis Sachar

Though there is a romance as part of a subplot, it’s between adults, and the main character himself remains free from girl troubles — easy to do, I guess, at an all-boy prison camp.

Inkheart (Inkworld, #1)Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Although a kind-of-sort-of will-they-won’t-they relationship develops later on, this first book of the series is free of romance.

Island of the Blue Dolphins (Island of the Blue Dolphins, #1)Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

I suppose it’s hard to find love when you’re stranded alone on a deserted island with only wild dogs to keep you company.

Artemis Fowl (Artemis Fowl, #1)Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

I, for one, was glad that the author never ‘went there’ with inter-species dating, especially since the elves are hundreds of years old and Artemis is only a teenager.  One of the later books does have a brief human love interest, but she never makes a reappearance in subsequent books.

Help us out!  Can you think of any other ones?  Post them in the comments below!


About WNK

Check out my book review blog! https://excellentlibrary.wordpress.com/

One response to “Weekend Ramblings: YA sans Romance”

  1. Alison says :

    Muahaha. Great minds think alike because I also posted a rant about YA and romance today.

    Thanks for the list of books! 🙂

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