As a big reader of YA, almost every book I read seems to feature romance. Even if it’s not the main focus, most YA books contain romance in one form or another. But why is this?

Sure, YA novels attempt to depict what teenager’s lives are like, especially in contemporary novels, however to be honest, not all teenager’s lives feature romance, particularly eternal, earthshattering ones.

So, I tried to think about some books I love that didn’t contain any romance.

  1. Percy Jackson. I know this is cheating in two ways, first technically it’s MG not YA and secondly later on in the series there is certainly some romance, but at the beginning this novel focuses on friendship and discovering yourself, rather than finding a girlfriend.
  2. The Book Thief Technically I haven’t read this, I’ve only watched the film, but there are so few non romance YA books, I just have to count it. This book is so adorable, the way you see Rudy and Liesel’s friendship grow is just so cute and makes me wish there were more books like this
  3. Thirteen Reasons Why This book really makes you think about the impact of your actions and focuses on all different sort of relationships, rather than the traditional YA romances

I really struggled to think of even three novels that are YA yet do not contain any romance. No, don’t be misled I love a good romance in my books, but I often find books without romance a refreshing change, especially when they focus on the values of friendship instead. I would love to see more novels that focus on a really great girly friendship, which isn’t immediately dropped at the first sign of a boy. I know I am a teenager who doesn’t have a boyfriend but relies so much on my friends and the support they give me everyday. I’d love to see a novel which reflects this.

How do you feel about romance in YA novels?

What YA novels do you like that don’t contain any romance?