Sometimes it feels like EVERY book has a romantic subplot. Some are pretty cool and others are pretty boring but there are just SO MANY. It’s rare when I find a book that doesn’t have a romantic subplot and I’m always so happy when they don’t. And as it’ll be Valentines’ day next week and I’m slowly but surely getting pretty sick of all the romance in books, and honestly all the romance in general around this time, here’s a list of pretty cool books that have no or barely any romance in them!
- A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
One of the few books on this list that actually does not have any romance in it, not even in the background. It’s a really cool creepy, ghostly, historical fantasy adventure! (Read my full review here).
- The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
This is one of my favorite books, it’s so full of story and cool characters against a backdrop of late 1800s Paris, all without any romantic subplot. Sure, one of the smaller characters has some sort of vague romantic thing happening but it’s off page and the scene is mostly meant for something else and another character is about to get engaged but that’s IT. (Read my full review here)
- The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
This is a really cool middle-grade book set in winter, full of fantasy and magic and a really cool protagonist. Only a little romance on the edges of the story because the MC’s sister is older, but other than that nothing at all! (Read my review here).
- Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
A really cool book about the importance of friendship, but also about fame and doing what you love, instead of what you think you should do. Some romance on the sidelines by minor characters but actually all off-page. (Read my full review here)
- The Princess and the Fool by Paul Neafcy
A really cool fantasy book based on fairytale tropes but made better, with basically no romantic plot. Except there are some hints, some expectations, but for the rest it’s all pretty much void of romantic, but full of adventure and really creepy monsters! (Read my full review here)
- All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
It’s been a while since I’ve read this, but I don’t remember a romantic subplot. Maybe a little on the outskirts of the story with the minor characters or in their back story (but only a LITTLE, if at all), but it’s a really cool and very unique story that I really, really love. (Read my full review here)
- The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
This is a story I haven’t seen talked about much and deserves much more hype! It has no romance at all, except a little in the beginning but I wouldn’t call that a romantic subplot at all (there’s off-page sex, but that’s only a small part of that characters’ story). But it IS really cool and shows life in Alaska.
- The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
A classic, and NO romantic subplot, whatever the movies may claim.
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
It’s been a while since I’ve read this one, but I remember really loving this thriller-esque mystery YA. No romance at all, at least, that I remember.
- Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
A graphic novel, and my favorite at that! No romantic plot (although there’s some suggested romance in the back story of some characters and at the ending, but it’s not part of the story mostly, and it is very cute).
I hope you enjoyed this list that got longer than I had expected 😛 Apparently there are more books without much romance than I thought, or perhaps I naturally gravitate towards them most of the time. Anyway, happy reading!