Ya know, because some of us just don’t see what’s so great about Valentine’s Day! I’m sure there will be TONS of posts out there about what romance books to read or favorite romances but since I’m not big on romance myself, I decided to do a post of NON-ROMANCE books! Or just books that romance isn’t the focus in.
These aren’t in any particular order and I will link up my reviews if I have them!
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
One of the major reasons I liked this book was because there weren’t any of the typical YA romance tropes present: no love triangles or insta-love! We got a nice friendship between the two main characters and it could possibly develop into a romance but it didn’t in the first book here. So refreshing!
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke
Sometimes I find that horror books, as with horror movies, are filled with cliched romances but this little anthology isn’t the case! There are stories for just about every horror lover in here with monsters, serial killers, curses, and Death itself. And none involve romance with the exception of Danielle Page’s story but I recommend steering clear of that mess.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
If you want to be emotionally wrecked by a non-romance book on Valentine’s Day, this is the book for you. This is more sci-fi mixed with coming of age, there are two adorable kids and a talking dog.
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
This book is hard to explain because it’s sort of horror mixed with mystery/thriller, but it’s absolutely 100% addicting. It’s 600 some pages long and it felt shorter than that because the story was so intriguing. Romance isn’t the focus at all in this book just pure suspense! It’s a great “rainy day read” but in this case it’s a great book to stay at home and read this Valentine’s Day!
A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole
There is a tiny bit of romance in this book but it’s so small it’s like it isn’t even there! Plus you’ll be too swept up in the plot and gorgeous world building of this YA sci-fi to notice.
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Hmm how about instead of romance you read something with morally gray characters who also happen to have awesome super powers? Yes, I think that’s a great idea too.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
There is a bit of romance in this book but once again it isn’t the main focus whatsoever, instead the focus is more on the love between Starr and her family. The family dynamic in this book is so, so fantastic and of course the story is important for more than this reason as well as it explores police brutality and the Black Lives Matter Movement. I can find a reason to recommend this book ALL the time, trust me, so why not Valentine’s Day?
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
The overall motivation of the main character involves a romance but this is not a romance book at all, way too twisted and dark. If you want crazy plot twists in your life, you will find them here!
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
In this short novella there is discussion of romantic relationships but they aren’t the focus, instead the focus is on the fantastic world building. These characters have all been to different worlds and must cope with returning to our world, it’s similar to Alice going down the rabbit hole and the Pevensie children going into Narnia.
Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook by Christina Henry
This is a very dark, twisted retelling of Peter Pan told from the POV of James Hook and is the origin story of his rivalry with Pan. It’s a very unique and creative retelling, I highly recommend checking it out if you’re a fan of Peter Pan and of course there’s no romance!
Dreamfall by Amy Plum
This is another book whose genre is hard to pinpoint, it’s about a group of children/teenagers who suffer from insomnia going into an experiment that is supposed to help them. Instead they are all thrown into a shared dreamscape in which they have to battle through their nightmares. It’s nice that there was no romance to distract from the thrills!
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
This is what “Throne of Glass” should have been like: badass assassins and a badass competition with NO insta-love or love triangles!! You’ll find a generfluid thief/assassin fighting in a competition to become one of the queen’s assassins, nothing but romance-free action and adventure here!
The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan
This book isn’t for the faint hearted, it is very gory and graphically violent as the plot focuses on a girl seeking revenge for her rape. The rape IS depicted off page but it’s still hard to read through. However, it’s a fantastic story involving a Romany main character who uses magic/witchcraft to collect special “ingredients” from the boys who assaulted her in order to save a friend. Obviously there isn’t any romance.
The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas
This is a pretty dark and twisted YA mystery/thriller, I did NOT see those twists coming at all! I like that there was no romance to take away from the plot and overall suspense, it means there’s more time to tell a great story.
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
There is a tiny bit of side romance that develops later but if you read the book you’ll know why I’m saying it’s not really romantic. It’s nice when there’s a fantasy that doesn’t focus on a romantic relationship and instead focuses on world building, plot twists, and characters like “Stormdancer” does.
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Sure there’s a romance we would all LIKE to develop in this book but ultimately there isn’t any romance. Schwab, if you couldn’t already tell, is kind of the Queen of writing fantastic books that don’t use romance as a focal point. Instead we get great characters, great world building, and a great plot to focus on instead!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
What do you think of these recommendations?
What are some of your favorite non-romance books?
Would you rather read romance or non-romance on Valentine’s Day?
Let me know in the comments!