Do you love young adult books but have found yourself bored with the love triangles and angst that comes with the almost constant presence of a complicated love interest? Well, I have gone in search of young adult books that entertain and are romance free! Here are some of the best young adult books that steer clear of the expected traps of young love. Some of these might have some flirting, or some hints of possible romance in the future, but I aimed for the books with no romance at all. This turned out to be a harder list than I expected to curate; so if you have additional titles to suggest please share them in the comments. I know I cannot be the only one to notice the lack in this area.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
After a family tragedy, Jacob feels compelled to explore an abandoned orphanage on an island off the coast of Wales, discovering disturbing facts about the children who were kept there.
Sabriel by Garth Nix
Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead.
Here, There be Dragons by James A. Owen
Set in 1917, an undergraduate is given a special book that he is told was the reason for his professor’s murder and so must now protect it with his life as he goes on a journey like no other to places that are only supposed to exist in history and dreams.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage and great courage as she relates what she must do to survive while keeping secret all that she can.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Leaving the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school, Junior struggles to find his place in his new surroundings in order to escape his destiny back on the reservation.
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Dealing with an illness that will soon result in his death, 16-year-old Cam is intrigued by the stories told by an eccentric girl named Dulcie and so is encouraged to go on a wild road trip across America where their search for a special cure will lead them to the strangest places on the map.
For more romance free, or very light, here are some more suggestions; Deadline by Chris Crutcher, Katya’s World by Jonathan L. Howard, The Eye of Minds by James Dashner, The Alchemyst: the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott, The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, Monster by Walter Dean Myers, Butterfly by Sonya Hartnett, Orleans by Sherri L. Smith, The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Hobbit: or, There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Maze Runner by James Dashner,The Sky Inside by Clare B. Dunkle, Watership Down by Richard Adams, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac, or Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.