Are you buying the marked down candy at CVS today, like me? Can't even step up and buy yourself the full priced gift of candy this Valentine's Day? Sick of seeing the couples floating around on Cloud 9, as if their very existence isn't rubbing you the wrong way?
Well, have no fear. I have a list of books that have little-to-no romance that you can feel free to enjoy without worrying that a sneaky little love story is going to pop up in the middle and just ruin your day! I mean, even that How to Be Single movie looks like there's going to be a freaking love story in the middle of it. You can't have a movie about being single and then have ROMANCE in it. That's not how it works. So please enjoy the below list; my books will not be having any pesky romances. Not today, my friends, not today!
*Disclaimer: if my books are part of a series, there might be romance later in the series. I can't be held responsible for what the characters do when they grow up, after all. And, I might be in a more of a mood for romance when everything isn't plastered in hearts. Hey, I said might.
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Published Year: 1937
"Bilbo Baggins is a reasonably typical hobbit: fond of sleeping, eating, drinking, parties and presents. However, it is his destiny to travel to the dwarflands in the east, to help slay the dragon Smaug. His quest takes him through enchanted forests, spiders' lairs, and under the Misty Mountains, where he comes across the vile Gollum, and tricks him out of his 'Precious' - a ring that makes its bearer invisible, and wields a terrible power of its own."
It really doesn't get much better than this one. And NO ROMANCE. Just straight up adventure in Middle Earth. Join Bilbo as he really discovers what it's like to go on an adventure for the first time. If you've never read this book (or the other Lord of the Rings books), I really and truly recommend that you read them!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (#1 of 7) by JK Rowling*
Published Year: 1997
Subtitle: Beyond Excellency
"Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
I might have mentioned this before (cough, cough), but these books are my favorite of all time. And Harry is 11 in the first book so NO ROMANCE YAY! If you've never read these, HAVE YOU BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK (or in a cupboard under the stairs)?! *Disclaimer applies.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (#1 of 5) by Rick Riordan*
Published Year: 2005
Genre: YA Fantasy
"Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school... again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus' master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus' stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves."
Such a great series, and I just started the second series, Heroes of Olympus! But they are much younger in the first series which means... NO ROMANCE, of course. Percy introduced us to the world of Greek myths and the Olympians and I just have such a place for him in my heart that can never be replaced. *Disclaimer applies
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Published Year: 2005
Genre: Historical Fiction
"It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau."
Most people have heard of this one because of the recent movie, but the book itself is really powerful. And if it made the list, then NO ROMANCE. Set during World War II, it's obviously going to be really deep, so don't go into it without knowing what you're signing up for, but I would recommend it. Very well written and just in general, excellent.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Published Year: 2012
Genre: Historical Fiction
"Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.
When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution."
Another wartime novel. Easy for NO ROMANCE in the midst of war. Although, it's also easy for the opposite to be true, so nevermind. But this is a good read as well, if you're in the mood for a thriller that's not as intense as Gone Girl with a little more historical fiction thrown in.
Holes by Louis Sachar
Published Year: 1998
"Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck, so he isn't too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys' juvenile detention centre. At Camp Green Lake the boys must dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the dried up lake bed. The Warden claims the labour is character building, but it is a lie. Stanley must dig up the truth."
I might actually like the movie more than I like the book. Don't get me wrong, I love the book. It was my go to when I had to check out a book at the school library (they also had like a dozen copies, so I always knew they would have one).