TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY: Top five YA novels without romance

Top Five Wednesday header

(Top Five Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey. Find out more at the Goodreads group!)

If there’s one thing that YA has a lot of, it’s romance. That’s why I’m so excited about this week’s Top Five Wednesday topic! Last month, there was some focus on shipping, and – while I LOVE shipping – it got a little exhausting.

Some people think you can’t get YA without romance, which is why I’m happy to recommend five titles for you that have no (or very, very little) romantic overtones. These are books that are focused on friendship and family, and I’ve actually all of them four or five stars. It’s difficult to write YA without romance, but when it’s done, it’s done brilliantly.

5) ‘The Walls Around Us‘ by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

I can’t remember much about ‘The Walls Around Us’, because I read it in one sitting over two and a half years ago. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t any romance in it, or if there is it was very much a subplot. ‘The Walls Around Us’ tells the story of three teenage girls: a murderer, her best friend, and a girl she was in prison with. There’s so much importance on friendship and desperation to achieve, and it’s gripping.

4) ‘The Lie Tree‘ by Frances Hardinge

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

‘The Lie Tree’ is hard to put into an age bracket. The protagonist is younger, but the writing is so beautifully literary that at times it reads as though it could be an adult novel. One thing it doesn’t have, though, is romance. Faith has no time for that, being in the middle of solving the mystery of her father’s death.

3) ‘The Art of Being Normal‘ by Lisa Williamson

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

‘The Art of Being Normal’ is all about discovering who you truly are. David is transgender, and he’s trying to figure out how to come out to his parents and to start living the life he wants, rather than the one he was born with.

2) ‘Countless‘ by Karen Gregory

Countless by Karen Gregory

This might surprise you, because ‘Countless’ is about teen pregnancy. But Hedda is far too focused on her daughter and her eating disorder to have much time for her neighbour, Robin. There is a small bit of flirting between them, but weighed up against everything else it’s practically non-existent.

1) ‘Beautiful Broken Things‘ by Sara Barnard

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard

‘Beautiful Broken Things’ begins with Caddy making a list of the things that she wants to do in the next year. Top of that list? Finding a boyfriend. Unfortunately for Caddy, that doesn’t happen. Instead, ‘Beautiful Broken Things’ is an exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of female friendships, and how sometimes the ones closest to us can bring about our downfall.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Five Wednesday? What non-romantic YA titles do you recommend?