I recently posted The Perfect Book Tag and in one of my answers I talked about how my ideal novel would not have a romance. That got me thinking about how few books I have read that truly have no romance. There were many commentors who work looking for the same thing so I thought I would share some of my favourites from a variety of genres!
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Life of Pi is one of the few books that I have reread. I read it when it first came out and then again a couple years ago. I appreciated it so much more upon rereading it! There is absolutely no romance in this story as it is about a young boy who survives over 200 days in the ocean with his only company being a Bengal tiger. There is something so brilliant about this one and about how Martel weaves his story.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
All the Light We Cannot See is a book that deserves all of the hype that it gets. It is so beautifully written and has great characters. I have read many WWII historical fiction novels and this one stands out among the rest. It was compelling to see how the stories of our two main characters eventually converged. It has been years since I read it and I would love to experience the story again soon.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I think part of why I appreciated Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine so much is because there was no romance. It is more about the power of friendship and about watching Eleanor’s journey to self-discovery and self-acceptance. The friendship between Eleanor and Raymond is adorable and sweet and I could have read about it for many more pages.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Man Called Ove is another book that focuses on the power of friendship. The friendship between a grump old man and his younger, very pregnant neighbour is so freaking charming! I had a huge smile on my face the entire time I was reading it. There is a little element of romance in that we flashback to scenes of Ove’s life with his wife but they are a small part of the story and I think even non-romance readers will find them to be sweet scenes.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Since I began blogging, I have started to appreciate middle grade novels more and more. One of the reasons is because they rarely include romance, which makes sense! Wonder is heartwarming that it brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. Of course, there are some difficult scenes, but Auggie is such a sweet character and it was a joy to read about his journey. The final scene is one of my favourite moments of all time!
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian is about a man who is trapped on Mars, alone- so yes, no romance! Mark Watney is freaking hilarious and makes the book, which had the potential to be boring, extremely exciting and interesting. This book is so hyped and it deserves it! It is one of the books that got me in to SciFi in the first place.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Dark Matter is another SciFi novel that I would say has no romance. The main character is married and is trying to get back to his wife but that is about as romantic as it gets. There is so much action in this story and your mind is constantly racing trying to figure out what is going on. It is the perfect combination of Science Fiction and Thriller.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Lincoln in the Bardo is a book that takes some getting used to. It is a historical fiction novel that has elements of magical realism, and it is told in a very unique way. It is difficult to keep track of all of the characters, but it is worth the effort. It touches on a lot of interesting topics such a life and death, grief, and familial love. It still haunts me to this day.
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
I have only read the first novel so I am not sure if there is romance in the sequel but as I recall there wasn’t any in Scythe. I have talked about my love for Scythe quite a bit recently- I just can’t help myself! It is so good- you need to read it. I thought it brought up some fascinating moral and ethical questions, and it has one of my favourite villains ever!
Circe by Madeleine Miller
You could argue that there is a romance in Circe but I never viewed it as particularly romantic. To me, this is a book all about Circe and only Circe. The secondary characters, while interesting, are not who I was interested in. I could have read pages and pages of just Circe on her island alone- she was that intriguing to me!
I have to admit that I struggled coming up with books that did not have a romance. For all I know, a romance could play a bigger part in these stories than I remember! Please leaves any recommendations you have in the comments! Help me!