Over February, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll get flooded with a lot of recommendations centred round Valentine’s Day, seeing as that’s one of the big happenings of the month. Even if a slightly more unique spin is put on things – for example, I did a post on YA romances which had other, quite heavy themes included as well – by the end of February, it is fairly standard to start wanting to read books which aren’t romances. So that’s the theme around which I’ve put together some recommendations today!
First up is Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, illustrated by Maira Kalman. The focus of the book is on a relationship between two teenagers, but the point is that as the book progresses, it highlights the reason the pair broke up at every single stage of their relationship. I think this is perfect if you’re not after your average romance, as you go into the book knowing things turn out badly, and essentially read the growth and collapse of the relationship.
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr is probably one of my favourite books published in 2017 so far, and surprisingly it isn’t very romantic. I’m not going to say too much as I don’t want to spoil anything, but while the blurb implies there is a romance running through it, I can promise you that there really isn’t. Personally, I thought the book had an incredible plot twist, and was a triumph in terms of showing the courage and boldness that one teenage girl can exhibit.
I must confess that although I am including The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder on this list, I haven’t actually read it yet. However, the blurb definitely suggests to me that it is perfect if you’re sick of reading about happy, perfect relationships – Penelope, the protagonist, creates the Museum of Heartbreak after her heart is broken. If you’re interested in winning a copy, I’m running a giveaway over on my Twitter which is open till Friday 3rd March! (2017)
Finally, how could I let any blog post of recommendations go without taking the chance to recommend a book by Alice Oseman? I think both of her books could have fitted in well here (in Radio Silence, there is an entire, although albeit short, chapter dedicated to say how there wasn’t going to be a romance between the protagonists), but I’ve chosen Solitaire to focus on, as the whole point of the book to me was on Tori and Michael discovering the mystery behind the Solitaire organisation, as well as exploring Tori’s feelings around school, friendships, and life in general. While there is a kiss at the end, it really wasn’t that momentous in terms of the course of the book – and the book’s tagline is ‘This is not a love story . . .’ which I think speaks for itself.
Hopefully these recommendations prove useful to anyone who is sick of reading romances at the moment.