Choose clearance candies and get a non-romance book to read

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Phew, Valentine’s Day is finally over. As much as I love love, I’m so relieved to see kitschy pink hearts and sweet romantic sayings going back to hell for another year. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. But I think we can all agree that the best part of marketing Valentine’s Day is clearing out the candy, right? You can absolutely find me browsing the bins at the candy sale on February 15 every year. If you could also enjoy a break from seeing nothing but cartoon cupids at every turn, you’ve come to the right place! Take the quiz below for an imaginative trip down the clearance candy aisle and we’ll tell you which no-romance book calls out to you. We’ve got fantasy, mystery, horror, literary fiction and more, all ready to take you on a captivating journey without any love-filled side quests.

And before anyone starts stalking my social media to tell me how cold-hearted I am about their favorite pink and red holidays, let it be known that I’m not the Valentine’s Day Grinch. I like romance novels and I cry at the end Notebook like everyone. I even celebrate Valentine’s Day every year by baking cheesecake for my wife. There are lots of ways to be kind and caring without spending tons of money, which is precisely what capitalism wants you to think love is all about. I think finding your own special tradition is the best way to spend February 14th, and it’s even better if it’s something a little weird. Save the fancy chocolates for when they go on sale. I promise, it’s just as good.

Romance Free Book Quiz


The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

This YA verse novel is a delightful and fabulous coming-of-age story. The protagonist is a mixed-race queer teenager trying to find his place in the world. When he discovers a talent and a passion for drag, he learns to embrace and celebrate his uniqueness. It’s a drag queen origin story that’s beautiful, crisp, bold, and utterly original – no romantic plot necessary.

Cackle book cover by Rachel Harrison

Cackling by Rachel Harrison

This non-romance book is about getting back together after a relationship ends. After an unexpected breakup, Annie moves to a small town in upstate New York in search of a new life. She quickly falls in love with the new town – and a charming new friend, Sophie. Sophie takes Annie under her wing and helps her get a fresh start. But Annie soon notices that everyone in town seems a bit scared of Sophie. Could she be more powerful than she looks?

Book cover of The City We Have Become by NK Jemisin

The City We Became by NK Jemisin

There’s little time for romance when you save a huge city from destruction. Every city has a soul, and when a great evil threatens the city, that soul becomes personified in order to protect its home. But New York has something special. When this great evil threatens the city that never sleeps, it becomes personified by five people, representing each borough. Can they unite to save the town they love?

cover of My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

What is the opposite of a romance novel? Why, a terrifying horror novel, of course! Jade is obsessed with slasher movies, and in particular the “last girl” role. When a few mysterious deaths occur in the small town of Jade, Idaho, she’s sure they’re real life. And when a new girl who perfectly matches the final girl archetype moves to town, Jade is the only person who knows what bloody danger awaits.

My Sweet Daughter book cover

My Sweet Daughter by Amanda Jayatissa

Psychological thrillers are the antithesis of Valentine’s Day, right? Paloma thought life would be easy when she was adopted from her Sri Lankan orphanage by a wealthy American couple. And for many years it was – until she was 30 and her parents cut her off from their funds. When her new roommate Arun discovers her darkest secret and ends up unconscious in a pool of blood, Paloma doesn’t know if her secret is safe or more dangerous than ever.

cover image of Women and Salt by Gabriel Garcia

Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

In present-day Miami, Jeanette is a daughter of Cuban immigrants and struggles with drug addiction. When her neighbor Gloria is detained by ICE, Jeanette takes in Gloria’s daughter and is forced to consider her own family trauma. The story then goes back through five generations of mothers and daughters, each burdened with the difficult choices of motherhood and family inheritance.

Sankofa book cover

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo

Growing up, Anna’s white mother told her very little about her African father. It’s not until Anna is in her 40s, separated from her husband and wondering what’s next, that Anna’s mother dies and Anna finally finds an old diary that leads her to her father. It turns out that her father became the leader of an African nation and made some questionable decisions. Determined to find out more about her father and herself, Anna decides to travel to her father’s country and meet the man who doesn’t even know she exists.

book cover of The Secret of Superhuman Strength

The Secret of Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel

In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel chronicles her life through six decades of fitness fads. It’s a fun and engaging way to approach her life story, but more than that, Bechdel explores how various exercise methods allowed her to explore her mind-body connection and her place in the universe. It’s a wonderful balance between humor, history and philosophical reflections.

We hope you enjoyed this non-romance book quiz! You might also like:

10 Non-Romance YA Books For When You’re Not In Love

11 Perfect Queer Books Without Romance

Fantasy books with no romance (or very little)

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