Valentine’s Day is not for everyone. If you would just like to avoid all of the love and hearts and chocolate this Valentine’s, grab one of these books and bury your head in it until the love-fest is over.
1. ‘The Carrie Diaries’
By Candace Bushnell
The prequel to Sex and the City (both the books and to a lesser extent, the TV show), this is the story of Carrie Bradshaw during her high school years. Typical teen drama, you think? Well no, not quite. And by the time you have finished, romance will be the last thing on your mind – instead you’ll be planning out your dream move, or your dream job.
2. ‘Paper Towns’
By John Green
This high school/mystery/roadtrip novel might start off all about the romance, but by the end you’ll be questioning everything you ever imagined about your high school crush. Wishing that there was someone who had asked you out this Valentine’s Day – not only that, but already planning your future life together? Just hold on a second and read Paper Towns, it might help you work some things out.
3. ‘How to say Goodbye in Robot’
By Natalie Standiford
New girl to town, befriends the bad boy – this novel is so close to becoming a ridiculous cliche. But instead, it’s a wonderful examination of friendships and identity. Beautifully written and highly thought-provoking, it will leave you wondering about your relationships – but not the romantic ones.
4. ‘Hold Me Closer, Necromancer’
By Lish McBride
There’s no time for romance in this hilarious exploration of the supernatural genre. What would you do if you found out you had the power to raise the dead, and could make serious money out of it? Well, you probably wouldn’t be running around looking for a significant other. At all times ridiculous, sarcastic, fun and crazy, there are zombies and talking heads – what more could you ask for?
5. ‘The Homeward Bounders’
By Diana Wynne Jones
Jamie does’t have time for romance, he is too busy being thrown off his world after he discovers a world-encompassing game that the bad guys are playing with the lives of humans. And anyway, he’s only 12. You’ll be too wrapped up in this warped story of parallel universes to remember it is even Valentine’s Day. This book is aimed more towards a slightly younger audience, but it still uses language and a plot for everyone to enjoy.
6. ‘The Murder of Bindie Mackenzie’
By Jaclyn Moriarty
Bindie Mackenzie isn’t looking for love. She’s too busy getting perfect grades, being the teacher’s pet, alienating all of her peers and perfecting her signature Princess Leia hairstyle. But there’s something more sinister going on with Bindie Mackenzie, and this won’t be such an easy fix. This is a beautiful book written in letters, diaries and notes, with a twist that you will not see coming. Romance, schmomance.
7. ‘The Book Thief’
By Markus Zusak
The story about a girl named Liesel, as narrated by Death. Yes, you read that right. If you put in the time, you will discover that this is one of the most beautifully written books you’ll ever read, and about so much more than mere romance. Basically, if by the end of this book, you’re still thinking about your own romantic problems, then you have read it wrong.
8. ‘The Dragonslayer’s Apprentice’
By David Calder and Stieg Retlin
It’s a perfect book for when you need some action, and here is a kickass heroine to give Katniss a run for her money. Forget a fancy life of nice dresses and nice boys, Jackie wants to be a dragonslayer and will stop at nothing to achieve her goal. This is one girl who doesn’t have time for romance, not when there are dragons to slay. It’s also on the shorter side, giving you time to speed through it on Valentine’s Day.
9. ‘The Breakup Bible’
By Melissa Kantor
To finish up, something for the recently brokenhearted. If this Valentines Day has been more about getting over a significant other, try this funny how-to, as lead character Jen tries to get over her boyfriend Max. It sounds predictable, but it isn’t – give it a go and you will get more out of it that you think, and you might even pick up some helpful hints on the way.