No matter which genre of fiction you look to in a bookstore, it’s more than likely you’ll find romance somewhere in the plot.
Whether it be a contemporary, fantasy, Sci-Fi or historical fiction, it’s not uncommon for the main protagonist to fall in love, adding another layer of drama to the story.
But with a large part of the population not being in a relationship themselves, this side of the story can’t be added solely for people to relate to.
So why is it so popular?
Aimee Lewis-Parkes, 17, co-blogger at The Literary Wanderlust, said: “I think because so many people in the world’s population either long for a relationship/significant other or already have that, reading romance allows you to continue to long for it or satisfies your ‘need’, strangely enough.”
But with it being featured in nearly every single book, readers often wonder if there must be other reasons, other than it being accessible.
Some think a romantic relationship is added to create more depth to the danger, with more at stake for the protagonist to lose.
Aimee claimed: “The same could be done with having the main character befriend another person in the novel, therefore making a strong friendship for that effect.”
While they can be hard to find, there are a small percentage of books out there that feature little or no romance.
More often in the online book community, readers are shouting about these books, and the noticeable lack of a love story for those of us who would prefer something different.
“One of my favourite books is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini,” Aimee said.
“It does focus on different relationships but for me, other issues outweighed any romance and I feel like it’s such an important read.”
Books with little or no romance:
Here I Stand by Amnesty International
A collection of short stories and poems by a number of authors, this book was compiled by people who work with Amnesty International, featuring stories that speak for freedom. With people’s rights being questioned and fought against every day, this book shows you various difficult topics in a simple yet enthralling way.
Who Runs The World by Virginia Bergin
In this world, women rule. After a virus wiped out the men of the world, women had to find a way to function. War ended, ecological needs are met, and things seem to run smoothly. But one day, the main character – River – meets a boy, and finds out not everything is as it seems.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Afghanistan – 1960 to 2003. This story spans over many years, first telling the story of Mariam, who is married off to a stranger at a young age. We see her struggles, and meet the next generation – her friendship with a young woman developing as they face the difficulties and injustices of the world they live in.
This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
August Flynn and Kate Harker are teenagers in a world where their parents run the divided sides of the city – a city where crime thrives, and in response to that, so do monsters. For every crime committed, another monster is created. All Kate wants is to be monstrous like her father; all August wants is to be human. And despite everything, their lives twine together in a way they never expect…
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Every night, Conor is visited by a monster. It shows up just after midnight. It demands to know the truth, and yet Conor doesn’t know which truth he wants. Now adapted into a movie, this book is highly popular and really captures the overall atmosphere through stunning illustrations.