5 Great Love-Free Books

This post is inspired by my friend, who absolutely hates 'lovey stuff' in books. Even if they're not romance novels, she just can't stand it. I mean, relationships have their place in fiction, and we all love a good power couple, but sometimes it all gets too messy. Here are five brilliant books to read when you're fed up of all the complicated crushes and love triangles:

1 - A Study in Scarlet, Arthur Conan Doyle.

If you've seen the TV show Sherlock, the pilot episode is loosely based on this book - not that it contains any spoilers or anything. Expect a lot of deduction, banter and (as the cover suggests) the odd thrilling chase. The language can be a little old-fashioned, but it's a really intelligent whodunnit with characters that are nothing less than iconic. I love it!

2 - Matilda, Roald Dahl.

This is more middle grade than YA, but it's absolutely fantastic as a quick read or to ease you back into reading after a difficult book / long break. If you finished it when you were younger, I'd recommend a re-read at some point: it's funny, intelligent and, for many of us, filled with a lot of nostalgia. Plus, Matilda is one of the strongest characters I've ever experienced. How many other four-year-olds would plan elaborate tricks to punish their parents?

3 - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S Lewis

This is my all-time favourite fairytale story. It's actually the second book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, but was released first, so The Magician's Nephew is more of a prequel than anything else. It's great for a wide range of age groups because the four main characters (Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) range in ages from eight to fourteen, and the fairytale world can be as child-like or deep as the reader's point of view. Plus, there's a talking lion. Need I say more?

4 - Stormbreaker, Anthony Horowitz.

Government spy agency - check. Hero with a tortured past - check. Dangerous situation in a breathtaking setting (not in the Mediterranean, sadly) - check. You'd be forgiven for thinking that this was a James Bond film, but no. Our hero is none other than fourteen-year-old Alex Rider, who has all the skills of Bond without the love part - at least, not in this book. The other instalments in the series do have romantic touches, but it's never a main part of the plot. If you love spies, gadgets and car chases, then this is for you.

5 -  Watership Down, Richard Adams.

It might sound a bit soppy, but I really loved this book. Yes, the main characters are rabbits, and it can take some slogging through, but there's so much emotion in it that I cried at the end, believe it or not. I also found it very eye-opening, because of the way it represented humans: there's really no better way to make a statement about how we live than with a novel!

So, before you dismiss this book as child's play, give it a second glance. You just might enjoy it as much - or more - than I did.

(If you need more love-free book recommendations, have a look at this article. There's also some great ideas on Goodreads. Have fun!)

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