Look, I like romance as much as the next sap. It doesn't even have to be particularly good romance (I've seen ThePhantom of the Opera twice on Broadway). But even I will admit that our media is inundated with romance. Nearly every book, movie, and TV show involves some kind of love interest. So every once in a while, it's nice to read a story that doesn't revolve around meet-cutes, love triangles, and people who hate each other so much that they start making out in a rain storm. The trouble is, when you start looking for books without romance, you find a whole lot of nonfiction and experimental meditations on the nature of existence. It can be hard to find a romance-free book that's also fun and perfect for beach weather. So here are a few books that read like a breezy love story without any of that pesky love.
You don't need a specific reason to go romance-free on your next read. Maybe you're tired of the dating scene. Maybe you need a break from aggressively gendered genres. Maybe you just aren't a fan of romance, and you prefer stories about friends and families. However you feel, you're sure to fall in platonic like with one of these lovely, mostly love-free books: