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Teenage girl protagonists with no romance?

(34 Posts)
Takver Mon 18-May-15 13:19:25

Provoked by a conversation with dd . . . She says there are (almost) no contemporary non fantasy novels with a teenage girl protagonist, that don't involve said girl falling in love as a major part of the story.

So far I've come up with
The Bone Dragon
Saffy's Angel (admittedly published in 2002)
A Dog Called Homeless (but protagonist isn't actually a teenager, I think she must be 11 or 12)

Are we missing anything really, really obvious? In fact, even if you allow fantasy, I can't think of many more to add (Frances Hardinge's novels being the main ones, I think Mosca Mye must be 14/15?)

This isn't really a 'looking to read', more curiosity!

Booksteensmagazines Mon 18-May-15 14:10:11

Struggling to think of some but came up with these:

The Seeing by Diane Hendry

The Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta

Close Your Pretty Eyes by Sally Nicholls

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Takver Mon 18-May-15 20:26:45

It's interesting, isn't it. DD says that books with teenage boy protagonists do sometimes include romance, but often don't - but somehow it seems de rigeur that if you have a teenage girl, she must fall in love.

She's currently planning to write her own book, featuring a teenage girl who does a great many things and doesn't fall in love!

caroldecker Mon 18-May-15 20:41:24

Terry Pratchett's the wee free men

YDdraigGoch Mon 18-May-15 20:47:45

The Hunger Games trilogy.

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 18-May-15 20:48:39

The love triangle is a big part of the hunger games trilogy.

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 18-May-15 20:49:24

She is not invisible. Marcus Sedgwick.

smugmumofboys Mon 18-May-15 20:50:07

His Dark Materials' Trilogy? It's a while since I read them (I know they're fantasy) but I can't remember any romance.

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 18-May-15 20:51:01

White crow by Marcus Sedgwick doesn't have any romance in it either, I think.

Takver Mon 18-May-15 20:52:27

'She is not invisible' looks fantastic, CalamitouslyWrong. I'll ask dd if she's read it, sure she'd like it if not.

I did actually think of another one, 'Looking at the Stars' by Jo Cotterell

Takver Mon 18-May-15 20:55:01

smugmum - not in the first one (though in that she's only 12), but yes by no. 3 (heartbreakingly so). Not that they're not fantastic books.

OwenMeanysArmadillo Mon 18-May-15 20:56:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

traviata Mon 18-May-15 21:00:19

the Ruby Redfort novels by Lauren Childs, but perhaps she is not a teenager.

CalamitouslyWrong Mon 18-May-15 21:01:52

Clariel by Gareth nix (although that is fantasy)

If you find me.

The book thief?

There's a follow up to code name verity, called rose under fire.

Mmbop Mon 18-May-15 21:04:51

I LOVED saffy's angel! Thanks OP grin

alexpolistigers Tue 19-May-15 07:46:09

I have written a series of books featuring a teenage girl without even a hint of romance. Or fashion.

Naturally they are absolutely brilliant wink

NotCitrus Tue 19-May-15 08:02:01

Homecoming and the first few sequels - Cynthia Voight
Dogsbody - Diana Wynne Jones (fantasy elements but in a normal English town)
My Friend Rebecca - Linda Hoy (very funny and good intro to Shakespeare)

Erm... (runs through classics and discounts the lot)

HermioneWeasley Tue 19-May-15 08:06:40

The Nancy Drew mysteries- ok she has a boyfriend but he's very minor

Anne of green gables - she doesn't commit to Gilbert for ages

What Katy did - can't remember any romance in those?

Dark materials - Lyra and Wil do fall in love in the third book, but again it's not the main thing

Fanjango Tue 19-May-15 08:11:06

Any of the Tiffany series of Terry Pratchett. Hat full of Sky, Wintersmith I Shall Wear Midnight all good books. And for fans the last in coming out in October
The Shepherds Crown smile

differentkindofpenguin Tue 19-May-15 08:33:44

I second Terry Pratchett's Tiffany books. There's a little bit about boys in the last one but it's more of a background thing in the first three

Takver Tue 19-May-15 08:33:51

HermioneWeasley - I'm not sure Nancy Drew, Anne, or Katy count as contemporary grin

chaletdays Wed 20-May-15 14:14:08

The Wells and Wong books are contemporary as in being written at the moment, but they're set back in the 1930s, so don't know if that counts.

Anyhow, the main protagonists are 14 and while there was a hint of a suggestion of mutual admiration in one book, there's been no romance.

Takver Wed 20-May-15 17:10:54

They look great fun, Chaletdays!

netty7070 Wed 20-May-15 17:12:55

The Lightbearer's Daughter, O R Melling.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 21-May-15 13:48:27

Some of the historicals are good at this.
Mary Hooper's Fallen Grace and At The Sign of the Sugared Plum (though some of her others do). Marie Louise Jensen's The Lady In The Tower doesn't IIRC.
Julia Golding's Cat Royal books have a wonderfully kickass and stylish heroine who has far more interesting things to do than fall in love.

There is definitely pressure on writers to put love in books for girls though.... when I met my agent and the possible publishers for my first book, it was one of the questions they both asked about my second.

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