Welcome! Thanks for joining us in our quest to find clean books for young teens, older teens, and even adults. If you’re having a hard time finding books without all the language, sex, or mature situations for you and your teens, you’re not alone. Lots of kids and parents are looking for them, and we’ve found some great suggestions. (Scroll down if you want to know more about our search for clean books.)
Whether you’re looking for clean book suggestions for a vacation, a road trip, or just a lazy summer day, we have some suggestions. Check them out below. ⤵️
-Sara & Stacy
P.S. Don’t forget to share this with anyone who might find it helpful!
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Finding clean YA books for your summer
A note from Sara:
Hello! I’m Sara, one of the owners here at Book Series Recaps, and I curate the clean book lists on this website. I’m also a writer and a part-time high school teacher.
I hope your summer is off to a fabulous start! Mine is going great, but this week ushered in some HOT weather. Because of this, my kids and I are spending more time indoors, and what better way to pass the time than with a good book!? Below you’ll find a few of my recent clean book finds!
I’ve divided the main section below into a few specific categories:
And if you don’t find what you’re looking for, check out our main list: Clean YA Books for Teens, Tweens, or anyone
Enjoy! I hope you find something great to read.
What I’m reading now:
*Read the book and then watch the movie!
I’m reading a cute YA contemporary novel called, There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones. I’m about 3/4 of the way through and love it! It was published in 2011, but I think it will be a hit with today’s teens.
One of my favorite things is reading a book and then watching the movie based on it! There You’ll Find Me was made into a film called Finding You in 2021.
Book synopsis from Amazon: “Grief brought high school senior Finley Sinclair to Ireland. Love will lead her home.
Eighteen-year-old Finley Sinclair is witty, tough, talented, and driven. With an upcoming interview at the Manhattan music conservatory, she just needs to finish composing her audition piece. But her creativity disappeared with the death of her older brother, Will.
She decides to take a break and study abroad, following Will’s travel journal to Ireland. Her brother felt closest to God there, and she hopes to find peace about his death. Meanwhile, Beckett Rush—teen heartthrob and Hollywood bad boy—is flying to Ireland to finish filming his latest vampire movie. On the flight, he bumps into Finley—the one girl who seems immune to his charm. Undeterred, Beckett convinces Finley to strike an unconventional bargain.
As Finley deals with the loss of her brother, the pressures of school, and her impending audition, she wonders if an unlikely romance is blossoming between her and Beckett. Then she experiences something that radically changes her perspective on life. Has everything she’s been looking for been with her all along?”
(*Note: this novel has some religious overtones.)
My Clean YA Recommendations for young teens or anyone | Summer 2023!
*Reminder: Our site contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases….hey, we had to upgrade our hosting due to our amazing number of readers…we’re just trying to pay for it! ;)*
Clean books your boys may like:
by Scott Reintgen
YA Science Fiction
No language, no on-page sex, some fantasy violence
Nyxia is a fun and exciting YA science fiction. Teens will love the competition-based storytelling.
Synopsis from Amazon: “What would you be willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune?
Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.”
by Bradley Caffee
No language, no sex, mild fantasy violence
The Chase is another YA dystopian competition story boys and girls will like.
Synopsis from Amazon: “Win the Chase. Be the hero. Or die trying.
The chaos and anarchy following the Great Collapse nearly brought the world to its knees until the unchanging Law brought order and peace. Generations later, the twelve alliances of the World Coalition come together once a year to allow their best and brightest young people to compete in the Chase. The prize? A chance to pass exactly one new law.
The son of two former Chase runners, Willis Thomson is the top trainee in the Western Alliance. With the expectations of the world and his heritage driving him, he leads his elite Red Team as they prepare for his moment to become a coveted Law-changer.
Perryn Davis, the new leader of the Blue Team, struggles to survive as she competes as one of the designated losers. She knows that losing means genetic recoding, a process that cannot go on indefinitely, and longs to age out of the program before it kills her.
When a mysterious new racer with knowledge of the outside shows up at their orbiting training center, the natural order of the Western Alliance trainees is upended. In a world where too much knowledge is dangerous, Willis and Perryn find themselves in a race to save their lives and uncover the hidden underbelly of the peaceful World Coalition.
Clean YA Fantasy/Sci-fi adventures for anyone
by Sara Watterson
YA Fantasy Romance Adventure
No language, no sex, mild fantasy violence
I think you’ll like this genre mashup. It’s described as an urban and portal fantasy romance adventure with science fiction vibes.
Synopsis from Amazon: “Evie is ripped from her mundane immortal life and handed an impossible task. Can she summon the will to do what is necessary, or will she risk all to save a human boy?
Evie grows restless observing mortals from afar. When a friend offers to smuggle her by portal into the human world, she jumps at the opportunity. Secretly, though, she also hopes to observe Adan, the human Dreamer. Only a glimpse, she promises herself.
But trouble awaits after Evie’s captivating adventure and delayed return. Not only did she take an unsanctioned trip to the ground, but now the boy, the Dreamer, is missing. Evidence places him in a sector where Gifted humans are forbidden, and worse still, her director believes she is to blame.
Donning a human body and wielding a golden blade, Evie is to travel to this uncharted territory, find Adan, and take care of the problem before her way home is sealed.
As she searches, she wrestles with unfamiliar human emotions and a sneaking suspicion that the Dreamer was smuggled here for a reason. And perhaps the culprit—the Deceiver—is a threat to them all.”
The Seven Realms Series
by Cinda Williams Chima
YA Fantasy Adventure Romance
No language, no sex (brief implied intimacy between a newly married couple in the last book), mild fantasy violence
If your teens are looking for a complete YA fantasy adventure series, I highly recommend The Seven Realms Series. These four books are good for many an hour of summer reading. I think the first book’s title is misleading. The Demon King, to me, sounds like an epic fantasy. This excellent series is very much a YA fantasy adventure romance.
Synopsis from Amazon: “One day Han Alister catches three young wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea. Han takes an amulet away from Micah Bayar, son of the High Wizard, to ensure the boy won’t use it against him. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, Han knows that the Bayars will stop at nothing to get it back.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna has her own battle to fight. She’s just returned to court after three years of riding and hunting with her father’s family. Raia aspires to be like Hanalea, the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems that her mother has other plans for her–plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the Queendom stands for.”
by Dan Wells
No language, no sex, heavy violence
This is an exciting YA Dystopian series. No sex or language in this one, but there is a fair bit of violence in these three books.
Synopsis from Amazon: “Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with Partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. But sixteen-year-old Kira is determined to find a solution. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and Partials rests in her attempts to answer questions about the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.
Playing on our curiosity of and fascination with the complete collapse of civilization, Partials is, at its heart, a story of survival, one that explores the individual narratives and complex relationships of those left behind, both humans and Partials alike—and of the way in which the concept of what is right and wrong in this world is greatly dependent on one’s own point of view.”
Clean YA Contemporary Romance
Revenge of the Nerd Goddess
by Janette Rallison
YA Contemporary Romance
No language, no sex
Available in ebook only at this time.
I loved this clean contemporary romance novel and liked that the romance wasn’t the only focus. There were great messages about physical health, doing the right thing, and recognizing what’s out of your control.
Synopsis from Amazon: “When Dakota moves to her new high school, she has a run-in with three jerks. They may moo at her in the hallway, but she can bide her time and plan an act of appropriate revenge for them. Being smart, after all, has its perks.
In the meantime, she has to keep her mother from marrying the wrong man. The “wrong man” pretty much means any and all of them.
Then there’s the hot quarterback at school. She keeps running into him in. And oh yeah, he likes the girl who may end up being Dakota’s stepsister.
That’s not problematic. Except when Dakota gets distracted by his broad shoulders and tawny brown eyes. He seems to like her, but he can’t possibly, can he?
Quarterbacks don’t go for nerd goddesses. Or maybe they do.”
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
by Laura Taylor Namey
YA Contemporary Romance
A fair bit of language, underage drinking, no sex
I found this book because the author marked it as a “clean and wholesome romance” on Amazon. While it’s true there is no sex in this book, I was disappointed in the amount of language. The story also contains underage drinking, but it’s set in England, so perhaps it’s not illegal there. I loved many things about this book: Cuban culture, English culture, travel, baking, romance, etc. It’s a really great story, so if you’re not concerned about the language, it’s a fun read. (This is a prime example of how we all have different measures of what makes a book “clean.”🤷🏻♀️)
Synopsis from Amazon: “For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.
Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.
A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.”
See a few more sweet YA contemporary romance suggestions here.
Still didn’t find what you’re looking for. Check out our main list. You’ll find clean books for young teens and older teens here: Clean YA Books for Teens, Tweens, or anyone
Books I plan to read soon:
Recruit of Talionis
by C.J. Milacci
From Amazon: “A teen with a dark past. A secret military force that kidnaps new soldiers. Can she survive as a Recruit of Talionis?
America has fallen.
Seventeen-year-old Bria Averton grew up in a small town of survivors near the ruins of Portland, Maine. It’s all she’s ever known — until she’s kidnapped along with hundreds of other teens and brought to the city of Talionis. A city no one knew existed.
The soldiers tell them the intense trainings are for the good of the survivors, and Bria resists being forced into a new life as a recruited soldier. But she soon finds the dangers in the city are greater than she imagined.
Escape is impossible, and Bria fears drowning in the evil of the city… and the guilt from her own past. But can she find hope, even here?
Sweet Right Here
by Jenny B. Jones
Sweet Romantic Comedy
From Amazon: “Newly un-engaged, I’ve returned to Sugar Creek to the welcoming arms of my family to make a fresh start. While I have a reputation for being unlucky in love, I’ve just scored the career coup of a lifetime—to work at Hope Farms, a therapy ranch for military veterans. The problem? The owner is the arrogantly handsome Miller James. He might be an old friend, but Miller’s all grown up now and made it clear I’m not welcome. I’ve got six months to make my program a success, but it’s hard to help others heal with Miller’s interference—and the return of someone from my past.
Miller’s got some secrets of his own. After a family tragedy rocked his world, the entrepreneurial genius left his first class life behind to open Hope Farms. And maybe everything Miller touches does turn to gold, but when my sisters recruit him in their pursuit of my next Mr. Right , Miller gets a little too involved. The lines are blurring between work and romance, and my boss has ideas that make me question his strategies—and his heart.
by Rachel Kovaciny
YA Western Retelling
From Amazon: “Mary Rose feels uneasy around Mr. Linden from the moment she meets him on the stagecoach ride to her grandmother’s ranch in Wyoming Territory. But he works for her grandmother, so that means he’s trustworthy, doesn’t it? Everyone else seems to view him as honest and respectable, and Mary Rose wonders if she’s overreacting.
She tries to ignore her suspicions until one night, she discovers his real reason for being at the ranch. Now, if she’s going to save her grandmother — and herself — she’s going to need to run faster than she’s ever run before.”
Clean books for adults
And for the adults, here are a few clean reads! Yes, they are all romances: two proper romances and a rom-com. Please note I only say these are for adults because the protagonists are adults rather than teens. They were written for an adult audience but are clean.
More info for new subscribers:
It’s not difficult to find clean book ideas for older books and classics, but what if your teens and tweens want to read newer fiction? My kids do, and that’s why I began a broader search.
Many people are looking for these books, and they ARE out there. You just have to know where to find them. The big publishing companies aren’t backing clean books as often right now, so I started searching in smaller publishing houses or from indie authors. I’ve found some great reads this way.
Because of this, some of these may not be at your local library, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get them there. In fact, if you want your library to offer more clean books, you should request more clean books, so they’ll know what their community wants. You can request books at your library on their website, in person, or over the phone.
Also, I’d love your feedback and suggestions. You can reply to this email if you have recommendations. Keep in mind that I’m looking for more recent releases of clean books for young teens or anyone, books published in at least the last five years. (Or a series that finished up in that time, even if the first book is a bit older.)
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That’s all for now. We’ll write again soon, and thanks again for your valuable suggestions.
Until next time,
~ Sara and Stacy