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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.)

-Sara & Stacy
Website owners

**This newsletter is part of the section of our website called “Clean YA Books for Teens, Tweens, or anyone.” Sign-up to receive our updates if you haven’t already! (This list is different from our general Book Series Recaps newsletter.)

Do your teens like romance novels?

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 2023 school year is off to a fabulous start! If you and your kids are looking for clean book recommendations for the fall, I’ve got you covered.

Many teens love romance novels, and we all know those can contain scenes you may not want your kids to read. Below, you’ll find a list of novels with at least a touch of romance that you can feel good about letting your teens read.

Not looking for romance? Keep scrolling. I have a few additional suggestions below.

Happy reading! -Sara

Clean YA Contemporary Romance Novels:

*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! ;)*

my favorite color is your something blue

My Favorite Color is Your Something Blue
by Sara Watterson

YA Contemporary Romance

One of the very few new contemporary romance novels I’ve read recently that didn’t have a lot of language. And the story was super cute!

From Amazon:A fun and sweet Young Adult contemporary novel about a bad first impression, an unwanted setup, and a family wedding that leads two teens onto the unexpected path to romance!

borrow my heart clean ya contemp romance

Borrow My Heart
by Kasie West

YA Contemporary Romance

Yay. Another new contemporary romance novel without a lot of language. Cute story and great for animal lovers!

From Amazon:When a girl overhears a guy getting verbally destroyed by his friends for being catfished, she jumps in to save the day—and pretends to be his online crush.

when we began

When We Began
by Judy Corry

YA Contemporary Romance

This book is a novella (a short novel), and you can get the ebook free on the author’s website. It’s part of a long series called Ridgewater High.

From Amazon:What’s the first rule when staying at your best friend’s house for the week? Don’t fall for her older brother.

better than the movies

Better than the Movies
by Lynn Painter

YA contemporary romance

This is a fun romance story where the protagonists began as enemies. *WARNING: no sex, but a fair bit more language in this one than the other books on this list.*

From Amazon: A “teen rom-com following a hopelessly romantic teen girl and her cute yet obnoxious neighbor as they scheme to get her noticed by her untouchable crush.

See a few more sweet YA contemporary romance suggestions here.

Clean YA Fantasy with a bit of Romance:

christian youth fiction books

This Dreamer
by Sara Watterson

YA Fantasy Romance Adventure

A genre mashup. It’s described as an urban and portal fantasy romance adventure with science fiction vibes. An immortal watcher falls for the human boys she’s sent to find.

From Amazon:Can she summon the will to do what is necessary, or will she risk all to save a human boy?

memory thief

The Memory Thief
by Lauren Mansy

YA Fantasy

A clean fantasy book with an interesting premise. Memories are passed with only a touch and treated as a rare currency.

From Amazon: Follows “seventeen-year-old Etta Lark as she navigates the underworld of Craewick to pull off the heist of a lifetime.

my lady jane

My Lady Jane
by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton & Jodi Meadows

YA Historical Fantasy

This book is hilarious. It’s a retelling described as a “comical, fantastical, romantical, and (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.”

From Amazon: “A one-of-a-kind YA fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, [and] an even more reluctant queen…”

Clean YA books with Little Romance


by Scott Reintgen

YA Fantasy Adventure

From Amazon: An “epic fantasy following three phoenix horse riders–skilled at alchemy–who must compete at The Races–the modern spectacle that has replaced warfare within their empire.

making bombs for hitler

Making Bombs for Hitler
by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

YA/MG Historical Fiction

Great for kids who like WWII historical fiction.

From Amazon: “A gripping novel about a lesser-known part of WWII.”

devastation class

Devastation Class
by Glen Zipper & Elaine Mongeon

YA Science Fiction

Human civilization is on the brink of extinction. Earth’s only hope – seven cadets and the legendary starship they were never meant to command.

From Amazon:No matter the cost, they will stop at nothing to survive. No matter the odds, they will fight to save their future.

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:

Inside the Ten-Foot Line
by Lori Z. Scott

YA Contemporary

From Amazon:Sophomore high school student Lorali Mathews has one goal: win a scholarship to play volleyball at a Division One school.

by Cookie O’Gorman

YA Contemporary

From Amazon: “Seventeen-year-old Charlotte Kent likes happy endings. Not that she’s looking for one herself. Awkward, never been kissed, and bookish to the core, Lottie would rather read about love than experience it.”

A Cross-Country Christmas
by Courtney Walsh

Holiday Romance

From Amazon: “On this cross-country road trip, [Lauren and Will] both discover that history doesn’t exactly repeat itself. . . but like any good Christmas carol, it does have a second verse.”

Clean books for adults

And for the adults, here are a few clean reads! 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 in that time, even if the first book is a bit older.)

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And don’t forget to follow me on my author website: www.sarawatterson.com.
(I wrote this newsletter!)

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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

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