*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! ;)*

Hello again! And a warm welcome to all our new subscribers. (There are a lot of you!) Thanks for joining us in our quest to find clean books for teens and 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. (New subscribers, scroll down if you want to know more about our search for clean books.)

We hope your springtime is going great and your reading time is plenty! We can’t wait to share our latest book finds with you. Check them out below. ⤵️

-Sara & Stacy  

**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.)

Does your teen like romantic comedy books?

A note from Sara:

Hello! I’m Sara, one of the owners here at Book Series Recaps. I’m also a writer and a part-time high school teacher.

At school, I’ve noticed several of my older teen girls getting into romantic comedy books (the kind written with an adult audience in mind). Perhaps they love contemporary romance but feel a bit too old for YA. Sadly, though, some of the books I see them carrying around have graphic sex scenes in them.

If your teen likes romantic comedy, there are tons of rom-com books out there without any of those kinds of scenes. (And by the way, you probably can’t find them in retail stores. Sorry.) I suggest two at the bottom of this email, and I have a list of clean romcom books on my author website here.

Another way to find some great, clean rom-com books is to search on amazon: try “sweet romance” or “sweet romcom.” **Important: when you search, include the quotation marks (““). This will tell amazon that you want BOTH words in your search. Good luck!

Most of you, though, are probably looking for clean YA books for you or your teen! So without further delay, keep scrolling to see my suggestions below.


What I’m reading now:


by Candace Kade

YA Dystopian

If you are looking for an urban sci-fi dystopian, I think you’ll love Enhanced, the first book in Candace Kade’s Hybrid Series. It came out this month, and I immediately purchased the audiobook, which is very well done, by the way. I’m about halfway through and love it!

Synopsis from Amazon:

Lee Urban is living a lie.
In a society where everyone’s DNA determines their destiny, being a Natural means automatic relegation to the gritty and dangerous Outskirts. With the harnessed power of gene-editing, the ability to create a super-human race has transformed the world and offered the opportunity of a genetically enhanced life. But only to those who can afford it.
Born a Natural, Lee Urban was adopted into the Enhanced high society of the Asian Federation and forced to conceal her genetic roots. When her dream of attending Peking University becomes a reality, she is determined to go despite a warning from a mysterious source. 
Targeted by a hacker bent on exposing her true DNA, Urban faces off with an Artificial Intelligence Game that puts her—and her lies—to the test. What was supposed to be a dream come true turns into a lethal gamble of hide-and-seek with her genetics. Can Urban continue the act, or will the cracks in her story expose her and endanger her family?”

My Clean YA Recommendations for Spring 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! ;)*

my favorite color is your something blue

My Favorite Color is Your Something Blue
by Eva Austin

YA Contemporary Romance

No language, no sex.

I loved this light-hearted, sweet romance and read it in one evening. Great ending! 🙂

Synopsis from Amazon:

Sometimes, love is messy.

When Morgan accidentally runs into Will at a gas station, and he spills blue slush all over her, she never expects to see him again, much less be thrown into an awkward and unwanted setup. But when the bride and groom of the wedding they both happen to be in wield their match-making power, Morgan’s frosty first impression starts to melt. More…

pride and premeditation, a clean read for teens

Pride and Premeditation
by Tirzah Price

An Austen-inspired Murder Mystery

No language, no sex, ***Please see the comment below where a reader lets us know about the other books in this series.

I love all things Jane Austen, and this retelling didn’t disappoint!

Synopsis from Amazon:

“When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.

Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.

Three of Jane Austen’s classic novels receive a murder mystery makeover in this romantic and thrilling three-book series that’s perfect for fans of The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy.”

new clean young adult books

A Thousand Heartbeats
by Kiera Cass

YA Fantasy Romance

No language, no sex, mild fantasy violence

I decided to give Kiera Cass’s latest stand-alone novel a try. It was a fun, clean read, though maybe not as good as The Selection.

Synopsis from Amazon:

“Love has a sound. It sounds like a thousand heartbeats happening at the same time.

Princess Annika has lived a life of comfort—but no amount of luxuries can change the fact that her life isn’t her own to control. The king, once her loving father, has gone cold, and Annika will soon be forced into a loveless marriage for political gain.

Miles away, small comforts are few and far between for Lennox. He has devoted his life to the Dahrainian army, hoping to one day help them reclaim the throne that was stolen from them. For Lennox, the idea of love is merely a distraction—nothing will stand in the way of fighting for his people.

But when love, against all odds, finds them both, they are bound by its call. They can’t possibly be together—but the irresistible thrum of a thousand heartbeats won’t let them stay apart. 

Kiera Cass brings her signature sparkling romance to this beautiful story of star-crossed lovers and long-held secrets.”

calculated, a clean book for teens and tweens

by Nova McBee

YA Contemporary Thriller

No language, no sex, mild violence

I totally enjoyed this thriller by Nova McBee! The main character is a prodigy. Fascinating!

Synopsis from Amazon:

She has many names – Octavia, Double 8, Phoenix, Josephine. She’s a math prodigy, a calculating genius and everyone wants her.

In seventeen-year-old Jo River’s complicated world of numbers, there’s no such thing as coincidence. When she is betrayed by someone she loves, kidnapped by the world’s most wanted smuggler, and forced to use her talent to shore up a criminal empire, Jo deems her gift a curse—until she meets Red.

Fellow captive and unlikely sage, Red teaches Jo to harness her true potential, so she can do more than just escape. Before he dies, Red reveals a secret about her enemies and makes her vow to right his wrongs. But Jo has a vow of her own.

With help from Chan, a bitter billionaire, and Kai, his off-limits son, Jo rises into a new role, ready to take down those who ruined her life. Until a mathematical error comes back to haunt her with a threat much more dangerous than the criminals on the loose.

To beat the odds, Jo must decide who she really is and if risking everything is worth it.

After all, history is not made—it’s calculated.

blood numbers clean dystopian romance

Blood Numbers
by C.F. Kreitzer

YA Dystopian

No language, no sex, mild fantasy violence

I found this one as I was looking for clean YA books on Amazon. I really liked it! I finished the first installment and immediately wanted to read the second. Too bad it’s not out yet!

Synopsis from Amazon:

“Aston lives in a post-apocalyptic world divided by blood…

Royal recipients reside on one side of the wall, desperate for blood donations to survive. Donors live on the other, surrendering their blood to combat poverty.

For Aston, a donor, the only way out of the slums is to bleed–or marry well.

Only Aston wants more than to enter the hyped-up blood auction balls with their glistening ball gowns and flashing news reports, to marry a sleazy suitor with the highest blood count for convenience, or to live a life where her blood is possessed by a royal.

She wants freedom from the system…and, most dangerous of all, real love.”

This Dreamer
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:

Ripped from her mundane immortal life, Evie must find and slay the Dreamer. Otherwise, she risks losing everything. But will her heart allow harm to befall the intriguing 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 her captivating adventure and delayed return. Not only did she take an unsanctioned trip to the ground, but the boy, the Dreamer, is missing. Worse still, her director believes she is to blame.

Evidence soon places Adan in another sector where Gifted humans are forbidden.

Donning a human body and wielding a golden blade, Evie’s orders are to travel to this uncharted territory, find Adan, and eliminate him. If she can’t summon the will to do what is needed, she’ll risk everything, including her immortality.

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.”

Books I plan to read soon:

Recruit of Talionis
by C.J. Milacci

YA Dystopian

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?

The Uncertainty of Fire
by Stephanie Daniels

YA Historical Romance

From Amazon:Chicago, 1871. Sixteen-year-old Whimsy Greathart would rather fight against Chicago’s child labor practices than attend her privileged family’s high society events. And a very public social blunder only strengthens her resolve to use her influence for good.

On the night of the Great Chicago Fire, her tenderhearted choice leads her into danger and results in life-changing consequences.

With her world turned to ash, she must rely on the mercy of poor relations to rebuild her future and is forced into the very labor system she wished to fight against. As Whimsy staggers under the weight of street gang violence and hazardous working conditions, a chance at deliverance persuades her to make a promise. One she intends to keep. But now she must determine whether it’s God’s heart she’s following or her own.”

Montrose Paranormal Academy
by Barbara Hartzler

YA Urban Fantasy

From Amazon: “Hi, I’m Lucy. And I just found out I’m not normal.

Three years ago my brother went missing in Europe without a word. Until the strange postcard I got six months ago.

So I enrolled at Montrose to find him. I just have to play nice with the Three Societies long enough to dig up some dirt …

Before they figure out who I really am.

Let them think my brother is the Seer. Because if any of these power-hungry secret societies find out the truth, they’ll never let me go.

For now, I’ll need to stay under the radar. But that’s hard to do when two rival society presidents take an interest in me.

Can I find my brother and master my surprise powers without getting caught? I guess we’re about to find out.

Clean books for Adults

And for the adults, here are a few clean reads I loved! Yes, they are all romances: a proper romance and two rom-coms. 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 completely clean. Honestly, some of your older teens might love them. The protagonists in all three of these books are in their 20s. See more in this list…

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, 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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Want to see what a contributor recap looks like? Check out this great recap of The Hunger Games by a regular contributor. We include a shout-out with a link to her blog at the beginning of the post and then links to her bookish social media accounts at the end.

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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

10 thoughts on “New Clean Young Adult Books 2023”

  1. What about nonromantic clean books? Sci-fi, fantasy. I love the classics, and I have ready many but the newer books always seem to have some weird sex angle. A great fantasy series that is clean is The Wheel of TIme Series. The books are different than the recent tv production which is decidedly not clean.

    1. Aida –
      Thanks for your comment. That’s good to know. I watched The Wheel of Time series, but I haven’t read the books. I agree with you. Maybe I need to try the books. Another series you might like is The Riyria Revelations in the non-romance fantasy category.

  2. An you do on thriller clean books for teen my son is 15 can seem to find no good books at all ! 🙁

  3. Just wanted to say thank you for all these recommendations. And to let you know that the third of Tirzah’s Jane Austen series is not so clean. I really enjoyed the first two but Manslaughter park includes some unpleasant and unnecessary things.

    1. Tina,

      Thank you for your comment. This makes me very sad. I see this more and more. Authors will present a relatively clean book for the first books in a series and then add unexpected content to later books once the kids are hooked. It’s disheartening. 🙁

  4. Thank you thank you thank you! I found you by recommendation from ReadAloud Revival staff. I’m a parent representative on my state’s association of school librarians- because I’m tired of our state book awards pushing obscene, pornographic and vulgar content in YA books! I knew the publishing houses weren’t backing ‘clean’ books, but when I began reading YA on the spreadsheet for this year’s ‘winner’s, well I was appalled. I reached out to RAR to find sources so when my time comes to submit books for next year’s potential ‘winners’, I wanted quality literature and not agenda and sex filled books. I’m so grateful for your work! If you have any other suggestions on how I can search for more clean YA, Junior and picture book submissions for our committees, please let me know. Right now, the Association is only using the standard go-tos: school library journal, horn, AASL, Kirkus and they are all raving about books that are obviously disgusting but distorted marketing is sadly working. Thank you!

    1. Kay,

      Thank you for your comment. I wish there were a master database of clean books I could point you to. Of course, we have several lists on this website, but many of these books are not brand new. It’s tough to find recently published books that meet your criteria. Enclave is the only publisher I can point you to that I feel confident in. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you find any others! Good luck!


      1. Thank you Sara! Enclave looks amazing! You’ve given me enough to submit my 12 with confidence and then I have the second year of my term on the committee to fight for them! I”m so grateful for all of your hard work!

  5. Thank you. It’s incredibly time consuming to find these, and as a junior high librarian, this saved me hours of work.

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