I think this is just insane. I really like YA romance novels, but when I really start to think about it I start to realize how much romance really plays into books today. It seems like today we are experiencing a romance overload. I'm not sure what to think about all the love stories out there.
There are all sorts of kinds of romance books out in the YA community. There are the traditional romance novels that center on the relationships. There are stories that focus on something else but have romance on the side (lots of these). And finally there are love triangles and insta-love, both of which are becoming pet-peeves in the bookish community. And these are only the example that I can think of, I'm sure there are more out there.
Now, don't think I don't like romance. I love romance stories, but I REALLY like it when a story is good without there being romance involved. One good example of this is Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, there is no romance in that book at all and it is phenomenal.
Some books that do well romance free, I think, can be good for teens to experience because they can give examples of how people can be strong and independent individuals without the need to have a romantic partner in their life.
I really think something what hooks people to some books is the romance (me included), and if it weren't for that relationship, the book would really not be all that interesting. Of course, that is only if the book isn't romance centered, but I think you've got the idea.
This really is a complicated subject. I'd love to know your feelings, and I'm curious to find out how many books you read for enjoyment in 2012 that did not include a romance factor.