Personally, I think no.
I'm a big fan of YA Contemporary, which is obviously known for its romance. Of course, I'm not saying every book is obligated to include any sort of romantic detail or relationship or a thousand makeout sessions, but it's always a nice addition. Also, “a kleptomaniac bad boy and a girl studying to be a physician forced to work together on a science project” would have me in a second.
When I was a wee baby bean (i.e. a preteen of only fifteen), my all-time favorite YA was Anna and The French Kiss. I carried it everywhere, viewed it as if it were a lifetime supply of iced coffee, and recommended it to a complete stranger. Though I don't feel the same about it now, I think it helped kickstart my YA obsession, so I could never entirely hate on it. Plus, it takes place in France. Plus, there's a delicious scene at a pastry shop.
There are different versions of love. Platonic, familial, unrequited. An MC who yearns about unrequited feelings may be relatable, but a book advertising a grandiose romance might attract a greater audience.
Like I said, I'm not saying a story needs to have the inclusion of romance to be great. Underwater, which is planning to debut later this month, focuses on mental health and the MC, Morgan, as she attempts to overcome her agoraphobia and PSTD. (There is a hot surfer living next door, though.) Paperweight concentrates on Stevie and how she struggles to come to terms with her brother's passing and her bulimia. Vanishing Girls, which is a story about sisters. Hour of the Bees, which is a gorgeous, mesmerizing story about family. I can go on reccing for hours, believe me. Look at Frozen,
which I hate to use as an example. Look at Lilo and Stitch. Look at Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts. Look at every friendship in Bridesmaids.
Do your views differ? Do I make absolutely zero sense? Might I have just struck genius for once? (lol one can hope) Obviously, love to hear your thoughts, nonetheless! Tell me what you think, angels!