This week’s topic:
July 19: Ten Books Set Outside The US (I don’t know about you but sooo much of what I read is set in the US and I love finding new recs of stuff set outside of it!)
This topic was a challenge, and made me realize just how much of my reading is firmly based in the US. I didn’t have enough contemporary ideas outside the US, so here is my list, starting with contemporary reads, blending into historical and literary and ending with fantasy.
1. Are We There Yet? by David Levithan
I absolutely love this quirky contemporary tale about two brothers who don’t get along who go on a trip to Italy. A girl they meet abroad threatens to permanently damage their already fragile relationship in this cute, heartbreakingly honest story about family, love and figuring out issues away from home.
2. Wildlife by Fiona Wood
Get your Aussie YA hat on, because while this wasn’t one of my favorite books, I definitely liked the different perspective it gave. As far as I know, high schools in the US don’t generally have an outdoor education program, not like this at least. Jump into this cute tale about girls who figure out if they’re friends (or not) out in the woods.
3. Endangered by Eliot Schrefer
This book (and Schaefer’s quartet) is unlike anything I’ve seen in YA and reminds me of some of my favorite middle grade stories about kids and animals that I read, but with more of an edge. Dive into this suspenseful novel about the connection between a girl and a bonobo in the heart of the Congo.
4. Fiona by Meredith Moore
If you’ve been looking for a book that combines Scotland with royal drama, mental illness, swoon worthy romance and conspiracy, then this is the book for you. Moore brings Scotland alive in this atmospheric contemporary thriller about a girl’s search for family and meaning that might leave her more fractured than when she arrived.
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This is one of my all-time favorite books. Taking place in Nazi Germany, Zusak uses an exceptionally original and distinct voice to tell the story of a young girl, her adoptive family, her mischievous best friend, resistance to injustice and love of a good story even if it means stealing it.
6. My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
This historical fantasy takes place in sixteenth-century England. Funny and charming, these three Lady Janies tell the story of a short-lived monarch, a supposedly dying king and a horseboy, all with just a touch of magic.
7. Still Star-Crossed by Melinda Taub
This creative sequel to Romeo and Juliet tells the story of what happens when in order to keep piece, Rosaline and Benvolio are forced to be engaged. Brilliantly and beautifully written, this book is also being adapted into a Shonda Rhimes television series early next year.
8. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray
This was one of my absolute favorite series growing up. The fact that the first book came out thirteen years ago makes me feel SO old. *sobs* This beautiful story about an outcast girl at an English finishing school is a thrill and delight to read if you haven’t already. And as a bonus, it also features a magical realm!
9. The Other Side of Eve by Paul Ikin
This Indie book about a girl, Evelin, whose changing mental state influences the fantastical realm of Mare-Marie and the life of Princess Belleny Vera is a delight. A blend of contemporary and fantasy, this book contains some excellent world-building, a beautiful map and enthralling illustrations.
10. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
I’m pretty sure almost everyone who reads this post will have already read, heard of or seen this book. But go read it. Go have your heart smashed into a million pieces and enjoy Bardugo’s fantastical world-building. You won’t regret it.
What books have you read that take place outside the US? Do they tend to be contemporary or fantasy?
Let me know below!