Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday #17: Most Vivid Settings

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish with a different topic for a top-ten list each week. You can find out more about it here.

The links will take you to my reviews, if available.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

This week is going to be hard for me, since this question caters more to people who read paranormal, dystopian, etc. and not contemporary like I do. I'm not gonna take the easy way out, though, choosing the ten-ish dystopians I've read, or anything like that - I think contemps can have some awesome settings, too, so I'm gonna try choosing only contemps on this list!

1. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

I've never gone backpacking across Central America, but after reading Wanderlove, I kind of feel like I have. The descriptions of the scenery are so vivid, they made me want to drop everything and go over there immediately. Even though I'm totally not the spontaneous-backpacking-goer type.

2. Bunheads by Sophie Flack

Dance is a whole world I know nothing about. (Well, unless watching So You Think You Can Dance counts...) But Bunheads totally made me feel like I was right alongside all these professional ballet dancers! It all just feels so real. Also, I LOVE BOOKS SET IN NYC!!!

3. Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff

It really does feel like Steve Brezenoff created a whole world with Brooklyn, Burning, even though it's contemporary. Life as a street kid is not exactly something I can imagine easily, but Steve Brezenoff brought me so much closer to this life I know nothing about. Also, I STILL LOVE BOOKS SET IN NYC!!!

4. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by AS King

The setting in Please Ignore Vera Dietz is very... normal, but that's what makes it so special. I can't think of a book that has a more honest, real portrayal of life in a wrong-side-of-the-tracks kind of town.

5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Can I go to Paris? Pretty please? Anna and the French Kiss makes me want to go so bad. Oh, and if you could get St. Clair to walk along the Seine and go to weird old awesome movie theaters with me, I wouldn't complain, either...

6. Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

This book is set on a SAILBOAT. How many kinds of awesome is that? More than I can count, that's how many. I love books that make me want to go places and do stuff. (Even if I never end up doing any of them...)

7. Anything by Sarah Dessen

I'm pretty sure Colby is paradise. You get an adorable beach town and even more adorable fictional boys! Who could resist?

8. The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy

I've never been to summer camp, but The Summer of Firsts and Lasts makes me wish I'd gone, so bad. 

9. Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Dude. This book doesn't even take place in Afghanistan, but I still felt like I was there. The flashbacks in Something Like Normal were enough to let me imagine what it's like.

10. Any book set at the beach

Yeah, I'm kind of cheating here. But I love ALL summer-y, beach-y settings; I can't just choose one! My favorites would be Moonglass by Jessi Kirby, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and the Summer series by Jenny Han. I love how all of those books can make me feel like I'm right there, at the beach... I just love summer books!

That ended up being easier than I'd thought! Yay for contemporary settings! (Also, what is it about Top Ten Tuesdays that make my inner caps lock maniac come out? Okay, probably the fact that I get to talk about ten awesome books in each post. But still.)

What are some of your favorite CONTEMPORARY book settings?


  1. Great list! Yay for not giving in and focusing on dystopia or paranormal. Contemporary *can* have the best settings!
    I especially agree with Anna and the French Kiss-after reading it, I seriously thought to myself, "I have to go to Anna's school!" before realizing it doesn't actually exist:) Haha. I thought the setting in Bunheads was done well, also.
    One of my recent favorite contemporary settings is the
    one in Dancergirl by Carol M. Tanzman. The author did a good job of creating an atmosphere that was creepy and unsettling.

    1. Haha, yeah, that's how I felt about Anna too :)

      Totally! The creepy atmosphere in dancergirl (and the companion, Circle of Silence) is so good!

  2. Wonderful list! I've been wanting to read Anna and the French Kiss for a long time, especially since I've been to Paris! Here's my Top Ten Tuesday Post!

  3. YAY for Anna and the French Kiss!

    I also loved the streets as setting in Holly Cupala's Don't Breathe a Word - it's a contemp where a girl runs away to escape abuse and joins a group of homeless teens. It's a different setting in a sense, but it's an awesome story.

    I have to say New Mexico in Alyson Noel's Fated (which I LOVED) but it's paranormal. Also parts of New York in Where She Went.

    Great list:)

    1. Also Paris in Amy Plum's Revenants series:) It's so romantic in a way and you get access into all these ancient homes in town:)

    2. Yes! I totally should have included Don't Breathe a Word - I loved the setting in that one, too!

      Fated sounds *too* paranormal for me, sorry! :p And I have yet to read Where She Went... The Revenants series is paranormal too, right?

    3. Yes, the Revenants is paranormal:)

      Isn't Holly Cupala amazingly gifted as an author? I read an interview and she said she volunteered at a homeless shelter before writing the book so that she could accurately describe the life of teens on the streets.

      Alyson Noel also went to New Mexico and talked to Native Americans on reservations as research. I love it when authors do this:)

    4. Yeah, that's what I thought... then I probably won't be reading it, sorry! Thanks for the recs, though :)

      Yes! I love when authors put that much effort in their research; it really does show. I really need to read Holly Cupala's other book, Tell Me a Secret... Have you read that one?

    5. I haven't read Tell Me A Secret but it's a book about teen pregnancy so of course Holly Cupala must've rocked the topic:)

  4. Well, I actually liked Gossip's Girl setting. You know, Manhattan :D

    1. Totally! The Gossip Girl books are so much fun and have such a NYC-y feel :D

  5. Great picks! I thought the beach setting that Jenny Han creates was really vivid and well done. And I really liked Paris as seen through Anna's eyes in AATFK, it was fun following Anna as the city opened up to her.


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