Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
When I saw this week’s topic, I thought this would be a hard list for me. I checked out my “travel” shelf on Goodreads, though, and then ended up having to pick only 10 (okay, 12), so I guess I had more options that I thought!
Just One Collection (Just One Day, Just One Year, Just One Night), by Gayle Forman
Takes place in: Europe
These books, man…they’re a romance, yes, but more than that they’re about finding yourself. There is such character growth in the first two, both for Allyson and Willem.
The first two books are told from different points of view, but end in the exact same moment. When I first finished Just One Year, I was really disappointed that we didn’t find out what happened after the door opens, but the Just One Night novella fixes that. I was really happy Gayle published that after so we could have some answers and some closure.
In a Perfect World, by Trish Doller
Takes place in: Egypt
This wasn’t my favorite of Trish’s books, but I did love the descriptions of Egypt, the character growth, the culture we get to read about, and that cover is even more gorgeous in person.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder, by Sara Barnard
Takes place in: Canada
So the foreign country in this one is just Canada, but it still counts right? This was such an unexpected hit for me, featuring a deaf new boy at school, and a selective mute girl.
There is SO MUCH exposure to the deaf community in this book, as well as so much knowledge about selective mutism, which is not at all what it sounds like. A lot of the story revolves around Steffi and Rhys learning to communicate with each other, and we also see Steffi’s struggle with social anxiety, which I thought was really well portrayed.
We also see actual GOOD PARENTS and some kick-ass friends.
Stolen: A Letter to My Captor, by Lucy Christopher
Takes Place In: Australian Outback
In full disclosure, I didn’t actually like this book, but the premise was great. Unfortunately it was written in the form of a letter, which just didn’t work for me. We were supposed to like the kidnapper, I think, but I couldn’t get past the Stockholm Syndrome that was obviously happening.
Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein
Takes Place In: Europe, WW2
Even if you don’t typically read YA, I highly recommend giving these a try. DO NOT QUIT within the first 50 pages of either of them. They both start a little slow, but are so crazy good once you really get into them. I can’t say much else because spoilers, but read them. You technically can read one without the other, but don’t because both are amazing.
Up to This Pointe, by Jennifer Longo
Takes Place In: Antarctica
This wasn’t my favorite, but it was a really well written contemporary set in both the ballet world, and Antarctica. Ballet books always get me, no matter the setting, but I particularly liked this one on a research station. It’s a book about what happens when the plan you have for your life doesn’t work out, and what you do next. Also, penguins!
I See London, I See France, by Sarah Mlynowski
Takes Place In: Europe
Looooved this book. Super cute contemp about traveling through Europe with your BFF, and what happens when you’re trying to manage your mom’s mental health from across the globe, plus what to do when cute boys show up on your trip.
Between Shades of Gray, Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys
Takes Place In: Europe
Both books are good, but I really loved Salt to the Sea. We’re in WW2 territory again, so these books don’t have much lightness to them. If you’re already feeling down these aren’t necessarily going to lift you up, but they will break your heart in the most beautiful way.
Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins
Takes Place In: France
These are some of my favorite contemporary romances, and Stephanie Perkins is one of the best authors out there for swoon. Read these in order for the full effect (there’s a second that goes in between, Lola and the Boy Next Door, that takes place in San Francisco), because they all interconnect and characters move from one to the other.
On the Island, by Tracey Garvis-Graves
Takes Place In: Indian Ocean
I’ve loved this book since it was a self-published gem I found years ago and was so happy for the author when it was picked up by Penguin. Survival stories are my kryptonite, and this one made my heart so, so happy. Stranded on a deserted island, forbidden romance (that is NOT creepy, I promise), plus seeing how things go once they’re rescued? Yes, please! There’s also a super novella (Uncharted) that takes place afterwards and answers some questions that you WILL have about the shack and the cave.
The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
Takes Place In: Ancient Greece
God, this book. It’s technically a fantasy, as it involves Greek Mythology, so I wasn’t going to include it on this list. But Greece is a real place, so it goes in as a bonus. I never expected to love this as much as I do, but it’s so, so beautiful. The romance is to die for (sorry, had to), and if you’ve studied any Greek Mythology (even just years of it in high school, like me), you’ll love this novelized story of Achilles and Patroclus.
9 Days & 9 Nights, by Katie Cotugno
Takes Place In: Europe
Technically not released yet (that happens May 1, 2018), but it’s a sequel to one of my faves (99 Days), plus written by Katie Cotugno, so it’s already officially one of my favorite books ever.
Where have your top ten taken you? Leave your favorites in the comments so I can add to my ever-expanding TBR!