Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and this week the topic is ‘books set outside the US’. Honestly, when I first read the topic, I thought “Well, that’s going to be easy-peasy.” Boy, was I wrong.
I never realized how many of the books I’ve read actually take place in the US! Most of the books I’ve read that don’t, take place in a fantastical world, but using those kind of felt like cheating. So, while sticking to places on earth, I came up with this list. And, with me being Dutch and all, I just had to put some of my favourite Dutch books on this list. (Not only because I want more people to know about them, but also because without them, I’d only have a list of 6 books and that just didn’t look right.)
So, here we go:
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman (Sussex, England) – I read the Ocean at the End of the Lane over a year ago, and to be honest, I don’t remember most of what it was about. However, I do remember that it was a very strange and fantastical read, and I would definitely recommend this to you if you like magical realism.
The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan (Italy, Croatia and Greece) – While most of the last 3 books in the Heroes of Olympus series mostly take place outside of the US, the House of Hades is the only one that completely takes place outside of the US (or at least, as far as I can remember) so that’s why I chose this one. The series is about a group of demi-gods who have to save the world from being destroyed by the earth mother, Gaea. It’s filled with action, laugh-out-loud funny lines and amazing characters.
A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab (London, England) – A Darker Shade of Magic was the first book I read that is written by V.E. Schwab, and it made me fall madly in love with her writing. ADSOM tells us the story of Kell, a rare magician who is the only one who can travel between 3 different versions of London. The book was thrilling, magical, and had fantastic characters. The sequel came out a couple of months ago, and I really need to get to that one.
Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins (Paris, France) – Anna and the French Kiss is about a girl named Anna, whose father decided that it’d be good for her to go to a boarding school in Paris, France. Initially, she isn’t happy about this at all, until she meets a very swoony guy called Etienne St. Clair. Anna is definitely one of my favourite contemporaries, a real feel-good book, and the setting is absolutely amazing.
The Great Library series, by Rachel Caine (England, Italy and Alexandria) – With Ink and Bone being one of my favourite books this year, and it taking place outside the US, you could have guessed this one would be in this list. The Great Library series is about Jess, who starts working for the Great Library in Alexandria. You know, that library that burned to the ground hundreds of years ago. The book takes place in a world where that burning-down part didn’t happen, and where the library basically rules the world. If you want to know more of my thoughts, you can read them here and here.
The Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer (All over the world, and the moon) – The Lunar Chronicles is easily one of my favourite series ever. It’s a retelling of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White set in the future, where cyborgs are an everyday thing and people, that can control your mind, live on the moon.
Oorlogsgeheimen, by Jacques Vriens (The Netherlands) – Most Dutch books are about the 2nd world war, and I think I might have read dozens of them. This one is the one that stuck with me the most. Oorlogsgeheimen tells the story of two kids dealing with all that is happening with the war going on, and the secrets the adults are trying to hide from them. It’s absolutely heart-breaking, and had a big impact on me.
Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek (or, Crusade in Jeans), by Thea Beckman (Europe) – When I was a kid, I had a friend who read all of Thea Beckman her books. They never really appealed to me, because I wasn’t one for historical-fiction (nothing has changed there) and the books were just SO BIG. However, when I watched the movie with my dad, I completely fell in love with the story. A boy accidentally being transported back in time and participating in a crusade? Yes, please. When I read the book afterwards, it didn’t disappoint.
There is a translation of this book available, so if you’re interested, you can pick it up here.
I would love to see what books you picked for this weeks topic!