Top Ten Books That Show a World Outside the US Exists

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Unlike what most YA books seem to think, the US is actually one of many, many countries. SHOCKING, RIGHT? But this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is all about books set outside the US.

Reading books outside the US always gives me a big case of wanderlust, despite the fact that I do not like A) flying, B) car trips, or C) basically anything that involves being stuffed in someplace small and moving with other people. This is why, if I ever visit Paris to go to pastry school/get an internship, I will be staying there for at least one semester so I don’t have to deal with an agonizingly long airplane ride twice in one month.

This, of course, is a problem since I want to become an author who people actually know about and read my stuff, and therefor I will have to do tours which involve lots of airplanes in a short amount of time, but since my Camp NaNoWriMo novel is currently not one novel, but about three all pieced together because I think everything I write sucks these days, this is somewhat far out.

But I’m getting kind of off topic.

Onwards to my fantastic list of non-US wanderlust-inspiring books.

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DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE BY LAINI TAYLOR: PRAGUE

Prague sounds artsy and delightful, at least the way the book describes it, and the pastries. The pastries are freakin’ delicious. We have a little bakery up in Ballard that makes this kind of pastry and it’s wonderful but it’s been Americanized, so I can’t imagine what they would taste like in Prague.

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THE SCORPIO RACES BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER: IRELAND? POSSIBLY?

So yes, admittedly, this book never actually says where it’s set, but I’ve always kind of thought it was off the coast of Ireland, due the names and whatnot, and I believe Maggie Stiefvater based Thisby partly off her travels to Wales and Scotland, so no one really knows. But it’s not America.

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ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS BY STEPHANIE PERKINS: FRANCE

So, yes, this book does have an American narrator, but Anna goes to boarding school in Paris, and Paris is in France, and France is not in the US, so it counts. Probably.

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THE INCREDIBLE ADVENTURES OF CINNAMON GIRL BY MELISSA KEIL: AUSTRALIA

I only just discovered Melissa Keil, and I adore her characters so much (mostly Sam from Life in Outer Space. His life goal is to right a cheesy sci-fi cult-classic movie that everyone inexplicably adores despite it being cheesy). I actually want to buy this book, but I prefer the non-US version of the cover, and so I’ve been trying to figure out where to get it.

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WOLF BY WOLF BY RYAN GRAUDIN: GERMANY AND OTHER COUNTRIES

I know some of Wolf By Wolf took place in Germany, but as for the other countries…I kind of wasn’t playing attention. Ryan Graudin posted a picture of the race map on one of her social media accounts maaaybe a month ago and I’ve been trying to find it but I can’t. If any has it somewhere can give me a link?

Edit: HAHA! I FOUND IT. But I actually can’t read anything it says so I’m just going to link you back to it and you can figure it out yourself.

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CINDER BY MARISSA MEYER: CHINA

The entire first book of this series takes place in New Beijing, China, and throughout the rest of the series we visit other places such as France, Africa, and the moon.

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THE ACCIDENT SEASON BY MOIRA FOEWLEY-DOYLE: IRELAND

You thought I could make this list without mentioning The Accident Season, one of my favorite books of ever? NOPE. Here it is, right here in this list. Yep.

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EGG & SPOON BY GREGORY MAGUIRE: RUSSIA

I had some problems with this book, mostly with how slow-paced it was, but it had a gorgeous setting and you don’t often read books set in Russia (I actually think this is the first one I ever have). It was also fantasy. Sorta. I don’t know if I should call this book an AU or urban fantasy or magical realism or what.

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THE FAERIE RING BY KIKI HAMILTON: BRITAIN

A book full of thieves and faeries and princes and jewelry. Also, it’s by a local author which I didn’t actually know until recently (I thought she lived in Vancouver, Canada for some reason? She lives in Olympia. Not even Vancouver Washington. So I have no idea why I thought that). And I thiiiink she’s writing another YA series but I’m not positive on that.

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THESE BROKEN STARS BY AMIE KAUFMAN & MEAGAN SPOONER: SPACE

’cause it’s in space.

Happy Tuesday,

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11 thoughts on “Top Ten Books That Show a World Outside the US Exists

  1. AHhhh I’m laughing at your intro. YES.πŸ˜‚ There are countries outside the usa, which I would like GIVE ANYTHING for dystopian books to acknowledge that. Sheesh. I actually am really glad the Lunar Chronicles at least MENTIONED Australia. Finally! yay! Ahem.
    And omg how did I forget that The Accident Season was set in Ireland?!? THAT BOOK. ❀
    And ahhhh I'm so glad you liked Melissa Keil's books! I ADORE THEM. I have Cinnamon Girl on my list this week too (although omg that cover?! I've never seen it before! I think I prefer the original oneπŸ˜‚)
    ANYWAY THIS LIST IS AWESOME.

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    1. I feel like I read a dystopian book recently that took place in China? I can’t remember what it was called, though, AND it’s also the only one I know of that takes place outside the US.
      And it’s the American cover. I think they’re trying to give it a Wonder Woman-type feel, but I dunno. I feel like the European and Australian covers look better.

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  2. A world exists outside of the United States? 😱 WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?!?
    Haha…just kidding. xD

    In all seriousness, I absolutely adore all of these books you’ve mentioned. These Broken Stars has such a fantastic and eerie setting, and it’s so wonderfully written. And I loved the unique settings of the Lunar Chronicles series as well! Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous choices! ❀

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  3. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is probably my favorite book, if I was forced to pick one, so that made me excited to see it on this list! Though it just makes me so painfully aware of how few YA books I’ve read that AREN’T in the US!

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