Thanks to the lovely Jessica Brooks via the also lovely Jim at YA Contemporary, I was reminded of Top Ten Tuesday, a regular The Broke and the Bookish feature that I always forget to do except this one time I did it. Thankfully, TbatB are thoughtful enough to post future topics, which allowed me to write this one in advance and schedule it so that I COULD FINALLY NOT FORGET.
Today’s topic is Top Ten Books Featuring Travel in Some Way, which is near and dear to my heart because my newest manuscript, JUST VISITING, features a whole lot of it. It’s about two very different best friends who go on a series of college visits together and discover all these things about each other in the process. In my most obsessed-with-it moments, I manage to convince myself that it’s a combination of two of my favorite YAs, HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by Sara Zarr and… my number 1 on this list:
1. THE DISENCHANTMENTS by Nina LaCour. Yup, I’ve blogged about this book before, and I’ll probably do it again. This contemp YA is about an all-girl band on their last tour and the (male) narrator who’s in love with his best friend, the lead singer, and comes along for the ride, thinking it’s a prequel to a future with her that it isn’t. There aren’t a whole lot of books I’d recommend more highly, and certainly none in the travel category!
2. THE ELITE by Maggie Hall. OK, in fairness, I haven’t yet read what will be the final version, and also, that title’s not staying, and also, it won’t be out for at least a year. BUT, I was privileged to read the incredible manuscript for this fantastic 2014 release which sees its main characters travel to some of my favorite locations on the planet, including Istanbul and Paris, and I definitely recommend you add it to your TBR ASAP!
3. JUST ONE DAY by Gayle Forman. At some point I’ll probably write a longer post about this book, because it made me thing about a whole lot of things, but for now, I’ll just say that I really loved how authentic the descriptions of the European cities felt, and I loved living vicariously through Allyson’s adventures. In a way, this book was largely what I was dying for 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES to be but never felt it achieved.
4. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green. I’m sort of cheating because truthfully, I didn’t care for the travel portion of this book, but I did love the rest of it, and it does have a trip, so it counts! Right? Of course it does.
5. HOW TO SAVE A LIFE by Sara Zarr. Yup, I mention this one a lot, but mostly for Zarr’s artful handling of a same-gender dual-POV and how it was basically my bible when writing JUST VISITING. Here it gets a shout-out for the train scene, because that’s when I knew Mandy was going to be a kind of character I’d never seen before, and that’s when I first fell in love with the book.
6. THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith. OK, I’m not gonna lie – I didn’t really love this book. BUT, I did love the romantic stuff that took place between the two characters bonding over shared airplane seating, and I loved the very idea of it – so brilliant! What bonds people faster than sitting in close quarters on a flying potential death trap?
And, since no other books are coming to mind right now except books that didn’t include any aspects I liked, I’m going to finish it up with four books I want to read that include a travel theme of sorts:
7. REUNITED by Hilary Weisman Graham – currently reading this one, but I’m only one chapter in to this contemp YA about three former best friends who reunite to drive two thousand miles for a reunion concert of a childhood favorite band. Cute so far!
8. UNBREAK MY HEART by Melissa C. Walker. I think Melissa C. Walker is supremely underrated as a YA author – LOVESTRUCK SUMMER is one of my favorite light contemps, rife with cleverness and a humorously un-self-aware protagonist – and this one is definitely on my TBR. I actually almost bought it this past weekend, but I bought her SMALL TOWN SINNERS instead.
9. AMY AND ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson. I’ll read this one eventually, I swear.
10. WANDERLOVE by Kristen Hubbard. I keep allllmost buying this book and then not, and not for any good reason. I’ve heard nothing but great things, and I’m actually really excited to read it. So I should probably buy it, yes? Yes.
And, for a bonus #11, since I’ve neither read it yet nor will it be released until next year, OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord, because seriously, bad girl + sweet guy + country superstar music tour road trip? I’ll take that yesterday, please and thank you.