Top Ten Most Vivid Settings & Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday, as always, is hosted at my other blog– The Broke & The Bookish!

The topic is: Top  Ten Most Vivid Settings & Worlds

The world in Eve by Anna Carey — In this post-apocolyptic/dystopian story set in 2032, the world is pretty desolate after a deadly virus and an even deadlier vaccine to cure it take out a good chunk of the population. The world that Anna Carey created was so vivid — especially the scenes of abandoned cars just parked on the road trying to flee, how things looked like they were just waiting for the owners to come home . I could SEE this world so well. I think the cover lends to the vividness of this world as well.

The world in Hunger Games — From everything from the arena to later on in the series with Panem and the districts, the Capitol — everything was so ALIVE and vivid for me. I think that was the hardest thing about seeing it become a movie because there were certain aspects that I DID see so vividly…and clearly they didn’t consult me on those whilst making the movie 😛

Under the Never Sky dystopian series

The world of Under The Never Sky— Now there are two different worlds so to speak. One is a very high tech, virtual type world and one is a very wilderness-y world. I saw both of them of very clearly and I really loved this book a lot because of the world (despite some world building snags) in addition to the characters!

Central America as traveled in Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard — I LOVED this setting! Aside from travelogues, I’ve not really read books set in Central America. The way Kirsten Hubbard was able to clearly make me feel like I was traveling alongside Bria was brilliant. You can tell she’s traveled a ton with her astute observations about travel and the people and the scenes. UGH I LOVE THIS BOOK. One of the best armchair travels I’ve had in a while mostly because of the vivid setting.

Narnia — Oh Narnia. Young Jamie used to dream about you and was sure you were a real place due to the vivid world-building in this series.

The circus in Water For Elephants — This book was one of those books where I felt almost smothered by the vividness of the setting. The circus life was so gritty and dark yet also extremely fascinating and mesmerizing. I thought the movie depicted pretty decently the setting I saw in my head.

The world in Blindness by Jose Saramago — The interesting thing about this one is that throughout the whole novel the setting is described through touch and smell and sounds as these people have all been infected with some sort of blindness and are quarantined in these horrible conditions.  The fact that the setting was SO vivid to me despite the fact we didn’t get any sort of physical description is pretty amazing to me.

Every part of Between Shades of  Grey — This book was an emotional one for me and one of my fave historical reads ever. I don’t want to give any of this away but every single place they ended up was almost entirely TOO vivid for me. Siberia, those train cars, etc. As much as I could picture this setting so well, I doubt I can even understand a fraction of the horribleness in these places.

book cover for The Scorpio Races

The island from The Scorpio Races — Maggie Steifvater is an amazing writer and I could just see this nameless island so vividly! I could picture the beach where the races took place, the overlook, etc. Everything!

Book cover for Origin by Jessica Khoury

The Amazon jungle in Origin by Jessica Khoury — What a  unique setting! I could just see the lush trees and vegetation and could picture tromping through it while simultaneously freaking out at the thought of anacondas nearby! I thought the setting of the lab areas and complex where she lived was really alive to me as well. Just hidden there in the dense jungle.

So there’s my 10 settings! Do you agree with any of these? What are some of the most vivid worlds/settings you’ve encountered?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. HOW did I miss The Hunger Games and Wanderlove on my list? I agree with you 100% – you can really tell Kirsten knows what she’s talking about in Wanderlove!

  2. I have Narnia on my list. That is one of my most vivid reading memories from childhood. Between Shades of Grey is a great answer. It was such a bleak world. What a great book.

  3. So with you on the Hunger Games! That whole books was so vivid for me

  4. I have Narnia and Thisby from The Scorpio Races on my list as well. 🙂 I considered a couple of the others. I haven’t read Wanderlove yet, which is a shame because when I was making my list I sat here thinking that I bet that would be a good one.

    • WAIT. So it does have a name?? I didn’t have a copy of it when I was making my list to look but I swore the name was never mentioned. WELL at least it has a name! lol

  5. I LOVED the Scorpio Races. Despite my glowing reviews, none of my friends will read it and it drives me crazy. Blindness was also a great choice…in a horrible, frightening way. So many great books to add to my to-read list. Thanks for the selection!

  6. Great list Jamie! I meant to read Chronicles of Narnia a long time ago but alas, never got around to it *blushes*

  7. Blindness! I’ve had so many people recommend that to me in the last few years. I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and pick it up.

  8. oooh, there are quite a few on here that I have never read! Under the Never Sky is one that has been on my TBR list for a while, so glad it had a vivid setting!

    Here’s a link to mine!

  9. Some of those are on my list too! I dunno why I didn’t put The Island from The Scorpio Races but well I’ll remember it another time. Some of those I need to read.

    Here is my TTT

  10. I didn’t participate this week, it was rather difficult in that I couldn’t think of anything! I had a blank I guess. I agree with Hunger Games, Narnia and Water for Elephants though! And Eve sounds wonderful.

  11. Didn’t think of Narnia, good one. I am dying to read Wanderlust, but I’m afraid it’s going to spark the need to travel in me which I can’t do right now!
    My list:

  12. Looooove the world in Under the Never Sky! Wish I’d have thought of that one for my list. So pretty in my mind, the swirls of the sky and the wild lands and yes, the high-tech world was intriguing too. GREAT ADDITION to your list, Jamie!! xoxo

  13. Great list! I had some of those on mine too. I still haven’t read Wanderlove or Origin yet, but I want to soon. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Ohh, Panem! It almost — almost — made my list. But it was just barely squeaked out of there. And what reader doesn’t want to visit Narnia for a spell? Great list!

  15. LOVED the world of The Scorpio Races! Panem is a huge stand out, of course, as is Narnia. (And hey! First post I saw without Hogwarts!)

  16. I totally forgot about The Scorpio Races – great pick! I couldn’t agree more with Wanderlove (such a Jamie book!) and Between Shades of Gray.

  17. I was so close to putting both “Under the Never Sky” and “Water for Elephants” on my list. If I had been able to get a clear picture in my head of Aether, it definitely would have made it.

  18. I was *thisclose* to putting Water for Elephants on my list, too! I’m adding Eve and Origin to my TBR list. Those sound right up my alley! Great list, Jamie! (And I loved the #TTTchatter today.) 🙂

  19. Great list. I was torn about Hunger Games. It was a great world and I loved the characters but I didn’t like the world itself.

  20. Wonderful list!

    Here is my Top Ten post!

  21. Totally agree with The Hunger Games, and The Chronicles of Narnia! I haven’t read any of the other books, but the worlds sound great! (:

    Here’s my Top Ten

  22. Wanderlove and Narnia made my list too, but I love all the unique settings you added such as Origin and Under the Never Sky – I forgot to add that one! Great Top Ten! 😀

    Ivy Book Bindings

  23. I still have to read Eve, seeing your post I should be reading it soon! I also have THG, loved that world!

    My TTT

  24. Panem and Narnia are on my list as well! I have yet to read Wonderlove but I’ve heard it’s really great!

    ~Kailia @ Reading the Best

  25. Oh, I completely agree with the attention to the details of the setting in Water for Elephants.
    Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog

  26. I’m totally on board with The Hunger Games, Wanderlove, The Scorpio Races & Narnia – all these books have BRILLIANT settings. I’d suggest visiting Tortall (in Tamora Pierce’s books) for more fantasy fun!

  27. I haven’t read Eve, but I’ve heard tons about it. It sounds like a pretty cool dystopian (and I can’t remember, but was it also going to be turned into a film?)

    I agree so much about Narnia and The Hunger Games, and I keep seeing The Scorpio Races around. Sooo curious about that one. Definitely bumping that up higher on my TBR list!

    Here’s my Top Ten list!

  28. Tiffany says:

    I just loved The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I found myself wanting to crawl into that book and experience this amazing “circus” for myself. Beautiful and moving. Great list! Thanks!

  29. loved water for elephants! cant wait to read between shades of grey! its on my list 🙂

  30. Sadly, I have only read like two of these on this list but vivid worlds are exactly what I look for in a book for my fauxto series. I’m marking all of these down, thanks!!!

  31. Love love love. I totally <3 with your picks, especially Eve and Under the Never Sky. Those are two of my favorite books, and I love their very different, vibrant settings.