10 Books To Read If You Are In The Mood For A YA Book Set Outside of the US


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

This week’s topic: Top Ten Books To Read If You Are in the Mood For X — I chose books set outside the US.

I read a lot of books and a lot of those books are set in the US. Sometimes I really crave something set outside of the US and maybe you do too? Here’s a list of 10 (mostly) YA books set outside the US — some see multiple places within the country and others are more focused in one city!


YA books set outside the US


1. Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop: This one isn’t YA but it’s a literary fiction book set during a college semester abroad in Nantes, France. (My thoughts on Losing the Light)


2. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith: A lot of this one is set on a flight across the Atlantic but then we get a London setting. (My review of The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight)


3. Sea by Heidi R. Kling: The setting of this one was incredible. It’s set in Indonesia after a tsunami and towards the end when we get to see the devastation near the sea it’s devastating. (My thoughts on Sea)


4. Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard: One of my all time fave contemporary YAs! This one is set in Central America and oh man so much travel goodness. (My thoughts on Wanderlove)


5. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed: This book was so great and the majority of the setting was not one I’ve encountered in YA — Pakistan. Learned a lot about a culture I honestly didn’t know much about truly. (My thoughts on Written in the Stars)


6. Wildlife by Fiona Wood: I could have picked a number of my favorite Aussie YA books to represent Australian settings but I loved that this one was set in the Australian wilderness. (My thoughts on Wildlife)


7. Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae: My desire to go back to Italy was immense after reading this one!! (My thoughts on Wish You Were Italian)


8.When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney: I just mentioned this one recently in my post about books I super love but don’t talk about enough/haven’t in a while but I think it’s sooo underrated. It’s set in Tokyo and made me want to book a flight ASAP. (My thoughts on When You Were Here)


9. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: One of my all time favorite books!!! I’m sure many people have read this one already but if you haven’t let me just remind you it is set in PARIS and its so transporting. (My thoughts on Anna and the French Kiss)


10. Just One Day/Just One Year by Gayle Forman: So much excellent travel in these books — Paris, the Netherlands, London, Mexico and India. Just One Day is in my top 5 faves of all time! (My thoughts on Just One Day)



So tell me…what YA books have you enjoyed that are set outside of the US??


PS. If you are looking for book recommendations based on what reading mood you might be in, check out my Whatcha in the Mood For? series!

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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. Fantastic list Jamie! 🙂 I keep meaning to read Wish You Were Italian, so thanks for the reminder!

    • Ah yes definitely if you need a lighter kind of contemporary (for the most part) — romance with an amaaaazing setting!!

  2. I haven’t read any of these, but none of them are really my go to genre – like your topic! 🙂

    Check out my TTT.

  3. Great choice of topic! I love reading books set outside the US. They’re not THAT hard to find, but they’re not easy to find either, you know? And I’ve never read any set in Tokyo, Indonesia, or Pakistan!

    • Yes exactly!! Like you can find them if you look but it’s always like 50 US set books before you might find one! I have a lot easier time finding non-US settings in adult fiction!

  4. I love your topic! I always want to find some gems that aren’t set in the US. Because I’m not either, and it’s nice to read something set in your “own part of the world” sometimes. I did love Anna and the French Kiss, and I’ve added Losing the Light to my TBR! A lot of these are new to me, so I’m going to check them out. Great list!

    • That makes sense! I always wonder what it’s like for non-US YA readers to read SO many US set books. I mean, it seems like, from what I know, that Australia and the UK have quite a bit of YA fiction coming out/set there but I always wonder beyond that what the YA scene is like.

  5. LOVE this list. I absolutely loved Anna and the French Kiss (and all of the sequels!!), but it’s the only one on this list that I’ve read. I really love any book set in London or England – murder mysteries, Jane Austen novels, everything! I’m only just realizing how few YA books I’ve read that are actually set OUTSIDE the US. Does Hugo Cabret count? hahaha x

    • Those books are SO good! And same..when I was making this list I for sure thought I read more than this. I had a few historical fiction YA books that were outside the US that didn’t make the list but other than that I was like maaaan I read a lot of books set in the US haha

  6. This is a brilliant list! I live in the UK and even across here it is unreal how hard it can be to find a YA that isn’t set in the US. I will definitely be looking into some of these

    My TTT

    • One of my biggest wishes that will be a “trend” will be that more authors will set books outside the US. ONE CAN WISH.

  7. What a great topic idea! I love it! These kinds of books are my favourite because if I can’t experience a new place my self then what better way than through a book!
    My TTT

    • Yes exactly! I get so itchy to travel all the time and $$ doesn’t always make it possible so I love being able to go via a book!

  8. Great list, I like what you did with this one. Paris, France in general, Australia, oh yeah Italy ha ha- lots of great destinations here! I’ll have to look at a few of these a little closer as I like books that transport us somewhere else.

  9. Awesome topic! I can’t believe I’ve only read one of these (Anna and the French Kiss), but now I want to read more. I did really enjoy Maureen Johnson’s 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelope- the main character travels a lot in that one. If there’s one thing that I could go back in time to do, it would be to get my passport at 18 and backpack across Europe. I’m way too old now to sleep in hostels and use communal showers. 🙂

  10. Great list!! Anna and the French Kiss is an awesome choice. I really need to read Statistical Probability. It has been on my TBR list FOREVER and I love London. I will have to bump that one up my TBR list.

    My TTT: http://jacquesbooknook.blogspot.com/2016/03/top-ten-tuesday-books-to-read-if-you.html

  11. This is an awesome topic you chose! I recently added Sea by Heidi R. Kling just because it is set in Indonesia. I can’t wait to read it.

  12. Really like the topic you picked this week, wish I could say that I’ve read books set outside U.S. Probably just because I read lots of fantasy and they are more alternate worlds 🙂 Anna and The French Kiss has been on my TBR for some time, so hoping I get a chance to at least visit via characters. My TTT link

  13. I really gotta get to When You Were Here – and your review for Losing the Light made me want to read it right away! Have you read North of Beautiful? I loved that one, and I liked that it was set in China – and not just the big cities, but all over. We don’t see that a lot.

  14. Anna and the French Kiss made me desperately want to go to France to have chocolat chaud. I mean you can get it in the US, but just the experience of having it in France, in the winter, with a really good croissant is SO appealing to me. And while I didn’t love the story, Wanderlove made me really want to drop everything and go backpacking as well.

    Out of all the Aussie lit I’ve read, I think Friday Brown/Friday Never Leaving has the BEST setting. Part of the story takes place in this abandoned little town out in the bush, and it’s deliciously eerie & I can’t get enough.

  15. Great list! I’ve read so few books that are set outside of the US, so I’ll need to check these out. I tend to stick to fantasy/paranormal, so it can be hard to find books of that genre that aren’t in the US. Maybe I just need to broaden my genre horizons!

    Check out my TTT

  16. Yay! So glad to see Wanderlove on your list. I loved that book so much! And I just got Just One Day from the library yesterday, so it makes me happy to see it on your list as well. I’m looking forward to finally reading it.

  17. I love this idea for the theme this week! I hardly ever read books set outside of the US, so it’s awesome to see a list of books to open that up for me 🙂

    My TTT.

  18. Oh wow, this is a great list. I love your theme– its right up my alley. Its difficult for me to get into YA because they all seem to have similar settings, but this list puts relevant ones right in my lap!

    My TTT: http://brownbooksandgreentea.com/2016/03/01/books-to-read-if-youre-in-the-mood-for-activism/

  19. I loved Anna and the French Kiss – it made me want to go to Paris so bad 🙂 The others are still on my TBR though.
    Another nice book set outside of the US is The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. It’s a fantasy retelling of A Thousand and One Nights and the Middle Eastern setting is described so beautifully.
    My TTT: http://www.lindseyh.be/2016/03/01/top-ten-tuesday-ten-books-to-read-if-you-are-in-the-mood-for-a-fairytale-retelling/

  20. Always adding to my TBR Jamie! Thanks for the suggestions 🙂

  21. OOo fun topic pick! And nice choices! Lots of new to me ones, this would probably be fun to do from my point of view which tends to be paranormal reads! I have a few in my head already to go along with this post! Great choices and topic, again!

    Here’s my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower 🙂

  22. I can see a lot of these books making my wanderlust go wild. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was such a cute book and I was surprised by the lack of cheesiness haha. There must be something in the water down under because so many of my favourite authors are Australian. I’ve not read Wildlife but I will be sure to add it to the list. Wanderlove also looks like m kind of book and I’ve always wanted to explore Central America. 😀

  23. I LOVED reading Just One Day and Anna and the French Kiss – you definitely feel transported to Europe! Another book series that’s really good for “travelling” – although it’s middle-grade and not YA – is the White Giraffe series by Lauren St John. It’s set in Africa and you feel like you’re right there. I’m from South Africa and when I lived in the UK the first time, I read this book and it just made me feel like I was right back home. You should definitely check it out, even though it’s not YA! 🙂

  24. Great list! Definitely some books to check into further. I actually got Anna and the French Kiss just today at the second hand bookstore!

  25. I recently read Anna and the French Kiss and although I didn’t love it as much, I thought it was ok. I loved how transporting the book is. It felt like I was experiencing it through Anna!
    I hardly read YA, and most of what I read are fantasy or Sci-fi, but I think The Lunar Chronicles does an awesome job of describing Beijing. 😊

  26. Oh man, I need to reread Wanderlove! I loved that one! And I’m due for a reread of Anna and the French Kiss soon too! Great picks. 🙂

  27. Ooo! What an interesting list! Definitely love reading stories that take place in far off places.

    For my TTT, I chose ten books if you’re in the mood for women kicking butt

  28. This is actually the first time a book-blogger (or even among all bookish community) that i know (and lives outside Indonesia) mentions a book that’s set in Indonesia. pretty exciting.

    • It’s so hard sometimes to find YA books set outside the US! I always get excited when I see a book that isn’t haha

  29. Anna and the French Kiss & Just One Day – loved these and would LOVE to go to France. My TTT

  30. Sea sounds like an interesting read *adds to the TBR*
    My TTT.

  31. I haven’t read any of these, but I do plan on reading Anna and the French Kiss. I’ve heard so many great things about it!


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