I'm sure a lot of you know by now that Oregon is where I call 'home.' I moved to the UK more than 12 years ago now and I have settled here permenantly. I don't often get homesick, but when it does happen it comes on very strongly. I was reading a book recently that made me feel homesick for my old home state.
And this post today is partially inspired by this fab United States of YA map that Epic Reads compiled. Together, they created a list of YA books for each state in the USA. Here is the list of books that they've made for Oregon:
I've only read If I Stay and Uses For Boys, but I'm quite curious now about the others.
Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
I read Awaken recently and it was only as I'd finished the book did I read the bit about the author on the back flap. Katie is an Oregon native and apparently she was inspired to write this book because of the trees in Oregon. There is quite a bit about the coastline in Awaken and this is what triggered my massive wave of homesickness, in fact. I absolutely love the Pacific coast, I miss it something terrible. Some of my strongest and happiest memories growing up are when my family and I would take road trips down the west coast of America.
I think Awaken is a really interesting novel as well. I love how believeable it is that society could turn so completely dependent on technology. To provide us with our education and food and all forms of socialisation. And while I think some technological advances are amazing (I admit I'm madly addicted to my iPhone with its 3G access) I can fully support spending more time outdoors as well as in actual socialisation with other people. Preferably on the coast of Oregon!
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
It has been awhile since I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman, but it has long been one of my favourite novels. Together with Where She Went, I think Gayle Forman is one of my favourite authors at the moment. And while Where She Went is more focused on Adam and Mia's life on a single night in New York City, I love how If I Stay is based in Oregon.
I do love books that are based in my hometown. It's lovely to be reading a book and to know the places that are being spoken about, to be able to picture these great characters in places that I've actually been.
I do love If I Stay, and I'm quite happy that this is the book that represents Oregon on the United States of YA map linked above. It is a book that is incredibly emotional and is a story that will stay with me for a long time. I love the characters of Adam and Mia so much and even just the mere mention of Teddy, Mia's brother makes me well up.
Other books set in Oregon - One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and Sometimes A Great Notion by Ken Kesey.
Are there any books that you've read recently that make you want to travel to a particular place?