Friday, August 22, 2014

Settings I'd Like to See More of In YA

I'm always writing lists of things I'd like to see more or less of in the books I read. And lately, I've been thinking of some cool settings I'd like to see more of (specifically thinking of contemporary YA).  Here is that list. Do you agree? What sort of settings would you like to see more in YA?

Books set ...

in theme parks

Did you guys see that film with Jesse Eisenberg and Kirsten Stewart, Adventureland? I think N put it on to watch one lazy Sunday and I remember quite liking it.  I remember being this weird divide between ride operators and those in charge of the stalls?  And it was a cute film if not particularly memorable to me. But what I did love is the fact that it was set in a theme park. I don't know if you guys know this about me (ha!) but my family spends a considerable amount of time at Legoland.  \Like, a lot of time.  There's always a very particular atmosphere about Legoland and there a bunch of crazy, awesome people who work there and who go there regularly same as us.  I think not only would a theme park (possibly with a higher average age than Legoland, sure) be a great place for a YA novel it would also be a great place for a documentary. (I still want to film one about Legoland!)

in water parks

I don't know about you, but The Way, Way Back was one of my favourite recent films.  I only went to watch it at the cinema because I ended up with free tickets, but I really, really loved it. It has some great characterisations and family dynamics and I just thought the whole thing was utterly sweet. I'm not a big fan of Steve Carell in anything but I adore Sam Rockwell.  And his character was amazing in helping the main character grow in confidence over the course of the summer.  And it's set in a water park! I don't know, I haven't really seen many (any?) water parks in the UK around, is this mostly a US thing?  Even so, just like the theme park suggestion ahead, I'd really love to see a YA book at least partially set in a water park. Or even, while we're on the subject, a zoo or aquarium!

at festivals

Julianne's latest video about summer books touches on this topic and she mentions that festivals would be a great addition to YA novels, and I have to agree.  One of my favourite books is Split By A Kiss by Luisa Plaja in which a bunch of characters are attending a music festival and all sorts of drama happen. But I don't necessarily think it has to be exclusively music festivals. I think Sharon Jones's Dead Jealous was amazing set at a pagan festival and I loved it all the more for doing so!

in European cities

I think Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins made everyone fall in love with Paris just that tiny bit more and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green really highlighted Amsterdam and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor made me, at the very least, really sit up and take note of Prague. And I'd like to see other authors set their stories in other awesome European cities.  Like Venice or Lisbon or Barcelona or ... some place a little more off-beat. I don't know. I'm no expert. But I'd love to read more about different places that also feel a little more accessible. That's not London. Or in the US.

What settings would you like to see more of in YA?


  1. Oh, I'd love to read books set in a theme park, that would be awesome!

  2. I'd really like some more diversity when it come to cities books are set in! There are so many places I'm dying to visit myself so getting to read about them might satiate my desire to travel a little bit :)

  3. Umm guys, I am here to grant your wishes BECAUSE I KNOW OF A BOOKS SET IN THEME PARKS. Let that soak in for a minute. ;)

    1) How Zoe Made Her Dreams Mostly Come True by Sarah Stohmeyer
    Not as good as her other book (Smart Girls Get What They Want) but still funny, sometimes the book left a little to be desired, BUT THE SETTING YOU GUYS. It is set at a Disney theme park competitor (don't even mention that infamous mouse with the funny ears to these people).

    2) Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Helper
    This is set in Disney World, and the characters all play actors in the theme parks (princesses, furry friends, etc.). You would be surprised by the kind of drama that goes on behind the scenes. If I remember correctly, they also include IRL problems of the Orlando natives working at Disney.

    You're welcome guys!!!

  4. I've got a third one set in Belgium coming out in March! This time featuring Brussels, Tervuren and also the French speaking part of the country. x

    1. I do love this series of yours exploring Belgium! Really excited to read it x

  5. I can't believe I still haven't read Split By A Kiss or Dead Jealous!


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