Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Top Ten UKYA Books Set Outside of the US and UK

It's been awhile since blogging occurred here on Fluttering Butterflies! I'm sorry for my absence, it's been a challenging time for me lately but hopefully I'll be back with a little more regularity from now on. We shall see.

For my blogging debut, I thought I'd take part in this week's Top Ten Tuesday. It's technically meant to be books set outside the US only but I figured I'd do the same with the UK as well. AND just because I wanted to do a(nother) post here on Fluttering Butterflies celebrating UKYA (and one UKMG) books, all of the authors in today's posts are also by British authors.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish 

Liberty's Fire by Lydia Syson (France)

Lydia Syson is one of my favourite authors. I love the way she writes historical fiction in such a way that it makes it so easy for me to get swept up in her characters and the time periods she writes about. Liberty's Fire is set in Paris, France during a revolution in 1870 and it follows the lives of four entwined characters who are on both sides of the political upheaval. And I loved every second of it! 

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (Russia)

I absolutely adored The Wolf Wilder! It's set in a fictional Russia in which wolves have been taken on as pets by royalty and then sent to a wolf wilder in order to be taught how to be wild again.  I love the concept of this book, the setting, the characters and definitely the adventure. This was such a sweet, fun book that I had to go out and pick up Katherine Rundell's debut book, Rooftoppers. 

Forbidden Spaces trilogy by Helen Grant (Belgium)

It shouldn't be a surprise to anybody that I'm a huge fan of the Forbidden Spaces trilogy by Helen Grant. All three books are set in the Flemish speaking area of Belgium and centre around serial killer goings on. I absolutely loved the pace, the intrigue and especially the relationship between the two main characters. 

The Last Leaves Falling by Fox Benwell (published under the name Sarah) (Japan)

The Last Leaves Falling is such a tear-jerker. It was one of those hugely emotional books that I read and just sobbed my way through. It's about suicide and suicide culture in Japan but it's also a book about hope and friendship and acceptance. It's just a really beautiful book and I definitely look forward to more from Fox... 

Stolen by Lucy Christopher (Australia)
I'm still kicking myself for having waited so long to read Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I was really intimidated by it for such a long time without ever coming to any conclusions as to why.  I think the thing I loved so much about this book is how emotional it is. Lucy Christopher described the outback of Australia so well that it felt like a character in itself and also she described how much the main character didn't want to be there that it made me feel that way too.  This setting of this book was incredible. 

Monkey Wars by Richard Kurti (India)

It's a bit of a strange one, Monkey Wars, in that unlike the majority of other books on this list it isn't a contemporary story. This is a book about warring monkeys in Calcutta, India. And it's fascinating. The different monkeys have such differing and powerful personalities. And this book is pretty gruesome. It's bloody and political and I found every page of it fascinating. I love how emotionally invested I became in monkeys on both sides of the conflict and how much I felt about them and their relationships. Such a surprising novel. 

Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott (Japan)

Shadows on the Moon is on my list of favourite books ever, that's how much I love it. It's set in a fictional fantasy feudal Japan, is a fairy tale retelling, it's got a great main character, great secondary characters, an emotional love interest and an amazing setting. I love the world that this book is set in. And I love the revenge and vulnerability... oh, I just love this book!

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace (Zimbabwe)

I read Out of Shadows several years ago and I still occasionally find myself thinking about it. It's a book set in Zimbabwe during the 80s just after the war of independence. It's about an English boy in school during a time of great upheaval and racial tensions. Robert Mugabe is set to visit the school and that sets off this chain of events that occur. This book was a really powerful and unflinching story about bullying, race, belonging.

A Beautiful Life by Irfan Master (India)

A Beautiful Lie is such a sweet little book. Written back in 2011, this book is set in India during Partition in 1947. The main character, Bilal, is determined to protect his dying father from the news of Partition as he thinks it will break his heart. Set during a time of great turmoil, Bilal and his friends and everyone he can enlist throughout his village go to great lengths so that Bilal's father has peace in his final days. This book is equally sad and beautiful. 

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long (Belgium)

Sophie Someone is the most recent book I've read from this list. I loved the Belgian setting, specifically in Brussels. There was Flemish words thrown into the narrative, there was mentions of different ethnicities living within Brussels because of colonisation etc. It was just a really interesting general look at teenage life in another country as well as being an intriguing story about identity and language. 

What are your favourite books set outside of the US or the UK? 


  1. I loved Stolen. I still haven't read anything from Japan or Russia but there are many good choices to pick from. Anyways, great list!
    Here's my list:

  2. I loved Stolen and wow! So happily surprised to see Out of Shadows which very nearly made my list (I was born in Zimbabwe). I decided I would do a whole post of books from Africa and saved it for then. :) My TTT

    1. That sounds like an awesome idea for a blog post, Sue :)

  3. Oh wow, I have to read A Beautiful Lie. I like African literature though I am yet to read any books set in Zimbabwe.Great choices.I like the fact that you also featured Belgium settings since that is another setting that I am yet to come across.

    Here is my list:https://ahavenforbooklovers.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/top-ten-tuesday-ten-books-set-outside-the-us/

    1. Thanks Diana, going over the list again I'm surprised I have two books set in Belgium but I enjoyed them both immensely.

  4. I love Zoe Marriott, though I have not read that book by her yet! I think I need to get on that :)

    My TTT.

  5. I've never heard of Out of the Shadows, but will have a look at it. Love your book set in Japan as well. Welcome back to the blogosphere and hope to see you around! Here's my TTT http://marelithalkink.blogspot.co.za/2016/07/ten-books-set-in-south-africa.html

  6. I haven't read Shadows on the Moon but it looks so good! You might like Ink by Amanda Sun since you seem to like the whole fantasy Japan thing. Great list!

    My TTT

  7. +JMJ+

    Your two different entries for Belgium make me think I've never read anything set there. I'd like to, of course, but then I have to admit that it's books with Russian settings that I'm most interested in at the moment.

    Here's my Top 10 for the week!

    1. I think Russian settings are amazing as well though I don't think I've read much set there....


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