Book Settings: More Castles Less Deserts

I’m joining the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday and sharing my top book settings that I want to see more (and less) of. If you know of some great books in these settings please let me know about them in the comments! And if you were curious about my YA books to movies book club I started a goodreads group for it.

Give Me More!

  • Castles – Stories set in castles almost always include beautiful dresses and dreamy princes, so yeah give me more castles. But just because it’s in a castle doesn’t mean it’s all fluff, you know how I like my fighting. Here are some of my favorite action packed tales full of wonderful kick butt heroines, charming boys and of course gorgeous dresses. (Throne of Glass, Grave Mercy, Bitterblue)
  • The Circus – With all the pizazz and illusion there’s plenty of room for mystery and intrigue plus awesome costumes! Whether it’s real magic or just for show I would love more Circus tales. I would love to read more stories set in a circus. (The Night Circus, Water for Elephants)
  • Simulations – It all started with Ender’s Game (and Ender’s Shadow). It was one of the first books I fell in love with and after the fight simulations I learned to embrace simulations of all kinds. Whether more like video games or training devices. These books below have simulations of all different kinds. (Insignia, Ready Player One, Divergent)
  • Boarding Schools, Dorms, and Training Centers – Am I the only one who thought going to boarding school sounded awesome? Whether it’s Hogwarts from the Harry Potter books or the every day class life mentioned in the Beautiful Creatures Caster Chronicles I am an absolute sucker for places where kids live and learn together. Here are a few more examples. (Soulbound’s Shadow Academy, Vampire Academy‘s St. Vlad’s, Any of the Institutes from Cassandra Clare‘s  Mortal Instrument or Infernal Devices stories)
  • The Water – I love when books take place near the water. It can be on the water, in the water, or just in a beachy location. I think it’s the California girl in me coming out. (Starcrossed, Wake)
  • Real Cities I can Visit – I may or may not be strongly considering a field trip to stalk the filming of Divergent in Chicago. Um yeah. But I love reading books that happen in familiar places. You know how I love my paranormal kick but when it’s set in a place I’ve been or can easily imagine I think it’s lots of fun. (The Mortal Instruments books, Everneath -Park City, UT, Anna and the French Kiss)

Please I’ve Had Enough

  • Deserts – For the love, I don’t think I can read about people wandering around a barren wasteland any more. Really, please.
  • Generational Spaceships – All the stories I’ve read that take place on generation ships just seem to be the same. I may be open to trying another one but so far I haven’t had much luck. Do you have a favorite book that takes place on a generational ship I should look into?


  1. Great picks! I wish I had thought of castles and water. Both of those have always appealed to me.

    I hope you find more books in that category.

    I’m a new linky follower.

    Here’s mine

    ~Danica Page

    Taking It One Page at a Time

  2. I’m definitely with you on castles and real cities! :) My TTT list:

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

  3. Oh my gosh, your post is unbelievably amazing! The choices are fantastic and how you put pics of books that take place there?! I am in awe of your website skills!

    And YES! That is a life goal to read books while traveling and read a book about a city before going there or while there…or both :)

    New follower too! How have I never found your site before!?

  4. You’re not alone with the boarding school obsession – on my list as well.

  5. You can’t ever have enough stories set in castles! I absolutely love those! And YES to circuses, real life cities and boarding schools. Plus I’m fascinated by your choice of simulations! That’s such a cool pick. I also agree on deserts. You can only spend so much books (or so many chapters) wandering something that’s practically nothing.

  6. There certainly do seem to be a lot of desert books out there. Really good choices! I’m so with you on castles and BOARDING SCHOOLS, which I also put on my list! The circus would be so cool, and this fellow California girl totally feels you vis a vis the water.

    My TTT

  7. Great list, I love stories that are set in castles and the beautiful dresses are part of the reason for this, I always end up loving stories set in boarding schools lucky this seems to be a fairly popular setting in YA. I love the idea of stories set in water and I agree that I don’t want to read stories about people in the desert.

  8. If you like circuses, check out WONDER SHOW (it’s up for a Morris award!) and one of my recent fantasy favorites takes place in a desert–VESSEL. It was great. Maybe give it a chance?

  9. Great list! The Circus is a great setting!

  10. Haha, when I was younger I always wanted to go to boarding school too. They sounded so much fun! Some great setting choices here. I’d like to read more virtual worlds too :-)

  11. Everneath is set in Park City? Ok, that makes me want to read it then.

    I would add Catching Fire to the water category. ;)

  12. Great choices. You’re right, I haven’t seen enough castles. =)
    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday Post
    Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason

  13. Yes! Castles!

  14. Oh wow I love how you set up this post. I love circus books as well – or at least both of those. And also real cities too.

  15. I recently read a great young adult book. Not in any of the settings you mentioned. You can’t predict the ending. It is on publish by demand since it is the author’s first book. You can get it from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel Of Much Consequence by Wisyia D. Graff. Just found out it is on Kindle.

  16. Ahh… yes, see, I wouldn’t have chosen castles, but I do adore GRAVE MERCY. Bring on more books like that one!

  17. Oooh, circuses are so fun and magical and I love that you had real cities we can travel to.

  18. Great list! I need to look at where the books I have read are set :)

  19. Circuses! I definitely don’t see enough of that… can’t think of ANY YA that fits the bill…

  20. I’m with you on everything but the simulations. I’m not sure what books I’ve read that would fall into that category. The Real City settings are especially fun when it’s a city you’ve actually been to before. My husband and I traveled around Europe for our honeymoon, and finding a book about any of the cities we visited really brings back the memories for me!

    I’d add Pegasus and chalice both by Robin McKinley to your castle group. They are 2 of my favorites!

  21. Oh gosh, I didn’t even think about boarding schools! YES YES YES. I think of the Gallagher Girls. The circus would be so much fun as would the others :)

    My TTT:

  22. Oh my gosh. I have loved the Circus settings. Yes.

  23. Just joined your site. I love your choice for the circus at the top of the list :)

  24. Thanks for stopping by Rae. New Follower!

    If most of your reads are predominantly in the YA genre pls consider listing your blog with YA Blogosphere. If your interested in listing your blog, pls contact me on yablogosphere(AT)gmail(DOT)com.

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