The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

Around the World in YA Books Tag

on January 23, 2016

(in which I cheat and use books that aren’t YA at all…!)

giphy

A fantastic blogger, theorangutanlibrarian, tagged me to do this one many moons ago (November – I know, I know, I am shameful!) and I am finally rising to the challenge! Before you read on, please go check out her blog, because her reviews are excellent, and her blog is one of my favourites!

The rules of this tag are to choose a selection of countries, and pick your favourite YA book set in each country.

I had a mosey around my bookshelves and concluded that my YA library was pitifully undiverse (is that a word? My laptop doesn’t seem to think so!), so I’ve decided to break the rules (naughty) and complete this tag using a mixture of books, some YA, but mostly not, so I can imaginarily (apparently that one IS a word) travel to further flung corners of the globe!

So, without further ado, I’m off on an adventure. First stop…. India!

Gif source: Giphy 


India: The Love Detective by Alexandra Potter

the-love-detective1350px-Flag_of_India.svg

If you’re looking for a total escape read, this book is a good place to start.

Recently heartbroken Ruby takes a spontaneous trip to visit her sister in India, but when she arrives, Ruby finds her sister has run off to marry her yoga instructor, a man she’s known for all of five minutes! Desperate to stop her sister making a big mistake and getting her heart broken too, Ruby sets off across India to track her down and stop the wedding, with the help of a crotchety but handsome American man she meets on the train.

We get to travel all over India in this novel, and it’s portrayed with so much vibrancy and colour that the descriptions will make you want to drop everything and run away this minute!


Nepal: The Lie by C.L. Taylor

23465642nepal_texture

This is a fantastic, twisty novel about a group of women who go travelling in Nepal.

They arrange to spend several weeks at a remote retreat up in the Himalayan mountains, run by a charismatic man named Isaac they can’t help but be instantly charmed by on arrival. Everything seems blissfully idyllic for the first few days, but Emma, the protagonist, quickly starts to realise something isn’t right about the place, and that Isaac may not be as perfect as he seems…

The way the tension and creepiness builds in this novel made it unputdownable, and the location descriptions were breathtaking.


Romania: Follow You Home by Mark Edwards

91YT+AbTM-L._SL1500_2000px-Flag_of_Romania.svg

Another creepy book on my list: this is the story of a couple who, whilst travelling in Eastern Europe, have their passports stolen, and are thrown off their train by the Romanian Authorities in the middle of the night. They plan to walk through the forest until they reach the nearest town, but something happens that night in the woods that leaves them utterly traumatised; when they return to London, they refuse to ever speak of the incident again.

What happened to leave them both so afraid? This novel will keep you guessing (and up all night!)


Turkey: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

10692Flag_of_Turkey.svg

This book takes you on an adventure through a number of different countries including France, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria, but the place painted most vividly in my mind was Turkey.

The story follows a young woman who finds a curious book in her father’s library, containing no words, but simply a woodcut emblem of a dragon at the centre. We soon discover that the book (which mysteriously made its way into her father’s possession one late night at the library) has a connection to Vlad the Impaler (also known as Dracula) and that her father is not the first person to have discovered such a book!

All of the characters who come across these rather menacing books seem to become fixated by the idea of finding out more about Dracula, and one by one, their research leads them off to Instanbul, and all over Europe, in pursuit of the man himself, whom they are convinced is still alive… in some sense of the word! But as each character takes this journey, somebody is following in their footsteps, and it seems the deeper they become embroiled in Dracula’s story, the greater the threat posed to the people they care about most…

This book was atmospheric and sinister throughout. My only criticism is that it dragged in places and could benefit from some serious pruning down – it took me almost a month to read! Kinda like this super-long summary, you’re probably thinking!


Canada: The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

315340Flag_of_Canada.svg

I read this book a long time ago, but I remember absolutely adoring it.

The novel takes place in 19th Century Canada: in a small town called Dove River, a man is found murdered in his home, and a 17-year-old boy becomes the number one suspect when he disappears shortly after the body is found. His mother refuses to believe her son is a murderer and, determined to prove his innocence, sets off across the harsh snowy landscape of the tundra to find him and bring him home.

I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect of this book, and the descriptions of the tundra are stunning. It’s also an emotional read, so be prepared to blub your eyes out at the ending!


Morocco: The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor

DOSABFlag_of_Morocco.svg

I had to include at least one YA book on this list, and this seemed like the perfect choice because technically it’s three 😉

Most people remember the Czech Republic when they think of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, because the first book opens in Prague and brings it so magically to life, but for me, the sections of the series set in Morocco spring to mind. Laini Taylor conjures the chaos and liveliness of the market towns, full of chattering and bartering, perfectly, and she is one of the few authors who truly makes me feel I am right there in the middle of it all.

As this is a trilogy, attempting to summarise it will probably result in an essay, but if you haven’t read these books, check them out here!


I tag the following people:

*** But there’s no obligation to do this tag if you’re busy, or have already done it, or just don’t want to! 🙂 ***

Annelise @ Anneliselestrange

Foureyedfangirl

Codie @ Reader’s Anonymous

Tanaz @ Bookish Freaks

Laura @ Lala’s Book Reviews

Ellie @ Belle Infini

Ariana @ The Quirky Book Nerd


Have you read any of these books? What are your favourite books set in other countries?

Advertisements

23 responses to “Around the World in YA Books Tag

  1. Annelise B. says:

    Thanks so much for tagging me! I just saw it at my e-mail! As soon as I get to sit and read your post properly, I’ll write a decent comment 😂

    • mudandstars says:

      You’re welcome m’dear! Look forward to reading your post 😀

      • Annelise B. says:

        thank you!! and I loved your book choices despite they not being all YA! good variety ❤ ❤

      • mudandstars says:

        That’s okay 🙂 Thanks! I failed so hard with getting YA books in there haha, I need to read more YA set in other countries – most of the ones I have on my shelves are UK or America 😦 I need to diversify!

      • Annelise B. says:

        same here! I’ll have to stop and do a good search on my shelves to find YA books set in other countries, haha! Tags usually open up our eyes, right?? lol

  2. haha don’t worry I’m catching up on my november tags now :/ glad you got to do it in the end! 🙂 Ooh I loved this list- particularly as I hadn’t read so many of these books- I especially like the sound of The Lie

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha okay glad I’m not the only one! I think I still have some that stem back even further than November – I just started picking them at random because there’s no way I’ll have time to catch up with all of them 😦 Thanks, The Lie was a great book, and the author has written another book called The Accident which I recommend too if you like that genre 🙂

      • haha I know the feeling- and whenever you get to the end of the list- there’s always a ton more added to it- which is lovely, but it means I’m done trying to be on top of it! Awesome- thanks very much for the recommendation! 🙂

  3. Laura says:

    Thank you for tagging me.
    How many countries do we have to choose? 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      You’re welcome! I don’t think there’s a set number, I just stopped at 6 because my post was getting a bit long haha! Look forward to seeing your answers if you decide to do the tag 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for the tag! 😀

  5. belleinfini says:

    Thank you so much for the tag! This certainly looks interesting though I’m afraid my bookshelf will be extremely undiverse. Great post! 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      You’re welcome! Haha I know what you mean – I had a real struggle to find any books set in other countries at all that I’d read! I need to diversify my reading this year!

  6. Codie says:

    Thanks for the tag! Nepal feels like such a hard, random country for a setting in a book, so I’m looking forward to check out that novel. But you’ve read books in very interesting countries, even if they’re not all YA, that I’d love to check out 😀

    • mudandstars says:

      You’re very welcome! Look forward to reading your answers if you decide to do the tag. And I know – Nepal is a bit of a random one, so I was quite pleased I could drop it into my list! I definitely recommend the book if you like psychological thrillers – it was a good one!

      • Codie says:

        I’ve actually never read a psychological thriller, but it sounds interesting. I’ll be doing this tag, although I can’t drop countries as impressive as Nepal.

      • mudandstars says:

        Ahh, it’s one of my favourite genres, so if you ever fancy reading one and want some recommendations then let me know 🙂 I binge read so many of them last year haha.

      • Codie says:

        That would be awesome, thank you! I’d love some recommendations, especially since I’m trying broaden out my reading from my norm. Haha, it’s always nice to find a new genre and just stuff yourself with the newness of it.

      • mudandstars says:

        Ooh awesome, I’m trying to do the same thing myself this year, as I always tend to stick to the same genres. I would recommend books by Mark Edwards (who I just realised I also mentioned in this post actually) – his books are really tense and creepy, and are what actually got me into the genre in the first place. CL Taylor has written another book called The Accident, which was really good. And another book I really enjoyed was Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson. The only thing I will say about the genre is that the more of them you read, the more they start to get a bit samey/predictable. But the Mark Edwards ones are generally pretty good at being different and not so predictable. And if you want something totally off the wall, check out Night Film by Marisha Pessl – it’s kind of a mix of genres, and it’s a bit surreal in places, but it’s so good and one of my favourite books of all time!

      • Codie says:

        Oooh, a mix of genres sounds great. Thanks for the recommendations – I’m going to add them to my TBR, but I know what you mean about predictable plots. That happens very often in historical romance novels (which is a guilty pleasure of mine) and it’s still entertaining just formulaic. I hope we can both stick to expanding our horizons this year, there seem to be a lot of awesome novels if you just dare to try, but it’s hard.

      • mudandstars says:

        You’re welcome! If I had to recommend one above all others it would definitely be Night Film! I’m a little bit obsessed with that book. Yes, I know what you mean – a lot of genres tend to follow a popular formula which gets done to death, but yet if you love books in that genre, somehow it doesn’t matter 🙂 Good luck with the horizon-expanding too!! It’s definitely tough!

  7. […] been tag for this by lovely Jess from Mud and Stars. Please check out her blog. She’s really nice, and has interesting […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: