Top Ten Books set in NY and CA: Home is where the heart is

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature from The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about favorite book settings. I always like reading about places I’ve lived and spotting familiar landmarks and favorite haunts. I couldn’t decide whether to highlight New York or California this week so I decided to split the difference since I love them both!

Let’s start with New York since I’m playing the part of tourist there now:

1. From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. KonigsbergΒ One of my childhood faves, and a book that got me excited to visit New York in the first place. How I wanted to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art like the kids in the book.

2. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David LevithanΒ  My daughter and I are going to try to hit up all the NY landmarks mentioned in this book. We were amused today to see one of the books mentioned in the moleskin notebook scavenger hunt (The Joy of Gay Sex) on the shelf at The Strand. (Didn’t spot Fat Hoochie Prom Queen though) Of course we had to hit up Max Brenner afterwards!

3. Where She Went by Gayle Forman – Where did she go? NYC of course! The If I Stay couple reunites after three years and visits Mia’s favorite hangouts.

4. Also Known As by Robin Benway – Benway also makes an appearance on my California favorites list, and is someone else enamored with both cities! In AKA, a teen safe cracker gets her first solo assignment in New York, and the setting is used to full advantage.

5. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt – This tear-jerker is set in New York in 1987, a year the New York Times called The End of the Beginning of the AIDS epidemic. There were still a lot of questions and misperceptions about AIDS at that time, and this book brings it home in a very personal way.

Shifting gears to the west coast, here are some of my favorite reads set in my home state of California:

6. Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway – An average girl gets thrust into the limelight when her ex-boyfriends breakup song dedicated to her hits the Billboard top 10. This hilarious book provides a fun slice of LA life.

7. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins As a former San Franciscan I loved that this book is set in the Bay Area, and Perkins sprinkles the book with authentic details. SF provided a perfect backdrop for Lola’s colorful wardrobe.

8. Legend by Marie Lu – I get a strange thrill out of reading about a dystopian Los Angeles. It makes the experience feel more dangerous and real since I’m familiar with the all the landmarks that are destroyed in the book.

9. The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead -A lot of California books are set in LA, but it’s nice to read about Palm Springs for a change of pace. And Mead really pushes the envelope by having vampires live in the California desert.

10. Disneylanders by Kate Abbott – My latest California read, set in the Happiest Place on Earth. A girl visiting Disneyland with her parents meets a boy in the line for Indiana Jones, and they tour the park together. The book provides lots of insider knowledge to be a fun read for DL veterans and newbies.

What are your favorite book settings or favorite books set in New York or California?


11 thoughts on “Top Ten Books set in NY and CA: Home is where the heart is

  1. Nice List! First time I see Audrey Wait! on a TTT list. Sweet!

  2. This is such an interesting topic to choose πŸ˜€ I never remember the place settings for books I read, so I wouldn’t have been able to do it πŸ˜›
    Out of your books, I have only read the Bloodlines books, which I LOVE. Adrian <3
    but I have a review copy of Legend waiting for me, so I am glad to hear it is worthy of a Top Ten pick!
    My Top Ten post πŸ™‚

  3. kimberlyfaye says:

    I took on New York City this week too! We only have one overlap though: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. I adore that book. Where She Went is a great one too!

  4. BermudaOnion says:

    Wow, I haven’t read any of those books!

  5. bookgoonie says:

    I never really thought about it. Lola is a great one for San Francisco, though I’ve never been there.

    Even the books located in TX, I don’t really notice the location details as much as the FEEL, the attitude, and word choice.

  6. I am looking forward to the Fiery Heart πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  7. I AM SO EXCITED YOU HAVE THE DISNEYLANDERS ON HERE. Made my morning. Such a great book! (Actually I love your list in general but yay for that!)

  8. Candice says:

    Also Known As was SO cute! I love a good NY setting as well; there’s something so exciting about it I think, especially since there are so many different sides to the city! Haven’t read many of your CA books though, but I like that CA feels kind of foreign to me… like NY I think there are many different sides to it, just spread out more!

  9. beckireads says:

    I love the way you’ve split your settings. I’ve only read one of your choices set in NY, and two of your ones set in CA. It’s interesting to see the covers of the books set in CA because almost all of them seem to have bright cheerful covers…

  10. I really want to read Also Known As. I love spy and con books, so I should get on reading that πŸ˜€ Great choices!

  11. veganyanerds says:

    Now that I’ve visited LA I love reading books set there even more! I have Audrey and must get to it soon but I have also added Disneylanders to my to-read list!

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