Around the World in 8 YA Books
It’s more than a little cliché, but books have the power to transport readers to places we might never otherwise visit. Especially being a month out from spring break and warm weather, I think a lot of us have come down with a bad case of wanderlust! We prescribe a strict regimen of YA novels that will have you feeling like you’re walking the streets of Spain or falling in love under Japanese cherry blossom trees (when you’re really on the couch curled up with your cat). Here are 8 destination novels that feel like traveling:
Gone by Nightfall by Dee Garretson → Russia
One of our recent Swoon titles, this historical fiction novel tells the story of a Russian girl, Charlotte. Set in 1917, this novel captures Russia at an important moment in time. The Russian Revolution forces Charlotte to flee with her siblings and their devilishly handsome new tutor, Dmitri, whose secrets she must uncover before it’s too late.
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson→ Brazil
June Costa is an artist who is about to rock Palmares Tres, a futuristic Brazilian metropolis. Enki is a secret artist who is desired by all women, yet that hardly matters when his fate as a Summer King is to die. Together the two collaborate on projects while also taking down the government and, of course, falling in love.
The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz → Italy
Penny and eleven other girls train at their Italian finishing school to become the finest ballerinas. This life under the watchful eyes of Master is all she’s ever known till she’s struck by flashbacks that hint she had a life outside of the Grand Teatro. Penny must escape the strict Master to uncover the secrets of her life before.
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys→ Spain
Daniel is an eighteen-year-old amateur photographer eager to capture Madrid in all its sunny delightfulness. When he meets Ana he begins to understand the darkness of the city, especially because it’s 1957 and Spain is under fascist rule following the devastating Spanish Civil War. As Daniel and Ana’s stories intertwine, they will uncover danger, darkness, and truth.
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn → Japan
Kimi is a fashion trendsetter, much to the dismay of her mother. Her best chance of escaping her mother’s control is in her estranged grandparents’ invitation to stay with them for spring break in Kyoto. In Japan she falls for med student Akira and Japanese culture, while also unraveling her family’s history.
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan→ Iran
Sahar and Nasrin are two Iranian girls who have been in love since they were six. Keeping their relationship a secret has been manageable till Nasrin is betrothed to a man. Sahar’s solution is sex reassignment, which is legal and would allow for the two to be together. Sahar must decide what’s worth sacrificing: her true identity or her true love.
The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey → England
It’s 1833 in London, and Beth is the victim of a carriage accident that has left her memory blank. Fortunately, she is taken in by the dashing Lord James Ellerby, who is eager to piece together Beth’s past. Yet there may be a murderer on the loose, one whose prime target is the unsuspecting Beth. Will her past catch up to her future?
Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali→ Qatar
Zayneb is angry at her teacher for discriminating against her being Muslim, so she escapes to Doha, Qatar for spring break with her aunt. Adam is trying to revive the memory of his mother for his family while also hiding his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. When the two meet, a getaway vacation grows into something more as sparks fly between them.
Your turn, Swooners! What are some of your globetrotting faves? Share in the comments!