If you’ve got a serious case of wanderlust like me, chances are you turn to books when you can’t pay for an international trip. While we can’t all jet off to fabulous foreign places, the best books set overseas make it feel like we’re right there with the characters. Here are some books that will make you fall in love with the countries they’re set in!
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan
When Leigh’s mother dies by suicide, she turned into a bird. Determined to find the bird (her mother), Leigh travels to Taiwan to visit her maternal grandparents and search for answers. Leigh’s descriptions of Taiwan are lush, vivid, and tangible, but also seem to capture a kind of nostalgia and aching—like the way you try to remember a place from a dream you had the night before. This book makes me miss a place I’ve never even been to.
Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
Sophia only has one week left in Japan before she moves back to the States. But then Jamie, the boy who broke her heart years ago, comes back into her life, imploding Sophia’s plans for her goodbye adventures in the city she’s called home. Sophia and Jamie’s romps around Tokyo have me dreaming of the bustling streets of Shibuya and hungry for real ramen—and also love. 💖 💖
96 Words for Love by Rachel Roy and Ava Dash
Y’all know we love a good modern retelling over here at NOVL! Our friends at Jimmy Patterson just published an amazing #OwnVoices YA romance set in India that retells the tale of Shakuntala and Dushyanta, a story of star-crossed love from Indian mythology. Rachel Roy and Ava Dash have me swooning for Kiran and wishing I was in India!
Teeth in the Mist by Dawn Kurtagich
Even though I would never walk the hallways of Medwyn Mill House, I definitely would wander the Welsh mountains surrounding it. I know this story is supposed to make me afraid of the mountains, but once that nasty demon and all the ghosts are gone, I’d love to spend a day in the fresh air with the mist and open sky ahead of me.
The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
While technically Lucy and Owen travel all around the globe, one of my favorite settings of The Geography of You and Me is Scotland—where Lucy’s family moves to at the beginning of the book. Even though it broke my heart when Lucy and Owen parted ways, I love the way Edinburgh glitters on the page. Honestly the only thing that would have made the book better for me is if Lucy and Owen had moved to Scotland at the end of the book.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I literally cannot write a listicle about travel books that doesn’t include Anna and the French Kiss. I’m not going to lie, when I went to Paris I visited Saint-Étienne-du-Mont and Point Zéro solely because they are the settings of my favorite scenes in the book, and I made my friends take shameless photos of me waiting for my real-life Étienne to appear.