Top Ten Tuesday: In Which the Worlds Felt Real, Yo.

Welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday! The topic chosen by the awesome peeps over at the Broke and the Bookish is vivid worlds and settings in books. For me, that means things GOT REAL. I could picture myself in the world, imagine the city or the journey — whatever it may be. World building is incredibly important to me as a reader.

Let’s get started!

P.S. You’ve been warned – welcome to the craziness that is my mind and the chaos of what I read.

vivid world building and good book settings

1. ALANNA: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce (Goodreads | Amazon)

Alanna was the first “fantasy” series I read in high school. Somehow I got caught up in the world of classic “old” books for high school required reading and a friend recommended I read the Alanna series. I DEVOURED these. I saw them when Border’s was closing and bought myself the whole set. I re-read it last year, I think, and still really enjoyed it. Alanna is young in the beginning books and she grows up – similar to Harry Potter – throughout the rest of the series. She falls in love, she becomes a badass heroine, and there are two very different, but great guys vying for her attention.

2. THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusack (Goodreads | Amazon)

I read The Book Thief with my girlfriends back when we were trying to start a book club. I did NOT know what to expect when I started this one, but I was swept away into World War II. I cried, my heart broke, and I was incredibly touched. I should re-read it, but it’s one of those that has left such a definite lasting impression…

books with great world building and vivid settings

*Honestly, these two are kind of my “freebies” on this list because um, it’s not possible to have a list without them. J.K. Rowling is the queen of world building. And Suzanne Collins re-ignited the dystopia trend that has hit the YA world full force. These books deserve some mad props. (Also, I pictured my favorite of each series.)

3. HARRY POTTER and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Goodreads | Amazon)

4. THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins (Goodreads | Amazon)

books with incredible world building and vivid settings

5. FORGOTTEN by Cat Patrick (Goodreads | Amazon)

I felt so deeply connected to London, a girl whose brain “reset” every single night. She would forget everything that happened the day before and would have to read the pages of notes she wrote for herself to “remember” her life. She could see things from the future, but couldn’t remember the past. LOVED this book!

6. DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

ALL of Lauren’s books should be on this list. I am continuously blown away by her writing. From the way the society felt in Delirium to experiencing Lena’s journey in Pandemonium (purposely being vague so those of you who haven’t read this won’t have anything ruined) — I felt like I experienced every. single. moment.

vivid world building or amazing settings in books

7. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

I haven’t read tons of books involving angels and demons or crazy animals that can talk – but if Laini Taylor is writing it, sign me up. I wanted to tread lightly through Daughter of Smoke and Bone because I didn’t want it to be over. Anxiously awaiting the sequel to dive back into her world!

8. THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)

I am a HUGE, HUGE Courtney Summers fan. I read Some Girls Are and subsequently consumed the rest of her books (in like…a week). I was nervous to read about zombies (because I’m not really a “zombie” kinda girl), but you know what? That was okay. The story is bigger than the zombies. Courtney’s writing is ah-mazing!

books with incredible settings or vivid world building - setting with airplanes and book set in london

9. SUCH A RUSH by Jennifer Echols (Goodreads | Amazon |E’s Review)

Forget fear of flying — I think everyone will want to take off in a plane or head to an airplane hangar to hang out with the Hall boys after reading this one. Jennifer did an INCREDIBLE job of explaining how things operated and I felt so empowered on behalf of Leah.

10. MEANT TO BE by Lauren Morrill (Goodreads | Pre-Order on Amazon)

I like books that can take me to new places – places I’ve never been. I felt like I was on my own spring break in London (btw, why was my high school not this amazing? — pretty sure we just went to Six Flags for trips!). This is one to keep your eye out for – I know I’m a tease for sharing it, but the setting (and characters) are ones you will LOVE.

So that’s what I’ve got for your world building and vivid settings books. What’s on your list?