travel tails feature with rather be reading, alexa loves books, and novel sounds

Travel Tales: Setting the Scene

travel tails feature with rather be reading, alexa loves books, and novel sounds

Welcome to our first official post in the TRAVEL TALES event we are hosting with Elena from Novel Sounds and Alexa from Alexa Loves Books! This is where we make each other completely depressed, daydreaming about places we want to visit in books but can’t — whether it’s because of time, that green stuff, or the place doesn’t really exist. Seriously, though, settings are pretty essential to every novel ever written and it’s interesting why and when we connect to the ones we do. Magan and I decided to raid our bookshelves for books that contain illuminating settings for one reason or another! Enjoy!


Moonglass by Jessi Kirby, Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers, The Hidden Staircase by Nancy Drew

1. Moonglass by Jessi Kirby (Goodreads) Ah. This book features so beautiful settings like the beach where Anna and her dad move to in first pages of the book. Anna is a runner and I love that she has the freedom to run on the shoreline. Kirby also injects a mystical element to this book as Anna begins to remember some things about her deceased mom and their shared love of roaming the beach. I’m a sucker for a good beach setting because it’s probably where I love to be the most. Kirby lives near the beach and you can tell she just understands it.

2. Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers (Goodreads) I used to love this series when I was a kid, and I’ve been dying to read them again. I’m also a huge fan of the Julie Andrews movie, but the book more closely resembles the stage show. Mary isn’t actually all peaches and cream but I do love the adventures she takes her charges on in these pages. Who doesn’t want to jump into a gorgeous and colorful chalk painting? I’m a huge fan of London and I’m dying to go back (maybe for my 30th birthday?) and this is my imaginative portal to that spot.

3. Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene (Goodreads) I’ve written about the little Estelle fun fact I’m about to tell you many times during my creative writing classes. When I was young and my parents had a condo at our favorite beach (you may know it… it’s the setting of Jersey Shore… sadface) I used to stay up really late reading. Not a surprise, huh? But I would only take out Nancy Drew books and read them against the lights of the boardwalk. (My sister and I shared a room and she was always sleeping before me.) There used to be a log flume at one of the farther piers that would spell l-o-g-f-l-u-m-e over and over again as I crawled into Nancy’s mysteries and tried to help her solve them. If you are a friend of Nancy you know she always went wherever she was needed, but as for me, I was in a safe place, an ocean breeze wafting through my large window, and content.


great settings in books - cinder by marisa meyer, second chance summer by morgan matson, throne of glass by sarah j maas

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (Goodreads): “Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.” — I absolutely loved escaping in Cinder. Set in the future, the technological enhancements — portscreens (I picture much like iPads), hovers (I imagined to be a floating taxi system), androids (robots!) — left me fascinated. Cinder is a girl with a metal arm and foot. How is that possible?! Meyer definitely made everything seem real and alive for me. I wondered what our future world will be like and if any of Meyer’s imaginative concepts would come to life.

2. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (Goodreads): “A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted- mostly because I had assumed that there would be a thousand more.” Moments. That’s what ALL of Second Chance Summer felt like to me. Beautifully described scenes. A town that felt alive and tangible to me. A road I was desperate to speed down carelessly (on a bike – not in car). I could taste the coconut ice cream and smell the sugary sweet scent drifting from Henry’s dad’s bakery. Every single thing about SCS was alive for me. Matson completely set the scene and pulled me into the Edwards family. (By the way — if this town exists, I want to go there for real.)

3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (Goodreads): “Libraries were full of ideas–perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.” Until I read Throne of Glass, I had forgotten how much I enjoy the world of castles and kings. I wanted the opportunity to (freely) explore the glass castle. Despite Celaena spending the majority of her time (according to Chaol and Prince Dorian’s knowledge) barricaded in her room, I had a complete understanding of the intricacies of the castle. I could picture the splattered blood after the murders and my skin prickled when I ventured with Celaena into creepy dark places.

jet off to:

Elena wants to go to Hogwarts. (Who doesn’t?!)
Alexa celebrates a birthday & hosts a giveaway! (What a sweetheart!)
Alexa also features just HOW we can get to our favorite destinations. (Such a creative post!)