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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? 

July 29, 2012 - 8:05 am

Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog: 7/29/2012 - […] Marisa Calin. + Author Carley Moore stopped by for an interview + a GIVEAWAY! + Magan shared 10 books with vivid settings + A review of  Pushing the Limits by Katie […]

July 25, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Magan - Jen, thanks so much! I did make them myself. I whipped them up in Photoshop – I wanted it to be easy for people to see why I chose books if they didn’t want to read my longer write-ups. 🙂 I really appreciate the compliment and you stopping by!

July 25, 2012 - 12:38 pm

Jen @ A Book and a Latte - This a fantastic list! I love that you picked Such a Rush :). And, BTW, I love your countdown graphics :). Did you create them?

July 25, 2012 - 11:45 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - Your graphics for this TTT are BEAUTIFUL and I love them all. I love your picks, though I’m especially pleased that you have Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Alanna & Such a Rush on the list! Such a Rush has a great setting, and yes, I totally felt like I could fly a plane after reading it too!

July 24, 2012 - 11:34 pm

Aimee @ Penmanship Smitten - I’ve heard so much about THe Book Theif. I know it’s an emotional read, but I think I’m definitely going to have to check it out. It sounds amazing.

I loveeeeee the wizarding world of Harry Potter so much, and though it scares me, I found Panem from THG fascinating.I wouldn’t want to live there, but Delirium has definitely one of my favorite dystopian settings. I’m reading This is Not a Test right now, and I can’t wait to explore this world more. The otehr books, though I have yet to read them, sound fantastic. Adding them to my TBR immediately!

Thanks for the list!

Aimee | My TTT

July 24, 2012 - 11:26 pm

Randi M - Ahhh, can’t wait for Meant to Be!! After today, I’m thinking Daughter of Smoke and Bone might have to be my next read. Great list – I loved your explanations! 🙂

July 24, 2012 - 6:19 pm

Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog - Such a Rush sounds like a fantastic read. I’ll have to look into that one. Thanks so much for sharing. Would love for you to stop by and check out my Top Ten.

July 24, 2012 - 3:20 pm

Becki @ TheFlutterbyRoom - Great list! Loved the graphics – they were awesome, and brilliant summaries. Really enjoyed hearing your reasoning for the books you picked.

July 24, 2012 - 2:39 pm

Brittany @ The Book Addict's Guide - Ooh some really great choices! HP & THG of course- but how did I pass up Delirium!? One of my favorites! And I can’t wait to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone! So many great reviews for that.

July 24, 2012 - 2:12 pm

Kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best - The world of HP and Panden couldn’t NOT be on these lists! I love both worlds SO MUCH! I just got the Alana books this weekend so I’m hoping to read them!

~Kailia @ Reading the Best

July 24, 2012 - 11:56 am

Tara @ Hobbitsies - YES Meant to Be is TOTALLY on my list too! HOW DID I MISS THE HUNGER GAMES? I’m asking this on every list I see it on because I am shaking my head at myself.

Tamora Pierce fangirl #1 right here!

July 24, 2012 - 10:17 am

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) - I keep seeing Tamora Pierce everywhere and I’ve never read any of her books. BLOGGER, READER, & PERSON FAIL. (hides face forever)

July 24, 2012 - 9:55 am

Tara - First off, I love how you formatted this post! (I know, nerd alert to geek about your formatting skills, but I LOVE).

Second, your quote about Harry Potter and The Hunger Games is so, so true.

Third, I agree on every other book… that I’ve read 😉

July 24, 2012 - 9:48 am

Jamie - SO almost put Delirium on my list! Also, I really need to read Daughter of Smoke & Bone..everyone RAVES. As well as Such a Rush and Meant To Be. I have a lot of reading to do! And I don’t know how I forgot to put The Book Thief!

July 24, 2012 - 9:34 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Every time I see Daughter of Smoke & Bone I think, hmm I need to read this! Why do I keep forgetting about it?! I like most of your picks (for the ones I read).

July 24, 2012 - 9:11 am

Nicole - I need to read Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA series like nao. DOSAB had a great world — and who doesn’t love Hogwarts!? Great list!

July 24, 2012 - 8:15 am

Jessica - I had The Book Thief too, great book. I like your list, I have read a lot of them. Never heard of Meant To Be before, but I just added to my TBR list! Thanks!

July 24, 2012 - 6:59 am

Lori - I was very close to putting Delirium on my list…I probably should have. Great list and I agree that it’s nearly impossible to have a list without Harry Potter. 🙂
My Top Ten

July 24, 2012 - 5:20 am

Cassie @GreatMunchieReads - Great picks and so pretty to. I love your page 🙂


July 24, 2012 - 4:41 am

Adina - Great list Magan. I too imagined I could fly after reading Such a Rush – the plane wants to fly!

July 24, 2012 - 2:41 am

Scarlett - Harry Potter forever! Great list, although I haven’t read quite a few of the ones that you have listed. I REALLY liked how you did the covers and the numbers, very schnazzy!

Here’s a link to mine!

July 24, 2012 - 1:52 am

Jenny - This might be the prettiest list I’ve ever seen! A few of these are on my list as well, but I love all of your picks. Amazing list! 🙂

July 24, 2012 - 1:19 am

elena - I LOVE HOW YOU DID THIS! Harry Potter should be on ALL these lists. People can say what they want about HP but they can’t deny it has great world building. Also, I read Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers and really liked it! I have Some Girls Are right now but I don’t think I’ll read it since it makes me feel really uncomfortable. I definitely want to check out This Is Not a Test though! Ha to number nine. Fab list, M. 🙂

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