10 Best Young Adult Books Set In Fascinating Cities
There's something magical about getting lost in a new city, even when it's housed between pages. That's why we're exploring the thrilling domain of young adult novels, where stirring narratives meld with unique, captivating urban landscapes. Venture into cities that pulse with magic, technology, history, and mystery. From dystopian metropolises, quaint seaside towns, to cities hidden in plain sight, we're pretty stoked about our top ten picks of YA novels set in breathtaking cities.
For those teens - and let's be honest, grown-ups too - who love to venture into different worlds while curled up on the sofa, this list is for you. Discover tales of adventure, friendship, love, and self-discovery, all while exploring these richly detailed urban jungles. You'll meet characters that'll feel like old friends, walk the streets laid in ink and imagination, and get hooked to stories you'll want to revisit.
Don't worry about getting lost, we've got the perfect itinerary laid out for you. It promises to show you the best YA cityscapes that exist only in pages and our imagination. Lace-up your literary exploration boots, bookworms, it's going to be one unforgettable ride.
『Anna and the French Kiss』
When Anna's romance-novelist father sends her to an elite American boarding school in Paris for her senior year of high school, she reluctantly goes, and meets an amazing boy who becomes her best friend, in spite of the fact that they both want something more.
|Release Date||Jan 01, 2014|
『When We Collided』
Seventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town. Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she's told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels' household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it's not long before Vivi's zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking. Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah's love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn't enough?
|Publisher||Bloomsbury Publishing USA|
|Release Date||May 16, 2017|
『Tokyo Ever After』
Emiko Jean’s New York Times bestseller and Reese Book Club Pick Tokyo Ever After is the “refreshing, spot-on” (Booklist, starred review) story of an ordinary Japanese American girl who discovers that her father is the Crown Prince of Japan! Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity...and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess. In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after? Look for the bestselling sequel, Tokyo Dreaming, out now.
|Release Date||May 18, 2021|
『Daughter of Smoke & Bone』
The first book in the New York Times bestselling epic fantasy trilogy by award-winning author Laini Taylor Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out. When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
|Publisher||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Release Date||Sep 27, 2011|
『The Astonishing Color of After』
A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng. Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love. "Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book."--John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down
|Author||Emily X.R. Pan|
|Publisher||Little, Brown Books for Young Readers|
|Release Date||Mar 20, 2018|
『Meant to Be』
A girl with it all planned out discovers a romance she never expected in this funny debut about a class trip to London that HelloGiggles.com says you’ll love “if you’re into swoony romances with a little bit of history thrown in.” This spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be. *** "Readers of Jennifer E. Smith and Stephanie Perkins will revel in this debate about love ruled by the stars or as a matter of the heart." --Shelf Awareness "Fun, fresh and irresistibly romantic. STB (SURE to be) loved!" --Sarah Mlynowski “Star-crossed characters, hilarious dialogue, and a perfect London setting. I loved Meant to Be!” –Robin Benway, author of Emmy & Oliver
|Release Date||Jan 07, 2014|
『Just One Day』
From the New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay Allyson Healey's life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life. A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know. The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!
|Release Date||Aug 20, 2013|
『The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight』
Now a NETFLIX feature film starring Haley Lu Richardson! Timing is everything in this romantic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver find that true love can be found in unexpected places. Today should be one of the worst days of Hadley Sullivan's life. Having just missed her flight, she's stuck at the airport and late to her father's wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she happens upon the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.... A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
|Author||Jennifer E. Smith|
|Release Date||Jan 02, 2012|
Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han. Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe. Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story. But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.
|Release Date||May 31, 2016|
『I Was Here』
In an attempt to understand why her best friend committed suicide, eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds retraces her dead friend's footsteps and makes some startling discoveries.
|Release Date||Jan 26, 2016|
Whether it's adventures through an alternate London, mischief in high-tech Tokyo, or intrigues hidden in the streets of ancient Rome, there's nothing quite like the thrill of exploring a beloved city through the pages of a gripping novel. With these young adult books, you'll find yourself swept up in the fascinating atmosphere of cities both real and imagined. The authors have captured not just the landmarks and sights of these urban landscapes, but the pulse and rhythm of life there, creating an immersive reading experience that can only be described as transportive. The magnificent cities described in these pages become characters in their own right, leaving an indelible impression on readers. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or an armchair explorer, these stories will make you view cities with a new sense of wonder. So, go on, dive in, and let these books whisk you away to walk the vibrant and vivid streets of mesmerizing metropolises across the globe and beyond!
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