Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Books are like a gold mine for travelers and dreamers, because as George R.R. Martin wrote, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only once.” There are a lot of impressively vivid places that authors have created, and they make a great backdrop for delightful storytelling. Regrettably, a lot of these settings are plagued by real flesh-tearing monsters, war, or the classic corrupt government. As much as I may love some characters, they don’t always live in the most welcoming of worlds. If the Clave can just get their act together, maybe I’d be able to visit Jem without a worry. I’m putting the Throne of Glass world on a great vacation idea for the future. Take me to Terrasen only when the world isn’t about to end.
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (#2)
Published: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.
I’m never setting foot Under the Mountain or in the Court of Nightmares willingly. I don’t have a peculiar fascination with experiencing oppression and I don’t particularly enjoy screaming for days on end. Though if you’re giving me round tickets to Velaris, you’ll be hard-pressed to find me anywhere else. If I can meet the Inner Circle, it might be a long time before I choose to return home on my own accord. There’s
Rhysand, Azriel, and Cassian a City of Starlight waiting for you and who can resist that?
Harry Potter in the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
Series: Harry Potter (#1)
Published: June 26th, 1997
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry. Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined. Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.
Hogwarts is always there to welcome you home, and with eight movies displaying its glories, it’s a very real place to me. Hogwarts is a place of my own childhood, adorned with fancy common rooms, house banners, and magic. If Voldemort is long gone, I’ll happily wait on line for the Magic School Bus to take me on a visit to this whole new world.
Ketterdam (only under Kaz’s strict protection)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows (#1)
Published: September 29th, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist: Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached) Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world) Survive long enough to collect his reward (and spend it) Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.
Ketterdam is still a place most reasonable people would hesitate to step foot in, with its mess of gang violence, brothels, and frequent schemes. Give it a couple years under Inej and Kaz’s watch though, and I might be brave enough to stop hiding in a ship docked at the harbor. Just because I really want to meet Kaz Brekker.
Palmetto State University
The King’s Men by Nora Sakavic
Series: All For the Game (#3)
Published: December 3rd, 2014
Neil Josten is out of time. He knew when he came to PSU he wouldn’t survive the year, but with his death right around the corner he’s got more reasons than ever to live. Befriending the Foxes was inadvisable. Kissing one is unthinkable. Neil should know better than to get involved with anyone this close to the end, but Andrew’s never been the easiest person to walk away from. If they both say it doesn’t mean anything, maybe Neil won’t regret losing it, but the one person Neil can’t lie to is himself. He’s got promises to keep and a team to get to championships if he can just outrun Riko a little longer, but Riko’s not the only monster in Neil’s life. The truth might get them all killed—or be Neil’s one shot at getting out of this alive.
We can pretend that I’m not choosing Palmetto State University because Andrew Minyard what are you doing to me, but I unashamedly am. If the Foxes don’t hate me on sight, I’ll be able to pick up on a lot of handy little tricks from them. Maybe I’ll come back with the ability to pick a lock, change identities like hats, and (if I’m really lucky ) I’ll be pretty damn adept at using a knife. If Andrew’s teaching me though, I might very well be dead in a day. So Renee, please go easy on me.
Food Wars! by Yuto Tsukuba and Shun Saeki Series: Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Published: March 18th, 2014
Publisher: Viz Media
Soma Yukihira’s old man runs a small family restaurant in the less savory end of town. Aiming to one day surpass his father’s culinary prowess, Soma hones his skills day in and day out until one day, out of the blue, his father decides to enroll Soma in a classy culinary school! Can Soma really cut it in a school that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate? And can he convince the beautiful, domineering heiress of the school that he belongs there at all?!
Everybody has to eat, and there’s few things more satisfying than eating well. Totsuki Academy seems to be full of teenagers who can create the type of dishes that most people can’t even dream of making. If this is the time to make dreams into reality, then I’m hopping on a bus that can take me to places like Yukihira diner and Tsukasa’s booth during Restaurant week. The bus has to stop by Shino’s too, because there’s just no other acceptable alternative.
Camp Half Blood
Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan Series: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (#1) Published: June 28th, 2005 Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books
Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
I hope the Camp Half-Blood t-shirt is complimentary for visitors because I’ve been loving the color orange. I can picture how fascinating exploring every single cabin, modeled after a different Greek god, would be. Can I commission Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase as tour guides? Maybe I’ll see Nico and Will peeking out from behind bushes too.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare Series: The Mortal Instruments (#1) Published: March 27th, 2007 Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
City of Bones is one of the first series I fell in love with. I always have a soft spot for Will and Jem, and I would love the chance to meet them too, but this cast are my original day ones. I would probably have to work up the courage to talk to Isabelle, try to ignore how egotistic Jace is, and pretend that Alec isn’t ignoring me. I’d get to ogle the New York Institute though in all its imposing height, and lament how unfortunate it is that most people would never get to see through the glamour. At that approximate moment, I would stop suddenly, as if acting upon by a greater force and wonder: If I can see the Institute, does that make me a Shadowhunter too? Fantasies aside, I’ll be content to shake Magnus Bane’s hand.
Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui Series: Assassination Classroom Published: November 2nd, 2002 Publisher: Viz Media LLC
The students in Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High have a new teacher: an alien octopus with bizarre powers and unlimited strength, who’s just destroyed the moon and is threatening to destroy the earth – unless they can kill him first! Meet the would-be assassins of class 3-E: Sugino, who let his grades slip and got kicked off the baseball team. Karma, who’s doing well in his classes but keeps getting suspended for fighting. And Okuda, who lacks both academic and social skills, yet excels at one subject: chemistry. Who has the best chance of winning that reward? Will the deed be accomplished through pity, brute force or poison…? And what chance does their teacher have of repairing his students’ tattered self-esteem?
Koro-sensei is the kind of teacher that promises a class you wouldn’t dread attending. On the other hand, he has way too many tentacles, moves at Mach-20 speed, and you have to try to assassinate him while doing math (the difficultly level of both of them is kind of the same). It’d be wicked to graduate with some killer defense moves, but I think even a day in Class 3-E will let me see how inspiring an alien’s teaching style can be.
The Thousand Sunny
One Piece by Eiichiro Oda Series: One Piece Published: December 24th, 1997 Publisher: Viz Media LLC
As a child, Monkey D. Luffy was inspired to become a pirate by listening to the tales of the buccaneer “Red-Haired” Shanks. But his life changed when he accidentally ate the fruit of the Gum-Gum Tree and gained the power to stretch like rubber…at the cost of never being able to swim again! Years later, still vowing to become the king of the pirates, Luffy sets out on his adventure…one guy alone in a rowboat, in search of the legendary “One Piece,” said to be the greatest treasure in the world…
Luffy traveled long and looked far for the right cook, so if he says Sanji is it, then Sanji is it. Eating on the deck of The Sunny, built with loving care by Franky, and looking out on on the open sea is an incredibly compelling idea. I’d love to sail around on the pirate ship, so long as we can avoid people like Big Mom or anyone threatening us with a sword or a gun. I’d much rather meet Shanks, Whitebeard, Ace, and Sabo. Hopefully all at once. (It’s a nice dream.)
Tokyo (wherever Tsuruga Ren happens to be)
Skip Beat by Yoshiki Nakamura Series: Skip Beat Published: July 19th, 2002 Publisher: Viz Media LLC
Kyoko always thought that Sho, whose family took her in when she was small, was her prince charming. However, when Sho heads for Tokyo to make it big as a musician, Kyoko goes with him and has to quit high school to support his dream. But soon, being in the big city makes Kyoko realize that she has show business ambitions of her own!
Get me into this series so I can clear up all the miscommunications and my babies can live happily ever after, okay. Skip Beat is one of the longest-running shojo series I am following today. I love every moment of it, but it is incredibly s l o w and romantic development is about as common as a solar eclipse.