Top Five Wednesday: Books That Aren’t Set in the Western World

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For today’s Top Five Wednesday, I’ll be discussing five books that are set outside North America and Western Europe. All of these books take place in multiple locations (some of these places may be set in North America or Western Europe), but their overall story takes places outside the Western World.


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys– One of my favorite books, Between Shades of Gray tells the story of fifteen-year old Lina, whose family has just been deported to Siberia from their home in the Baltic States. This novel is so heart-wrenchingly beautiful, and I think it is so important for everyone to read this book, as many people are unaware of the horrors people from the Baltic States experienced during World War II.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin– Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf takes place in a world where the Aix Powers won World War II. Every year, the Third Reich and Imperial Japan host a motorcycle race across their shared continents. Yael, a former death camp prisoner with skin-shifting abilities, is given a mission: win the race disguised as Adele Wolfe and kill Hitler. While the race begins in Europe, much of the novel takes place in Asia, as Yael races to win.

Cinder by Marissa MeyerThe first book in The Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder primarily takes place in the Eastern Commonwealth, a futuristic version of Asia. If you haven’t yet heard of Cinder or The Lunar Chronicles, all you need to know that this series includes cyborgs, fairy-tale retellings, sassy robots, and a hot prince known by the name of Kai.

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin– Still on my TBR, Ryan Graudin’s The Walled City takes place in a dark world based on Asian culture. I’ve been told to go into this novel without knowing much in order to get all the thrills!

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff– Want a book that doesn’t take place on Earth at all? Then jump into Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s sci-fi series, The Illuminae Files, and head into OUTER SPACE. This series is filled with space ships, politics, romance and more!

Top 5 Wednesday is a collaborative group of book bloggers from various platforms who love sharing lists on Wednesdays. The T5W group can be found here on Goodreads.


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