Thursday, 7 August 2014

Travel by Armchair (1) Bloggers Share Their Favourite Fictional Places To Holiday

Have you ever read a book so rich with description for a country you’ve never visited before that you feel like you’re experiencing it yourself? Or have you read a beach read that you put down feeling rested and relaxed as if you’ve had a week in the sun? I think of these books as ‘Armchair Traveling’ and I've invited some of my book blogging friends to turn into fictional travel agents sharing their favourite places to travel to via reading.

Ginger from GReads picks Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols

Have you ever opened a book and felt as though the setting was all around you as you began reading? I felt this way instantly when I first read ENDLESS SUMMER by Jennifer Echols. The book takes place on a lake, where the characters live year round, yet this particular story unfolds during the summer months. I have always been drawn to novels that are set during the summertime. Add a water element such as a beach or lake and I am sold. Most of the action in this fun, romantic, summery YA contemp occurs on the water, and into the late night hours of those smoldering summer nights.

Lori has grown up next door to the Vader brothers, Sean and Adam her whole life. Their summers consist of working at the Vader family marina during the day, wakeboarding in the late afternoon, and attending the famous Friday night parties at the Vader household. For as long as Lori can remember she has been hopelessly in love with Sean. But this summer is different. She has a plan, and that plan consists of Lori strutting her womanly figure around in a bikini to grab Sean's attention and make him fall just as hard for her. Little does Lori know, it's the attention of another Vader brother, Adam, that she's been capturing all these years. As the plan unfolds, Lori realizes that everything she thought she loved about Sean may not be the truth. Being in-love-crush is a tricky thing. The heart likes to mask flaws that we don't always see and present to us a vision that is not necessarily the truth.

After reading this book, I now want to live on a lake with total access to boats, wakeboards, boys, and plenty of sunshine year round. Who wouldn't?! Visualizing the setting was so easy for me. I could see Adam standing on that dock, pushing off with one foot, and throwing his body into the boat with the other foot. I could also see Lori trekking across the grassy lawn to the Vader house next door in her high heels, just hoping to grab the attention of a certain boy.

Last summer I took a family vacation to the lake and while I was there, my mind instantly thought of ENDLESS SUMMER. As I stood on the deck, jutting out into the water, watching the boats zip by, I imagined those characters doing tricks on their wakeboards. It felt like the perfect setting to let go of life’s stresses and allow my mind to wander to fictional places such as ENDLESS SUMMER.

Kev from I Heart.. Chick Lit picks About a Girl by Lindsey Kelk

The reason why I chose the first book of Lindsey Kelk’s new series is because I can always count on her to take me on a fabulous, fun-filled vacation and I was so right!

The book is set in one of the most exotic locations in the world; Hawaii. I loved how Lindsey Kelk deftly described the surroundings and as I was reading it, the pictures that conjured in my head were so vivid and colourful. The bright, vibrant colours of the tropical flowers, the picturesque views from the island, overlooking the cool, inviting Pacific Ocean, tinged with the salty, sea breeze.

About A Girl was pure escapism, chick lit at its best with a very delicious love story behind it. The ideal summer holiday companion, even if you’re just staying at home, having a quiet night in, this book will whisk you away to sunny Hawaii and before you know it, you’re booking the next plane out to the beautiful island! I will be joining Tess and Kekipi for a cocktail, care to join us?

Danielle from What Danielle Did Next picks Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

When summer comes and I'm lucky enough to get away from it all whether it is on a beach or even in the back garden there's always a selection of books I tend to reach for. Of course there's the usual "summery" reads of women's fiction and the YA romance that makes my stomach flutter but I always have to have a "Classic" in my pile, a book from my childhood that takes me back to those carefree days of playing from dawn ‘til dusk then curling up with a well thumbed book I know every word of. For me one of those summer reads that always whisks me away to its beautiful locations with its stunning imagery and absorbing words is Anne of Green Gables.

Set in the picturesque town of Avonlea, on the beautiful Canadian province of Prince Edward Island it is a place that simply calls to my soul to forget the humdrum drudge of every day life and get lost in the stunning imagery Lucy Maud Montgomery evokes with her story of a young orphan girl, Anne with an ‘e’.

Afternoon strolls in the orchard by Mrs Rachel Lynde’s home pulsing with the magic and colour of its “bridal flush of pinky white bloom”. Skimming the cool, crisp waters of Bright River with your fingers as you float down in a boat past the wild plum bushes as the air smells “sweet with the breath of many apple orchards”. Walking hand in hand with that special someone down the “deep rutted grassy lane bordered with wild rose bushes” and turning onto The Avenue or as Anne calls it ‘White Way of delight’ with “its long canopy of snowy, fragrant bloom” looking ahead to the sunset.

There’s no better way to spend a summer’s day than by soaking up the sunshine with a good book on one of the endless white sandy beaches enclosed by red sandstone cliffs and treading the crystal clear waters of the Garden of the Gulf. Lazy bike rides along the coast before picking a bouquet of tiger lilies, crimson peonies and daffodils at the Lake of Shining Waters before retiring to Green Gables and enjoying a supper of Marilla Cuthbert’s delicious fruit cake and cherry preserves, not forgetting a tumbler or two of Raspberry Cordial and maybe even some of her famous Red Currant wine if Diana Barry hasn’t drank it all!

Blissful in its natural splendour and perfect for anybody wanting to experience a slower pace of life with plenty of culture, history, good food and scenery worth getting out the camera and making memories for.

Mily from The YA's Nightstand picks Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Pack your bags we’re heading to Paris!

Obviously there is a long list of traditional landmarks you’ll need to see when traipsing along the streets of Paris. For example The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Panthéon, The Arc de Triomphe and so, so much more! But I’ve got a couple of other places for you to see. A couple of places where you can enjoy the City of Lights as well as the magic that was Anna and St. Clair’s love story.

Firstly you’ll need to get your bottoms over to Notre Dame! If you want to go in and have a look around that’s entirely up to you - although if you’re anything like me you’ll end up wondering around the place humming a Disney song or two. However, that’s not the real reason I want you to plod on over there. No, the real reason is because right next to the magical cathedral is Point Zéro des Routes de France (AKA Point Zero). It’s the point in which all roads start, it’s the center of Paris and just like Anna and St. Clair you need to make a wish. Make a wish on Point Zero and it’s said you’re distained to return some day.

A couple of other places to keep in mind on your travels round this enchanting city are The Jardin du Luxembourg - where Anna and St. Clair had their first kiss. Take a picnic and enjoy the sun! Maybe even have your own little kiss? But I guess that’s optional. Also being as we’re all book sniffers here you’ll need to stop by Shakespeare and Co. Book Store! It’s where St. Clair bought Anna that book and it’s also bound to have the best book smell ever!

So that’s it! That’s my little tour of the Pari. I hope you get a chance to see it some day and above all else, I hope you get your very own French Kiss.

 Whether you're going to the beach and looking for a good book to pass the hours with or are looking for a story that will sweep you away from daily life I hope these picks provide some escapism this summer! 

Check out part two of this feature here for more blogger friends recommending their favourite fictional holiday spots!
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