HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FLORIDA!  Today, March 3rd, 2017, you turn 172 years old.  We can hardly believe where all the time has gone.  You don’t look a day over 150!

From the Everglades to the Fountain of Youth, you are a national treasure, especially since you’re the state that we choose to call home! To celebrate, we’re taking you on a little tour of mostly ya-focused books that feature or incorporate Florida into their stories.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin takes place in Miami and paints a lovely picture of Calle Ocho, the historically Cuban district, among many other famous landmarks.

the-unbecoming-of-mara-dyer-by-michelle-hodkin

Brimstone by Cheri Priest takes place in Casadaga, Florida during the World War 1 and is NOT a YA novel.  Casadaga has long been known for its large numbers of psychics and mediums.  It releases on April 4th, 2017.

brimstone-by-cherie-priest

Lauren Gibaldi not only lives in Florida, but two of her novels are Florida-focused! Auto Focus, which takes place in Tallahassee, and The Night We Said Yes, which takes place in Orlando.

Abandon by Meg Cabot is a retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades.  It takes place in the fictional island of Isla Huesos near Key West.

abandon-by-meg-cabot

We are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson takes place on the east coast of Florida near Jupiter and it does a beautiful job of exploring what it is to live near a seaside town in this state.

We Are The Ants

Alterations by Stephanie Scott is a Sabrina re-telling that takes place in modern day Miami! There is so much Cuban culture splashed into this fun book.

alterations-by-stephanie-scott

Paper Towns by John Green is set in Orlando, which you may know as the city where Disney is located, but it also takes you on a little road trip from there after some despair about urban sprawl.

paper-towns-by-john-green

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold is not only is this an absolutely must-read, but there are some references to Tampa, Florida (our home city) in it!

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Boy Robot by Simon Curtis.  While the action does not take place anywhere near our home state, Isaak has a Florida connection–he’s from here.  I’m also putting this book on the list because everyone needs to read it.  I finally, finally finished it and even though it was brutal in places, it’s a necessary read.  My review will be up soon, so here’s a reminder that you need to pick this one up.

boy-robot-by-simon-curtis

You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando had a Florida connection: Raegan’s parents were married in here.

you-dont-know-my-name

Love is Love graphic novel, a celebration of the LGBTQ community, commemorates one of the biggest atrocities to occur in Florida–The Orlando Pulse Shooting.  Proceeds from the sale of this graphic novel go to the victims and families of victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting.

Enchanted (The Summer Solstice #1) by KK Allen takes place in Apollo Beach, best known for its giant power plant that attracts manatees every year (you thought I was joking, didn’t you?).  I have added this as an Easter Egg for my book bestie, who bravely read this self-published work last summer. so that I wouldn’t have to.

the-summer-solstice-by-kk-allen

Featured image credit: Abigail Johnson She is ambitiously creating a YA map for all 50 states, so make sure to follow her progress on Twitter! Also, take a closer look at her map, as there is some overlap with our list, but she includes other books that we didn’t realize were set in Florida!

florida-ya-yabystate

~Carmen

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