Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vacation Books and Why We Love Them

A woman jets off to a swanky resort with her boyfriend… who then mysteriously disappears. A girl connects with a secretive biker while spending the summer at a beach town. Three siblings find a mysterious map in their vacation home.

These three very different books (Here Today, Gone to Maui by Carol Snow; Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen; and Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper) have one thing in common: they all take place while the main characters are on vacation. This is part of what makes these types of books fun to read (and write): everything is new and different, for the character as well as for the reader. Throw in an exotic destination and the thrill of the new, and it’s no wonder we love vacation books!

But most importantly, there is the opportunity for the characters to encounter people and things, they would never have come across in the course of their ordinary lives. Because when you’re on vacation, ordinary life can feel like it’s very far away.

But of course, it’s never that simple. Even on vacation, you still have a history, a past… possibly something you’re running away from and trying to escape. The best vacation books usually don’t let the main character remain on vacation. Real life has to catch up. And of course, that’s when things start to get interesting. Turns out the boyfriend was hiding a few things, the girl has to face the problems she tried to leave behind, and the map will draw those siblings into to their magical heritage.

So what are your favorite vacations books? And what part do you love the most... the vacation, or when real life catches up?

Leah Cypress' novel Mistwood will be released April 27, 2010. Discover a novel about a desperate prince, a castle full of lies, and an ancient shapeshifter trapped in the form of a human girl. Keep up with Leah Cypress via her website.



19 comments:

  1. Vacation books? hmm.. I really like "The Reef" by Nora Roberts which involves a lot of sun, sand, and treasure hunting! It's also about finding the right person but at the wrong time and then reconnecting when fate decides NOW is the right time! It's an adult book but that's ok because I'm an adult :) I love taking books on vacation with me to read around the pool or on the beach. It doesn't have to be chick lit or romantic fiction, it can be anything as long as it holds my interest! In answer to the other question, I like it when real life catches up and you figure out WHY someone is on vacation. I like a happy ending too :)

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  2. Favorite vacation books, eh? I don't read a lot of vacation books or take books on vacation with me. My vactions never seem to be relaxing...more like frantic trips to get the most out of my time. But I have to say that best part of the books are always when they get back to real life. That is when things get saucy.

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  3. Wow whata vacation I would like to have a vacation like the characters. My perfect vacation is sitting down with a good book and coffee

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  4. I'd have to say Jill Shalvis' "The Trouble With Paradise". Not only is it set on a cruise boat--which I've always wanted to go on--but then they get stranded on a deserted island to boot (oh and that pesky murderer on the loose...)!

    When I was younger I also liked a Madeline Kerr book, though I can't remember the name off the top of my head. I like the vacation part, I'm always worried that when reality catches up they'll no longer be together because the "thrill" of the relationship was that it wasn't part of the ordinary day.

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  5. I don't have a fav vacation book, but I do have a fav genre. When traveling, I tend to stick to the short, easy to read historical romances. I don't have to invest any time on them. They are there when I need a few minutes of entertainment (like on the plane).

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  6. I honestly can't think of any right off the bat where the characters take a vacation, although I loved Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols which takes place over spring break... and S.A. Bodeen's The Compound was a vacation from, well, the world... but in teh ones that I have read where they go on a vacation which are not coming to mind... I would enjoy the vacation part because I read as an escape, as my own vacation so to speak- it's a bummer coming back to real life in my own vacations so why would I want to think about that with others?

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  7. Well, I love any book I am reading at the time. I really don't have any specific vacation books. I always enjoy the vacation, but it seems that I am still thinking about real life anyway, so I don't think it really matters. I am so excited about Mistwood, Leah! :D

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  8. I don't really read much on vacation. On the drive I usually read Harry Potter, though. And I love the vacation, hate going back to "real life".

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  9. My favorite vacation book off the top of my head would have to be SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS. I loved that book in so many ways! By the way, I can't wait to read MISTWOOD Leah! I'm already spreading the word about it on my blog.

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  10. I can't really think of any vacation books, but I do enjoy books about traveling or books like Under the Tuscan Sun where people are uprooted into a new experience.

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  11. Hmmm vacation books, now this is a tough one, the only one that comes to mind is The Ruins which really wasn't the book for me. Personally, I enjoy the vacation part.

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  12. I love Nicholas Sparks vacation books. They are always set in the south and the setting is so beautiful. It reminds me of North Carolina and sweet tea.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

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  13. I liked Twenty Boys Summer. I hate when the vacation has to end though. Like in TBS she found a really nice guy, but was okay with never seeing him again when she went home.

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  14. Thanks all for your comments! Twenty Boy Summer and Going Too Far were both amazing books, and the rest of your recommendations sound great too. I'll have to check them out.

    And extra thanks to those of you who mentioned you are looking forward to MISTWOOD's release... that's always great to hear! I'm kind of looking forward to it myself. :)

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  15. I always try and read books I normally would never read in real life when ever I go on any vacation because I want to have a complete break for my real life. It sort of feels like a fling when I read outside my genre. :) I call it my spring fling book collection.

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  16. I don't really read many books that take place with the characters on vacation. The last book I think I read that took place during vacation (but no traveling or anything) was The Truth About Forever.

    But I definitely prefer the vacation - real life catching up is so not fun! Also, can you please speed up the release of Mistwood?? I want it now!

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  17. I love vacation books. The real life catching up is always nice - as the vacation aspect could never really last. One of my favorites is South Beach Sizzle.

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  18. I can't think of any vacation books. I love the cover to your book.

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  19. I love vacation books. The suspense involved when Real Life catches up makes it so exciting. I end up not being able to put it down.

    Congrats on the upcoming release. Mistwood looks great and I have been reading some good things about it.

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