1. Stables (That Aren't About The A-Circuit)
I really just want more teenagers over age 14 who make horseback riding as much or more of a priority than the part-time jobs they all have. Preferably not because they're obsessed with showjumping. How 'bout a barrel racer?? Or better yet, a person who just rides for fun.
2. State Parks
Give me characters who go hiking and camping. Describe the nature. Inspire me to go out!
3. Northern California
I wanna know what's going on in the top half of the state. The part with non-palm trees. I've had a fascination with a mansion near Redding for years but have no practical frame of reference for what that area is like.
4. History Centers or Historical Societies
I want to see some teens get all interested in family genealogy or the history of their hometown. Why should the grown-ups in women's fiction get to have all the fun with family trees. Related to this...
5. Ancestral Homes
While reading Phantoms of the Hudson Valley, one of them turned out to be called Edgewater - which made me think of the YA novel by the same name. Reading the essays in this book of then-current owners whose relatives had built the place, I realized I'd love to see more stories of modern teens living in a mansion that has historical significance and has been in their family for generations. Maybe one they're more attached to than their parents are, for example -- one they worry about being able to hold onto in the future.
6. Eastern Europe
There are teenagers in places like Estonia and Latvia, right? Well, let's hear about them! Because I sure as heck have absolutely no idea what those countries are like. I'd even be happy with something like modern-day Poland. Which I also know nothing about, despite one set of great-grandparents immigrating from there.
I know Alexie Sherman has something but I don't care for his style. The only other one I can think of is White Girl, and that takes place in Canada + is about, as the title implies, a white girl living on one (thanks to a new stepfather). I'm curious to see more about day-to-day life for natives of U.S. reservations and how that affects one's perception of the world, living as a member of an extreme minority, to be even further removed from mainstream neighborhoods.
8. Midcentury university campuses (1930s-60s)
Modern YA is not afraid to follow its 18-year-olds to freshman year, which is always fun, but I also want to see how it was Back In The Day, particularly in eras when parties full of alcohol were not a standard weekly event. I have perused (and also own) WAY too many vintage yearbooks not to dream of a more personal take. I've read a few authentically vintage post-grad books -- nursing school in Into The Wind comes to mind, and part of Virginia Euwer Wolff's Rated PG took place at college -- but I always crave MORE.
9. Star Lake (the town from 99 Days)
Granted, this would require me to read more Katie Cotugno. But I would punish myself for more of that gorgeous resort town, I really would.
10. State / County Fairs
Literally every time I see one of the two county fairs pop up near me, and then miss them because getting away from work is Hard, I wish I could relive the experience in a book. I never did the run-around-a-fair-with-your-friends thing, mostly because I only had one friend and both of us usually did out-of-the-house things strictly with our families (I guess because we didn't have jobs/our own money and asking parents for a handout before leaving felt weird). I want to know what it's like to experience one of those places as a carefree teen without your parents.
Bonus: I would also dig a hobby farm setting -- hang on, I'm having a plot point idea about a girl whose parents have a traveling petting zoo -- which would then tie in to exhibiting at the fair.
YOUR TURN: If you know of any novels with these settings, THROW THEM MY WAY.
Note: anonymous users, and possibly Open ID users who include hyperlinks, your comments are screened but will be unscreened at my earliest opportunity.