So many of our favorite books are set in New England. The six states (Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire) are the perfect setting for a murder mystery or a contemporary romance. What are your favorite books set in New England? Let us know in the comments.
1. Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen McManus
Two Can Keep A Secret is a spooky YA mystery set in Vermont. When Ellery and Ezra move from LA to a small town in Vermont, unsolved murders seem to be the norm…some of which have to do with the amusement park they started working at. This mystery will give you major fall vibes and the full small town New England experience.
2. Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer de Leon
Welcome to Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. Liliana Cruz thought her life was fairly ordinary. She went to school and came home to her parents and little brothers. Except, her dad hasn’t been home in a month and her mom won’t say where he is. Then she gets accepted into METCO, a program where inner city students get bused to high-rated suburban schools. Seemingly overnight, Liliana’s world goes upside down. She misses her dad, her best friend and not being a minority at school. If you want to read a diverse YA book, pick up Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and follow along with Liliana as she finds herself!
3. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
The Unexpected Everything follows Andie, the daughter of a Connecticut senator, as she rediscovers what she wants in life and maybe falls in love along the way!
Andie likes to be able to plan every detail of her life. That happens when your alone most of the time. She has her future set and dates a string of guy, as long as they don’t go over the three week mark. But when her internship falls apart, Andie has to get a job and has no idea how to fill her summer. Enter a dog walking business and a cute guy named Clark. The Unexpected Everything highlights the importance of happy surprises and teaches Andie that maybe she didn’t always need a plan, especially in the romance department.
4. Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca
Kelsey can’t wait to start her senior year. She has a great group of friends and a hot boyfriend. When she walks through the doors and the last person she expected to see announces he’s transferred, Kelsey doesn’t know what to do. David and Kelsey haven’t spoken in over a year, since they were best friends in Connecticut. Now in Rhode Island, the two have to deal with their fall out and repressed feelings. While this can be a heavy book at times, the Rhode Island beach setting will make you want to visit this summer.
5. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is one of our favorite YA murder mysteries— and it’s set in Connecticut! So if you’re in the market for romance with a touch murder, then this is the book for you. Pip and Ravi are a crime solving duo out to uncover the murder of Andy Bell and clear the name of Ravi’s brother, who was accused of the crime and committed suicide.
6. Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Another Morgan Matson book set in Connecticut! If you’ve read our blog for a while, then you know we love this author— and this book is no different. Charlie’s sister is getting married in their family’s backyard and she couldn’t be happier to be reunited with her four siblings. Finally, all five Grant kids under one roof. Except, nothing goes to plan. A large family wedding in the backyard, what could go wrong? If you’re in the market for a laugh-out-loud YA contemporary, definitely check this out.
7. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Samantha Reed can’t help but watch the Garrett family, the crazy loud family next door with eight kids. Her mom, a stuck up Connecticut state senator, won’t allow Samantha to interact with the family. One night when her path happens to cross with Jace Garrett, she can’t help but be drawn to him. When Samantha’s world is turned upside down in the blink of an eye, she has to decide whether to protect her family or come forward and do the right thing. Jace and Samantha’s romance will make you swoon. He’s always there for her and never judges her for all the mistakes her mom makes.
8. The Ivy by Lauren Kunze
Callie moves from sunny LA to Cambridge, MA to start her first year at Harvard. Things are more complicated than she thought. It’s not just about good grades. The elite social scene causes challenges she never imagined. First, there are her three roommates. Vanessa, the socialite from Manhattan, Mimi, the French starlet and Dana, the conservative from middle of nowhere South Carolina.
Then, throw in the complicated guys from across the hall, and things get crazy. Gregory is the hot bad boy, who has some hidden depth. OK, a Nigerian prince who the press follows, Matt the geeky guy next door and Adam, who is pretty much the male version of Dana, are Gregory’s roommates. Put these eight students together and there is bound to be drama.
9. Prep School Confidential by Kara Thomas
Anne Dowling loves her privileged life in NYC— until she burns part of her school down and gets shipped off to a preppy boarding school in New England. Right after she arrives, her roommate is murdered and Anne finds herself pursuing the mystery. If you love a good mystery, you won’t be able to put this one down. You’ll be rooting for Anne the entire time, even if she makes some bad decisions.
10. The Amateurs by Sara Shepard
Amateur detective Seneca Fraizer spends most of her free time on Case not Closed, a website for unsolved crimes. One day Aerin Kelly posts on the site about her sister who disappeared five years ago, Helena. Seneca, along with her online friends from the website meet up to help Aerin get closure. Seneca takes the train from Annapolis, Maryland to a small town in Connecticut. Her friend “Maddie” is not what she expected. First of all, Maddie (Maddox) is a hot guy. Second, he told his parents that Seneca was his friend from track camp. Maddox and Seneca track down Aerin to try to solve her case. Things quickly go crazy as the group starts to receive threats to not dig any further. Just when they think everything is clear, something happens that makes them question everything they knew and Helena Kelly.
11. The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
The Boy Most Likely To is the sequel to the beloved YA novel, My Life Next Door. This isn’t a typical YA romance. The book focuses on Tim, a friend of Samantha and Jace. He is trying to overcome his dark past. Then there is Alice, Jace’s older sister. She’s got a hard exterior from having to take care of her seven siblings while her dad recovers from an accident. Tim and Alice never expected to fall for each other, but sometimes, you just can’t help. Like the first book, this story takes place in Connecticut and follows the Garrett family.
12. Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett
Chasing Lucky follows Josie as she moves back to her hometown of Beauty, Rhode Island. When family secrets come to light at an ill-fated party, Josie sets out on a revenge plot that goes awry— with her old friend Lucky taking the fall. Desperate to figure out why Lucky covered for her, Josie devises elaborate plots to repay him. As the two grow closer, they realize that their friendship (and chemistry) may not be just platonic. Bennett will make you swoon during this summer at a New England beach town.
13. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Movie star Graham Larkin accidently emails a random girl in Maine about his pet pig. Ellie O’Neil is confused, but responds back, having no idea how Graham is. When Ellie’s small Maine town becomes the perfect location for Graham’s next movie, Ellie has to decide if she wants their connection to go public.
14. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Cricket Thompson cannot wait to spend her summer on Nantucket with her best friend Jules Clayton. The Clayton family spends all summer on the island in their perfect beach house. When a tragedy strikes, Cricket has to find her own way to Nantucket, which now includes working as a maid in an Inn. She also didn’t expect to fall for Jules’s younger brother. With her best friend ignoring her, Cricket and Zack have to keep their relationship a secret. Nantucket Blue is the perfect summer read with a hilarious group of minor characters.
15. The Cousins by Karen McManus
Milly, Aubrey and Jonah Story have never met their grandmother. Years ago, she disinherited their parents and cut off all contact. Out of the blue, she sends them letters inviting them to stay at her resort on a small island off the coast of Massachusetts for the summer. Their parents make them go, hoping Milly, Aubrey and Jonah can reclaim the family inheritance. Only, it’s a lot more complicated than that. When they arrive on the island, nobody seems to expect them. Their grandmother keeps them at arm’s length, but the more time the cousins spend on the island, the more they realize the dark family secrets that have been hidden for the past 25 years. We absolutely loved this YA mystery and the small island setting added to the book!
16. Truly, Devious by Maureen Johnson
Resident true crime expert, Stevie Bell, attends the Ellingham Academy— site of the infamous Ellingham kidnappings of the early 1930’s. Shortly after Albert Ellingham opened the Academy— located in Vermont, his daughter and wife were kidnapped for ransom, disappearing without a trace. The case’s only real clue was a mocking riddle signed, “Truly, Devious.” Flash forward to the current time period and no one has solved the case— that is, until Stevie makes the decision to attend the Academy with the sole purpose of busting it wide open. Stevie’s plan is complicated when a new string of murders occur on campus. Will Stevie, with the help of her friends, solve the Truly, Devious case and the latest Ellingham murders before she meets the same fate? We absolutely loved this chilling mystery series! Literally, the books take place in Vermont in the middle of winter and the snow plays a huge role in the books.
17. Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastin
Chloe Snow is about to start high school…except everything is wrong. Her mom just moved to Mexico because she cannot live her artistic dreams in a suburb of Boston. Her crush is three years older than her. Her best friend is driving her crazy. Nothing can go right for this girl who has been described as the YA version of Bridget Jones.