Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Road Trip Books When You’re Stuck at Home

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. This week’s prompt is Book Events/Festivals I’d Love to Go to Someday (Real or Fictional. Submitted by Nandini @ Unputdownable Books), but I decided to share My Favorite Road Trip Books to Read When You’re Stuck at Home instead.

Hello Readers! One of my favorite things to do in the summer is take a road trip with my family. Even though we won’t be able to do that this year, I can always live vicariously through my books. I’ll be sharing five of my favorite road trip books and five from my to-be-read list!

First, a few words about why I’ve chosen the following books. All the books I’ve chosen feature some kind of “road trip adventure” where the characters visit multiple places via something other than a plane. In other words, they don’t just travel to one location and stay there. That list would be so much longer. I’ve also decided to stick to contemporary books. These are the books that I think of when I think of “road trip books.” Also they’re books I would choose to carry with my on vacation, or even reread. Here they are in no particular order. 🙂

My Favorite Road Trip Books


Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Synopsis: When you’re on a road trip, life is all about the detours. . . . 

Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. There’s just one small problem: Since her father died this past spring, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the nineteen-year-old son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute … and dealing with some baggage of his own. 

Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father’s death were not what Amy had planned on this trip. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitely not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most—and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home. 


If you google books about road trips, this is a book that you’ll find on many lists. And deservedly so. It’s been several years since I read it, but it’s one I thoroughly enjoyed. Bonus: it includes a playlist at the back! I love book playlists!


Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Synopsis: It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um… 

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what? 


What can I tell you? Morgan Matson writes great road trip books! Even though the road trip in this book is only a smaller portion, it’s still fun. And that’s what Matson’s books are: good clean fun. But her characters are always on an emotional journey, as well.


Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Synopsis: Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up. 


This is a super sweet and fun book I read while on a road trip vacation to Yellowstone a few years ago. It made a great light-read choice, as well as being a great book for my Instagram photos. 😉


The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Synopsis: Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together… 


The Honey-Don’t List has the best kind of road trip: a book tour! I thought this one was unique and fun.


Just One by Gayle Forman

Synopsis: Gayle Forman’s entire swoony JUST ONE trilogy in a single volume–ideal for binge reading!

When sheltered American good girl Allyson “LuLu” Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Includes: Just One DayJust One Year, and the novella Just One Night 


Okay, so technically this is three-ish books in one. But the two main books revolve around a trip, and I can’t read just one of them without reading all three. They are my all-time favorite road-trip books! I’m hoping to reread these soon. Maybe next month?? The most epic book playlist I ever made was for these books. 😉

Road Trip Books on my TBR


Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Synopsis: Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.


I recently picked up a copy of this book and now I can’t wait to read it! It sounds super cute.


Golden by Jessi Kirby

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.


Apparently this book has a road trip?? Even though it doesn’t mention it in the synopsis. I’ve heard only great things about Golden.


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.


This one sounds like it might be too emotional for a light read to take on vacation?? But All the Bright Places has been on my tbr for a long time, and it’s always highly recommended.


The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

Synopsis: Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?


A rash decision to start your life over?? I’m intrigued! This is a new adult novel I just recently rediscovered on my kindle, which makes it a good one to travel with. 🙂


Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Synopsis: It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria’s a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan’s a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they’ve got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can’t run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.


Wanderlove sounds so atmospheric, and like the perfect choice for my next road trip! <3

Have you read any of these? Do you have a favorite road trip book? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

36 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Road Trip Books When You’re Stuck at Home”

  1. Great twist on this week’s top ten. When my husband and I travelled, if it was possible, we drove. We saw so many places and attractions we would have missed if we flew places. I enjoyed this list and may be checking out a couple of these books.

    1. Well, I also have a fear of heights and flying (although I do fly), so that probably contributes to my love of road trips, but I’m the same way. For me, the journey is half the fun. 😉

  2. I haven’t read any of the books that you mentioned, but this was a very interesting post to read! I’ve never really thought of road trip books as a genre, but now I want to read some! This is a wonderful list 🙂

  3. “Wanderlost” is one I’ve intended to read for a while now and haven’t. (Sounds cute.) Same can be said for Jenna’s books too! Hopefully I’ll remedy these oversights sooner rather than later. 🙂

  4. Love your twist on this prompt! I don’t really go to book festivals and stuff, but road trip books sounds more my speed! I haven’t read any of these before, but they look good! I’ve actually heard of The Honey-Don’t List, and I’ve heard good things about it! 😀 Thanks for sharing these.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *