Top Books Set in the Midwest

Posted August 16, 2016 by Carlisa in Top Ten Tuesday / 21 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday

If you didn’t know, I’m a Midwest girl through and through. I was born in Indiana, and then we moved to Ohio, and then we moved to Wisconsin, and then we moved back to Indiana. So, like I said, very Midwest. I live in Utah now (very not Midwest), but I still love me some Midwest setting. Especially in YA novels. And I’ve actually been noticing an increase in the amount of Midwest settings in YA novels lately! Or maybe I’m just imagining that, I don’t know.

But anyway, today’s TTT prompt is Top Ten Books in X Setting, so I chose Midwest! (Who would’ve guessed, right?) These are all the books that I could find that I’ve read with Midwest settings. There are probably more that should be on this list, but I couldn’t remember. Sorry, forgotten books! I still love you! Just include your setting on Goodreads, and I’ll be sure to get you next time.


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


Divergent series by Veronica Roth

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffengger


The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Unwind by Neal Shusterman


Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffengger (set in both IL and WI)


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams


Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult


These are the books that I’ve read that are set in the Midwest! I’m sure there are a ton more, and I want your recommendations! Do you know any? Let me know in the comments! Also link me up to your TTT!

  • Oooh, this is super different to other lists going on today. I really enjoyed ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES, ELEANOR & PARK, and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. Need to read more on your list! Great picks 😀

    Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic

    • Yeah, I thought it’d be fun to showcase the books with the setting I know best!

  • I did not realize Rainbow Rowell was a Nebraska person! I assume she’s from there? I went to undergrad in Chicago, so I loved all books that involve Illinois (because they usually also mention Chicago several times, or just straight up take place there like the Divergent series :D)!

    • Yeah I think she lives there. Three of her four books are set in Omaha, so that seems to be a setting she enjoys. John Green’s books are mostly set in Indiana because that’s where he lives, too! Some of his aren’t there, but I think at least two or three. I haven’t read a ton of JG though.

  • Bri

    Oh this is a great topic! I always forget where the books I read are set so I had a really hard time this week lol. I definitely agree that it feels like there are way more YA books with Midwest settings but that could also be becuase I was so drawn to books set out East as a kid that now I’m just balancing out 🙂

    • Yeah it was hard for me. I went through most of my Goodreads books, and some of them say the setting on there, so that was helpful. Others I Googled. There are probably more Midwest books that I read, but I just can’t remember the setting!

  • Jo Elliott

    AHHH YES UNWIND! It makes me so happy whenever I see it on someone else’s TTT list!
    My TTT:

    • It’s a super interesting book, haha. I forgot that it was set in Ohio though!

  • Love this topic! I’ve lived in the Midwest my whole life, so it’s always fun to discover books set among familiar places or landmarks. I think the only one I’ve read on this list is TFIOS although I really like the “Divergent” stories as movies. 🙂

    • Oh! I don’t know if I knew you live in the Midwest. Glad to see another Midwest book lover 🙂

  • Allyson Gilmore

    Wow, I am really impressed by your list! We completely failed at coming up with anything for this week’s topic, so we just switched it :p

    My TTT.

    • Haha, that’s okay! I did a lot of digging to find these books, and I probably missed more that should be here!

  • MeezCarrie

    Melissa Tagg’s Walker Family books are a must! Also, Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series. 😀 My TTT

    • I haven’t heard of either of those! I’m going to have to check them out!

  • I live in Utah as well, ha! I’ve never actually been to the midwest, so books set there is the closest I’ve gotten, at least so far. I actually haven’t read many of these, I do love Eleanor & Park and Fangirl and i read All the Bright Places earlier this year. Great list though! 🙂 My TTT is here:

    • What part of Utah do you live in?? I haven’t interacted with many book bloggers from Utah, so this is exciting! I also love E&P and Fangirl. And I read All the Bright Places, but I wasn’t in love with it. Checking out your blog now!

      • I live near Salt Lake! There really aren’t any Utah book bloggers/bookstagrammer either I’ve noticed. It’s also nice to see I wasn’t the only one who didn’t love All the Bright Places.

  • Lots of Midwest love from you. Ooooooooo lots of good choices on your list that I really enjoyed reading. I still haven’t finished reading The 5th Wave though, I started it but then lost my way with it a little bit. Need to pick it up again!

    • I really liked the first book in the 5th Wave series! It did kind of go downhill for me in the sequels, but I’m really satisfied with how it ended. If you were liking it, I’d say pick it back up!

  • Wow, I did not notice that so many books were set in the Midwest. It seems like a lot of YA boooks are set in the East Coast like New York or in the West Coast with California. But it is nice to see the rest of the US gets its chance to shine too!
    I loved the Midwest settings in all of John Green’s novels. His descriptions of the atmosphere were so detailed and life-like. Even though I have never traveled farther west than Ohio, I feel like I have a better sense of the region thanks to his writing. But I really hope to branch out more and read some of these books you recommended, especially the Steelheart series that I have been putting off.

  • I always forget that Divergent is in Illinois! And woah there are so many books set in the Midwest. Which I don’t know anything about because I’m Canadian and only have a vague understanding that it’s somewhere in the middle… but like also in the west?

    Liselle @ Lunch-Time Librarian