Small town plots are addictive...any Hallmark fan should know. Bigger isn't always better, especially in fiction! Books set in small towns where everyone knows everyone's business leads to charming scenery, plenty of meddling, and a good dose of humor.
Everyone's wanted to live in a tiny town with the idyllic hilarity of Mayberry or Stars Hallow at least once! And while I can't pay for your moving van, you can still slip into the small-town-world with a book. Here's a list of 5 charming books set in small towns!
1. Pretty in Punxsutawney
It's movie nerd Andie's first day at a new high school in the teeny town of Punxsutawney and she is terrified. She's never been very popular or a total outcast. She's just kind of...there. But this year, she's determined to change that.
After her mom makes her watch Pretty in Pink the night before, Andie wakes up ready to take on the world...and her crush. But the day doesn't exactly go as planned and Andie is left buried under the covers, wishing her first day never happened. And when she wakes up, it hasn't. Andie gets stuck in a time loop: reliving her first day of high school over and over. She's convinced that if she gets a kiss from her true love, the loop will end. Andie lives through her day over and over, taking new risks and learning more and more about the people at her school. But will she ever get that kiss? Or will she be stuck in her loop forever?
I thought this book was fun and light! The main plot doesn't center around small towns quite as much as the other books, but it's still an interesting, Groundhog Day-esque read.
2. Friendship Bread
Julia Evarts is exhausted. Her marriage is falling apart and her five-year-old daughter Gracie is an endless ball of energy. She's particularly tired on the day when she finds a package of Amish friendship bread starter on her front door. The package includes instructions for the recipes and a request to share with others.
Meanwhile, Hannah is living in her own gloom and doom. Her French husband Philip divorced her and left her a house in the bitty town of Avalon.
The two women and an elderly woman named Madeline meet at Madeline's tea shop, where Julia extends an invitation for Amish friendship bread. The three women form a deep friendship and soon Amish friendship bread is taking over Avalon. All's fun and games until the starter gets out of control, bringing the town together and causing the two women to question what brought them to Avalon in the first place.
3. Out of Place
Cove's mom seems terrified to let Cove out into the real world. She's never stepped foot outside of Martha's Vineyard and her tiny school, and her mom's just fine to keep it that way.
Cove's always been okay with it too until her best friend moves away to New York City. Now Cove's alone, being teased at school, and her mom has no plans to send her to visit her best friend.
Cove concocts a plan to get to New York City: a fashion competition for teens. Never mind that she's never sewed or designed clothing before.
Cove is determined to get to NYC, no matter what. Her mom isn't too happy, however, and the mistakes Cove makes along the way may jeopardize their relationship forever.
4. Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street
Eva is positive she's destined to be an author. Everyone always tells her to "write what she knows," but all she knows about is living on 90th street, and nothing ever happens on 90th street!
Following the advice of her neighbors, Eva listens to their stories and tips, writing down everything as she goes. When their stories and lives overlap, a big adventure starts! It's lively and interesting and a little bit zany...nothing like what Eva normally sees on 90th street. It's a good thing her notebook is there so she can capture it all.
I really liked this book! It's a picture book, unlike the other novels on this list, but it's still a good story and read-aloud. The illustrations are lovely and it's a good example of how crazy small town life can get!
5. The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World
Billy and Lydia's small town is pretty weird too, but unlike the other characters, they can't wait to get out.
Billy is living with his ultra-cranky grandma. His rock star uncle left them penniless years ago for a life of scandal and drugs, and Billy's grandma still isn't over it. He's hungry and lonely, but it doesn't bother Billy, an eternal optimist.
His peppiness drives Lydia up the wall. Ever since their two rival high schools were forced to merge, she's been around even more annoying people, and Billy's no exception. But Billy continues to sit next to Lydia and it turns out they make an unexpectedly good team.
Tourists have always come to their town because of the famous song Billy's uncle wrote about the fictional unicorns and dragons who he said occupied the forest. But when a strange tornado, fog, and flooding start to pop up around the forest, Billy and Lydia might have some exploring to do themselves.
Warning: There is a good bit of cursing and language in this book.
Thanks for reading this post! I hope you find a book you like on this list. Ciao!