Top 10 Picks for North Carolina Reads

As y’all may know, I’m native to a small town in eastern North Carolina. So, naturally, I try to read as many North Carolina-based books as I can! 😉

Today, I’m sharing my top ten favorite North Carolina centered books and why you should check them out!

10) I Don’t Dance by Jesseca Wheaton

If y’all don’t remember my absolute fangirling over this novella back in summer of 2018, check out my review of I Don’t Dance here. This adorable young adult romance is set in the real-life North Carolina mountain town of Highlands, and it perfectly represents the almost Hallmark-like aesthetic of the town! ❤ Gah, I still get excited just thinking about it!

9) A Field of Fireflies by Joey Jones

Joey Jones is an author from New Bern, North Carolina who writes books that are comparable (and cleaner) than Nicholas Sparks’s. His third novel, A Field of Fireflies, is set in Little Washington, NC and perfectly describes the small town antics of our state. In general, Jones’s works are spot-on about life in North Carolina, and he often includes references to real life locations, shops, and restaurants.

8) Losing London by Joey Jones

Yep, here’s another Joey Jones read! Losing London was the first novel I read by Jones, and I loved the way he describes Emerald Isle, a beach town, in this book. Plus, there were references to bowling and Snoopy, so I was hooked from page one. 🙂

7) Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

A fun fact I learned after binge-reading Sarah Dessen’s books in my early twenties is that she lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and her books are set in fictional towns that are based off Chapel Hill (Lakeview) and Emerald Isle (Colby). Along for the Ride is set in Colby, a beach town, and I absolutely love the town’s vibe in the book.

6) The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

The Guardian is a romantic thriller from earlier in Sparks’s career that takes place in the towns of Swansboro and Jacksonville, NC. One of the biggest reasons I love this novel so much is because Sparks mentions the characters go to the Jacksonville Mall, which I’ve been to more times than I can count.

5) This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Out of all the Sarah Dessen books set in the Chapel Hill-like city of Lakeview, This Lullaby is by far my favorite. Though I don’t relate to the setting as much in this one, this books is one of my top favorite young adult romances of all time, so I highly recommend checking it out! (Reader discretion: This book does contain a variety of cuss words, so be warned).

4) Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle

Eastern North Carolina is a hotbed for storm damage during hurricane season, and I have never read a book that depicts a hurricane’s impact better than this lovely read by YA author McCall Hoyle. Not only does the reader get to experience accurate depictions of a strong hurricane in the Outer Banks, but the love story is heart-melting as well! ❤

3) The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle

Needless to say, I love McCall Hoyle’s books, and the way she writes about eastern North Carolina. The Thing With Feathers also takes place in the Outer Banks, but follows a teen with epilepsy. If you’re a fan of lighthouses, this is a read you need to pick up.

2) The Secrets Between You and Me by Shana Norris

If you haven’t heard of YA romance author Shana Norris, you’re seriously missing out. Not only does she write contemporary YA, but she writes mermaid fantasy as well. She is local to my eastern NC community, though the second book in her Stolen Kiss series takes place in the mountains of North Carolina. And gah, the mountain vibes! ❤ This is by far my favorite NC mountain read.

1) A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Y’all probably guessed this from the beginning, but A Walk to Remember is my favorite North Carolina read, as well as my favorite book of all time. I’m a little biased. 😉

This little, yet adorable read not only captures small-town eastern North Carolina, but takes place in the 1950s, has THE SWEETEST love story, and briefly mentions my local community in it. I love it to pieces, and highly suggest every person on the planet read it. ❤

Talk to Me, Arrowheads!

What is your favorite book that takes place in your state, or your country? If you’re also from NC, what is your favorite book about our state? Let me know in the comments!

Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.

-Allyson 😀

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As an author and blogger, my goal is to teach writers that there is a way to write realistic, thought-provoking, redemptive Christian fiction that honors God while not sugarcoating the realities of the world. 

3 thoughts on “Top 10 Picks for North Carolina Reads

  1. How fun! I had no idea that there were so many books set in NC!
    As a Wisconsin girl, I like Caddie Woodlawn (and her log cabin homestead is really close to our house!). My family thinks it’s pretty exciting that we live about an hour from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s WI home, and for a few years, we lived about an hour from the Ingalls’ SD homestead.
    Your post makes me interested to read some of these NC stories 🙂

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