Hello, fellow bookworms!
I’ve talked about this before, but music is a HUGE and very important part of my life. I don’t know how to cope when I leave the house without my earphones. I need to be listening to something 24/7 and creating the soundtrack of my life as I go.
So for this discussion, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite songs & recommend books based on them. I know some of you may not even care for most of the songs I talk about in here, but if there are any of you looking for new songs to add to your playlist, hopefully you can get some recommendations for music here too.
ONE. I WANT! I WANT!, BY WALK THE MOON
“I am 17, and you don’t know me, but you can owe me for tonight.”
Walk the Moon‘s first albums are glorious and it’s a shame a lot of people don’t know them! They’re a much more popular band now than when I first met them, and even though I do not listen to their stuff anymore, I still find pretty marvelous that they’re getting so much recognition.
This song is my favorite by them and it was released even before their first album. It’s not available on Spotify, which is a shame, but I linked the live version, where you can listen to the beautiful vocals. This song is more of an experience than a song, truly; it’s so different from anything else in the pop genre and I live for it.
It also reminds me a lot of HERETICS ANONYMOUS, BY KATIE HENRY. I finished this book recently and raved about it already, but I feel like both the song and the book have subtly sexual references, which is so interesting and funny to read.
TWO. STILL ILL, BY THE SMITHS
“Under the iron bridge we kissed. And although I ended up with sore lips, it just wasn’t like the old days anymore.”
The Smiths is a band I know nothing about, but I still like them a lot. When it comes to bands, I do not care about getting to know the members, their names and their stories. I just care about their music, which is honestly everything you should care, if you ask me.
Still Ill is one of my favorite tracks by them and it gives me ELEANOR & PARK feels every time I listen to it. First, the book itself is set in the late 80s and has a lot of musical references, with bands that resemble me of The Smiths a lot too. There’s also the fact this track is about reminiscing memories and feeling bittersweet about them, which is how I feel about this book everytime I think about it as well.
THREE. NEW ROMANTICS, BY TAYLOR SWIFT.
“And every day is like a battle, but every night it feels just like a dream.”
If New Romantics isn’t millenials’ anthem, I don’t know what is, truly. This music is so fun and so relatable at the same time. Which is why I couldn’t recommend any other book under this track than NAOMI & ELY’S NO KISS LIST, BY DAVID LEVITHAN & RACHEL COHN.
This book is a love letter to New York City
(which also gives me a ton of 1989 vibes), following these two best-friends through the up’s and down’s of their relationship. Both Naomi and Ely are hopeless romantics that try to pretend they’re not. They’re obsessed with fashion just as much as they’re obsessed with each other and it’s one of the greatest storylines about friendship I’ve ever read. (Plus, it wouldn’t be a list by Lais if didn’t include Taylor Swift).
FOUR. BUZZCUT SEASON, BY LORDE
“And I’ll never go home again, place the call, feel it start, favorite friend. Nothing’s wrong when nothing’s true. I live in a hologram with you.”
Lorde is another one of my favorite lyricists of all times. And Buzzcut Season, though an old song, remains one of my beloved ones. And as I’ve listened to it more recently, it started to remind me a lot of THE WICKER KING, BY K. ANCRUM.
The Wicker King is quite of an unique contemporary. I know not everyone will enjoy it and it definitely has its problems, but I still appreciate how much that book made me *feel*. Books don’t have to be objectively amazing so that I can love them, and the same goes for music. It doesn’t have to be a recognized amazing song to be meaningful to me, after all.
“Nothing’s wrong when nothing’s true” is probably the best way to describe the plot for The Wicker King. Thanks, Lorde.
FIVE. GROW, BY CONAN GRAY
“Familiar sounds, the lake holds all our secrets / The way we joked ‘till we laughed our tails off.”
Conan Gray is an ANGEL and no one can tell me otherwise.
This kid’s lyrics give me life, honestly. It’s been so refreshing to listen songs from the perspective of a teenager, who actually *understands* what we’re going through and writes the most relatable lyrics ever.
Grow was a very important song for me last year, because it centers around saying goodbye to your high-school self and entering adulthood. As I graduated in 2018, this song ended up being a very important track during that time of my life.
Despise the bittersweet feeling, Grow is ultimately a very hopeful song, that reminisces a lot of bright memories from teenagehood. Which is why I’m associating it with RUNNING WITH LIONS, BY JULIAN WINTERS.
This book centers around the last summer before senior year, where Bastian, our protagonist, is trying to figure out what he wants for his own future, while still trying to enjoy time with his friends, doing what he loves the most, which is playing soccer. This book gave me a lot of unexpected feels, as I related to Bastian more than I anticipated, and I just want everyone to read this.
SIX. I WANNA BE YOURS, BY ARCTIC MONKEYS
“Secrets I have held in my heart are harder to hide than I thought. Maybe I just wanna be yours.”
Speaking of bands I’ve loved for years and know absolutely nothing about, we have Arctic Monkeys. I’ve been to an AM concert and, besides their vocalist, I don’t know anything about them as actual people. Ooooops.
I Wanna Be Yours is not my favorite track on this album, but it went very well with the book I want to talk about: ODD ONE OUT, BY NIC STONE.
Speak of unrequited love, and you have this book. And also a mess of a love triangle, with characters that definitely need to get their heads straight and figure out their lives, but are too busy messing with their friends and lovers instead. And I think this track delivers the same amount of desperation that these characters are going through, as they try to understand it all.
SEVEN. WEEKEND, BY LAST DINOSAURS
“I’d die for you any day. My life’s over anyway. Let’s go the empty park and talk ‘till it’s really dark.”
Last Dinosaurs is the most underrated band of this decade and people NEED to listen to them. Again, a reocurring theme, I don’t know a ton, except for the fact they’re Australians, which is enough, I think.
All of their songs are SO unique and amazing. I have an entire list of recommendations, but starting off with Weekend would be pretty great.
I love that, even though this song has a very up-beat melody, the lyrics are quite sad – you can see it from the highlighted quote above. And because of that, I’ll recommend I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN, BY JANDY NELSON. The cover makes the book seem very fun and light, but it’s in fact a pretty deep story discussing some very dark themes.
And this is how I’ll wrap this one up!
Please, leave more song recommendations on the comments as I’m constantly looking for new songs to add to my monthly playlists! And let me know which books you associate with some of your favorite tracks!