Ever since Harry announced he’d be coming out with a new album, I had been mentally preparing myself to write a recommendations post based on it. However, the album came out and the songs were a lot hornier than I anticipated, lol. That’s when I realized I would have to mostly recommend smut romances, which I don’t even read that much of!
But I pushed through and decided to recommend different books based on specific lyrics of each songs. If the books don’t match the overall vibe of the song, don’t @ me, okay, there was not much I could do!!!!
MUSIC FOR A SUSHI RESTAURANT
(It’s ‘cause I love you, babe)
(In every kind of way)
(Just a little taste)
Since Music for a Sushi Restaurant is upbeat and obviously has food references, I figured Act Your Age, Eve Brown would be a perfect fit. This one is about the hot-mess-express, Eve Brown, who has to find and stick to a job or else her parents will cut her off the family fund. In true Eve Brown fashion, she decides to not face any of that and instead runs away to the countryside, where she finds a B&B hiring a chef. There, enters Jacob, the owner of the B&B who wants nothing to do with Eve’s chaotic antics but finds himself hiring her anyway. Obviously, with Eve being a chef, you can expect some food themes and her chaotic energy definitely matches the upbeat, energetic vibes of Music for a Sushi Restaurant.
🍞 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: black romances, grumpy and sunshine trope, self-discovery journeys, funny family dynamics.
LATE NIGHT TALKING
I’ve never been a fan of change
But I’d follow you to any place
If it’s Hollywood or Bishopsgate, I’m coming, too
This one is more a lyrics match than a song-vibes match, but with a lyric that literally references following someone to Hollywood, of course I had to recommend Sinner. It has nothing to do with the fact this is one of my favorite books of all time and I will take any opportunity to scream about it. This one is a companion novella to the Wolves of Mercy Falls, but could be read as a standalone if you really wanted to, as long as you consider there are some paranormal elements and one of the main characters can turn into a werewolf. Most of the book is not about that, though. It’s about Cole St. Clair, ex-vocalist of NARKOTIKA, who makes a return to Los Angeles looking to be in a reality show, record a new album, but mostly to get Isabel Culpeper back.
🐺 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: werewolves, stories about fame and music, Los Angeles, complicated romances, mental health rep.
There’s never been someone who’s so perfect for me
But I got over it and I said
Give me something old and red
Pining for someone you think belongs so perfectly to you is certainly a theme of The Romantic Agenda as well, which is why I thought these two would match. This is an adult romance following Joy, who’s been in love with her best friend Malcolm since they met in college. They’re both Black and asexual and Joy feels as though she will never find anyone who understands her like Malcolm. When he invites her to this lake house retreat, she believes it’s so he can finally confess his reciprocate feelings, but when she gets there, she realizes Malcolm just really wanted to introduce Joy to his new girlfriend, Summer. Summer has also brought a friend along for the trip, Fox, and the book follows Joy as she tries to figure out her love for Malcolm and her new found crush on Fox. Even though the book involves pining, it’s mostly just a fun story, which goes along with the upbeat vibes of Grapejuice, even if the lyrics are a bit more melancholic.
🏞️ This book is perfect if you’re interested in: ace rep, Black main characters, complicated friendships, house by the lake settings, fake dating.
AS IT WAS
In this world, it’s just us
You know it’s not the same as it was
I think most people’s interpretation of As It Was, it’s that this song has to do with family and the grief that comes with these dynamics changing, which is why I wanted to choose a book that centered on sibling dynamics and loss. In Summer Bird Blue, we follow Rumi, whose sister has just passed away. As her mom is also struggling with her own grief, she sends Rumi off to Hawaii, to spend some time with her aunt, and we follow closely as Rumi deals with her loss, depression and her mom’s abandonment. Rumi and her sister loved music and had that “us-against-the-world” mentality that now no longer exists. Following her grapple with this new world, without her sister, is incredibly heartbreaking but beautiful too.
🌊 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: books about grief, music, platonic relationships, aro-ace mains and cast of mixed characters.
I’m on the roof
You’re in your airplane seat
I was nosebleedin’
Looking for life out there
OK, this one is like the wildest card and the book has pretty much nothing to do with the song, but I wanted to shout it out anyway because when I read these lyrics, it was the first one to come to mind. Station Eleven is a post apocalyptic novel and it follows different perspectives and their lives before and after the pandemic that wiped out over half of mankind. Considering this is a pandemic book, it’s obviously one to proceed with caution, but I did really like the themes the author discusses on this one, including humanity, resilience and religion. It’s also a book about art and I’m pretty sure the comic where the title “Station Eleven” comes from has a line that resembles “Looking for life out there”.
☄️ This book is perfect if you’re interested in: post apocalyptic books, science fiction, books about books, discussions on humanity, large cast of characters.
I’m not worried about where you are
Or who you will go home to
I’m just thinking about you
Picking a book to recommend for Little Freak was the hardest part of drafting this whole post. This song is so much about nostalgia, memories and looking back on a relationship and seeing it free of judgement. That’s why I thought “A History of My Brief Body” would be a great fit. This one is part collection of essays, part memoir and recounts Billy Ray Belcourt’s experience being a queer, NDN man. In some of the essays, he talks about previous relationships he had – the ones that lasted for years and the more ephemeral encounters – and they’re also told in the same way as Little Freak, with a tinge of nostalgia but no judgement, as the author mostly reflects on what these relationships meant to him and his own growth.
🛏️ This book is perfect if you’re interested in: memoirs, essays, poetic writing, reading about the queer and indigenous experience.
You can throw a party full of everyone you know
And not invite your family ‘cause they never showed you love
If I struggled with Little Freak, Matilda was the easiest one to pick a book for. The song describes Matilda, who doesn’t have a good relationship with her family and it’s about showing her how life can still be beautiful. Immediately, I thought of A Show for Two, which is a novel inspired by the author’s own experience, when Tom Holland spent weeks at her school to learn about the experience of an American student in a NY public high school. In the book, we follow Mina, an aspiring film-maker who is hoping to win this film competition that will give her a scholarship to USC, in California. At the beginning of the book, she (physically) bumps into Emmitt Ramos, who is enrolling at her school as an undercover actor. Mina agrees to keep his secret if he helps her out in her movie and of course, you know how that’s gonna go. Mina has a really bad relationship with her parents, with them constantly telling her she won’t amount to nothing and doubting her talent and skills, but Emmitt, along with Mina’s sister and best friend slowly show her that home is the people you love.
🎞️ This book is perfect if you’re interested in: enemies to lovers, sisters, complicated family dynamics, Bangladeshi and depression rep.
You all the time (Time, time)
In doses at night (Night, night)
No roof on the drive
Cinema didn’t give me too much to work with, albeit is one of my favorite tracks in the album. But, at last, I had to cave and recommend an adult smutty romance, which had to be Go Deep. This one is a friends to lovers romance, between Navaya, an erotica author and her best friend, Xander. Navaya feels like she’s lost her inspiration and her latest works haven’t been as good, which she credits for the fact she hasn’t slept with anyone in a while. So she tasks her best friend, Xander, to give her the inspiration she’s been missing. This one is a lot of fun, with surprising character development for a novella and definitely very hot.
❤️🔥 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: novellas, black romances, smut, friends to lovers, good character development.
Livin’ in a daydream
Give me all of your love, give me somethin’ to dream about
With Daydreaming, I wanted to choose a book that featured a “too-good-to-be-true” romance, where one of the characters is constantly wondering if this is really real. That amounted to, of course, Isn’t It Bromantic, the fourth book in the companion series by Lyssa Kay Adams. This one follows Vlad and Elena, who met in Russia and were good friends. When Vlad got the opportunity to play hockey in the States, he asked Elena’s hand in marriage, so she could leave Russia and her dad’s complicated past behind. However, in America, Vlad and Elena never got the chance to experience their marriage the way he’d dreamed, and at the beginning of the book, Elena decides she wants a divorce and to go back to Russia. But her plans are put to a halt when Vlad gets injured during a game and she’s the only one who can look after him. Like any other hurt-comfort story, you know how this will play out, but I loved how Vlad had thought about being with Elena for real for so long, he really thinks he’s dreaming when they’re actually together.
🧀 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: second chance romance, marriage of convenience, hurt-comfort, hilarious dialogues and investigations.
Maple syrup, coffee
Pancakes for two
Hash brown, egg yolk
I will always love you
Malibu Rising is set in two timelines, with one being in the 1950s, as we follow Mick Riva and Jules first falling in love. The “present” timeline is in the 1980s and we follow the Riva children, focusing more on Nina, the oldest, who throws these infamous parties for Hollywood’s high society in her Malibu mansion every year. I feel like both timelines go well with this book: the lyrics “Maple syrup, coffee / Pancakes for two / Hash brown, egg yolk / I will always love you” going well with the more domestic and cozy moments between the siblings, as we follow their family dynamics; and then other lyrics, such as “Cocaine, side boob / Choke her with a sea view” pair well with the chapters set during the party, as we follow the guests engaging on all kinds of crazy activities.
🏄🏽 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: books set in California, the 80s, famous people, generational stories and complex female characters.
Spinnin’ out, waitin’ for ya to pull me in
I can see you’re lonely down there
Don’t you know that I am right here?
Satellite is so much about wishing the other person could see you for who you really are and, OF COURSE, I had to include a Brigid Kemmerer book at some point. Letters to the Lost is a You’ve Got Mail retelling, that starts with Juliette writing letters to her mom and leaving them by her grave. The letters are found by Declan, who’s doing community service at the cemetery, and he writes something in one of them never really expecting that anyone will see it. But Juliette does and they start this correspondence, that eventually turns into e-mails and texting, but that remain anonymous. However, these two characters know each other, going to the same school, but having a very bad impression of one another. Of course, as a You’ve Got Mail retelling, at one point, one or the characters will learn about the other’s identity, which involves a lot of pining in true Satellite fashion, with the character wishing the other would see them for who they really are.
📝 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: sad books, depression rep, You’ve Got Mail retellings, discussions of grief.
Love a fool who knows just how to get under your skin
You, you still open the door
This one might cause some confusion, because the behaviors addressed for the “Boyfriends” in this song are mostly seen in the “girlfriend” of Fool Me Once. This one follows Lee Stone, who doesn’t believe in love and is a no-strings-attached type of girl. She’s been through five major heartbreaks throughout her life, the most recent one being with Ben Laderman, whom she hasn’t seen since he moved out to California. However, at the beginning of the book, she learns not only that Ben is back but they’re actually going to have to work together for this political campaign. I recently talked about how I feel like this book deserves a lot more hype and I stand by it completely. Especially because of Ben, truly falling back in love with Lee, knowing how she’s not the best for him – not only because she was the one to cheat and break his heart all those years back, but because she doesn’t believe in love and he does. But, like the song goes, he still opens the door.
💚 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: politics, second chance romance, messy female protagonists and funny friend groups.
LOVE OF MY LIFE
Baby, you were the love of my life
Woah, maybe you don’t know it’s lost till you find it
Even though I believe Love of My Life is a love letter to England, I still wanted to recommend a traditional YA contemporary romance, that goes along well with this song too. With and Without You begins with Siena, our protagonist, rehearsing how to break up with her four-year-old boyfriend, Patrick. However, before she has the chance, Patrick announces he’ll be moving to Texas for their senior year and Siena sees this an opportunity to experiment other things – including being alone – without having to break up with Patrick. It’s interesting to see that, as they develop, they still find themselves falling in love with each other – with the new things they learn about the other person. It reminds me of the idea of “you don’t know it’s lost till you find it” of the song, that is certainly a sentiment of the novel as well.
🌅 This book is perfect if you’re interested in: YA romances, mature characters and relationships, unique settings, character development.
Have you listened to Harry’s House? If so, what is your favorite song? Also: have you read any of these books and did you enjoy them? Do you have a favorite smutty romance to recommend me? Let me know in the comments!