This album is chilly autumn nights and a crackling fire and slipping on a warm cardigan.
It’s walking through a dark forest, it’s the smell of fresh rain, it’s flipping through the pages of an old book. And I love it so much.
I was so shocked but also ecstatic to hear that Taylor Swift was releasing a secret album on July 23rd, and folklore did not disappoint!! The songs are all stunning, Taylor’s lyricism remains superior, and the aesthetic is perfect. 🍃
I’m probably going to repeat this throughout the post, but I truly love this album, so that’s why I’m here today to share my answers to the Folklore Book Tag as I talk about what each song means to me and pair it with a book! Thank you so much to Nimika @ Wordhaven for tagging me. ❤
I’ve decided to stop sharing resources at the beginning of my posts because I don’t want it to get repetitive and for people to skim over it, but please take a moment to check out this masterlist of issues in the world right now and consider educating yourself, donating or signing a petition!
- Link to the original creator: Thank you so much to Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink for creating this and the lovely graphics!!
- Tag at least 3 people.
- Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post.
- Thank whoever who tagged you and link to their post.
“We never painted by the numbers, baby
But we were making it count
You know the greatest loves of all time are over now
the 1 is such an amazing album opener: it kind of combines Taylor’s pop and indie-folk (is that a thing??) style into one song – and the lyrics and catchy tune are everything!!
I’ve decided to pair a recent read with this song: When The Moon Was Ours. This was my first Anna-Marie McLemore book and I just fell in love with everything: the absolutely gorgeous prose, the characters and their relationships, and how unapologetically diverse it was.
I loved every part and then the ending happened and I was just… in shock!! The last scenes were heartbreaking and so, so beautiful – I was honestly left speechless.
“To kiss in cars and downtown bars
Was all we needed
You drew stars around my scars
But now I’m bleeding
Everything about cardigan, from the whimsical and stunning music video to the yearning bridge to the soft piano instrumental is just beautiful. This is definitely one of my favorites off the album!
While Far From the Tree doesn’t really have a cottagecore aesthetic, it fits this prompt perfectly because it made me sad and happy at the same time. Honestly, if I were to describe this book in one word, it would be bittersweet!! This follows three bio siblings who learn about each other for the first time and it’s filled with beautiful family and sibling relationships. I got teary-eyed a few times while reading, and at the end I was just left like 🥺🥺
“Who knows, if I never showed up, what could’ve been
There goes the loudest woman this town has ever seen
I had a marvelous time ruining everything
the last great american dynasty certainly does tell a fascinating and extremely well-told story; I love it so much and the bridge is so, so powerful.
A Wish In The Dark has a fascinating and well-told story as well, I’m so glad I picked it up because it’s such an underrated middle grade novel! It’s a fantasy Thai-inspired retelling of Les Misérables, and I enjoyed reading every bit. The plot was crafted very well, and I didn’t find it to be predictable or juvenile at all! It addressed so many important themes about class and family as well.
“I think I’ve seen this film before
And I didn’t like the ending
You’re not my homeland anymore
So who am I defending now?
I get chills every!! single!! time!! I listen to the bridge of exile! Taylor Swift and Justin Vernon’s vocals fit perfectly and while I didn’t like this song as much when I first played it, I ended up loving it after a few listens.
I’m interpreting this prompt in a different way so I can talk about a book I wish I could read for the first time again because I loved it so much: Famous In A Small Town. The friend group is probably one of the best friend groups ever written in YA, and I enjoyed everything else about it too! (I may or may not have also gotten teary-eyed reading it…)
“And I still talk to you (When I’m screaming at the sky)
And when you can’t sleep at night (You hear my stolen lullabies)
my tears richochet is just filled with regret and sadness and the chorus gets stuck in my head every time I listen to it; Taylor’s superior lyricism never fails to disappoint!
I have yet to sob uncontrollably while reading a novel, because I rarely cry while reading books… but I’m sure no one is surprised when I say that I cried many times while reading Picture Us In The Light!! I’m much more coherent about my love for this in my review, but this an absolutely stunning, poignant novel and one of my favorites of 2020 so far.
Something about the heaviness of it, the stunning prose, and the sheer beauty of it just made me cry multiple times. Even thinking about it makes my eyes tear up! 😭
“Hush, when no one is around, my dear
You’ll find me on my tallest tiptoes
Spinning in my highest heels, love
Shining just for you
mirrorball is one of my favorites, it’s the Lover of folklore and no one can tell me otherwise!! Listening to it makes me want to run around a field of dandelions wearing a flowery dress and document my life in 35 mm film. 😌
I can’t think of a book that feels like it was written just for me (except for Picture Us In The Light but I think everyone has had enough of me talking about it), so I’ll go with another one of my favorites for this!
I started What I Carry for fun but didn’t realize how emotionally invested I would get into the story: I loved it so, so much and it’s a shame how underrated it is!!
“Sweet tea in the summer
Cross your heart, won’t tell no other
And though I can’t recall your face
I still got love for you
seven has such a magical, nostalgic vibe to it, and if there was a music video for it, I can definitely imagine there being warm-toned shots of little girls in braids running through the forest!!
Percy Jackson is one of my favorite series from my childhood, and I can’t help but get a wave of nostalgia every time I talk about it. (I’m definitely due for a reread soon!)
august was the second song I listened to off the album (after cardigan) and I wouldn’t have it any other way, because it has such a summery and yet sad vibe to it! I always end up wanting to belt out the lyrics I featured above every time I listen to the song. 😅
While I Love You So Mochi doesn’t have sad undertones, it has everything I long for in a summery read: a fluffy, cute romance, adorable humor, and a beautiful setting! This follows Kimi as she travels to Japan to figure out what to do with her life, and I had such a fun time reading it. (Read my mini review here!)
“And maybe I don’t quite know what to say
But I’m here in your doorway
I just wanted you to know that this is me trying
this is me trying is such a sad song, but as Olivia described it, it also has a little twinge of hopefulness? The lyrics (especially the ones I featured above) always make me think of someone fighting through grief…
…which instantly reminds me of Summer Bird Blue! This is such a gorgeous yet heartbreaking book about Rumi, a girl who has just experienced the loss of her sister. It was so hard to read about the grief portrayed, but it was portrayed so realistically, and I also enjoyed reading about the themes of family, acceptance, and identity! This almost made me cry and I would definitely recommend picking it up.
“Don’t call me ‘kid,’ don’t call me ‘baby’
Look at this godforsaken mess that you made me
You showed me colors you know I can’t see with anyone else
The bridge of illicit affairs is everything!! It’s filled with longing and regret and this is probably the 100th time I’ve said it in this post, but nothing can beat Taylor Swift’s songwriting genius. I just love this song so much 🥺🥺
We Set The Dark On Fire matches this prompt and the overall feeling of the song perfectly, because it ends with the biggest cliffhanger that I couldn’t stop thinking about and also has a forbidden romance! The characters, world, romance, and everything else is written so well, and I can’t help being reminded of this every time I listen to illicit affairs.
“Chains around my demons
Wool to brave the seasons
One single thread of gold
Tied me to you
invisible string is absolutely adorable!! The strings being plucked in the background, the playful, lovely lyrics, and the catchy tune combine to create the most amazing song.
I’d heard only good things about Radio Silence before I decided to read it, and I’m glad I picked it up because it ended up on my favorites shelf! I think I was slumping before I picked it up, too, but I finished it in around 2 days and couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards. The characters, themes, and whirlwind of emotions I went on while reading it made me love it so much.
“No one likes a mad woman
What a shame she went mad
You made her like that
It’s fitting that the featured image for the mad woman lyric video is a flame, because what else can I say about the song other than that it’s so fiery, powerful and unapologetically feminist?!
The only person I can think about for this prompt is Shirin from A Very Large Expanse of Sea. This is one of my favorite books of all time, and Shirin is such an amazing main character!! She’s been through so much and is just so powerful (not to mention how hilarious and snarky she is). I love how she has a great relationship with her family, too. ❤️
“Only twenty minutes to sleep
But you dream of some epiphany
Just one single glimpse of relief
To make some sense of what you’ve seen
epiphany is beautiful and also so, so heartbreaking to listen to at the same time. I’ve actually gotten teary eyed while listening to this because of how raw and, like I said, beautiful it is!! (I promise I know adjectives other than the same 3 I keep repeating in this post…)
Dry is definitely a book that haunted me: it’s a dystopian story about a group of teens who band together after a crisis leaves the world without running tap water. I drank so much water while reading this 😳 and it was really scary to see the world and society depicted in this novel – especially after the numerous terrifying events that have occurred in 2020.
“I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything
But I know I miss you
If you didn’t know, Taylor Swift tells the story of a “Teenage Love Triangle” in folklore through three different songs and three different perspectives, and betty is one of them (along with cardigan and august)! It’s so interesting how they tie into each other, and I love the catchy tune of betty.
I tried so hard not to repeat books throughout this post but… Dani and Carmen from We Set The Dark on Fire and We Unleash The Merciless Storm have my heart!! I loved reading about their slowburn romance in the first book and then reading about them fighting for each other in the second book.
“But I’m a fire and I’ll keep your brittle heart warm
If your cascade, ocean wave blues come
All these people think love’s for show
But I would die for you in secret
Can we all just take a minute to look at the lyrics I featured above and marvel at their beauty?? peace is such an underrated song, the guitar strums in the background just add to the desperation and longing of the lyrics.
While I can’t think of a character I’d die for, one of my favorite book characters is Liz Lighty from You Should See Me In A Crown! She goes through such amazing character development, and I just adore how she learns to let her true personality shine out and that she doesn’t need someone’s permission to take up space.
“Stood on the cliffside screaming, ”Give me a reason”
Your faithless love’s the only hoax I believe in
While I’ve listened to hoax probably the least out of all of the tracks, that needs to change because it’s such a good song! Taylor sings with such regret and sadness in this one and the lyrics are absolutely beautiful.
I’m going to have to go with We Used To Be Friends for this prompt because while it was one of my most anticipated 2020 releases, I didn’t end up enjoying it! I love reading about friendships in YA and was so excited for this, but one of the main characters was really annoying and the dual timeline wasn’t done very well because I found myself confused most of the time. 😭
I wasn’t sure who to tag, so if you’re reading this and want to do it, let me know and I can edit this post to tag you!!
Also, this is a bit unrelated to the post, but I have a quick announcement: I made it to the voting round of the 2020 Book Blogger Awards hosted by May and Marie! Thank you so much to everyone who nominated me, it means the world!! Make sure to go vote for your favorite bloggers using this form (and if you’d like to, you can vote for me in Best Pre-Teen/Teen Book Blogger or Best Blog Aesthetic. 🥺💖)
have you listened to this album yet? (if not… what are you doing) what’s your fav song of folklore?? what books would you pair with each song?
(also, just a quick note: my school starts this week, so if i disappear from the face of the internet for a while, that’s probably the reason why!)