I’m back to gush about my books and songs again!
I had so much fun writing my first Like This Song? Read That Book! post last year where I paired eight books I love with eight songs I love, and since I’ve discovered so many new pairs I always associate with each other, I decided to write a part two.
So today, I’m here another time to recommend you books based on songs I love! My music taste has really changed from the first time I wrote this post (because now I basically only listen to Taylor Swift, Lorde and kpop haha), but I hope you’re able to enjoy this nonetheless!!
Also, I’m making this post a little different from the original because I’m pairing just four of these books with only one song, and I’ll be sharing a full playlist I made for each of the other four books + talking about a few of the songs and why I associate them with that book! For that reason, make sure you’re reading this post on the actual site because I’m sure the wordpress reader will mess up all my formatting. 😭
(Click the album cover to listen to the song on YouTube, and click the book cover to add the book on Goodreads! All featured quotes are lyrics from the song.)
Like the song Love to Hate Me by BLACKPINK? Read the book I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee!
I’ma let you fade into the background
Baby, all my shows are gettin’ too loud
Keep on turnin’ it up when you want me down
Blowin’ up, workin’ busy
You ain’t worth my love if you only love to hate me
Blackpink was the girl group that got me into K-pop, and they’ll always have a special place in my heart. 🥺 I was so excited when they released their first full album in October, and all of the songs are amazing!! Love to Hate Me is definitely one of my favorites, though, because the girls’ vocals are perfect and I love the empowering lyrics.
The moment I heard this song, I instantly thought of I’ll Be the One. This book follows Skye, a fat bisexual Korean-American girl who auditions for a K-pop TV competition and aces it! Although she receives so much hate throughout this competition and even from her own mother about her body, Skye is never afraid to stand up for herself.
I absolutely adored this novel, and I didn’t think twice about pairing it with Love to Hate Me because the song’s lyrics really make me think of how wonderfully confident and self-loving Skye is. If you love the powerful vocals and messages in Love to Hate Me, you’ll definitely enjoy I’ll Be The One!
Like the song Treacherous by Taylor Swift? Read the Crier’s War duology by Nina Varela!
Put your lips close to mine
As long as they don’t touch
Out of focus, eye to eye
‘Til the gravity’s too much
And all we are is skin and bone
Trained to get along
Forever going with the flow
But you’re friction
Treacherous is the kind of Taylor Swift song you scream from the rooftops (especially the bridge)!! It’s quite obvious that this song is about forbidden romance, which is one of my favorite tropes.
So what better books to pair this song with than the Crier’s War duology by Nina Varela, which follows a sapphic enemies-to-lovers forbidden romance!! This is set in a fantasy/sci-fi inspired world and follows Ayla, a human, and Crier, an Automa, whose paths collide and are never the same afterwards. I’ll admit that I didn’t enjoy the first book, Crier’s War, as much as I would have liked, but I’m so glad I decided to stick to the series because Iron Heart completely made up for it. Throughout this sequel, I found myself loving Crier and Ayla’s romance. So many lyrics from Treacherous remind me of them, and this song would probably play as the theme music if Crier’s War was ever adapted for film!
Like the song LOVE IN THE DARK by Jessie Reyez? Read the book Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia!
We’re only humans floating on a rock
But I think that you are made of stardust
Unconditional, you put up with so much
I could never repay the way you love
I’m just in awe of the sheer emotion Jessie Reyez conveys through her voice in this song. In fact, I’m pretty sure I teared up the first time I listened to it, because the melody is absolutely gorgeous!! The lyrics are also so stunning, and really highlight the feeling of pure love.
A book I really enjoyed that also highlights love in its purest form is Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore! This follows Chicky and Lita, two ex-best friends who slowly start to reconcile as Chicky helps Lita enter the annual Miss Meteor beauty pageant in their small town. It’s a really beautifully written book that illuminates love in all its forms, from friendship to family to romance, and that’s the main reason I would recommend it if you like this song.
Also, one of the main characters Lita is literally made of stardust, and the song lyric I featured above also mentions that, so that’s another reason why I paired these two together!!
Like the song invisible string by Taylor Swift? Read the book Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim!
Something wrapped all of my past mistakes in barbed wire
Chains around my demons, wool to brave the seasons
One single thread of gold tied me to you
If you’ve already read The Folklore Book Tag that I posted a while ago, then you should know how much I love Taylor Swift!! (And she’s now released evermore, which I also am in love with and still crying over! Hopefully I’ll do the evermore book tag very soon.) In that post, I described invisible string as being absolutely adorable, and I still stand by that!!
Spin the Dawn is a Mulan-inspired fantasy that follows Maia Tamarin, a girl who poses as her father’s son to take her father’s place as the Imperial Tailor. Although it’s not an entirely fluffy and adorable book, the romance between Maia and the Imperial Enchanter, Edan, is just so cute that I couldn’t help but thinking of it when listening to this song! If you’ve read this book, then you know that the song lyric about demons also relates an important plot twist in Spin the Dawn.
Another reason why I love this book and song together is because Maia is a tailor who weaves beautiful dresses with… string and thread lol, and this song is literally called invisible string, so!! it’s perfect!!
Like these songs?
Read the book The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi!
The Gilded Wolves was one of my favorite books of 2020 and is also one of my favorite books of all time: I love so many things about it, from the cast of three-dimensional, wonderfully crafted characters, to Roshani Chokshi’s delectable prose, to its shocking plot twists to the powerful historical commentary.
I won’t be talking about all the songs in each playlist for the rest of these books, but instead highlighting 2 that really remind me of the book:
Team by Lorde really alludes to the beautifully done found family I loved in The Gilded Wolves! Lyrics I especially associate with this book: “Livin’ in ruins of a palace within my dreams / And you know we’re on each other’s team”.
Dynasty by Rina Sawayama specifically makes me think of Séverin and his mission to reclaim his family inheritance. Lyrics I especially associate with this book: “I’m gonna take the throne this time / All the words all mine, all mine / It’s been way too long, too far / Too gone, to carry on”
Like these songs?
Read the book When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore!
Anna-Marie McLemore is one of my favorite authors, and I had to choose a favorite of their books, it would be When the Moon Was Ours! I love basically everything about it and it was another one of my favorite books of 2020. This follows Miel and Sam, two best friends who fall in love, and it reads like a gorgeous fairy tale.
It’s Nice to Have a Friend by Taylor Swift is the embodiment of the friends-to-lovers trope in song form, and it’s perfect for the soft friends-to-lovers romance that Sam and Miel have!! Lyrics I especially associate with this book: “Something gave you the nerve / To touch my hand / It’s nice to have a friend”
willow by Taylor Swift is another song that really reminds me of the romance in this! It also gives off a sort of autumn-y vibe, if that makes sense, and I get the same vibes from When the Moon Was Ours. Lyrics I especially associate with this book: “The more that you say, the less I know / Wherever you stray, I follow”
Like these songs?
Read the book These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong!
These Violent Delights was my last book of 2020, and I wouldn’t have it any other way—it was so good! I’m planning on writing a review for this book soon, so make sure to look out for that, but I would highly recommend it if you want to read a Romeo and Juliet retelling with stunning prose, powerful commentary on imperialism, and a well-crafted plot.
Psycho by Red Velvet really reminds me of the dark themes in this book, as well as the friends-to-lovers/enemies-to-lovers(?) romance!! (Translated) lyrics I especially associate with this book: “Right, psycho psycho / We’re fools loving each other so much”
Although almost every Taylor Swift song would fit perfectly with this book, Dancing With Our Hands Tied by Taylor Swift is one that also portrays the romance between Juliette and Roma! Lyrics I especially associate with this book: “Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied / Yeah, we were dancing / And I had a bad feeling”
Like these songs?
Read the book Picture Us In the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert!
I’ve mentioned this book probably hundreds of times before already, but I will never stop recommending it, because it is just that phenomenal. For the sake of not sounding like a broken record, I’m not going to talk about it and just share the two songs I most associate with it! (Read my book review here if you haven’t yet! Also, I’m not able to edit my review to add trigger warnings because that post was drafted using the old classic editor, so here are the trigger warnings: racism, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, homophobia, past suicide, death of a loved one, car accident, past child abduction, child trafficking, immigration fears.)
The Story by Conan Gray is a bittersweet song that really conveys the themes of “the story not being over yet” that I also found and loved in Picture Us in the Light! Lyrics I especially associate with this book: “Oh, and I’m afraid that’s just the way the world works / It ain’t funny, it ain’t pretty, it ain’t sweet”
Heavy by Orla Gartland is another bittersweet song that makes me think of one of Danny’s friends and their relationship with him, but I won’t talk about that because it’s a spoiler!! However, it also manages to exude a lot of pain and sadness that I also felt in Picture Us in the Light. Lyrics I especially associate with this book: “Do you think about me at night? / When the sky is losing light / I swear my head fills up with memories every time”