Sunday, January 31, 2016

11 Books as Taylor Swift Songs

To those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, it won't come as a surprise to you that I love Taylor Swift. I love every single song to bits and pieces and have all the lyrics memorized. I can even listen to a song and remember what book I was writing or what road trip I was on when I had that particular song on repeat. (For example, I got several hand cramps from filling up an entire notebook with chapters from The Sorceress on a long car ride down to Florida while listening to "Eyes Open.")

So I thought it'd be fun to match up a TS song to books most of you have probably read. Listen to them yourself and see what you think!

1. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven - "Tied Together With a Smile"

Hold on, baby, you're losing it
The water's high, you're jumping into it
And letting go... and no one knows
That you cry, but you don't tell anyone
That you might not be the golden one
And you're tied together with a smile
But you're coming undone

All I hear when I listen to this song now is Violet talking about Finch . . . It just fits so perfectly with everything that's going on with him from about the middle to the end (which I won't reveal because spoilers!!). Gah, so many feels!

2. Cress by Marissa Meyer - "Fearless"

I wonder if you know
I'm trying so hard not to get caught up now
But you're just so cool
Run your hands through your hair
Absent-mindedly making me want you
And I don't know how it gets better than this
You take my hand and drag me head first

Tell me this isn't perfect for Cress and Thorne. I dare you. Everything about this song screams them, even the lyrics about driving down the road with her in the passenger seat could describe those two in the Rampion going about their adventures in space and being adorable together. (If you can't tell, I ship them just the tiniest bit . . . if the tiniest bit means a lot.)

3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - "Change"

So we’ve been outnumbered
Raided and now cornered
It’s hard to fight when the fight ain’t fair
We’re getting stronger now
Find things they never found
They might be bigger
But we’re faster and never scared
You can walk away, say we don’t need this
But there’s something in your eyes says we can beat this
'Cause these things will change
Can you feel it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down
This revolution, the time will come
For us to finally win

Yeah, this song just screams dystopian books but Mockingjay popped into my head first. As far as trilogies go, Mockingjay was one of the better series finales upon rereading it. The song may be a liiittle too upbeat for how dark it is, but we all need some hope while reading it. :P

4. Wonder by R.J. Palacio - "Mean"

You, with your words like knives
And swords and weapons that you use against me
You, have knocked me off my feet again,
Got me feeling like I'm nothing
You, with your voice like nails
On a chalk board, calling me out when I'm wounded
You, picking on the weaker man

Auggie had to deal with a lot of bullies in his time at school, and I think this song both describes how hard it was to deal with it, but how he worked to build himself up and rise above it. I love this book, and if you haven't read it yet you should pick it up right now. It's one of the best middle-grades you will ever read.

5. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - "Enchanted"

There I was again tonight
Forcing laughter, faking smiles
Same old tired lonely place
Walls of insincerity,
Shifting eyes and vacancy
Vanished when I saw your face
All I can say is it was enchanting to meet you

All I can think about when I hear the first verse of this song is Lilac and Tarver aboard Icarus at the beginning of the book. And then of course the rest of the song can be used to describe their relationship later on. It's always fun to say "I ship it" with these two, because they literally met on a ship and it can't get more perfect than that. ;)

6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell - "Ours"

So don't you worry your pretty little mind
People throw rocks at things that shine
And life makes love look hard
The stakes are high, the water's rough
But this love is ours

This is definitely Park to Eleanor. This song is super simple, too, with just a couple instruments accompanying the melody, just like the book. "Ours" is all about not listening to what others say about you and loving each other for the people they are. It totally fits!

7. The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill - "Sweeter Than Fiction"

There you'll stand, ten feet tall
I will say, "I knew it all along."
Your eyes–wider than distance
This life–sweeter than fiction

This was one of the first match-ups I had in mind when I started writing this post! The song describes the relationship between Ellie and her true friends and family, the ones who are supportive of her and her dreams of becoming an author. (Plus, I couldn't pass up the chance to pair a song with the lyrics "sweeter than fiction" with a book about a writer named Ellie Sweet).

8. The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury - "Treacherous"

This slope is treacherous
This path is reckless
This slope is treacherous
And I, I, I like it
It's incredibly dangerous for a genie and a human to fall in love, and that's exactly what's happening in this book. Zahra is determined not to let anything happen and endanger Aladdin, but it might not be enough. And thus we have "Treacherous" as the theme song.
9. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - "Wildest Dreams"
I can see the end as it begins
My one condition is
Say you'll remember me
Standing in a nice dress,
Staring at the sunset, babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks
Say you'll see me again
Even if it's just in your
Wildest dreams
Something about this song has always seemed like Sam and Grace to me. They both know their relationship can't last once the winter comes, but they won't stop hoping. And even if all they have left are memories, it'll all be worth it.

10. A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron - "This Love"

This love is good, this love is bad
This love is alive back from the dead
These hands had to let it go free
And this love came back to me
Tossing, turning, struggled through the night with someone new
And I could go on and on, on and on
Lantern burning, flickered in my mind for only you
But you're still gone, gone, gone

This has to be one of the saddest/sweetest books I've ever read. It's about a dog named Buddy who finds a way to find his owner every time he dies and is reincarnated as another dog. Of course the owner has no clue, but there's always something special about the dog she finds. So many feels crammed into one book. But anyways, the lyrics "these hands had to let it go free and this love came back to me" were what sold me on it. (I can't find a good enough video on YouTube for the song that has decent audio, unfortunately, but it's a fabulous song!)

11. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - "Wonderland"
Flashing lights and we, took a wrong turn and we
Fell down the rabbit hole
You held on tight to me
'Cause nothing's as it seems
Spinning out of control
Didn't they tell us don't rush into things
Didn't you flash your green eyes at me
Haven't you heard what becomes of curious minds
Ooh didn't it all seem new and exciting
I felt your arms twisting around me
I should've slept with one eye opened at night
We found wonderland
You and I got lost in it
And we pretended it could last forever

This is definitely a series I need to go back to, because I loved it when I was reading it. Something about both the book and the song struck me as magical and dangerous, and it fit together so well I can't think about any other book now when I listen to the song. (I could only find covers on YouTube of this song, too, but if you have any other way to listen to it, definitely do! It's one of my favorites from the "1989" album.)

Your turn! What songs, Taylor Swift or otherwise, would you match up with some of your favorite books? What are your favorite musical artists? Leave a comment!


Boquinha said...

How did you come up with these ideas?!? I love it!

# 3. Holy cow, those lyrics well describe the USA today and should be Bernie's song! Even the mention of "walls" - whoa! I mean, I know they mean proverbial walls, but some of the candidates are talking LITERAL walls. Holy Dystopia, Batman!

5 - Ship it. On a ship. *Snicker*

And 7! Sweet! :P (See what I did there?)

Dr. Mark said...

Great post. So, does every book you read have a Taylor Swift song that correlates? If not, do they all have songs in general? I always knew that music and your writing go hand in hand, if for no other reasons than I hear familiar songs playing whenever you're writing, and so many of our playlists are soundtracks to your books.

Rain said...

Stories and music - two of my favourite things. :)

Totally agree with Shiver and Wildest Dreams, though the Grace and Sam definitely have a happier ending. ;)

Geraldine said...

I love Taylor as well!! :D
But yess - your picks for books to songs (or is it the other way around...?) IS ON POINT!
Especially Change for Mockingjay - the most appropriate choice EVER!! :D

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha Hehe, I had no idea what to write about, so I procrastinated by listening to Taylor Swift, and now here I am!

It totally does! It makes a great sort of anthem for things like that.

Yes, yes I do. xD

@Dr. Mark Not necessarily, but many of them do. Sometimes songs overlap with several different books, too. Usually at least one song (though not always one by Taylor Swift) is playing in the back of my mind as I read or write a book. Plus, I think it's tons of fun to have soundtracks for books like we do with movies. :)

@Rain Mine, too! :)

I've only read the first Shiver book, but I sure hope so. *bites nails*

@Geraldine THANK YOU!!

*high-fives* You, my friend, have excellent taste.

Maybe it's both. ;) Glad you like them!