This was probably one of the most difficult prompts for me! I love to listen to music, but I’m not very good at remembering song lyrics so it was tough to think of something that might fit. I also find I get a bit too literal with it, and want the majority of the song to match the plot of the book, and if that didn’t happen, it didn’t feel like a close enough match for me. I used to watch a ton of fan videos on Youtube where people would use clips from shows and put them to a song, although I’ve never had the skill to do that myself. What was also a bit weird is that I found I had a couple of key songs in mind that I really wanted to match with books, but somehow couldn’t come up with a book. For example, I kept getting the song I Hate U, I Love U by Gnash ft. Olivia O’Brien in my head, and it really seemed like something that would be easy to pair with a book, but I just couldn’t find a book that felt like a strong enough match. It ended up being a huge challenge to come up with any!
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1) Creep by Radiohead — You by Caroline Kepnes
I don’t care if it hurts/I wanna have control/I want a perfect body/I want a perfect soul
This was the first song and book pair that came to mind, and it’s probably a very obvious one. I don’t know why, but this song has been stuck in my head a lot lately. I chose it because it’s all about a man trying to get the attention of a woman that he thinks is so special and perfect, just like Joe Goldberg in You. Anyone who has read the book (or watched the show) would know that Joe himself is very much a creep, so it seemed like a good fit. Even lines like “I wish I was special” and “What the hell am I doing here?” could be a fit for Joe. The book really centered on him trying to be a “good boyfriend,” although his version of what that meant was quite twisted. To me, questioning what he’s doing here could be a realization that what he’s doing might not be so normal, although I don’t know if Joe ever made it that far.
2) Who Knew by Pink — History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
If someone said three years from now/You’d be long gone/I’d stand up and punch them out/Cause they’re all wrong/I know better/Cause you said forever
This is one of my all-time favourite songs, and it probably would be a good match for just about any book that has to deal with grief. I thought of this book specifically because of the “stand up and punch them out” line because I remember Griffin having a lot of anger and pain. This book is about Griffin struggling with the loss of his ex-boyfriend Theo, who drowned, and finds that the only person who understands him is Jackson, the guy Theo was dating at the time that he died. For me, this song matches the book so well because it seemed to capture Griffin’s shock that Theo was really gone, and that it was forever, especially since he’d always assumed they would get back together.
3) Where’d You Go by Fort Minor — Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Where’d you go?/I miss you so/Seems like it’s been forever/That you’ve been gone/Please come back home
It’s mostly the lines quoted above that made me think of this song, since the lyrics are actually about being on the road for their career. This book is about a girl named Claudia whose best friend Monday has gone missing, and she is the only person who seems to really care. Actually, looking again at the lyrics, many of them could easily apply. For example, at one point they say “Tired of sittin’ and hatin’ and makin’ these excuses, for why you’re not around, and feeling so useless” which I think captures Claudia’s frustration about not knowing what happened to her friend. She knows that Monday wouldn’t just ditch her without saying anything, and tries to justify it to herself (ie. “making these excuses”).
4) Lose Yourself by Eminem — On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
You better lose yourself in the music/The moment, you own it, you better never let it go/You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow/This opportunity comes once in a lifetime
It took me a surprisingly long time to make the connection between these two, but once I thought of it, it seemed so obvious. Aside from the direct connection of the focus on rap, the song is all about stepping up to take your chance to become famous, which is exactly what Bri was trying to do. I remember her describing her passion for rap in a pretty similar way to how it is mentioned in the song. It was also important for her to take her shot at becoming famous for it because she wanted to help her family with their financial struggle. Many times, the lyrics come back to the idea of not missing your once-in-a-lifetime chance, because “success is the only (censored) option, failure’s not.”
5) Monster by Paramore — This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
I’ll stop the whole world, I’ll stop the whole world/From turning into a monster and eating us alive/Don’t you ever wonder how we survive?
To be honest, I really struggled to come up with a fifth option and I’m not sure if this one is a particularly strong match. The line quoted above is the one that specifically made me think of this book. This book is set in a world where there are monsters, which are manifestations of violence and evil in the world. One of the main characters, August, is a monster who does not want to be one nor does he want anyone to know that he is, and it was him that I specifically had in mind with the above lyrics. I am long overdue for a reread of this duology!