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Top Ten Freebie:
YA Books to Read Based on Taylor Swift’s Lover Album
Links to reviews!
1. I Forgot that You Existed
The Body Electric by Beth Revis
I have to admit that I have not read this book, and it is SHAMEFUL to recommend it, I KNOW THAT BUT STILL (it is the only one on the list i haven’t read!). According to the blurb, this book is about a girl whose memory may have been altered to the point where she does not remember some guy who claims they used to be lovers. Now, whether Tay Tay’s song is about Kanye or Calvin, I think it’s a book suitable to this theme.
2. Cruel Summer
This is the sequel to the powerful magical realism book The Graces, and I picked this book for this song not just because the narrator in this book is called Summer, but because of her tempestuous relationship with River, the weird fucked up relationship with Wolf, the destructive and powerful relationship with Summer’s siblings, and yeah it’s just really good go read it. It’s all about want and power and desire and family. Summer is a truthful narrator who loves fiercely, just like Queen Tay Tay.
This is possibly the absolute best slow-burn, non-insta-lovey, friends-to-lovers YA book I have ever read. It’s about Steffi, who’s selectively mute, and Rhys, who’s deaf, and their blossoming feelings for each other. It’s so sweet, so cute, but so real. It’s such a slow burn you wonder if they ever will make the leap. Well no, not really, because you know it’s a romance book so you know it’s gotta happen – and it’s not so much a leap as a meander. If ever the song Lover were a book, it would be this one.
4. The Man
This is the story of am underestimated girl genius at a boarding school who is excluded from an all-boys secret society because of her gender, and then goes on to fuck everything up for everyone else because she’s so much smarter and more capable than them.
And I LOVED IT.
5. The Archer
The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
I have read The Hunger Games, but I read it before I started blogging, and I haven’t re-read it since, so I haven’t reviewed it.
There are many reasons why The Archer is suitable to be matched with The Hunger Games: first and foremost it’s because Katniss is an archer. Secondly, Tay Tay is a romantic commitment-phobe (and by that I should define: after all of her heartbreak, she wants to be able to leave just like that, even when she is in a loving relationship, because she is so afraid of being hurt AGAIN [you gotta leave before you get left]), and Katniss falls into a love triangle with two equally as wonderful boys, but can’t accept either of them while she’s dealing with this Hunger Games crap.
6. I Think He Knows
I picked Divergent for this song because of the relationship between Tris and Four. They are so drawn to each other, they don’t even really need to talk about it. And Tris is seventeen and NO ONE UNDERSTANDS. I kind of really like their romance, because they can depend on each other and they always have each other’s backs. Tris still has a lot of growing and maturing to do, which is great, but Four is there encouraging her with a smile on the other side.
7. Miss American and the Heartbreak Prince
The main male love interest in this book, Z, is SO ‘Heartbreak Prince’. It’s a high school romance book – but be warned, it is twisted! It’s not some sweet and fluffy romance: Vic, the main female character, already has a boyfriend. Vic and Z are drawn to each other in a downward spiral of obsession and control, much in the same way Miss Americana and her Heartbreak Prince are in this song.
8. Paper Rings
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (specifically Book #5 Silver Shadows)
I just can’t with this OK? This song is so fluffy and cute and sweet, and even though literally throughout this entire book series I’m not particularly into Adrian, and I don’t particularly ship him and Sydney, I fucking love love, so I love them together. They start off as friends, and it develops over time, and they are cute, and funny, and their banter is adorable. They just kind of fall in love together. And in Book 5 Silver Shadows, something awesome happens that made me so happy and lovey and just gah, this books just totally fits with this song.
9. Cornelia Street
This song is about the beginning of a relationship, and this book also has the beginning of a relationship in it, and both the characters have A LOT of baggage – the female main character is a teenage mother trying to finish high school. The guy she starts dating is really into her from the start, and it’s nice seeing her make room for him in her already busy life.
10. Death by a Thousand Cuts
This book is about three triplet sisters who have to kill each other for one to be crowned queen. This song is about a break up. There aren’t many YA books about break ups, so I had to get creative. There’s also loads of heartbreak in this book since one of the sisters has it off with a guy who’s already in a supposedly loving, committed relationship with someone else! I mean, the drama! The angst!
This song is pretty over dramatic too.
11. London Boy
This is a book that is a little bit older than the typical hyped up British royalty YA books that are currently taking over my social media feeds, but it’s still a really great book about enemies-to-lovers. Jean is a proud dork who runs a successful blog about all things dorky, and Michael is a really cool, sweet, nice jock who absolutely hates Jean because she is so deliberately dorky. It’s a nice book and I really enjoyed it and it is set, you guessed it, in London.
12. Soon You’ll Get Better
I legit cannot listen to this song as it always triggers me into crying because it reminds me too much of when my husband broke his back and had to stay in hospital for 2 months learning to walk again. I first listened to it in the car and was weeping as I drove home, my poor husband had to hold my hand the entire way. Tay Tay wrote this song when her mother was being treated for cancer, so it’s way too close to home for me (even more than Out of the Woods!).
I chose 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons because this book is about a girl who is temporarily blind, and she’s pretty sure that one day her sight will return, but also is kinda scared that it won’t, also there is an adorable boy with prosthetic legs who teaches her to love and that’s really sweet.
13. False God
This song is about romance being worshipped in the place of religion, and the book I’ve chosen is about a teen girl who runs away with her teacher in a VERY FORBIDDEN relationship (the book is from the POV of the girl’s BFF though, so no ickyness). I feel like they are worshipping this relationship in the same way Tay Tay writes about the difficulties of this one, how it’s crazy to think they might just get away with this, how hard it is, how they fight and make up and fight again.
14. You Need to Calm Down
I picked this book not because it’s LGBTQ+ (which it’s not exclusively but is a little bit) but because of the cyber bullying aspect. The main character in this book is a victim of revenge porn (she’s 18 though so it’s not child pornography, in case you were wondering if this is YA), it becomes a national scandal when a politician’s son gets involved, everyone slut-shames our kinda slutty lead, and basically everyone in this book needs to calm the fuck down.
As much as I adore Yelena and Valek, they do have these communication issues where they won’t tell one another something out of concern for keeping the other safe, and it bites them in the butt on multiple occasions. But they always apologise, even if they are grumpy, and they rebuild their relationship, and they are just so sweet and loving while also being mature about it (because even though these books were sold under YA, they are much more NA, because Valek’s like 30 ha ha old man lol). They forgive each other and grow stronger because of it. It’s not really something that can happen in YA because those are teenage relationships, so I’m sticking this more mature couple in here.
This book selection is a little tongue-in-cheek, because Tay Tay’s lyrics are really kind of stalkery and domestic violence victim-blaming (“I promise that you’ll never find another like ME-HEE-HEE/I promise that nobody’s gonna love you like ME-HEE-HEE”) so I feel that it fits good old Twilight perfectly. Edward is a freaking stalker. He breaks into Bella’s house to watch her sleep (that is not OK even if you are in a relationship!). His behaviour scares her. He tries to control who she is friends with, and isolates her from her family, and reacts with jealousy to her having a social life that excludes him (he ‘follows’ her by reading other people’s thoughts about her!). He makes all of her decisions for her, forces her into an early marriage she doesn’t want, and several (‘romantic’) interactions leave her bruised and literally bleeding – not that Bella notices, of course! She is drawn to this exciting, dominating, violent man, and her incredibly low self-esteem leads her to beg to join his family. This book and this song are both about domestic violence. Sorry, Tay Tay.
17. It’s Nice to Have a Friend
This song is about how lovely it is when your best friend is also your lover, and I feel like this book matches it well. There are two main relationships, one of which is established before the book begins, about two girls who love each other, then have to work together and figure out their professional/personal boundaries while still loving each other. Ther other relationship is an enemies-to-lovers which is interesting to watch develop because I feel like they become very firm friends before they fall in love, which is lovely.
I feel like this song is all about how small or dark a person’s world is until they fall in love, and the same is with this book. Maddie is a girl living in a bubble to protect her from possibly deathly allergies, but when she meets her cute next door neighbour, she yearns to explore the outside world. The only love she’s known is the love that broke her mother when her father and brother died, so she’s not terribly excited to experience that (also, locked in a house re Rapunzel). But meeting Ollie changes everything. Everything.