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Top Ten Freebie
YA Books to Read Based on
Taylor Swift’s folklore Album
1. the 1
The Diviners by Libba Bray
But we were something, don’t you think so?
Roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool
And if my wishes came true
It would’ve been you
The idea of there being 1 person for another, or at least a 1, and maybe you missed them. Someone pining for another… yeah I see this book reflected in this song.
A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo
Honestly there are so many lyrics from this song that I relate back to this book.
You’re not my homeland anymore
So what am I defending now?
You were my town, now I’m in exile, seein’ you out
The main character ended a bad relationship and moved to a new town, but he kept trying to suck her bad in to the old ways. She felt like she was in exile stuck in that town, away from someone she desperately wanted to contact but couldn’t.
I can see you starin’, honey
Like he’s just your understudy
Like you’d get your knuckles bloody for me
This also works for how the old love interest pulls the main character away from the new love interest, as if the new one was just some kind of stand in until the old one came back into her life, ready and willing to fight for her.
I think I’ve seen this film before
And I didn’t like the ending
I’m not your problem anymore
She knows that the old love interest is trouble, but he broke up with her and she still wants him back.
The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston
I want you to know
I’m a mirrorball
I can change everything about me to fit in
You are not like the regulars
The masquerade revelers
Drunk as they watch my shattered edges glisten
This is so about Jess, the Princess in this novel, the famous actress who changes herself for the roles she plays. The ‘you’ is her love interest, who doesn’t even know she’s a famous actress. The fans want to tear Jess down because she’s not a true fangirl of the intellectual property she appears in, Starfield.
The Virtue of Sin by Shannon Schuren
Please picture me in the trees
I hit my peak at seven
Feet in the swing over the creek
I was too scared to jump in
But I, I was high in the sky
With Pennsylvania under me
Are there still beautiful things?
In this novel, the entire commune grew up together, and this song is all about childhood, and looking back as someone older and wiser but still from the point of view of the child, if that makes sense. I frame this song as from Miriam’s point of view where she didn’t know that her childhood was anything less than perfect, thinking that her commune was the best place for her. Especially the ‘are there still beautiful things’ speaks to me as saying Miriam thinks her childhood in the commune was perfect, are the still beautiful things outside of that, especially since she was led to believe the outside world was nothing but a wasteland.
Nobody Knows But You by Anica Mrose Rissi
Will you call when you’re back at school?
I remember thinkin’ I had you
But I can see us lost in the memory
August slipped away into a moment in time
‘Cause it was never mine
I frame this song as being about Kayla’s best friend Lainie, who had an intense summer camp relationship with a boy that everyone knew already had a long-term girlfriend back home.
6. this is me trying
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
I’ve been having a hard time adjusting
I had the shiniest wheels, now they’re rusting
I just wanted you to know that this is me trying
Poor Elle! I frame these lyrics as her struggle to keep going and doing the right thing after her father died, which was a huge blow to her (obviously). The ‘shiniest wheels’ was her perfect life before his death. Although she is constantly knocked down, she doesn’t let it keep her down, and that’s why I love this book so much.
7. illicit affairs
One Small Thing by Erin Watt
Make sure nobody sees you leave
Hood over your head, keep your eyes down
You showed me colors you know I can’t see with anyone else
This book is about a rebellious teen girl who accidentally sleeps with her sister’s killer, and their tangled and complicated relationship arising out of a relationship they both seem to want but no one else would approve of.
8. invisible string
A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
And isn’t it just so pretty to think
All along there was some
Tying you to me?
No matter how far you run, no matter how many parallel and alternate worlds you jump into, there is always a string pulling you towards the love of your life.
9. mad woman
Love, Heather by Laurie Petrou
No one likes a mad woman
You made her like that
And you’ll poke that bear ’til her claws come out
And you find something to wrap your noose around
This book is literally about a young girl who decides to get revenge on bullies, and I feel like it fits this song very well. They pushed and pushed at her until she cracked, then they were surprised when she fought back.
Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons
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
The devil’s in the details, but you got a friend in me
Would it be enough if I could never give you peace?
I think this song if very relatable to this book, because it’s about two famous gladiators, one of whom controls fire. Their relationship is a slow burn that they have to keep secret, because they are on opposing sides of a war, but they are really quite loyal to one another which I really love. I think that the final line in this quote can be framed as them asking each other, will it all be worth it if we have to fight for everything, and keep fighting?
What do you think? Have you read any of these books? have you listened to Taylor Swift’s folklore album? Do you think the books match up to the songs? Let me know in the comments below!