Monday, January 12, 2015

1989 & YA Books

I've been a fan of Taylor Swift since... 2007, I think?--when Teardrops on My Guitar was released. To this day I still adore her music, so I decided to incorporate two of my favorite things into one post: her music and young adult books. Although 1989 is not my favorite album (Speak Now, then Red have that honor) I feel like this album is most applicable to YA books, and the songs themselves may seem specific but are much more applicable than her other songs.

Because I didn't want to cram all 16 songs (the deluxe songs are included) I chose 7 songs to explore. Who knows? I may do a part two post. ;)

Splintered (Splintered, #1)Wonderland: Splintered by A.G. Howard

"We found wonderland
you and I got lost in it
And life was never worse but never better"

For this song, Splintered is probably the most obvious choice. I think this song represents Jeb and Alyssa perfectly. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do remember Jeb having green eyes, like when TS says, "didn't you flash your green eyes at me?" The inner conflict Alyssa has later on, which is more present in Unhinged, is represented by "and life was never worse but never better" as she couldn't choose between the two worlds. There are a lot more parallels between this song and Splintered, but some of them are a bit spoiler-y.

The Art of LaineyAll You Had To Do Was Stay: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

"Had me in the palm of your hand
Then why'd you have to go and lock me out when I let you in
Stay, hey, now you say you want it
Back now that it's just too late
Well, it could've been easy
All you had to do was stay"

"Here you are now, calling me up, but I don't know what to say
I've been picking up the pieces of the mess you made
People like you always want back the love they pushed aside
But people like me are gone forever when you say goodbye"

The overall tone and attitude of this song just yells Lainey to me--it represents her character pretty well. At the beginning of the book, her boyfriend breaks up with her, and she uses The Art of War to get him back. This is her response to him, after she got over the teary phase and was ready to get over him.

The Sky is EverywhereClean: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

"You're still all over me like I wine-stained dress I can't wear anymore"

"So I punched a hole in the roof
Let the flood carry away all my pictures of you
The water filled my lungs, I screamed so loud but no one heard a thing"

According to T-Swift, this song talks about getting over a horrible event, and trying to get your life back together. The protagonist, Lennie, is haunted by the death of her older sister. She can't seem to overcome her grief, and resorts to making not-so-good choices in order to forget. She feels so alone as her life unravels ("screamed so loud but no one heard a thing"). 

Born of Illusion (Born of Illusion, #1)
Welcome To New York: Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

"The lights are so bright
But they never blind me, me"

"Walking through a crowd
The village is aglow
Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats
Under coats"

I'm going to take the quotes of this song literally, as the book I think it describes exceptionally well is a paranormal/historical fiction book called Born of Illusion. The main character Anna performs seances with her mother in the 1920s in New York. She's a gifted performer (the lights never blind her) and she also has the power to sense other people's emotions and to see the future ("kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats").

Of Scars and Stardust
I Know Places: Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah

"They take their shots, we're bulletproof."

"I can hear them whisper as we pass by
It's a bad sign, bad sign
Something happens when everybody finds out
See the vultures circling in dark cloud"

Thanks to Holly from The Fox's Hideaway for suggesting this book! She said:

"The whole town is always whispering about the main character, her family, her dad. Even whispering when her and her love interest were together. Something happened. Everybody found out. People are hungry for the gossip and the truth. MC "hides" in NY. All she wants to do is stay away from that town. I think she even wanted to go away with the love interest" ("Baby I know places we won't be found and they'll be chasing their tails tryin' to track us down").

Code Name VerityStyle: Code Name Verity
"You got that James Dean day dream look in your eye
And I got that red lip classic thing that you like
And when we go crashing down, we come back every time."

"Long drive, could end in burning flames or paradise
Fade into view, it's been a while since I have even heard from you"

I am aware that this is meant to be a romantic song, and despite this, I think it would be perfect to describe Verity and Maddie's friendship. Maddie is a pilot, and although their plane crashed (not a spoiler--it's in the synopsis) and Verity is captured by the Gestapo, their friendship lives on throughout the book ("And when we go crashing down, we come back every time." and "it's been a while since I have even heard from you"). Maddie's personality did give off a bit of a thirst for adventure, a James Dean youthfulness, and Verity definitely did come of as a "red lip classic thing" kind of girl. 

The Piper's SonThis Love: The Piper's Son

"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"

"Your smile, my ghost, I fell to my knees
When you're young you just run
But you come back to what you need"

After Saving Francesca, there comes along this beauty of a book. Tom has just experienced the loss of an uncle to a terrorist attack. Tara is in East Timor, ignoring him, and he's basically a loser while his friends from St. Sebastian's a lot better off. The Piper's Son mostly focuses on his family problems, but I think This Love definitely represents his and Tara's relationship to a t (see what I did there.) He does a lot of stupid stuff, but he still keeps Tara at the back of his mind, which I think keeps him from going off the edge. Tara basically ran away from him and is doing her own thing in East Timor ("When you're young you just run) and this just tears at him for a bulk of the novel.


  1. I love this idea and you've chosen such perfect books to match the songs!! Taylor Swift is also a favourite artist of mine, and I'd be super interested in seeing a part two of this post :)

  2. You know I already love this, but seriously great picks! And oh, I never would have thought to pair up Style and Code Name Verity. But it FITS SO MUCH. Thanks for letting me help you out! This was fun. :)

  3. And thanks for agreeing to help, Hollyyyy <3

  4. I'm thinking of releasing a part two maybe next month. We'll see if I can find more books for the remaining songs... xD

  5. Eeek, I'm ashamed to admit that I've only recently got into Taylor Swift! I was one of those people that just wouldn't listen to her music, but when I gave it a try, I LOVED it!!
    This is such a cool and original post :-D Great choices and now I really want to read Born of Illusion and Code Name Verity!...and listen to some Taylor Swift :-D

  6. I'm glad you started listening to TS! Her earlier songs IMO are just as good, if better, than her newer, more popular ones.

    Lol, thank you!