Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Ten: Book Theme Songs

I especially especially love this week's topic from The Broke and the Bookish. It's all about theme songs for books, which is something I love because I always make playlists for my own novels, but I'd never thought in-depth about it for the books I read and was surprised by how difficult it is to find theme songs for books. I looked for songs that captured the feeling of a novel (or a character/relationship/scene within that novel), even if not everything in the song matches the book exactly. And it was super fun. I'm now thinking of making a playlist just of theme songs to books I read.

1. The Piper's Son
Melina Marchetta
This song just feels perfect for Tom and for many of the people in his family. There's a lot of heartache and moments of helplessness in The Piper's Son and this feels sort of like an anthem for the Mackee family and their story in this book. So honest and raw and struggling.

2. If I Stay
Gayle Forman
Okay, I'll admit that I don't quite know what this song is actually about. But there's a lot of hospital imagery ("they're sitting all around you holding copies of your chart/and the misery inside their eyes is synchronized and reflecting into yours") and so many of the lyrics seem to fit Mia's situation. Plus, the first time I listened to this song I got the same sort of feeling that If I Stay has to it. So whatever it's about, the feel of it definitely fits in my mind.

3. Where She Went
Gayle Forman
I know this is a bit of a pretty, almost girly song, but it fits Adam's angst so incredibly well. The repeated line of "and so it goes/this soldier knows/the battle with the heart isn't easily won" is perfect and if you listen to the lyrics there's a lot of parallel between the song and what happens to Adam and what he feels during the story in Where She Went. Especially the bit about "I took a faithful leap and packed up all my things/ and all my love and gave it to someone else." The song starts in a bad, sad place and, like Adam in Where She Went, ends up somewhere much more hopeful.

4. Flipped
Wendelin Van Draanan
Alright, I'll admit, this is a weird one. It's maybe a little bizarre. But this song, to me, could be a teenaged Bryce and Julianna. A few years down the road, still completely angsty though in a slightly different way, and this song fits their relationship. (Feel free to disagree, of course.)

5. Graffiti Moon
Cath Crowley
Graffiti Moon is one of the best novels I've read that takes place over one night and it has such a completely teenaged feel to it. This song matches that infinite-but-trapped teenage feeling and the possibility of one night so, so well. It might be a bit fast and loud for such a slow-simmering book but it works.

6. Lola and the Boy Next Door
Stephanie Perkins
While Lola and the Boy Next Door was, as a whole, a bit of a letdown for me, one thing that it did so well and that I absolutely totally completely loved was the backstory between Lola and Cricket. The heartbreak that happened in the past. This song captures that incredibly well and reminds me so much of Lola's feelings when Cricket moves back in next door. Love it.

7. Peaches (series)
Jodi Lynn Anderson
Okay, forget for a second on the lyrics and details of this love-gone-wrong song. There's a desperation to this song, and really all of Lambert's songs, that is just so, so something. And in this case it reminds me of the girls of Peaches and their various stories, loves, and choices. There's a lot of desperation in Birdie, Leeda, and Murphy, just like there is in this song.

8. Twilight: New Moon
Stephanie Meyer
As far as books that are just 100% totally completely about going crazy-depressed after a breakup, New Moon pretty much takes the cake. And while this song fits well with the entire Twilight series (or at least the first three since I never finished the last) and Bella's love/obsession for Edward, I feel like it goes especially well with the second in the series. Listen to the lyrics in this song and it's almost like it really was written about Bella and Edward.

9. The Day Before
Lisa Schroeder
Like the song I've chosen for it, The Day Before is all about enjoying the present and not worrying about what comes next (or what might come next). I don't want to spoil anything about this book, so I'll just say that this song works really well for the attitude that both characters approach their day together with.

10. This is What I Want to Tell You
Heather Duffy-Stone
I'm really not sure what I can say about this book and song without spoiling parts of the book. I will say that there's a frenzy to the song that really matches the frenzy of one of the main characters in this book. Both the book and the song seem to be about secrets and things left unsaid, things that don't quite fit, and really you should probably read/listen. (Also, Charlotte Sometimes is on The Voice this season. YAY!!)


  1. There's no way I could ever pick theme songs for books, I don't think. You did an admirable job, though.

    (But I still prefer Trampled by Turtles' version of "Wait So Long")

    1. Ha, thank you. :) It's definitely a post that took a LONG time.

      I've only ever heard the Motion City Soundtrack version of 'Wait So Long' (and it's actually on my playlist for my current WIP, too), but maybe I should listen to the other version.

  2. I always see a reminder that I haven't read Anna and the French Kiss or Lola and the Boy Next Door...
    The Killers are awesome!

    1. LOL. I wanted to find a song for Anna, but that just proved an impossible task.
      & yes, the Killers ARE awesome.

  3. Hmmm, I loved Lola and Ingrid Michaelson, but I don't know that song! I'll have to look it up.

  4. I think your list might be the one I've come across in which I know the most songs (though I've only read a few of the books). I love Ingrid Michaelson, Regina Spektor, and Kate Voegele. Great list!