Book Recap – In Song! is a monthly feature where I create and share a playlist inspired by the books I read during the previous month.
1) The Song: “Sometime Around Midnight” by The Airborne Toxic Event
The Book: Love and Other Perishable Items by Lauren Buzo
I’ve been obsessed with “Sometime Around Midnight” since the first time I heard it, partly because of how much it reminds me of Chris in Love and Other Perishable Items. The song might as well be his biography, telling of a guy consumed by memories of his ex and the need to drink away those memories: “And you walk under the streetlights / And you’re too drunk to notice that everyone’s staring at you / You don’t care what you look like / The world is falling around you.”
2) The Song: “Through the Fire and the Flames” by DragonForce
The Book: Oracle of Philadelphia by Elizabeth Corrigan
“Through the Fire and the Flames” is a fitting anthem for Corrigan’s novel about a girl who journeys through the depths of hell to save an innocent man’s soul. With lyrics like these – “So far away we wait for the day / For the lives all so wasted and gone / We feel the pain of a lifetime lost in a thousand days / Through the fire and the flames we carry on” – how can you not be inspired to push on and save the day?
3) The Song: “Bring on the Rain” by Jo Dee Messina
The Book: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
There are plenty of storms in Ward’s novel, both literal and figurative, but the characters are resilient enough to weather anything that comes their way: “It’s almost like the hard times circle ‘round / A couple drops and they all start coming down / Yeah I might feel defeated / And I might hang my head / I might be barely breathing but I’m not dead / Cuz tomorrow’s another day / And I’m thirsty anyway / So bring on the rain.”
4) The Song: “Gone Away” by The Offspring
The Book: The Beginner’s Guide to Living by Lia Hills
This honest, raw rock ballad so perfectly captures what it’s like to lose someone that it gives me an ache in my chest and makes me feel like screaming to the sky along with the band. Here’s the chorus: “And it feels, And it feels like / Heaven’s so far away / And it feels, yeah it feels like / The world has grown cold / Now that you’ve gone away.”
5) The Song: “One and Only” by Adele
The Book: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Like The Goddess Test, “One and Only” is about trying to persuade someone that you’re deserving of being their partner: “I promise I’m worthy to hold in your arms / So come on and give me a chance / To prove that I’m the one who can / Walk that mile until the end starts.” The song also speaks of how hard it can be to move into a new relationship and leave the past behind.
6) The Song: “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash
The Book: Pivot Point by Kasie West
This might be a bit of a stretch, as the majority of the lyrics in this song have nothing to do with Pivot Point. Still, the chorus – “Should I stay or should I go now?” – is pretty spot-on, as this is the question that sets all of the book’s events in motion. “If I go there will be trouble / An’ if I stay it will be double” is pretty accurate as well.
7) The Song: “Seven Devils” by Florence and the Machines
The Book: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Hear how eerie and powerful and haunting “Seven Devils” sounds? That’s exactly what Anna Dressed in Blood feels like. When I was looking for a song to represent Blake’s book, I knew I wanted something that conveyed the hurricane force of Anna as well as the clash of wills between her and Cas. “Seven Devils” is it, reminding me of a conversation between the two characters, each proclaiming their determination to bring the other down.
8) The Song: “Virginia Bluebell” by Miranda Lambert
The Book: The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Victoria, the protagonist in The Language of Flowers, is a wary, damaged girl who holds the world at arm’s length and communicates primarily through flowers. So, what better song for this book than one that compares a girl to a flower? “Carrying the weight on the end of a limb / You’re just waitin’ for somebody to pick you up again / Shaded by a tree, can’t live up to a rose / All you ever wanted was a silent place to grow.”
What do you think? Are there any other songs you feel would be a great match for the books I listed above? If so, please share in the comments section – I’d love to hear from you!