Aaah, summer. You are sorely missed, especially by the students (aka, me!) buried under piles of homework. Now that the weather has finally turned and all the ‘Indian Summer’ days have left us (or in SoCal, most of the heat waves have ended), all we have left are the memories of what used to be… and the songs we were listening to while we were doing them! So I thought that it would be a good idea to compile a list of the summer’s top songs to listen to and reminisce, and maybe even a book or two to read that reminds of these same songs. Some of the lyrics to these songs fit so well with their novel counterparts.
To start off the list I have none other than…
“Summer” by Calvin Harris
The classic summer song about whirlwind romances happening over vacation brings to mind some favorite ‘beach reads’ of mine. And what screams ‘SUMMER’ more than a book taking place on Nantucket, an island where many go for the holidays? But there’s a twist: Calvin Harris says that his love “lied so soon.” Is all not as it seems in paradise? For Cricket Thompson, there’ll be some unexpected challenges that’ll he make her summer unforgettable in more ways than she would’ve expected.
In some ways very similar to Nantucket Blue as it also takes place on a small island in New England, Huntley Fitzpatrick’s book is one of my favorites. It’s runner-up status is only corroborated by the fact that this book is so much more than just a summer romance in my mind: it tackles family issues and social class as well.
“Classic” by MKTO
This is the song that actually inspired this post: as I was listening to the song after just having recently read Lola, I couldn’t think of anyone better described by MKTO’s catchy tune. There’s no doubt that Lola Nolan is “one of a kind,” and her love of funky/retro outfits or costumes perfectly captures the sound and lyrics of “Classic”. She’s not afraid to be who she is even if she hits a few bumps along the way, and she’s quite admirable for it.
“Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore
I didn’t think I would find a book to match this song, until I remembered THIS book, which fits the lyrics perfectly. Freesia lives and goes to school on the tropical island of Agalinas, where everything about her life is perfect — but what she doesn’t realize is that it’s actually fake; it’s a virtual world. She’s pretty much “living in a bubble.” When the island starts glitching and blacking out, suddenly Freesia wakes up to a home she struggles to recognize in Arizona, and discovers her less-than perfect life as a social outcast “in the real world.” And I don’t want to spoil it for you guys, but let’s just say that she can’t “go crying to her momma…”
“Problem” by Ariana Grande
I also didn’t think I would find a book to match this sons, because the “off-again, on-again” relationship isn’t exactly a dominant trope in YA, but then I thought of this book. Jude has sworn never to date a Vargas boy — because while they may be tempting, they have all broken her older sisters’ hearts. But when she hires a mechanic to fix her father’s motorcycle, can she help it if he just happens to be a Vargas? Jude is sure that she can resist his obvious charms, but when she finds herself falling for Emilio Vargas, she can’t help thinking that her sisters might’ve been wrong. Because “even though [she] hate[s] [him], she wanna love [him],” though she “should be wiser and realize that [she’s] got one less problem without [him]” (see what I did there? No? Well, I tried).
“Stay With Me” by Sam Smith
One-night stands aren’t all that common in YA either, but I thought of Gayle Forman’s book immediately. I don’t want to spoil this one either for the (few?) people that haven’t read this one, so I’ll just give the bare-bones details. Allyson has one last day to spend on her class tour of Europe when she meets Dutch free spirit Willem. They hit it off right away, and he convinces her to spend her last day exploring Paris with him. After she agrees, a romantic journey through the iconic city ensues, engine with their last (and first) night together. The question is if Allyson will be “stay” with Willem…
“All of Me” by John Legend
John Legend’s hit also had me stumped, until I ran across this recent read in my ‘read’ list on Goodreads. While it doesn’t necessarily fit the tone of the song, it fits the lyrics to a “t”! Emma is part Syrena, meaning she has many of the powers often associated with “merfolk” — her “head’s underwater but” she’s “breathing fine” (hehe!). Because of her “smart mouth,” her and Galen (her love interest) often get into heated arguments over what is the safest thing for her to do — stay on land and away from the rest of the Syrena, who don’t know about her, or test out her abilities in the water. I have yet to read the rest of the series, but Galen and Emma seem to be shaping up to b e the epic romance described in this song!
“Maps” by Maroon 5
Alright — while I have only read a preview of this book, I can still tell this book combined with Maroon 5’s song was a MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN. In the first chapter of the book, Hudson meets the intriguing Leila when he fixes the car she has been driving for a road trip. The two hit it off, and Hudson even blows off some important plans he has that could determine the rest of his life, just to be with Leila in the little time she has while passing through on her trip. When she leaves the next morning, Hudson is devastated. My guess? He will “follow the map that leads to [Leila]” and try to find what’s really most important to him. (Awwww.)
“Boom Clap” by Charli XCX
Thought I’d say something else? You’d be wrong. This song will only ever remind me of TFIOS, specifically the scenes in Amsterdam. *sniff*
On that note, if you haven’t seen the music video, it’s a beautiful compilation of the artist in Amsterdam, scenes of Gus and Hazel from the movie, and handwritten typography. *squee!*
“Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay
Gotta love the puns in this book! The MC in Catch a Falling Star, Carter Moon, is very familiar with the stars in the night sky of her backyard — she even co-runs an astronomy blog with her friend (yay for blogging!). But when movie star Adam Jakes arrives in her small hometown to shoot a movie, she doesn’t understand why everyone is fawning over him. Until she is hired to become his fake girlfriend, that is. Becoming part of a scheme to fix his “bad-boy” image, Carter becomes close with Adam and starts to maybe wish she was his girlfriend, thought the idea seems impossible…or is it? “In a sky full of stars,” Carter can only see him. 😉 There are metaphors galore about the stars in this book, but somehow it never came off as cheesy.
“Fancy” by Iggy Azalea
Even I’ll admit that this one’s a bit of a stretch, but the book and song definitely share a common theme, and that is STYLE! While America Singer may not have wanted to sign up for the chance to become a princess, and while she’s usually more comfortable in jeans than in a “fancy” dress, living the life of royalty does have it’s perks. Namely, the gorgeous gowns she gets to wear, the jewelry to match, feasts at every important event, maids to attend to her every need, and a mattress and bedding to die for. Oh yeah, and a handsome prince and attractive guard both vying for her love, but who cares? There’s tulle and dress trains to be worrying about.
** All book cover images from Goodreads, all lyric images from Pinterest.
I hope you enjoyed reading my list as much as I enjoyed creating it! (Seriously, it was a lot of fun.) If I succeeded, you’ll probably have these songs stuck in your head and the books adding to your already long TBR list, too. You’re welcome! * cackles evilly *