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I don’t know about you, but whenever I get into a book, I love to find songs that go with it. The other way around, sometimes I listen to a song and wish I could get the extended version of its story. Some songs feel like they tell stories that deserve more space. Especially Taylor Swift songs. If you’re a fan, you know she’s a true storyteller. Many of her songs feel like they have an actual plot and characters. Like they’re the summarized version of a book.
When I hear songs like Betty by Taylor Swift, the last great American dynasty, or “no body, no crime” I want a 300-page book about them. I’m sure we’d all love to know the whole story of James and Betty. Unfortunately, Taylor Swift doesn’t write books (yet). So, until she decides to leave record shops for bookstores. We’ll have to stick with other authors. Luckily, there are so many good authors out there. With the wide variety of books there are, you can find ones that feel like you’ve stepped into her songs.
Here are some of our favorite Taylor Swift songs and a book that could match the song’s plot, themes, or ambiance. We hope you have fun stepping into new worlds. And finally feeling like you got the full version of your favorite songs or the closest thing to them.
1. A Place In This World: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Taylor Swift wrote this song from the perspective of her younger self. It describes feeling lost, not knowing where your life is going. It talks about feeling like you walk through life all alone.
This song reminded me of Nora, the main character of “The Midnight Library”. Nora isn’t exactly young. But, she is lost. There is a shared feeling of not knowing where your life is going, of still trying to figure yourself out. As well as feelings of loneliness.
The book deals with these issues on a more serious level. Nora isn’t experiencing the normal teenage coming-of-age confusion. She’s going through a serious depression throughout the book. Still, you can feel similar emotions entwined through both. The mere plot of the book is Nora trying different versions of her life that could have been. Which kind of goes with the “I don’t know what I want, so don’t ask me. ‘Cause I’m still trying to figure it out” lyrics.
2. Wonderland: The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater
Pairing wonderland to the raven cycle was one of the easiest choices. The song and book feel like you’re living an adventure. A fun, weird, and magical adventure. The song uses Alice in Wonderland metaphors with a love story intertwined. The book isn’t based on the Disney classic. Nonetheless, it’s about a group of teenagers on a quest to find a dead Welsh king. The king is buried on an energy line that goes through their town.
“We found Wonderland
You and I got lost in it
And we pretended it could last forever”
This book has some of the most interesting magical elements I’ve ever read. As well as a group of incredible characters and romantic pairings. It has a specific tone that feels well-matched to the song. If you like the whimsical feeling wonderland evokes, you’ll LOVE this series. Nothing says whimsical and magical like the Raven cycle.
3. Mary’s Song (Oh My My My): Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
Mary’s Song talks about two childhood best friends falling in love. Better Off Friends follows the story of a boy and a girl going from Platonic best friends to partners. Mary’s Song would be a perfect soundtrack to a romantic comedy adaptation of “Better off Friends”.
Both the book and the song’s lyrics give off importance to the friendship aspect. You don’t immediately jump into the relationship in the book. The buildup feels slow and careful, but still fun. Hence, the realistic way it would most likely happen. Friendship never loses importance in either.
If Mary’s Song makes you wish you had a childhood best friend to fall in love with and marry. Better Off Friends could be an unfolded way to live the fantasy.
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4. The Last Great American Dynasty: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Last Great American Dynasty is such a hard song to pair. It’s a full story all on its own. But the song is too good to exclude from this list. This song gives off glamorous old money vibes. The lifestyle and parties described in it made me think of The Great Gatsby.
If you like the glamour and drama the characters in the song give off. I’m sure you’ll love The Great Gatsby. You’ll see the similarities after reading it. The Last Great American Dynasty’s lyrics and sound feel immersive. It puts you in the world of the song. This book has a rich and palpable ambiance that you’ll appreciate if you love the song.
5. The Lucky One: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“New to town with a made-up name in the angel’s city,
Chasing fortune and fame.
And the camera flashes
Make it look like a dream.”
If you told me the premise of the book is based on this song, I’d believe you. When I listen to it now, I get flashes of her in the iconic green dress. If you pay attention to the lyrics, so much of Evelyn’s story is in it. It’s crazy how well they match.
If you’ve read this book, you’ll KNOW why the lyrics above scream Evelyn Hugo.
“You had it figured out since you were in school
Everybody loves pretty, everybody loves cool
So overnight you look like a sixties’ queen”
“And they tell you that you’re lucky
But you’re so confused
‘Cause you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used”
The lyrics touch on both sides of the fame Evelyn lives through. One side of the coin is the glamour she experiences. The other side is being used and sexualized from a young age. The song takes you through the journey of fame being fun. To the darkest side of it. Like the book does. In the end, you’re unsure If you’d enjoy being a sixties’ queen.
6. Illicit Affairs: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Illicit Affairs follows a relationship of clandestine meetings and longing stares. It speaks of the ups and downs of a relationship with someone taken. This is a big aspect of Conversations with friends. Although, the book deals with many more themes. It deals with the complicated relationship of two best friends with a married couple. The best friends are Frances and Bobby. Meanwhile, the couple is Nick and Melissa. Frances and Nick develop a relationship. The affair they share is a big part of the book.
Both tell a story of infidelity from an unheard perspective, the third party. As the one in the song, Nick and Frances’ relationship feels intimate but broken. The song is calm, yet somehow angry all at the same time.
7. Invisible String: Dreamology by Lucy Keating
“And isn’t it just so pretty to think
All along there was some
Tying you to me?”
Dreamology by Lucy Keating follows Alice. She has been having dreams of Max for years. A boy she hasn’t met. At night, when her head hits the pillow, they go on these extraordinary adventures. As soon as she wakes up, he’s gone. She doesn’t see him. She doesn’t even know who he is. Until she steps foot into a new school, and he’s sitting in class.
You feel throughout the book that something is pulling those two together. Some higher power, an invisible string, or man-made reasons?. You won’t know unless you read it. What I can say is you feel like they were supposed to meet. Like there’s a higher reason she sees him in her dreams.
This ties into folklore’s invisible string. In my eyes, this song is about wondering whether a relationship was fate. Wondering if the times you crossed paths with someone some higher force was pulling you to them. Or if it was a coincidence?. This song has an “are we soulmates?” feeling. Which screams Dreamology.
8. Cardigan: Normal People by Sally Rooney
Marianne and Connell seem like unlikely partners. They come from different social classes and home lives. Marianne is opinionated, intelligent and an outsider in school. Unlike Connell who is shy, smart, but liked by everyone. You wouldn’t think of them as a match. But they have a strong connection and strike a complex relationship.
“And when I felt like I was an old cardigan
Under someone’s bed
You put me on and said I was your favorite”
These lyrics made me think of Marianne. Who feels alone and unlovable. Having had a difficult home life and no friends. When she thinks no one would ever see her, she starts seeing Connell. They don’t have the healthiest relationship in the beginning. But you can sense that they have a special connection. That they both see the other in ways other people can’t. They understand each other better than anyone. Marianne finally feels like she’s somebody’s “person”. The lyrics ring true in this sense.
“You drew stars around my scars
But now I’m bleeding”
Both characters are complex people. They feel like real people with many layers. They’ve both experienced mental health issues and various other struggles. The relationship helps them through. It doesn’t save them, though. Their scars are still bleeding in the end.
9. No body, No crime: The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker
No body, no crime deals with a series of murders and who might have committed them. It’s like the song version of a murder-mystery story. You could say it’s a murder mystery. The plot focuses on the renowned writer, Harry Quebert. He is accused of murdering a 15-year-old girl. Who he had an affair with. The song and book feel like a “did they, did they not ” situation. You never know what to believe.
If you love the mysterious vibes the song gives off, I bet you’ll enjoy the book. The book deals with heavy & controversial subjects though. So beware of that before you pick it up.
10. Don’t Blame Me: Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi
The intensity of the relationship described in the song screams Juliette and Warner. In the beginning, Juliette hates him with passion. But as time goes by, hatred turns into love. They have a super intense relationship. I’d even say the lyric “Lord, save me, my drug is my baby” rings true for their relationship.
The song represents a passionate bond. One that feels like you can’t get enough of the person. Like, no matter how hard you try, you wouldn’t be able to stay away from them. This all definitely sounds like shatter me. Besides, the song has a kind of dark vibe. That’s an element present in the Shatter Me series. It has a certain darkness to it.
On a different note, Tahereh Mafi’s writing is beautiful. She is worth a try if you enjoy poetic storytelling. Which I’m sure you do if you like Taylor Swift.
We hope this article helped you find some new books to read. It’s hard sometimes to figure out what to read next. Sometimes we’re into such a specific mood or type of book. It can be hard to find one that fits it.
So, if you found yourself in the mood to read a book that reminded you of a certain Taylor Swift song. We hope we helped you fulfill that specific need. Hey, they say fiction can influence reality. This time, maybe it influenced your next reading choice.