Monday, June 11, 2018

Matching YA Books with Taylor Swift's Reputation

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'm going to be finding a book that goes hand in hand with the songs from Taylor Swift's newest album, Reputation. I've been a long time Swiftie, so I wanted to give a Taylor Swift spin to my content here at Ready, Set, Read!

Each song from Reputation will be matched to a book, and I'll also be putting the lyrics from the song that best correlate to the book! There are 15 songs in the album, and therefore 15 books on this list!


I-I-I see how this is gon' go
Touch me and you'll never be alone
I-Island breeze and lights down low
No one has to know

Nantucket Blue follows main character Cricket, and her secret summer romance with her best friend's brother. During the summer, she is on Nantucket Island. I thought the lyrics about the island breeze and no one knowing fit well with the general plot! 


I wanna be your endgame
I wanna be your first string
I wanna be your A Team
I wanna be your endgame, endgame
Knew her when I was young
Reconnected when we were little bit older
Both sprung, I got issues and chips on both of my shoulders
Reputation precedes me, in rumors I'm knee deep
The truth is it's easier to ignore it, believe me
Even when we'd argue, we don't do it for long
And you understand the good and bad, end up in the song
For all your beautiful traits, and the way you do it with ease
For all my flaws, paranoia, and insecurities
I've made mistakes, and made some choices that's hard to deny
After the storm, something was born on the fourth of July
I've passed days without fun, this endgame is the one
With four words on the tip of my tongue, I'll never say

Whew, sorry for all those lyrics! The second part is Ed Sheeran's rap in the song. Both are fitting, as The Pact is about two best friends, Steph and Linden, who make a pact that they would marry each other if they aren't in a serious relationship by the time they are both 30 years old. Both of them are attracted to each other, and both make some mistakes throughout the book! Linden has a bit of a reputation, from what I remember, and yet both Steph and Linden imagine a future where they end up happily ever after! 

They never see it comin'
What I do next
This is how the world works
You gotta leave before you get left

I struggled a bit with finding a match for this one. I actually chose a different book before (Frigid by Jennifer L. Armentrout), but realized that my most recent read fit the bill better! The main character in 180 Seconds, Allison, has a hard time trusting people after being in foster care for 16 years. In the exposition and rising actions of the book, Allison flees situations and shuts herself in several times so that she doesn't get hurt. The line "You gotta leave before you get left" reminded me of her pessimistic view from early on in the book. 

My name is whatever you decide
And I'm just gonna call you mine
I'm insane, but I'm your baby (your baby)
Echoes, love your name inside my mind
Halo, hiding my obsession
I once was poison ivy, but now I'm your daisy

I get so high, oh
Every time, yeah every time you're lovin' me
You're lovin' me
Trip of my life, oh
Every time, yeah every time you're touchin' me
You're touchin' me

I immediatley thought of Call Me By Your Name when I read "My name is whatever you decide/And I'm just gonna call you mine". In CMBYN, Elio and Oliver call each other by their names, and have a sensual and moving, yet hidden, summer romance. After reading the book and watching hte movie, it's safe to say that Elio is very much affected by Oliver's touch and love, much like Taylor's "trip of [her] life". 

This ain't for the best
My reputation's never been worse, so
You must like me for me
Yeah, I want you


Is it cool that I said all that?
Is it chill that you're in my head?
'Cause I know that it's delicate (delicate)
Is it cool that I said all that
Is it too soon to do this yet?


Sometimes I wonder when you sleep
Are you ever dreaming of me?
Sometimes when I look into your eyes
I pretend you're mine, all the damn time
'Cause I like you

This connection took me a little bit, but once I did, I was certain that Where She Went by Gayle Forman was perfect for delicate. In the sequel to If I Stay, Adam has a reputation as a rude, pompous ass. When he crosses paths with Mia, both of them are a bit hesitant to enter into a relationship again, even though their both in each other's head. There's also a seen where Mia (or Adam) looks at the other sleeping, so I thought that the last chunk was also fitting. 


I don't like your little games
Don't like your tilted stage
The role you made me play
Of the fool, no, I don't like you
I don't like your perfect crime
How you laugh when you lie
You said the gun was mine
Isn't cool, no, I don't like you (oh!)
But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time
Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
I've got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
I check it once, then I check it twice, oh!
I don't trust nobody and nobody trusts me
I'll be the actress starring in your bad dreams

I toyed around with a couple of other YA fantasy novels, like Reign the Earth or Heart of Betrayal, before I finally came to the conclusion of SJ Kincaid's The Empress. In the sequel to The Diabolic, Nemesis is played as a fool, and her hand is forced. I'm being vague as to not spoil anything, but she is put in a situation where she has to play a role. At the end of the book, though, Nemesis gets "harder in the nick of time" and devises a plan. However, she doesn't necessarily trust the people she's with, nor the people she used to trust. Also, Nemesis does make some shocks throughout The Empress, and many spectators would believe she did "rise up from the dead". 

You did a number on me
But, honestly, baby, who's counting?
Who's counting?
1, 2, 3


'Cause we break down a little
And when you get me alone, it's so simple
'Cause baby, I know what you know
We can feel it

Run Away With Me by Mila Gray follows two main characters, Emerson and Jake,  who used to be best friends years ago. They both have animosities towards each other, and unresolved issues. While miscommunication is the key factor of these issues, both hold their grudges. Eventually, they "break down a little" because they can still feel their strong foundation of a friendship, and maybe something more. 

You're so gorgeous
I can't say anything to your face (to your face)
'Cause look at your face (look at your face)

This is my current read right now, and these three lines are perfect for Twinkle's predicament. Twinkle has a pretty big crush on Neil Roy, and when he talks to her, she freezes up! This allows for some pretty great interactions. Though Neil might not be the guy for her, like Taylor, Twinkle can't "say anything to [his] face" because she is so taken aback by him!  


It was the great escape, the prison break
The light of freedom on my face
But you weren’t thinkin’
And I was just drinkin'
While he was runnin’ after us, I was screamin', "go, go, go!"
But with three of us, honey, it's a side show
And a circus ain't a love story
And now we’re both sorry (we're both sorry)

While I originally thought of Reign the Earth for a different song, I think Getaway Car also fits the YA fantasy. I'll be vague, but Shalia tries to make a "great escape" with a certain someone, but it goes horribly wrong due to another person "runnin' after [them]". Let's just say they are "both sorry" for running away. 

I'm perfectly fine, I live on my own
I made up on my mind, I'm better off bein' alone
We met a few weeks ago
Now you try on callin' me, baby, like tryin' on clothes
Is the end of all the endings?
My broken bones are mending
With all these nights we're spending 

This was another song that I had a bit of trouble matching. While perusing my goodreads read shelf, I saw A Promise of Fire and realized that the book is a perfect fit! Cat, the main character, is firmly independent. She likes living with her circus family, and isn't too keen on putting down roots. However, a slow burn romance ensues with Griffin, and he tears down a lot of her walls. Throughout the first book, and the series, Cat's past emotional wounds ("broken bones" in this case) are mended as they grow closer. 


I, I loved you in secret


I could've spent forever with your hands in my pockets
Picture of your face in an invisible locket
You said there was nothing in the world that could stop it
I had a bad feeling


But we were dancing
Dancing with our hands tied, hands tied 

Here we have another song about a secret romance, albeit one that seems doomed. For this song, I chose Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. In the beginning of the book, Anna starts secretly dating her best friend (Frankie)'s older brother, Matt. Ergo, the "loving in secret" lyric is fitting. However, very soon into the book (not a spoiler, it's in the description), Matt dies before Anna and him have a chance to tell Frankie. Anna could do "nothing to stop" Matt's death. Now the next summer, Anna is in quite the bind as she tries to get over Matt's death and decide whether or not to tell Frankie. 


Say my name and everything just stops...
I don't want you like a best friend
Only bought this dress so you could take it off
Take it oh, ha, ha, ha-ah
Carve your name into my bedpost
'Cause I don’t want you like a best friend


All of this silence and patience, pining and anticipation
My hands are shaking from holding back from you

And now we have another best friend song! This time I chose Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, a romance about best friends Sidney and Ridge, who don't act upon their feelings as Ridge is in a committed relationship with another person. Let's just say neither of them "want [the other] like a best friend". There's even a scene where Sidney wears a dress she knows will catch Ridge's eye. Sidney and Ridge hold back from each other for quite some time, and the "pining and anticipation" was written very well! 

It was so nice throwing big parties
Jumping to the pool from the balcony
Everyone swimming in a champagne sea
And there are no rules when you show up here
Bass beat rattling the chandelier
Feeling so Gatsby for that whole year

Out of all the songs I struggled to find a book with, this was by far the hardest. Maybe because "This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" is my least favorite song on the album. I eventually chose Talk To Me by Clare James, which follows reporter Casey Scott. Casey tries to get to know Finn Daley, an NHL player who recently left the league. Finn has a good reason for leaving, but the lavish life Finn used to have, and that Taylor talks about, is brought up throughout the book. 


And I know I make the same mistakes every time
Bridges burn, I never learn, at least I did one thing right
I did one thing right
I'm laughing with my lover, making forts under covers
Trust him like a brother, yeah, you know I did one thing right
Starry eyes sparkin' up my darkest night

This lyric immediately reminded me of Did I Mention I Need You? The book is the second in Estelle Maskame's DIMILY trilogy. In the first book, Did I Mention I Love You? Eden enters into a secret realtionship with her stepbrother. In this second book, Eden and Tyler continue to make the "same mistakes" and they "never learn". Their relationshi is once again a secret, but they are in bliss. Also, I felt like the whole "Trust him like a brother" line was pretty accurate (and hilarious) considering that Tyler is literally Eden's (step)brother. So yeah, she trusts him like a brother. 



But I stay when you're lost and I'm scared and you’re turning away
I want your midnights
But I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year's Day


 Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you
And I will hold on to you 

Midnights is a short story by Rainbow Rowell in My True Love Gave to Me. This is the only story I have read that actually takes place on New Year's Day, and the romance is pretty fitting. The main character wants to be her crush's midnight kiss. It's been a while since I've read the story, so I don't remember all the details, but their romance is just as touching as the song.

Have you read any of these books or are a fan of Taylor Swift? Do you agree with my picks, or are there other books you would have chosen? 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


  1. I love this post! I'm a huge fan of Taylor Swift and I absolutely love her new album (I can't stop listening to it on repeat!). I have so many favorite songs from it: New Year's Day, I Did Something Bad, Getaway Car, Gorgeous... they're all so good! I haven't read any of these yet (you can see how far behind I am on my reading with that one phrase), except for Where She Went and I wholeheartedly agree that that's the perfect book to go with the song. I really want to reread that series sometime (and maybe actually post a review for Where She Went...). Awesome post, Genni!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Aww thank you so much Laura! I took a little break from listening to Reputation, but right once I finished the post, I had to listen to it! Getaway Car, Delicate, New Year's Day, and Dancing with Our Hands Tied are my favorite. :)

      That's okay! Some of the books I picked aren't as popular or found in libraries that often. I haven't read If I Stay or Where She Went in a long time. I think I would like to reread Where She Went, but I'm not sure if I want to reread If I Stay. If you do write a review for Where She Went, let me know! I'd love to read it. :)

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment Laura!

  2. Ahh I'm a Swiftie too! Taylor's songs are just so relatable and easily get stuck in my head. My favourite from Reputation is Ready for it? Now I'm so excited to check out all these books!! :)


    1. I think that was one of my early favorites! Now as I listen to the album, my favorites start to shift. :) I still really like Ready for It? though. Thanks for stopping by Uma!

  3. Hey Gen! Well done on this list! That was awesome. I do like Taylor a lot and my favourite from this album would have to be Delicate at the moment.

    Great post!

    1. Thanks so much Di! :D Delicate is one of my favorites as well!

  4. I nearly fell over when I saw your post! I have one going up today that is a bit similar. I am a hardcore Swiftie and I am so excited about this tour. I love the book choices that you made for the album. :)

    1. It seems like great minds think alike! :) I didn't get to see her on tour, but I regret that now, haha! Thank you, Candid! Looking forward to your post!