Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Book Recommendations Based off Ariana Grande's "thank u, next"

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! First, I want to apologize for being so absent on here. I have barely been responding to comments, let alone commenting back and posting regularly. To make it up to you, I'm doing this post where I match books to the lyrics in Ariana Grande's latest single, "thank u, next."

Up until this year, I wasn't a mega-fan of Ariana Grande. I listened to her casually, but I didn't follow her music. But then Sweetener came out and I started playing closer attention to her. The album isn't perfect, but there are a lot of solid songs on there, and I frequently listen to it. And then she released "thank u, next." I was done for. I mean...what a BOP. To honor my favorite song at the moment, I'm going to be recommending some books based off the lyrics. 

First, if you haven't listened to the song, here it is below!

From the pre-chorus, I have four recommendations for you! The lyrics, "One taught me love/ One taught me patience/ and one taught me pain/ now, I'm so amazing," inspired me to give you one book for each feeling, as well as a book with an amazing protagonist. 

For "One taught me love," I'm recommending....180 Seconds by Jessica Park! In 180 Seconds, the main character, Allison, has a hard time letting people in and accepting love. After years bouncing from foster home to foster home, she struggles with allowing herself to love and others to love her. Esben, her love interest, pushes her out of her comfort zone and shows her what real love is, whether in the form of romance, friendships, or family.

For "One taught me patience," I'm recommending Autoboyography by Christina Lauren! Autoboyography is a m/m romance following Tanner and Sebastian. The book is set place in Provost, Utah, in which many Mormons, including Sebastian, live. Tanner has to be increasingly patient and understanding as Sebastian has to come to terms with the intersection of his homosexuality and religion. 

For "One taught me pain," I am recommending Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven. Bad Romeo is told in two different timelines. At the start of the novel, we know that Cassie and Ethan's relationship comes crumbling down.  Cassie and Ethan both experience emotional pain from their tumultuous relationship, but they are wiser and more resolved because of it. 

Lastly for this pre-chours bout of recommendations is Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes, inspired by the line "I'm so amazing."  At the start of the novel, Analee is reserved, has no friends, body image issues, and is reeling from her mother's passing two years ago as her father prepares to remarry. Throughout the book, she has several instances of love, patience, and pain. Because of it, she comes away better than ever by the end of the novel. 

Next up is a recommendation from the titular line. "Thank u, next" can mean several different things. When looking only at the lyrics, Ariana Grande is thanking her exes for the lessons they taught her, and looks forward to whoever and whatever is next. But the line itself is pretty badass, and reminds me of people brushing off insults and leading with their best foot forward. With that interpretation in mind, I must recommend Hunger by Roxane Gay. When I think badass, I think Roxane Gay. Hunger shows her resilience to all the fat-shaming in America, and was really inspiring.

At first I had a hard time matching a book to the lyric, "I'm so fucking grateful for my ex," but then I was scrolling through my read shelf on goodreads and found the perfect book, Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman. At the end of the novel, Elio and Oliver and grateful for their time together in Italy, and acknowledge how profound and influential the relationship and the other person was to them. Elio and Oliver' s relationship is so beautiful, and while the ending wasn't the HEA I was hoping for (I mean, it was the 1980s, after all), I was so content with the ending. 

My last recommendation goes with the second verse of the song, in which Ariana sings, "Plus, I met someone else/ We havin' better discussions/ I know they say I move on too fast/ But this one gon' last/ 'Cause her name is Ari/ And I'm so good with that (So good with that)." I absolutely love this verse, as it speaks to Ariana's self love. For this verse, I paired it with The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson. In The Heart of Betrayal, Lia is isolated from her allies, and must find the strength within herself to resist the tyrannical reign of the Kaiser. Lia has an amazing arc in the book, and she becomes a resilient and headstrong woman by only having herself to rely on. 

Those are my recommendations based off the lyrics in "thank u, next" by Ariana Grande. Have you listened to the song or read any of the books mentioned above? What did you think?

Thank you so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon! 

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


  1. I seriously loved Autoboyography. Such an amazing story and I fell hard for both Tanner and Sebastian. Great pick!

    1. I did as well! It's one of my favorites from Christina Lauren. :) Thanks for stopping by Tanya!

  2. I love book recs based on songs (or vice versa)- this is so cool!