A new chapter is upon us in the form of a new re-recorded and re-released album from queen Taylor Swift. Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is a sometimes whimsical and sometimes raw confessional, and if you have the album on repeat like we do, we have a book recommendation to go with every song on your listen. Grab your purple and get reading!
“I Can See You” absolutely screams forbidden romance. (Like… “I could see you being my addiction. You can see me as a secret mission.” Come on now!). In Powerless, a forbidden romance blossoms between a powerful prince and an ordinary girl as they try to survive their kingdom’s grueling laws pitting them against each other.
Sparks flew instantly when Juliette first met Roma… and then Roma betrayed her. Now, Juliette and Roma are on opposite sides of a blood feud in this Romeo and Juliet retelling, set in 1920’s Shanghai. A madness spreads across the city and threatens both of their gangs, and Juliette and Roma must lay their armor (and their guns) down and set grudges aside and work together for the good of Shanghai.
“Dear John” is the “All Too Well” of Speak Now. It’s a long and emotionally harrowing song about a cataclysmic break up, but “Dear John” is also about choosing yourself and healing in the aftermath of trauma. (Goosebump-inducing lyrics like: “I’m shining like fireworks over your sad empty town” come to mind.) The Way I Am Now – the much anticipated sequel to The Way I Used To Be – explores how to move forward and heal after trauma – both in life and in love as Eden and Josh decide to give their relationship another chance.
“Mine” was absolutely made for Lynn Painter’s newest rom-com! Bailey first meets Charlie on a long flight to Omaha, where she is moving in with her mom after her parents’ divorce, and Charlie does not make a good impression. A year later, Bailey and Charlie crash into each other’s lives with opposite beliefs about love and romance and end up making a bet about whether their flirtatious coworkers will get together, a bet which only brings them closer together. They’re an unlikely pair, but careful Bailey and guarded Charlie might just prove to each other that love is worth facing a fear of falling.
In Pride and Prejudice and Pittsburgh, Audrey Cameron finds the kind of love that you only find once in a lifetime in Lucy Sinclair – just not in her lifetime. After losing her spark, Audrey finds herself transported back to 1812 to become a Regency romance heroine and meets Lucy, who is similarly struggling with her own spark – and her future, involving a marriage she couldn’t be less interested in – after the death of her mother. They fall hard for each other, but can a most unexpected love story survive even more impossible circumstances?
Technically, Taylor Swift herself created this pairing, but really, who are we to argue with her? Belly used to count the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad became distant. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
At the beginning of Bonesmith, Wren has lost everything, which definitely leaves her feeling like her castle has crumbled – and makes her all the more determined to prove her worth. For Wren, becoming a valkyr —a ghost-fighting warrior— is a chance to solidify her place in the noble House of Bone and impress her frequently absent father. But then, sabotage causes Wren to fail her qualifying trial. After being banished, Wren’s only chance to reclaim her family’s respect is to rescue a kidnapped House of Gold prince in the Breach – a dangerous wasteland where the dead roam unchecked.
“Last Kiss” is the break-up song on Speak Now and likewise, The Quiet Part Out Loud is the break-up book of the summer. High school sweethearts Mia and Alfie had a plan to escape their town for college in the east, but then, Mia’s world imploded. She pushed everyone away… including Alfie. Five months after the worst summer of their lives, Mia and Alfie are briefly united, only for a devastating earthquake to hit San Francisco, leaving them to stumble desperately across the rubble in search of each other before the city crumbles — taking one, or both, of them with it. Prepare your tissues!
“Mean” is a song about… well, mean people and bullies, but ultimately, “Mean” is a hopeful song about rising above people who will do their best to tear you down and being unapologetically you, just like Time Out. Barclay Elliot is a basketball legend in his small Georgia town, but when Barclay comes out as gay in front of the whole school, everything changes. And then, Barclay joins a voting rights group and finds a bigger purpose – and fearless, undeniably handsome Christopher.
Stevie and Nora had a love. A secret, epic, once-in-a-lifetime kind of love, but then Stevie has a terrible fall and can’t remember anything from the last two years, not even Nora. Feelings don’t vanish overnight, not like memories, and even if Stevie doesn’t remember Nora, Stevie still loves her and finds herself inexplicably and deeply drawn to this stranger. Sparks are flying between them from the moment Stevie and Nora meet… again.
“Haunted” is one of the most intense songs on the album and deserves an equally intense and evocative book pairing. In this mind-bending psychological thriller, Brittney decides the new season of her popular web series – (called Haunted, see what we did here?) – will uncover what happened to a young Black girl named Daisy in a mysterious mansion ten years prior. But as Brittney gets more wrapped up in the investigation, she’ll have to decide: if she can only bring one story to light, which one matters most—Daisy’s or her own?
Today is never too late to be brand new for Emilie Hornby, who is having the worst Valentine’s Day ever… over and over again. In The Do-Over, Emilie is stuck in a time loop nightmare that she can’t wake up from, re-watching her boyfriend cheat on her and her life go up in flames day after day. She also can’t get away from the enigmatic Nick, who she keeps running into – sometimes literally – in unfortunate ways. And when something good starts to come out of these terrible days, what happens when the universe stops doling out do-overs?
“Superman” is the ultimate pining song, all about wanting a larger-than-life crush to notice you and come back to you. In Better than the Movies, perpetual daydreamer Liz is desperately wishing that Michael, her untouchable crush, will notice her. She will do whatever it takes to get on his radar – and hopefully, snag him as a prom date – even befriend her cute yet obnoxious neighbor, Wes.
Prince Tal is enchanted to meet roguish Athlen in this swoony adventure on the high seas. A young prince must rely on a mysterious and roguish Athlen to save him when Tal is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour. They have the kind of instant chemistry that “Enchanted” was written about – and on a pirate ship, no less.
“Speak Now” is the big confession of love on the album. It’s urgent. It’s now or never. And for that reason, Today Tonight Tomorrow is an excellent read to go along with this song. Two rival overachievers – Rowan and Neil – form a reluctant alliance during a senior class game on the last day of high school, and over the course of 24 hours, Rowan and Neil’s relationship completely changes – right as everything else is about to change.
As a child star turned international icon, no one knows that “people throw rocks at things that shine” better than Leanna Smart. When Leanna meets college dropout Pablo at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter, it’s absurd to think they’d be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Lee and Pab turn to each other. That is, of course, when everything becomes complicated.
What happens when Emma falls in love? Find out in the first book of the Dark Artifices trilogy. Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackthorn are best friends and parabatai, who are forbidden from being in a romantic relationship by Shadowhunter law. (And much like Emma, Lady Midnight is the kind of book you can’t put down!)
Many of the Shadowhunters books have the emotional weight and massive scale to feel like a worthy choice for Long Live, but Clockwork Princess really was the end of a decade, but the start of an age, closing a chapter on the characters whose descendants we’d come to know and love. Danger, betrayal, and enchantment abound as the Shadowhunters are pushed to the brink of destruction in the conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.
“There is nothing I do better than revenge” might as well be the tagline of the Burn for Burn trilogy. Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes – and Kat, Lillia, and Mary will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.
“Electric Touch” is all about the risk and vulnerability and uncertainty of falling in love. Feelings, which are magnified and experienced to the umpteenth power by Will and Stella from Five Feet Apart. If Will so much as breathes on Stella, she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart – six feet apart. But would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?
The 1975 is a band known for their dark, ethereal pop-rock anthems and they’re fan favorites for a reason, just like these books! Whether you’ve been a fan of The 1975 since the days of “Chocolate” and “Robbers,” or you’re just discovering this awesome band, we have the perfect book rec for you.
It’s a special kind of betrayal to fall in love with a show over the course of a season or two only to find out that your new favorite show has been cancelled. We’ve all experienced this heartbreak in the streaming age, and it’s so sad to realize you’ll never get the closure you so desperately wanted for those characters. Our recommendation? Pick up a new read from list below to find a book to read when you’re missing your favorite cancelled show!
Anyone who loved Firefly for the ensemble cast and adventure across the stars needs to pick up Sky Without Stars! An epic reimagining of Les Misérables, Sky Without Stars has three incredible protagonists and will give you just the right blend of mystery, romance, and revolution to fill the space opera-shaped hole in your life.
We may never find out what happened to the population of West Ham, Connecticut. (Is it a parallel universe? Aliens? A strange afterlife, a la Lost?). Luckily, Amanda Panitch has our backs with a thrilling tale of survival in Gone Dark. After the US suffers a malware attack that shuts down power grids across the country, a seventeen-year-old girl must lead her friends across a dangerous and crumbling country to safety in an underground bunker.
Fans of First Kill deserved better than Netflix’s recent cancellation of the show. (You had the numbers, Netflix!) You also deserve a book recommendation that is as dark, queer, and supernatural as that wonderful show, and for that, I offer you A Dark and Hollow Star. As a wave of gruesome crimes in Toronto threatens to expose the faerie world to the human world, a group of four queer teens forms a fragile alliance to track down the killer.
Spinning Out was all about navigating tumultuous mother-daughter relationships, mental health struggles, budding romance relationships, and starting over after a devastating injury – all in the tough world of figure skating. Although Genie of Turning is a ballerina and not a figure skater, Genie deals with a similar battle and must confront the secrets of her past to move forward after a terrible injury leaves her without the use of her legs.
It has been two long years without more High Fidelity in my life. (I wanted that Cherise episode. Curse you, Hulu!). High Fidelity was filled to the brim with good music and pop culture references, and had a trio of friends at the center of the show, which makes Ebony LaDelle’s Love Radio the perfect replacement. Pick up this read to meet Prince, a self-professed love doctor with a popular hip-hop radio show, and Dani, a girl who hates all things romance.
Santa Clarita Diet – Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Although Santa Clarita Diet ran for a few more seasons than other shows on this list, Netflix did cancel the show after three seasons in 2019, and for fans of Santa Clarita Diet who are looking for more horror that has heart, Rot & Ruin is the perfect book for you! In a zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America, Benny Imura reluctantly apprentices as a zombie hunter with his brother and ends up with a job that teaches him what it means to be human.
Central to Netflix’s now cancelled I Am Not Okay With This was 17-year-old Sydney’s struggles to navigate high school and also confront complex family dynamics and mysterious budding superpowers. For a good dose of family complexities and powers (although this book focuses on magic, not telekinesis), I would recommend Blood Like Magic, a dark fantasy that follows a teen witch given an horrific task to sacrifice her first love to save her family’s magic. Once you’ve read Blood Like Magic, pick up the sequel, Blood Like Fate!
If the Top Gun: Maverick craze and my TikTok FYP is any indication, 2022 is ushering in what I’ve been waiting for since the 2011 Footloose remake… the Miles Teller renaissance. And whether you’re new to the movement or the recent TikTok videos have been TAKING YOUR BREATH AWAY, I am here for you with Miles Teller characters and book recommendations go along with them!
Pick Your Favorite Miles Teller and Get a Book Rec!
Anyone who loves the fast-paced action, soaring high stakes, and hot men of Top Gun: Maverick will absolutely love The Bones of Ruin. This page-turning historical fantasy follows an African tightrope dancer who can’t remember her past and also can’t die. It might not seem like an obvious choice, but this must-read book is full of dangerous competitions, exciting sequences, and so much romance (i.e., more hot men). Perfect for any blockbuster action lover!
The 2011 Footloose remake brought us forbidden romance, dance sequences, and Miles Teller in some super questionable hats. You probably liked Footloose for the major 1980’s nostalgia and not the cowboy hats, and for you, I would have to recommend Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Aristotle and Dante meet and learn to open themselves up to love in the 1980s. Get your next eighties fix here!
I am not going to sit here and defend the 2015 Fantastic Four remake, but I will say that Miles Teller as Reed Richards and Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm was a kind of a moment, and might qualify as iconic casting choices. And if you’re a fan of iconic ensemble casts, Chain of Gold needs to be at the top of your TBR list. Cordelia and her fellow Shadowhunter friends must unravel their connection to a dark legacy and make a brutal choice that will reveal the price of being a hero.
Andrew is a promising young drummer who enrolls in an extremely competitive music conservatory and is pushed to his limit by his new strict and ruthless instructor. Things spiral onwards from there. When We Were Infinite deals with similar themes of living in an extreme pressure situation of academic success and a dedication to music in a community where all the students are always striving to be the best.
Sutter is an extroverted party animal with a complicated home life and a drinking problem, and after meeting, befriending, and eventually, developing feelings for introverted Aimee, Sutter struggles with the problems in his life and the question of his future. It is a serious coming-of-age story with a hefty dash of romance. Fans of Sutter and The Spectacular Now should check out The Perks of Being a Wallflower, another story that doesn’t shy away from the more serious sides of growing up and coming of age. And then if you haven’t already, make sure to check out the movie adaptation with our other favorite 2010s man, Logan Lerman!
Tumblr is making a resurgence, which I take to mean that 2022 is the revival of 2014 trends and therefore, the Divergent movie should re-enter our collective consciousness. Peter is a certified Bad GuyTM in the first Divergent, one of the many threatening factors in this futuristic world with factions based on psychological aptitude tests. And after you’ve re-watched Divergent for the thousandth time, I would recommend picking up a copy of Scythe, which is sure to give you the thrilling and chilling science-fiction fix you need!
That Awkward Moment is a romantic comedy about three ‘bros’ who are navigating the dating scene and their own friendships to many entertaining, and of course, awkward moments. This is a classic romantic comedy. What better way to follow up than with Better Than the Movies, essentially a rom-com about rom-coms. Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum attempts to find her HEA moment with Michael, her crush since forever, and ends up falling for Wes, the annoying boy next door.
I really couldn’t end this article without mentioning the incredible Miles Teller appearance in Taylor Swift’s “I Bet You Think About Me” music video. He plays a handsome groom who is being ‘haunted’ by the appearance of his ex-girlfriend (aka Taylor Swift) at his wedding. Rachel Lynn Solomon’s We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This is the perfect counterpart to this Miles Teller role. After confessing her love via email and being left unanswered at the end of last summer, Quinn and Tarek fight and flirt their way through wedding after wedding while working for their parents, who are wedding planners and catering company owners.