If you’re like me, you fell in LOVE with Chloe Gong’s These Violent Delights when it came out last year. The vicious parts of my heart soared (don’t worry – we all have them) and the homage Chloe pays to Romeo & Juliet is so expertly interwoven into the story that I squealed with joy.

In order to prep for the release of Foul Lady Fortune on September 27, we’re re-reading Chloe’s first two books, and we’ve recapped what happens in These Violent Ends for you below.

WARNING – if you haven’t experienced the UTTER JOY that is reading These Violent Delights:

  2. Stop reading here as the below will 1,000% include SPOILERS

TheThese Violent Delights Recap You Need Before You Read Our Violent Ends

Recap Part 1: Sweat, Blood and Violence

It’s 1926 in Shanghai. The city has been divided between the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers – the streets painted red by their never-ending blood feud. The gangs’ once iron clad rule is slowly being chipped away by French and British foreigners carving out their own sections of the city, Nationalists fighting for power, and the rise of the Communist party sweeping through the working class.

Our story centers around Juliette Cai, a former flapper girl who’s returned from her time in America to reclaim her place as heiress to the Scarlet Gang, and Roma Montagov, the mistreated and belittled heir of the White Flowers. When they were fifteen, Juliette and Roma defied the blood feud in a moment of mutual peace and fell in love.

But we wouldn’t have a story if their love was allowed to grow and flourish, right? They were torn apart by betrayal and haven’t spoken since.


Recap Part 2: In Glittering Shanghai, A Monster Awakens

A contagion, a madness, a monster – no one knows for sure. The book opens with a mysterious creature crawling from the Huangpu River and leaving gang members from both sides dead.

The contagion spreads, with the infected ripping their own throats out. But the city is teaming with so much activity and debauchery that this spreading madness is largely ignored. Only Juliette and Roma seem truly interested in finding the source of this disease decimating the gangs’ numbers.

It’s only after Roma’s own sister, Alisa, is infected that Juliette is convinced that she and Roma should work together to get to the bottom of the madness. Even if their families refuse to share information.

As Juliette and Roma begin their joint investigation, they utilize their trusted family and friends to help them. Juliette’s extended family is always maneuvering to try to get closer to her father and the inner circle of the Scarlet Gang. She only trusts her twin cousins, Kathleen and Rosalind, although they too go through the growing pains of being separated for years. Roma has his cousin, Benedikt, and fellow White Flowers member, Marshall (who’s practically family). These characters offer such fabulous representation to the story. Kathleen is a trans girl that is fully accepted by her sister and Juliette. Marshall is queer and his slow burn love story with Benedikt is so endearing your heart might just burst open.


Recap Part 3: Enter the Larkspur

Juliette and Roma’s investigation centers on the Larkspur. He is the mysterious figure that’s appeared amid the madness and supposedly has a cure. They suspect Communist Zhang Gutai of working with the Larkspur. When they go to investigate, they encounter his assistant – Qi Ren. It’s only at the end of the book when the whole crew is working together that they realize it’s actually Qi Ren who’s been made into the monster and is the one spreading the madness (SHOCKER – truly Gong had us dodging left and right on this one).

But! Another twist! Qi Ren may be the monster but it was actually Paul Dexter (a hateful British expatriate who was attempting to peddle a new drug to the gangs to sell) that was the true origin of the madness, with a motive to kill the Communists. He intended to kill Zhang Gutai but instead infected his assistant, Qi Ren, who to Paul’s surprise, transformed into a monster! That monster became the mother host of the madness spreading thousands of replicate insects across the city – inciting the madness.


Recap Part 4: Leave Us on A Cliff Hanger Why Don’t You

Juliette, Roma, and the team succeeds in killing not only smarmy Paul, poor Qi Ren, and the disgusting mother bug! But it doesn’t end there.

Instead, adorable Alisa Montagova miraculously survives the madness only to have Juliette’s power-hungry cousin Tyler Cai threaten her life as he ambushes the squad. Tyler corners Juliette and demands she prove her loyalty to the Scarlet Gang by murdering Marshall. In the end, Juliette shoots Marshall dead right in front of Roma (I cried I’m not gonna lie). To make matters worst, it’s also revealed that Roma was the reason Juliette’s beloved Nanny was killed and Juliette was the reason Roma’s mother was killed.

Our star-crossed lovers, finally reunited, and torn apart once again!

Yet not all is lost! In the glorious epilogue, we’re granted the mercy of knowing Marshall is ALIVE (thank you, thank you for saving that sweet hilarious Korean man boy). Unfortunately, only Juliette knows that Marshall is alive, Roma and Benedikt definitely hate her, and Paul left the city an itty-bitty present:

In the event of my death, release them all…

I love the sound of screaming and mass hysteria to end a book, don’t you?

Ready for book 2? Check out Our Violent Ends here!

Want more to read while you wait for Foul Lady Fortune? Check out these books with more than one love story! 

If you’re like us, you’re a book lover who also loves Korean dramas. For K-drama fans, the post-drama stupor of binging another sixteen-episode series can be difficult to recover from. But maybe these books paired with your favorite K-dramas can help!

Book Recommendations Based on Your Favorite K-Drama

1. Boys Over FlowersBetter Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Name a more iconic and classic K-Drama than Boys Over Flowers? You gotta love that 2009’s style, overacting, and, of course, the love triangles! Want the similar energy of a hard-won romance with classics nostalgia? Then Better Than the Movies is the book for you! Rom-com aficionado Liz Buxbaum has been in love with aloof cool guy Michael for forever. She’s determined to win him over and get her happily-ever-after moment, even if that means getting help from the annoyingly attractive boy next-door.


2. Tale of the Nine TailedThese Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Monsters, star-crossed lovers, who of us didn’t jump on this drama the minute it dropped? If you’re as in love with this show as we are, then pick up These Violent Delights. The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery. Rival gangs whose heirs still harbor love for one another, despite an unforgivable betrayal, must find a way to work together to stop a mysterious monster that’s causing people to dissolve into madness.

Sad Korean Drama GIF by The Swoon - Find & Share on GIPHY


3. Search: WWWShine by Jessica Jung

As a corporate drama with career-driven and inspiring female leads, Search: WWW combines the best parts of K-dramas in a refreshingly unique way. If you loved the competitive and driven women in Search: WWW, then you’ll enjoy global K-Pop star Jessica Jung’s protagonist Rachel Kim in Shine. With female leads that struggle to balance their personal desires and romance with their passion to succeed professionally, the women in Search: WWW and Shine are ready to protect what’s important to them and are prepared to do so at all costs.


4. Doom at Your ServiceYolk by Mary H.K. Choi

When Tak Dong-gyung finds out that she’s has a terminal form of cancer, she struggles to accept her diagnosis. Doom at Your Service and Yolk both address themes of family relationships and the internal conflict of processing illness. When Jayne’s older sister June, the model student, daughter and career woman, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she commits insurance fraud by pretending to be Jayne. What follows is a story that centers the sisters’ conflicted relationship and Jayne’s own struggles with “making it” in NYC as a fashion school student while coping with mental health issues and an eating disorder.


5. Itaewon ClassStay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

Personally, this drama had us BAWLING. We love a K-drama about a hard-working, determined group of friends making their dreams a reality. Stay Sweet gives you just that, but sweeter (you see what we did there? 😏). The historic Meade Creamery ice cream stand has been run by local females since its founding in 1944. Follow Amelia’s story of love, feminism, and ice cream that’ll be sure to tug on those heart strings.


6. Her Private LifeRent  a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

A favorite romantic trope for drama and book lovers alike is the fake contract relationship that turns real. The slow burn fake-to-real relationship in Her Private Life was beautifully done, with the bonus of being set in an art gallery. You may have already picked up To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, but have you read Gloria Chao’s Rent a Boyfriend? If you love the art and contract relationship in Her Private Life, then Rent a Boyfriend is the ideal next read!


7. Cinderella and the Four KnightsMegan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

Cinderella and the Four Knights has several classic K-drama tropes: poor girl and rich boy relationship, the protagonist and love interest living under the same roof, and, of course, love triangles. And, except for the staple K-drama poor-girl-rich-boy trope, Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys has all these factors. When Megan’s parents move to South Korea because of their work as army doctors, Megan opts to stay in the States with their family friends, the McGowans. As the only girl in a household of seven boys, the McGowan household is a new terrain to navigate for Megan, and drama ensues.


8. Hotel Del LunaThe Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

If you fell in love with the beautiful cinematography and rich scenery of Hotel Del Luna, then you’ll love the world Akemi Dawn Bowman paints in The Infinity Courts. It’s no spoiler that the main character Nami Miyamoto dies within the first five pages and the heart of our story takes place is the afterlife, one that is controlled by an AI entity hell-bent on destroying humanity.


9. Start UpCrown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Start-Up has a more than healthy dose of sibling rivalry and a resourceful protagonist determined to win. If you enjoyed the underdog and competitive elements in Start-Up, then you’ll love those elements in Crown of Feathers. The Phoenix Riders’ struggle to rebuild their ranks and Veronyka’s fight to step out from her sister’s shadow will remind you of the rivalry found in this K-drama.


10. Guardian: The Lonely and Great GodFor All Time by Shanna Miles

The larger-than-life romance of Guardian: The Great and Lonely God (alternate title: Goblin) is a centuries-destined love with fantastical elements involving beings such as grim reapers and ghosts. Bonus elements include bromance, well-developed subplots, and side characters that you will fall in love with. If you enjoyed this classic K-drama, then try picking up another love story for the ages: Shanna Miles’ For All Time. Tamar and Fayard are star-crossed lovers determined to break the cycle that has torn them apart across lifetimes. Tamar and Fayard are struggling to break a cursed fate, which will require a huge sacrifice—the question is, will they be able to make it?


11. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-JooThere’s Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

This wholesome drama features student athletes and themes of first love, friendship, and family. When Kim Bok-Joo falls for the older brother of her childhood friend Jung Joon-Hyung, she attends his weight loss clinic—except she’s a weightlifter. As chaos ensues, Kim Bok-Joo and Jung Joon-Hyung support each other in their struggles throughout this coming-of-age drama. In a similar vein, There’s Something About Sweetie is a heartwarming romance that centers around athletes and self-acceptance.



12. What’s Wrong with Secretary KimToday Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

This heartwarming comfort drama is a romantic comedy that we never tire of rewatching. What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim is a corporate romance with a mildly enemies-to-lovers trajectory, in which Kim Mi So and Lee Young Joon push each other to be better at their jobs—until Secretary Kim decides to retire. When Lee Young Joon’s legendary secretary decides to leave, he is determined to make her stay. If you can’t get enough of the dynamic between Kim Mi So and Lee Young-Joon, then take a dive into the dynamic between two rival overachievers in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s Today Tonight Tomorrow. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair had been rivals for all four years of high school who decide to team up together to win their senior class scavenger hunt.


13. Sweet HomeBroken Lands by Jonathan Maberry

2020 was a decidedly awful year for the world. So, like many, we binge-watched Sweet Home. We reveled in humans turning into monsters (some semi zombie??) and fell for sweet Hyun Soo as he and his neighbors fought to survive. Looking for a story to hold you over until season two? Then Broken Lands is for you. Gabriella ‘Gutsy’ Gomez has been dealing with the grief of losing her mother by “flying under the radar”. That plan goes out the window when her mother’s undead body turns up on her front porch… Oh and Los Muertos (the undead) are popping up left and right.

Bill Murray Zombies GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


14. Strongest DeliverymanA Phở Love Story by Loan Le

Push-and-pull romance, delicious food, and quirky supporting characters? Yes, please! Strongest Deliveryman was one of those feel-good, make you warm inside dramas for us. A Phở Love Story gives the same feeling that’ll leave you with a mean craving for phở. Fall in love with Bao and Linh, two high school students who work in their families’ competing phở restaurants. What could a chance encounter between these two possibly lead to?


15. The Uncanny CounterLegendborn by Tracy Deonn

Are we the only ones who feel like The Uncanny Counter is a drama that came out of nowhere? And was unexpectedly ONE OF THE BEST DRAMAS EVER? You’ve got your supernatural element, your tear-jerking backstories motivating our unlikely heroes, and a villain that makes your skin crawl. Put these elements together, replace evil souls with demons, add in a secret society—Arthurian legend edition—and a badass female protagonist on a mission to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death, and you have Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. Get pumped for season two of Uncanny Counter and Book 2 of the Legendborn Cycle in 2022!!!!


Looking for more? Check out these must-read books if you love The Outer Banks!

The summer heat getting to you? Are you yearning for crisp autumn leaves, walks at dusk, and existential discussions by firelight? Sooth your dark academic heart with these tantalizing books.

Pick a Dark Academia Aesthetic and Get a Book Recommendation


Looking for more? Check out these books still to come in 2021 that we can’t wait for you to read! 

Sometimes you need a good cry. Sometimes you need to read about someone else’s grief to help you deal with your own. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve read a book and walked away understanding my own grief in a new way. There’s a catharsis to be found in books and hopefully these titles will give you that.

Important Books that Beautifully Address the Topic of Grief

1. Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Better Than the Movies beautifully weaves a story of losing a parent with an adorable and funny romance. Liz’s mother passed away suddenly when she was young, now senior year is here and filled with milestone moments. This book speaks to the heart-ache of experiencing classic moments like prom dress shopping, graduation, and heading off to college without presence of a parent that you always thought would be there with you.


2. Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario

This novel-in-verse is an incredibly fast read that takes your breath away. Told from the perspective of two sisters you see how they’ve dealt, or haven’t dealt, with the death of their mother. Lyrical and full of imagery this novel explores aspects of the grieving process that aren’t normally voiced.


3. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Families can be complicated on a good day, let alone in the face of loss. Rumi Seto has been shipped off to live with aunt in Hawaii by her mother after the death of her little sister. Rumi must come to terms with not only the loss of her sister, but her mother as she deals with the loss of a child.


4. A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

This book speaks to earth shattering heart-ache and how there is still joy beyond your pain. There is more than guilt and sorrow and rage. There is life — there is the da-dump of your heart and, “…still so much more beautiful stuff to see.”


5. This Might Hurt a Bit by Doogie Horner

Need to laugh through the pain? This Might Hurt a Bit is a touching yet funny story about the days after the worst day of your life. The book explores the longevity of pain and how loss isn’t a process with a strict timeline. Plus, it tackles the conundrum of getting paint to stick on cows!


6. Teach Me to Forget by Erica M. Chapman

Sometimes when we lose someone close to us, we just want everything to stop. Ellery’s younger sister has died in a car crash that she blames herself for. She’s decided that she too deserves to die and has taken the steps to do so until Colter enters her life determined to stop her. Sometimes all it takes is one smile, one person to change everything.


7. Road Tripped by Pete Hautman

A truth every child comes to eventually is that our parents are human. They have flaws and are prone to making mistakes just like everyone else. Sometimes accepting that truth can be painful and for Stiggy accepting his father’s suicide is something he refuses to do. He refuses to let himself grieve and instead runs from it while using his abrasiveness and wit to cover it up.


Looking for more? Check out these standalone novels that you can read in one sitting!

Do you, like me, find yourself aimlessly reading throughout the year, but you don’t really have a strategy? Beyond setting up my Goodreads Reading Goal at the start of the year, I’m awful at keeping track of all the books I’ve read. Here are some fun and different ways to track your reading and set not only achievable but unique goals!

Tips On How to Set Your Reading Goals and Reading Habits

1. Good Ol’ Goodreads

Setting your Goodreads yearly reading challenge is the quickest option when making a general reading goal. Come up with a number, put it in, and Goodreads will help you not only keep track of how many books you’ve read, but they’ll help you stay on schedule to achieve your goal. Personally, it does stress me out when Goodreads informs me that I’m X number of books behind schedule, so if you don’t want that added stress, this probably isn’t the best option for you.


2. Reading Spreadsheet

If you’re a type A person and get a kick out of graphics, this is the route for you! Tracking your reading through an Excel sheet allows you to have a graphic visualization of your reading habits, from how many total pages to the total number of books you’ve read. Or even a breakdown of how many stand-alone books you’ve read compared to series. It also helps you be aware of where your reading could use a boost. For example: if your goal is to read more non-fiction, the grid helps your notice ‘You’ve only read fiction books the first three months of the year.’ If you don’t want to go through trouble of creating your own grid, the lovely BookTuber HardBackHoarder has a grid pre-made that you can download.


3. Bullet Journaling!

If you’re itching to flex your artistic muscles, a reading bullet journal could be just the craft for you. What’s lovely is you can set it up any way you like. Pinterest can supply you with the motherlode of spread ideas or monthly layouts if you’re needing some inspiration!

These designs were made by the lovely Jasmine Hodge.

If you’re like me and don’t have an artistic bone in your body, it can still be fun to stretch your fingers out and write things manually. Below are some examples of more straightforward reading journal spreads.

Photo credit for these goes to my roommate, Shelby Parrish.


Check out even more bullet journal designs that we’re obsessed with!


Who doesn’t love a good myth? We definitely do! Which is why we thought we’d create a quiz, asking you to pick your favorite god from mythology and we’ll give you a book rec!

Pick a Mythological God and Get a Book Recommendation!


Next, build a D&D character and get a book rec!

If you’re like me, you devoured the six episodes of Fate: The Winx Saga on Netflix. Pure cheesy fun, reminiscent of a childhood favorite. Oh and don’t worry, there will be a second season! To tide you over until season two comes out, here are some books that’ll help you get your magic kick.

Obsessed With Fate: The Winx Saga on Netflix? Then Read These Books!

1. Wings of Ebony by J. Elle

Main character Rue discovers she’s half-human, half-god in this gorgeous debut fantasy. Not the same as being a fairy, but still an exciting story filled with magic and strife. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that J. Elle has said that in earlier drafts of the story, Rue had wings. Just saying.


2. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Bree finds herself in the middle of a secret society, that demons are real, and it’s the descendants of King Arthur and his knights that keep the demon hoards in various other dimensions from breaking through the veil into our world. And her mother may or may not have been murdered… Trust me, stellar world building and magic explorations await you in Legendborn.


3. Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

Bloom might be a fire fairy, but Veronyka is determined to become a Phoenix Rider — a legendary class of warriors who soar through the sky on wings of fire. Not only that, but the riders have a magical bond with the massive Phoenixes and can mind speak with them. Looking for a trilogy that spotlights fierce female characters, interwoven timelines, and animal magic? The Crown of Feathers trilogy has you covered.


4. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

We can’t have faeries without talking about the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Clary and friends literally enter the Fae kingdom through an entrance in Central Park in City of Ashes. With Downworlders, Shadowhunters, and endless ships to fall in love with, the Mortal Instruments series is worth a read!


5. Tithe by Holly Black

Last but certainly not least, Tithe by the faerie-writing Queen herself – Holly Black. Enter the dark and seductive realm of faerie as sixteen-year-old Kaye finds herself in the middle on an ancient and violent power struggle between two rival fae kingdoms.


Looking for more? Check out these books to read if you loved Outer Banks on Netflix!

Geminis move over, it is Cancer season! Let the sunshine and warm weather usher in the highly imaginative, loyal, and emotional Cancers in your life. Cancers are intuitive, lead with their emotions, and generally just ‘get’ people. It never hurts to have a Cancer in your corner to support you but just remember not to get on their bad side. Emotions go both ways. Embrace being a water sign and let the emotions flow free with these perfect books for all the Cancers out there!

The Perfect Book Recommendations if You’re a Cancer

1. I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Who doesn’t love a good suspense novel during summer? Anna Cicconi intended to spend her summer in the Hamptons working as a nanny, finally getting the new beginning she so desperately wanted. Instead she stumbles upon a small town still on edge after one of their own, teen Zoe Spanos, went missing during New Years. Add insult to injury, Anna bares an eerie resemblance to Zoe and the more she investigates Zoe’s disappearance the more she realizes they’re connected. What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried long…Naturally suspicious Cancers will uncover the truth!


2. SLAY by Brittney Morris

If the words ‘tenacious’ and ‘imaginative’ needed to be illustrated in the dictionary, you’d find a picture of Kiera Johnson. She’s the creator of the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. A safe haven for Black gamers, Kierra has created a space for Nubian Kings, Queens, and all those in between to celebrate their Blackness. Until one day the game loses its anonymity as a teen is killed in real life due to a dispute in the game. The media latches onto story and turns up the heat as they dub the game: violent, racist, and exclusionist. Kiera is faced with protecting her identity as the games creator or losing herself and the community she has created. A powerful and raw book, Cancers will love the emotion behind everything Kiera does and appreciate her tenacious nature!


3. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

60 seconds. What can happen in 60 seconds? An elevator can go from the 6th floor to the first. In 60 seconds a young man can decide his future. Jason Reynolds has done it yet again with Long Way Down. Achingly relatable, fast paced, and descriptive, Reynolds paints a detailed picture of being a Black male in the United States and teenage gun violence that will hook the reader until the final page. Cancers prepare yourselves, this book is sure to have your emotions running high.


4. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Cancers are nothing if not fiercely protective of their loved ones. Clockwork Angel calls to the protective nature of Cancers as well as our love of complicated romance. Set in the London, England during the reign of Queen Victoria, readers follow Tessa Gray as she quests to find her missing brother. Things quickly become complicated as Tessa discovers that she is a Downworlder with a rare ability that everyone wants to exploit. Oh and there may be a love triangle between her and two Shadowhunters… What is not to love?


5. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Are you ready? I’m worried you’re not ready. I’m not sure you’re ready for the mind-blowing world building, badass female characters, and jaw dropping twists that are encompassed in Tracy Deonn’s Legendborn! Bree is about to discover the Legendborn, the last descendants of King Arthur and his knights, who have guarded our world from demon hordes for centuries. But sometimes a knight’s shining armor just hides the rot beneath…This book is poetic, heart wrenching, and action-packed. Deonn spins the Arthurian mythology in a way that allows individuals of all walks of life, ethnicities, and economic backgrounds to see themselves reflected. This first book in a trilogy packs an emotional punch Cancers are sure to love!


6. Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

I feel like Cancers are often pigeonholed as being ‘overly emotional’ or ‘sensitive’. As a Cancer, I take back these descriptions, we are simply in tune with our emotions. We can pick up on the emotions in a room a lot faster than others and that’s a strength! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions and feelings right now, I have the book pick-me-up for you! How much can change in 24 hours? Rowan and Neil have been rivals since the start of high school and nothing can change that…or so they thought. A ‘grin until your face hurts’ love to hate romance set over a single day that can be described as a love letter to Seattle. Today Tonight Tomorrow is sure to be a breath of fresh air for any Cancer feeling down in the dumps.


Not a Cancer? Find out what books you should read based on your zodiac sign!

I have taken out my Invisalign and this is my article. Billie Eilish is the first woman to sweep the Big Four Grammy’s in one night: best album, record, song of the year, and best new artist. We stan a strong female artist and if you’ve been listening to WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO at peak volume, like me, here are the perfect books to read while you do so.

The Perfect Books To Read While Listening to Billie Eilish

1. bad guy – Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

Make your girlfriend mad tight is right. Bad Girls with Perfect Faces is a twisted thriller about the power of obsession and how pretending to be a bad guy can lead you to become just that – a bad guy. The book has as many shocking twists as Billie’s music video for ‘bad guy’ and you should listen when “…she says she’s scared of me”.


2. xanny – Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Billie has said that they wanted the chorus of this song to make the listener feel as uncomfortable as possible – exactly like sitting in second hand smoke. Then having the verses feel like healthy lungs…smooth and silky. Crank is an emotional roller coaster that tackles addiction and gives the reader the same experience of a peaceful boat ride that’s suddenly thrown into a hurricane.


3. you should see me in a crown – Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

You hear that scrapping noise at the start of the song? That’s the sound of a knife being sharpened. Crown of Feathers epitomizes this song and for those who have read this book you’ll know exactly who it is that I imagine sharpening the knife. For those who haven’t – this is a book about a kingdom in ruin after a battle for the crown between two sisters saw the extinction of the royal line and the warrior Phoenix Riders… or did it?


4. all the good girls go to hell – Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Don’t say I didn’t warn you – this song is magic. I could and do listen to it on repeat. It’s just soooo catchy and dark and so is Hush, Hush. I mean who doesn’t want romance with fallen angels?


5. wish you were gay –  P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Unrequited love is noooo fun and wouldn’t it be so much easier if the object of your affection was gay? This way it’s not your fault that you’re not their preferred sexual orientation. Dang Billie, hitting us with those lyrics. Wouldn’t Lara Jean’s life be so much easier if John Ambrose was gay? This way she wouldn’t have to decide between him and Peter K!


6. when the party’s over – Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

“I’ll only hurt you if you let me”, truer words could not be said of Stella Grant and Will Newman in Five Feet Apart. I dare you to listen to this song on loop while reading Five Feet Apart and not cry your eyes out!


7. 8 – Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

This song is my favorite track of the entire album. Billie’s voice is angelic and as honey sweet as the beat yet the lyrics speak of heartbreak and miscommunication. Jenn Bennett understands what Billie is putting down and the best-friends-turned-enemies love story of Zorie and Lennon is the perfect companion to 8.


8. bury a friend – The Cold Is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

This song is all about differentiating nightmares from reality. When you realize that your waking reality has become a nightmare, what do you do? Milla must figure out how to end her nightmare when her only friend Iris is possessed and taken by a demon.


9. ilomilo – Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario

The fear of losing the ones you love is a powerful and sometimes overwhelming force. Billie Eilish has candidly shared that her biggest fear is her loved ones dying and as someone who’s lost several people in my life, it’s a valid fear. Turtle Under Ice is a book in verse that helped me view my grief in a new way. Raw, visceral, and heartfelt this song and book go hand-in-hand.


10. listen before i go – A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

This book speaks so many truths, rips your heart in two, and reminds you that it keeps on beating despite being broken. Billie’s song does the same thing and hopefully after reading and listening, you feel a little less alone.


Looking for more? Check out these book you should read if you love Harry Styles!

Let’s be honest, we all love a good break-up that leads to an ultimate make-up. Personally, my favorite moment is the lightening strike of realization for a character that stops them in their tracks. The all-consuming need to find this other individual and atone for all their mistakes. Is that too cheesy? Sue me, I’m a romantic. Now I must give the following disclaimer, if you read past this point and haven’t read all the books in this line-up there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

Best Break-Ups and Make-Ups From YA Books

1. The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

A tale as old as time, the sordid on-again off-again, ‘you might be my brother’ love affair that is Clary Fray (i.e. Fairchild) and Jace Wayland (i.e. Herondale). How could be there be a more epic break-up than “finding out” the guy you’re in love with is your brother? Luckily before both Clary and Jace it’s revealed that they are not brother and sister. We don’t truly get a “make-up” moment for this couple until Book 6 but it’s worth the wait. I mean what’s more epic than having a super cozy/cutesy profession of undying love when you’re trapped in a cave in a demon realm preparing to die?


2. Arc of a Scythe Series by Neal Shusterman

The entire time I was reading Scythe, I kept waiting for Citra and Ronan to stop their dance of attraction. They clearly belonged together, Scythedom rules and decorum be damned. Then good old Neal gave me the make-up and break-up all in one! Just check out this quote below.

“I love you,” he said.

“Same here,” she responded. “Now get lost.”

How does anyone read the above and not squeal?! Agh they’re so freaking adorable I can’t. It takes these characters two more books and hundreds of thousands of years to finally get their ultimate make up. I will admit Neal stole a small part of my heart with the ending of The Toll but that’s one spoiler I won’t tell you.


3. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

It is no secret that I am a Jenn Bennett fan-girl. Her romances leave me sputtering and unable to contain my joy. The Lady Rogue follows in true Jenn Bennett fashion but adds in a historical/mystical aspect that I am living for. Childhood friends, Theo and Huck, grew into young-adults together and couldn’t help but fall in love. Insert being caught by her gruff bear of a father and Huck is shipped across the world from the U.S. to Ireland in record time. Except Theo doesn’t realize that he left involuntarily. Fast forward to years later and on a harrowing race across 1920’s Romania with the boy who broke her heart, together they will find a way to mend their relationship and make up for lost time.


4. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

If you haven’t already read Five Feet Apart or seen the movie, then I am very confused. For those who don’t know – this book is one of the best heartbreaking teen love stories around. The inability to physically be within 6-feet of your love interest is a pretty solid reason to break up. That doesn’t stop our love birds Stella and Will. The rebels give their hearts a foot, just one foot. Five feet can’t kill them right? SPOILER ALERT: neither die. Instead of an epic make-up we get a bitter-sweet acknowledgment of love and tearful goodbye. Stella finally has new lungs and they both deserve to go out and live their lives.


5. Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

Mila Gray loves to give some tears with her steam. She’s crafty in her romances. The hot and heavy rush of love comes with some difficult situations. In Come Back to Me there’s the ever realistic scenario of wondering who will return home military duty. Jessa can’t help but fall for Marine, Kit Ryan, the fact that he’s best friends with her brother can’t stop her. Jessa and Kit’s relationship is summer romance turned into something more that’s cut short by his redeployment. It brings me no joy to detail their make-up because it comes at the cost of her brother. Only one Marine makes it home to Jessa.


6. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy by Jenny Han

Peter K. and Lara Jean, what more is there to say? For those of you who have read the books and not just seen the movie, you know that our favorite fake to real couple Lara Jean and Peter K. have their epic break-up at the end of the first book. They don’t actually get back together until the second book despite the accelerated make-up in the Netflix movie. I find their make-up incredibly endearing. Lara Jean has written this super raw letter only when she gets to Peter he’s not the most welcoming and she becomes insecure and decides she can’t give him the letter after all. Then a super cute tug of war for the letter occurs and Peter lets on that he was playing hard to get and of course he still likes her, the dummy. I mean, CAN THEY BE CUTER?


7. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Please name something cuter than a shy romance? Tanner is counting down the days until he can escape his small town in Utah. More than anything he’s ready to come back out of closet, since he hid being bisexual when he’s family moved from California. Sebastian Brother is a Mormon writing prodigy whose brought in to mentor the seminar Tanner is taking in his final semester of high school. Their initial get together is the sweetest thing, it leaves you with a toothache it’s so sweet. Slowly, the two broach the subject of Tanner’s feelings and Sebastian comes out and they kiss and it’s everything. That being said we all know the big break-up is coming and it’s as ugly as you imagine. But you have to read the book to hear their heart swelling make-up speech ❤️.

Need more? Check out these adorable romances that will make you believe in love.

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