A Swiftmas Carol: Anthems for Your Favorite YA Books
From Hiddleswift conspiracy theories to a he-said, she-said Kimye war—teen pop’s alpha leader sure has dominated headlines in 2016. But in what’s been, to many of us—save the Chicago Cubs—a chaotically horrible year, the absence of her catchy bridges and pouring-rain motifs on iTunes has been somewhat deafening.
Sure, she’s thrown us a spanking-new BDSM love anthem, but three measly minutes of Swift is hardly comparable to a therapy-session-length album.
Sigh. As a means to fill this blank space (heh?), I’d like to refresh Swift’s classics by pairing them with some swoonworthy YA reads—giving you the chance to settle into your winter TBR list with a little mood music! (Note: These combos have been tried and tested by yours truly. I have a PhD in Swiftology, so trust.)
1. “Love Story” & Romeo & What’s Her Name by Shani Petroff
This epic Swift jam and Shani Petroff’s romantic comedy of errors revolve around that uber-depressing Shakespearean play—only the sweeter finales will make you less likely to reach for the spiked eggnog when finished. Bonus points for busting out an Elizabethan-style frock for this.
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2. “Wonderland” & Heartless by Marissa Meyer
What’s that? A tune about young’uns getting caught up in a turbulent affair down the rabbit hole? Sync that with Meyer’s biography on our Great Leader, the Queen of Hearts, for an experience akin to The Wizard of Oz playing against The Dark Side of the Moon. You’re welcome.
3. “I Know Places” & The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom
Easily Swift’s creepiest track, “I Know Places” is all about the paranoia of being followed. This pairs perfectly with spy thriller The Cruelty, which is basically Taken in reverse: a daughter seeking her missing father in a sea of assassins, spies, and criminal masterminds—many of whom may already be watching her.
4. “Everything Has Changed” & The Nerdy and the Dirty by B.T. Gottfred
“I just wanna know you better” plays on repeat in this hopeful track about burgeoning love interests. And that’s exactly the goal of the socially awkward Benedict and the sexually repressed Penelope when they continue to cross paths in B.T. Gottfred’s raw teen romance. Keep the tissue box in sight, guys. This one’ll sneak up on you.
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5. “Blank Space” & Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Lolz, remember when Levana tries to hide her crazy from Kai so that he marries her in Cinder? Well, the veiled (get it?) psychopath character is no stranger to Swift. She parodies it in “Blank Space,” the perfect anthem for a manipulative villain sniffing around for her next victim.
6. “The Lucky One” & The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Rewind to everyone’s fave teen, Mia Thermopolis, finding out about her royal roots. Thrilled is an overstatement, am I right? Cabot’s classic about a socially anxious girl thrust into the spotlight complements one of my favorite Red tracks, “The Lucky One,” which explores the dark side of sudden fame.
7. “Last Kiss” & Alice Alone by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
#TBT to when Joe Jonas dissed Taylor Swift for Camilla Belle, and she responded with a weep-worthy song that reminded us all of our romantic failures. Throw in the Alice-Patrick-Penny love triangle in Alice Alone, and you’ll get yourself a cathartic cry sesh. (Warning: Not recommended for the freshly dumped.)
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8. “Fearless” & The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Speaking of sobbing, if you’re still in that kind of mood, just go for it with this grand finale: Swift’s title track from her sophomore album and John Green’s masterpiece about living in the moment with the one you love—before that moment’s gone. Gulp.
There you have it, Swooners. Now tell me: What T. Swift songs would you pair with your favorite reads?