Whole Lotta Love: YA Books as Love Songs


Here at Pine Reads Review, we’re all suckers for a good love story! And every good love story needs an equally good soundtrack to go with it. To prove it, we’ve compiled a list of 12 YA books and found the perfect love songs to compliment them. From sweet ballads that’ll make you want to slow dance in the rain, to upbeat pop songs that are perfect for the summer romances of your dreams, this list has it all!

A Thousand Years by Christina Perri: For All Time by Shanna Miles 

“I have died every day waiting for you / Darling don’t be afraid / I have loved you for a thousand years / I’ll love you for a thousand more”

Tamar and Fayard have lived thousands of different lives across thousands of years. Together, they’ve watched the world grow and burn itself to the ground countless times. No matter what version of the world they find themselves in, Tamar and Fayard’s love for each other remains constant. Even though they have to fight for each other in every life, it’s okay because they’ve loved each other for a thousand years, and they’ll love each other for a thousand more.

Adore You by Harry Styles: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust 

“Oh honey / I’d walk through fire for you / Just let me adore you / Like it’s the only thing I’ll ever do”

Having been cursed as a baby to be poisonous to the touch, Soraya has lived her entire life hidden away in the shadows of her royal family. When she’s tricked into exposing herself, Soraya must team up with a demon named Parvaneh to save her family, her kingdom, and herself. But the more the girls work together, the closer they become, and suddenly they’re feeling things for each other that they’ve never felt before. Amidst the chaos of trying to save the kingdom, there’s one thing Soraya and Parvaneh know for certain: they’d do anything for each other.

Listen to the Pine Reads Podcast episode on Girl, Serpent, Thorn here!

Afterglow by Taylor Swift: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

“Tell me that it’s not my fault / Tell me that I’m all you want / Even when I break your heart”

Juliette Cai has just returned to Shanghai, China to take over as heir to the Scarlet Gang, an underground criminal organization. For generations, the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers have been rivals. Roma Montagov is not only the heir and leader of the White Flowers, but he was also Juliette’s first love and her first betrayal. When members of both of their gangs begin showing signs of a dangerous madness, Juliette and Roma must put aside their rivalry and the scorns of their past in order to save their city. Can they work together long enough to find each other in the afterglow? 

Check out our blog on These Violent Delights here!

Changes by H.E.R.: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

“We got options / But I just wanna let you know that I decided / I finally realized that / All I want is you”

For all of high school, Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been embattled in a bitter, academic rivalry. After Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan is left with one chance to outdo him once and for all: the senior class game Howl. When another group of players team up to take Rowan and Neil down, they decide to work together to take them on and make it to the end of the game. Once they’re the last two players standing, Rowan will take her shot to finally beat Neil. But as Rowan and Neil spend the night working together, she realizes that maybe he’s not so bad after all. And he might just be the guy she’s always wanted.

Check out our review of Today Tonight Tomorrow here!

Fallin’ by Alicia Keys: Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

“I keep on fallin’ in and out / Of love with you / I never loved someone / The way that I’m lovin’ you”

Evie Thomas doesn’t want to fall in love, not when she knows it’s only going to end in heartbreak. It doesn’t help that she has a strange gift: she can see exactly how other people’s relationships began and exactly how they are going to end. While grappling with this strange gift that only further cements her stance against love, Evie finds herself taking dance lessons at La Brea Dance Studio. Her partner, the adventurous and spontaneous X, signs them up for a ballroom dancing competition. As the pair spends more and more time together practicing, Evie finds herself doing the one thing she swore she never would do: fall in love with X.

Check out our review of Instructions for Dancing here!

Finally // beautiful stranger by Halsey: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour 

“Beautiful stranger, here you are in my arms / But I think it’s finally, finally, finally, finally, finally safe / For me to fall”

Emi Price, fresh out of high school, is already starting to make a name for herself as a set designer in the L.A. film scene. While Emi’s been lucky to start building a successful career, she has not been lucky in building successful relationships. After finding a mysterious letter from an old Hollywood star at an estate sale, Emi finds herself tracking down a girl named Ava. Ava is unlike any girl that Emi has ever met. As they get to know each other more, Emi thinks that maybe Ava is the one she can finally fall for.

October by Alessia Cara: The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth

“I’m gonna miss this when it’s over / I hope we never see October / I felt the weight fall off my shoulders / I’m gonna miss this when it’s / I’m gonna miss you when it’s done”

Saoirse doesn’t have the time or patience for falling in love. She has too much going on in her life to worry about it—like dealing with her mother being in a care home with early onset dementia. But after meeting Ruby at an end-of-the-year party, Saoirse begins to rethink her anti-romance position. Ruby suggests a compromise: they’ll spend the summer having their own montage of cliché romance and when fall comes around, they’ll amicably go their separate ways. Sounds easy enough as long as they don’t miss each other when it’s done.

Sticky by The Maine: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

“And I swear / These days / You’ve been stuck in my brain / Want to play you / Over and over again / Sticky just like the song in my head”

Despite being the son of a famous punk rock musician, Luke Greenly has no interest in being in the spotlight. He’d rather be behind the scenes, writing songs, and hosting a fairly popular podcast with his twin brother, Cullen. Vada Carsewell, a popular music blogger, has big plans for her future. Taking over the music blog of local music legend Phil Josephs is just her first step to getting into a prestigious music journalism program and, eventually, landing an internship with Rolling Stone. Falling in love does not fit into Vada’s plans, but when Cullen releases a recording of Luke singing about a mystery girl, she can’t help but wish he was singing about her. Little does Vada know, though, that she’s been stuck like a song in Luke’s head for a long time.

Still Into You by Paramore: Our Way Back to Always by Nina Moreno 

“Let ‘em wonder how we got this far / ‘Cause I don’t really need to wonder at all / Yeah, after all this time, I’m still into you”

Sam Alvarez and Luisa “Lou” Patterson were inseparable best friends when they were in middle school, but after a grandly embarrassing serenade, the pair stopped talking. Now, it’s four years later, and Sam and Lou couldn’t be any different. Sam is outgoing and popular, while Luisa is introverted and content being by herself. But after her sister gives up her scholarship to Princeton to have a baby, Lou feels the full weight of their mother’s expectations of success riding on her shoulders. While in the midst of dealing with the pressure from her mom, Lou comes across an old bucket list she and Sam made together when they were younger and finds that none of the activities have been done. When Sam finds out that Lou is completing the list, he decides to join her. As Lou and Sam work their way through the list, they find their way back to each other, even after all that time.

Check out our review of Our Way Back to Always here!

Telephone by Waterparks: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

“I know we only just met / So why do I feel invested? / Do you feel it too? / Do you feel it too?”

It’s practically love at first sight for Jack and Kate when they meet at a house party and spend the entire night getting to know each other. Before they even know it, Jack and Kate are together and happier than ever. Just as quick as their relationship begins though, it ends because Kate dies. That should be the end of their story, right? Wrong. After Kate’s death, Jack is sent back to the night that they met, and he’s granted the chance to try and save her life. Even though they’d only just met, Jack is very invested in Kate.

Timing is Everything by Lights: XOXO by Axie Oh 

“There I was, none the wiser / Both of us, different trajectories / Who’d have thought we’d be right here in this spot / Timing is everything”

Strait-laced cello prodigy Jenny is focused on one thing and one thing only: getting into a prestigious music program. But after a chance encounter with the mysterious stranger Jaewoo at her uncle’s karaoke bar, Jenny decides to embrace a little bit of spontaneity for once and have a fun night of adventure with him. After their night together, Jenny never expects to see Jaewoo again. When Jenny and her mom move to South Korea to care for her ailing grandmother, she gets the shock of her life. Not only does Jaewoo go to her new school, but he’s also a member of one of the world’s biggest K-pop bands, and he’s not allowed to date. Jenny and Jaewoo must decide if they’re going to stick to their goals or if they’re going to take advantage of the perfect timing that made their paths cross once again.

Check out our review of XOXO here!

The World is Ugly by My Chemical Romance: The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken

“For every failing sun, there’s a morning after / Though, I’m empty when you go / I just wanted you to know / That the world is ugly / But you’re beautiful to me”

When Ruby was ten years old, she was sent to Thurmond, a government-run “rehabilitation camp” for those who survived a mysterious disease that killed most of the country’s children. By surviving the disease the kids at Thurmond were left with uncontrollable powers. Now sixteen, Ruby has escaped from Thurmond after discovering its dark truth and joins a group of kids, led by the brave Liam, just like her who also escaped. Amidst trying to take down their corrupt government, Liam finds himself falling—and falling hard—for Ruby. Try as she might to fight her feelings for him, Ruby can’t deny that Liam is a beautiful spot in their ugly world.

PRR Writer Sadie Cruz