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By Charlene Adhiambo
For every YA ship and OTP (One True Pairing) there exists the perfect song. Jessica Pennington’s Love Songs and Other Lies is coming soon, so we’re kind of in the mood for both great YA books and love songs to help us kill time until we can share it with the world. Now we make no claims on perfection, but we did some reading and some listening and we picked 6 YA couples and paired them the love song we think goes with them.
Love Songs and Other Lies by Jessica Pennington
Two years after turning into the #1 Fan of the Breakup Anthem, Virginia “Vee” Miller is just looking for a fun, carefree summer. So she agrees to join a few of her old high school friends on a battling bands reality show tour bus. What she doesn’t know is that they also invited Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. When he asks for forgiveness, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending.
Cam and Vee are exes, but they still have feelings for each other. Believe in second chances at love? Jam to “Still Into You” by Paramore, our perfect pick for Cam and Vee.
“’Cause after all this time/ I’m still into you”
Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
Moss Jeffries sometimes wishes he could be someone else—someone without panic attacks, someone whose father was still alive, someone who hadn’t become a rallying point for a community because of one horrible night. Moss can’t even escape at school—he and his friends are subject to the lack of funds and crumbling infrastructure at West Oakland High, as well as constant intimidation by the resource officer stationed in their halls. When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes again, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.
Moss and his boyfriend Javier are each other’s protectors in the face of injustice. “Hold Me By The Heart” by Kehlani is the sweet, supportive anthem we think you’ll want to listen to after reading about this growing couple.
“Hold me by the heart / help me fly again”
Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre
On a hot summer night, a screech of brakes and shattering glass changes two lives forever. When Liv wakes in the hospital and the bandages come off, it’s not her face in the mirror anymore. It’s her best friend Morgan’s. Morgan always seemed to have the perfect life, yet Liv must navigate endlessly disturbing secrets of the criminal and murderous variety—and a romance that feels like a betrayal. Torn between the boy she loved as Liv and the boy she’s grown to love as Morgan, Liv still has to survive Morgan’s last request.
Liv is caught between guys and isn’t even really Liv anymore. So our song pick for this upcoming Ann Agirre thriller is “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order (Echosmith Cover).
“If I hurt someone else / Then I’ll never see just what we’re meant to be”
#Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid
Everyone at Carlisle Academy thinks Peter Smith is just an above average teenager who happens to be good at running. Nope, he’s actually a CIA operative. And now the school is being deluged with arms dealers and stone cold killers looking for revenge. Obviously the story is told from the POV of Peter (real name Jake Marrow) but how confused must those other Carlisle students feel? At the same time, they probably did get a day off from school.
Peter falls for a mysterious and clever–but possibly evil?–classmate who’s got almost as many secrets as he does. They way this couple keeps each other on their toes has us wanting to listen to “Unpredictable” by Olly Murs.
“I like us when we’re unpredictable / ‘Cause that’s why love is so phenomenal”
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done. But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!). When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.
Alice and Takumi feel the sparks immediately. Finding that chemistry immediately is pretty rare, so we’re recommending “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé.
“I have faith in what I see/ Now I know I have met an angel in person”
The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde
As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck. Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing. Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?
Emmy and Alfie can’t get enough of each other in this tale of rock & roll. That falling head over heels vibe makes us want to dance to “Run Away With Me” by Carly Rae Jepsen.
“Over the weekend we could turn the world to gold”