Book Recs Based on Your Favorite 1989 Song
Taylor Swift | Big Machine Records

Your Next Read Based on Your Favorite ‘1989’ Song

Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ album is rumored to be her next re-release, so why not celebrate with a new book based on your favorite song?
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Since Taylor announced she would be re-releasing her albums prior to folklore, Swifties have been theorizing about what order they’d come out. First was Fearless (Taylor’s Version), followed shortly up with Red (Taylor’s Version). Now here’s where people have been diverging on the theory: based on various Easter eggs, everyone is torn over which album is next from Taylor Swift to Lover. But for me, the strongest evidence is that 1989 (Taylor’s Version) will be the next release.

So, in honor of what I hope will be her next album, here are books you should read based on your favorite song from 1989.

“Welcome to New York”: ‘One Last Stop’ by Casey McQuiston

One Last Stop cover
St. Martin’s Griffin

“Welcome to New York” needed a romance set in The Big Apple – I wouldn’t settle for anything less. One Last Stop sees the budding romance between a girl and the city – and another girl. Casey McQuiston took the world by storm with her love stories, and One Last Stop isn’t any different.

In One Last Stop, August has just moved to New York to prove that true love doesn’t exist. But her plans are derailed when she meets Jane on the subway. Jane is everything August has been waiting for, but there’s one problem: Jane is literally in the wrong time period.

“Blank Space”: ‘Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating’ by Christina Lauren

Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating cover
Gallery Books

“Blank Space” is about the way the media portrayed Taylor’s relationships for years but to an even more exaggerated degree. The song describes the girl in the relationship as crazy and too much to handle. And that’s precisely how Hazel from Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating is seen.

Hazel is eccentric, to say the least; Josh is Hazel’s friend. After being cheated on by his girlfriend, Josh decides to make a deal with Hazel. They’re going to set up blind dates for the other, but what if they have feelings for each other after all these years?

“Style”: ‘American Royals’ by Katharine McGee

American Royals book covers
Random House Books for Young Readers

I had trouble with this recommendation, but everyone I talked to about this book said it paired perfectly with “Style”, so I’m running with it. “Style” shows a relationship that seems perfect to all, inside and outside, but ends up not being all that it seems.

American Royals takes history down a different path than what we were taught. When George Washington was offered the crown after the Revolutionary War, he took it. This trilogy, starting with American Royals, follows the Washingtons as they go about their royal duties while dealing with boy trouble.

“Out of the Woods”: ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus cover
Doubleday

“Out of the Woods” is about a dysfunctional or bad relationship that you need to escape, yet you can’t make yourself want to leave. So, while I do love that story, I tried to look at the broader picture. The music video for “Out of the Woods” always gave me “on the edge of your seat” vibes, so I went with a book like that.

In The Night Circus, Le Cirque des Rêves just showed up one day, and the show only goes on when the sun is down. The novel follows Celia and Marco, two magicians who have been competing for their entire lives. As they compete for their lives, they start falling in love. But will their feelings be able to overcome their fate?

“All You Had to Do Was Stay”: ‘The Bromance Book Club’ by Lyssa Kay Adams

Bromance Book Club book covers
Berkley

I can’t quite put my finger on why, but The Bromance Book Club reminded me of “All You Had to Do Was Stay.” The song is about a guy wanting to come back into someone’s life, but the girl doesn’t want him back in because he already left once.

The first book in the Bromance Book Club series, this novel follows Gavin as he joins a book club with other famous men in Nashville. The first book they read is a Regency romance which in turn helps Gavin learn how to fix his marriage before the divorce is finalized. The rest of the series follows the other men in the club and their romance problems.

See related: Taylor Swift Songs That Should Also Be Short Films

“Shake It Off”: ‘Stargirl’ by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl and Love, Stargirl covers
Scholastic

If the movie adaptation of Stargirl is any indication, Stargirl is exactly the kind of person to sing “Shake It Off” daily and take the lyrics to heart. She always lets things slide off her back and never lets anything get to her.

In Stargirl, Leo has always tried to blend in, and the schoolyears will fly by without a problem. But everything is flipped upside down when Stargirl, who’s been homeschooled all her life, stands out on her first day of school. Stargirl changes how people perceive others just by being herself every day.

“I Wish You Would”: ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ by Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy by Jenny Han
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Now, it would have been too easy to put The Summer I Turned Pretty with “This Love” because of the re-release, but I think “I Wish You Would” fits just as well. Not to mention that I found a great fit for “This Love” that I couldn’t pass up.

The Summer I Turned Pretty starts off a trilogy of Belly Conklin and her three-summer-long love triangle with Jeremiah and Conrad. For their entire lives, they’ve been inseparable every summer. But that’s all going to change when Belly’s had a glow-up right before she heads back to the beach house.

“Bad Blood”: ‘Red Queen’ by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen book covers
HarperTeen

I think anyone who has heard the song or watched the music video knows the gist of this song. That’s why I had to pair Red Queen with this song. In addition to blood being a critical factor in the series, allies and enemies switch constantly. And the song could fit perfectly into an adaptation of the books.

In the Red Queen universe, Silvers rule with powers while Reds are considered lower-class. Mare is a Red and works in the Silver Palace – but she also has powers that could tip the world upside down. To hide the “impossible,” the Silvers declare her a lost Silver princess. But she has plans for her powers that might just make the Silvers’ nightmares come true.

“Wildest Dreams”: ‘The Summer of Broken Rules’ by K.L. Walther

The Summer of Broken Rules cover
Sourcebooks Fire

When you hear “Wildest Dreams,” what’s the first thing you think of? For me, it’s a beautiful setting, fun memories, and a budding romance. I think Taylor would approve. Even better, The Summer of Broken Rules is chockful of references to Taylor Swift songs.

Meredith wants nothing more than to win “assassin” during this summer’s annual game. But allying herself with a groomsman might just hinder that win. And maybe she’ll win something better – true love. This weeklong game might just be what Meredith needs to break out of her shell.

See related: The Best (and Worst) Songs on Taylor Swift’s ‘folklore’

“How You Get the Girl”: ‘The Upside of Falling’ by Alex Light

The Upside of Falling cover
HarperTeen

This song is basically a playbook for how to win a girl’s heart–and how you might just have lost it, too. The Upside of Falling pairs perfectly with the song because sometimes everything you need to find love is right in front of you. Bonus points: this book has the fake dating trope!

Becca doesn’t believe in love anymore, but she’s going to have to act like it if she wants to get her friends off her back. Brett just wants to be left alone on the romance front, so he steps in when Becca needs a fake date. And as with every fake dating scenario, fake and real are more similar than you might think.

“This Love”: ‘Clockwork Angel’ by Cassandra Clare

The Infernal Devices covers
Margaret K. McElderry Books | Walker Books Ltd.

Even though Taylor released the new version of “This Love” for The Summer I Turned Pretty, I honestly think it fits The Infernal Devices’ love triangle just as well. The song tells of a girl whose love comes and goes like a wave – and that’s precisely what happens with Tessa, Will, and Jem.

Tessa Gray only came to London to visit her brother. But when he’s missing and she’s kidnapped by someone who wants to use her untapped powers, she’s thrust into the Shadowhunters’ world. And that means Will and Jem are basically her bodyguards for the time being. Together, they’ll work to keep London safe.

“I Know Places”: ‘The Charm Offensive’ by Alison Cochrun

The Charm Offensive cover
Atria Books

“I Know Places” was written as a story about trying to hide from the world while in the spotlight. So, I went with a book featuring a relationship like some of Taylor’s – in the spotlight and constantly being talked about by everyone around them.

In The Charm Offensive, two opposites are drawn together on the set of a dating show. Dev works behind the scenes, making sure every season of Ever After goes off without a hitch; Charlie, on the other hand, is the new star who can’t seem to open up. But as we all know, with reality TV, producers can’t control the heart.

“Clean”: ‘Open Road Summer’ by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer cover
Walker Childrens

When I think of “Clean,” I think of the end of a relationship and finally being free of all the ties that held the couple together. So, for this recommendation, I wanted to focus on the girl’s healing and coming into her own after heartbreak. And that’s how I got to Open Road Summer.

Reagan is heading off with her best friend, country singer Lilah Montgomery, on a national tour. She just wanted a girls-only summer vacation, but all that changes when Lilah’s opening act is Matt Finch. Lilah and Reagan are about to have the summer of their lives, and Reagan’s healing might be a bit faster than expected.

“Wonderland”: ‘Heartless’ by Marissa Meyer

Heartless cover
Feiwel & Friends

There could be so much more to “Wonderland,” but I can’t get past the Alice in Wonderland aspect. Heartless tells the backstory of the Queen of Hearts before she was ruling Wonderland with an iron fist.

Catherine could be the next Queen of Hearts if she wanted, but all she truly wants is to be Wonderland’s best baker. When Jest, the court joker, comes in one day, she finds herself falling in love. But the King of Hearts and her parents have other plans – and it just might make her the most ruthless Queen in the deck.

See related: Book Recommendations Based on Your Favorite ‘Red’ Song

“You Are In Love”: ‘The Deal’ by Elle Kennedy

The Deal cover
Elle Kennedy Inc.

“You Are In Love” is about authentic, true love that we all dream of having one day. And though I couldn’t choose just one, I went with a book that I hear about all the time. The Deal by Elle Kennedy has a relationship that many have idolized for its cutesy moments and whirlwind romance.

In The Deal, Hannah convinces Garrett to help make another guy jealous in exchange for tutoring. But when one kiss leads to more and Garrett falls hard, he realizes he needs Hannah more than just for tutoring. But getting her on board with that idea is going to take a lot of hard work.

“New Romantics”: ‘House of Earth and Blood’ by Sarah J. Maas

Crescent City book covers
Bloomsbury

Bryce from Crescent City just radiates 1989 energy. Nearly every song could apply to her life at some point, but I think “New Romantics” is the best for her when we meet her in House of Earth and Blood.

Bryce Quinlan was just a party girl until all of her friends were murdered one night while she was out. Hunt is a Fallen angel who enlists Bryce’s help in finding the killer. But locating the demon that did this will lead them to power that neither ever dreamed of.