Raise your hand if Taylor Swift has ever made you cry with a song. Keep your hands raised if you’ve ever cried over a book. Oh do we have some book recommendations for you!
I took every song, except one, from Red (Taylor’s Version) and paired a book that matched the vibes or lyrics. Before we get started, I didn’t include “Ronan” because I couldn’t find a book that perfectly fit the beautiful song. And I combined “All Too Well” and the 10-minute version into one; I did the same to “State of Grace” and the acoustic version.
Check out these books that are guaranteed to make you cry as much as the album!
“State of Grace”: ‘For All Time’ by Shanna Miles
“State of Grace” is about the beginning of a relationship. Taylor sings of the possibility of new love and being excited about the prospect. That’s why I had to go with For All Time by Shanna Miles. It’s a beautiful story where the characters embody that message perfectly.
Tamar and Fayard have lived for a thousand lifetimes, always just missing each other. Every time they get close to starting an epic love story, they’re ripped apart. But maybe this lifetime will be different, and they’ll finally get their happily ever after.
“Red”: ‘The Hating Game’ by Sally Thorne
While “State of Grace” was about new love, “Red” is about the passionate and all-consuming feelings that come with toxic relationships. And if that doesn’t describe the love-hate relationship between Lucy and Joshua in The Hating Game, I don’t know what does.
Lucy is a good girl who is focused on her career. Joshua, on the other hand, is great at pushing Lucy’s buttons. They’ve been locked in competition after competition for the entire time they’ve worked together. But this newest bet might lead to uncovering hidden feelings on both sides.
“Treacherous”: ‘Five Feet Apart’ by Rachel Lippincott
Some relationships just aren’t meant to last, but it’s nice to be in them occasionally. And when they move too fast or just aren’t the right fit, “Treacherous” is there to let you know you’re not alone in feeling that way. And I’m sure Stella and Will from Five Feet Apart know this, too.
Stella and Will meet while both are waiting for a lung transplant. Stella’s told to stay award from anything that might jeopardize her health. But when she meets Will, she can’t help but want to be near him despite the danger it puts both in. So, they come up with a heartbreaking solution: they stay a safe distance apart at all times.
“I Knew You Were Trouble”: ‘After’ by Anna Todd
I don’t think there’s a better book series that embodies “I Knew You Were Trouble” than this Harry Styles-fanfiction-turned-best-seller. The After series follows Tessa and Hardin’s toxic relationship through its highest highs and lowest lows.
Tessa always follows the rules and sticks to the path she knows will lead to success. When she runs into Hardin, though, she starts to fall for him despite knowing it will only lead to hurt. But maybe there’s a deeper side to the boy everyone calls a player.
“All Too Well” (Both Versions): ‘It Ends with Us’ by Colleen Hoover
I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard this song multiple times, whether by our own volition or not. You know what it’s about. “All Too Well” goes through the lifespan of a relationship that still affects Taylor long after it’s over. It Ends with Us is the perfect fit for “All Too Well.”
Lily is in a toxic relationship, but she’s still thinking about her past. When Atlas, her first love, shows up, her new relationship is on the brink of falling apart. Will she choose the one who promised to always protect her or the one that’s got her on her toes every second of the day?
“22”: ‘House of Earth and Blood’ by Sarah J. Maas
Hear me out: Bryce is the perfect example of a carefree character who still does responsible adult things. While everything around her is going absolutely crazy, she still manages to find fun moments in her life. And that’s exactly what Taylor sings about in “22.”
The first book, House of Earth and Blood, follows Bryce’s journey into a darker side of the world she lives in. She’s just lost some of her closest friends and is now in the crossfire of an investigation. She partners up with Hunt to get to the bottom of the mystery–and possibly get back to her life.
“I Almost Do”: ‘After I Do’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“I Almost Do” reminisces on a past relationship and the thought of what it would be like to go back. However, in the end, Swift realizes it’s better to let it go and move on. After I Do follows Lauren as she goes through the same thought process about her marriage.
Lauren and Ryan have fallen out of love after being together for so long. So they make a deal: no contact for one year, and they can do whatever they want in that time. Lauren goes out to find who she is and starts questioning if monogamy and marriage are what she wants anymore.
“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”: ‘Audrey, Wait!’ by Robin Benway
This bop is quite literally about bashing an ex and announcing to the world that she will never make the mistake of being with him ever again. Audrey is similar in the way she’s not letting the world determine how her love life ends up in Audrey, Wait!
Audrey just wants her life to go back to normal. Ever since her ex-boyfriend sang a song about her and it went straight to number one on the charts, she’s been stuck in the spotlight. But what really went down on her side of the song?
“Stay Stay Stay”: ‘History Is All You Left Me’ by Adam Silvera
Though a relationship isn’t always perfect, you choose to stay because you’re in love. It’s worth it to push through the bad times. That’s what “Stay Stay Stay” is about. Theo and Jackson in Silvera’s novel are far from perfect, but they both help the other heal and move on from losing a loved one.
Griffin lost his first love and doesn’t know how to move on. Until Jackson walks right into his life and makes Griffin feel as if there’s more to life than the relationship they both lost. As they get to know each other, though, Griffin feels like he’s circling the drain. And it’s up to him to fix everything.
“The Last Time”: ‘The Light We Lost’ by Jill Santopolo
In “The Last Time,” Taylor sings of a couple going through a hard patch because of miscommunication on both ends. To some, this can feel like an on-again, off-again relationship. But overall, it’s about the constant cycle of heartbreak. The couple in The Light We Lost knows that feeling all too well.
Lucy and Gabe met during their last year in university. A year later, they see each other again, and it feels like fate. However, life has plans for both of them. Gabe goes across the ocean, and Lucy goes to New York. Over the next thirteen years, there’s miscommunication, love, and betrayal.
“Holy Ground”: ‘Opposite of Always’ by Justin A. Reynolds
“Holy Ground” is about a “good while it lasted” relationship that doesn’t hurt too long after. Opposite of Always asks what happens when a wonderful relationship ends too soon. What if we could go back and time to keep the people we love? That’s where this book comes in.
Jack and Kate bonded at a party, and soon they fell in love. Everything was going perfectly. Then Kate dies, and Jack is sent back in time to the night they met. But with every choice he makes to save Kate, things start changing around him, and the life he knew won’t be the same.
“Sad Beautiful Tragic”: ‘When We Were Them’ by Laura Taylor Namey
While “Sad Beautiful Tragic” is about reminiscing on the “whys” of a breakup, I went in a different direction with the book recommendation. I chose a story about a friendship ending and how one girl comes to terms with it.
Willa, Luz, and Britton were inseparable. Until Willa ruined everything and betrayed the only true friends she had. Now, as graduation nears, Willa reminisces on the good and bad times. So, why did the friendship crumble, and will she ever be okay with it?
“The Lucky One”: ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Evelyn Hugo is finally breaking her silence and telling her story. She picks Monique to help write the autobiography, much to the surprise of Monique herself. Evelyn tells her story, starting from her glory days in the 50s to leaving acting behind in the 80s. But the biggest question: Why now, and why Monique?
The book highlights the highs and lows of Evelyn’s life and how they affected those around her. I think it’s an interesting read and meshes well with the story told in “The Lucky One.” Honestly, this Swift song feels like it was written specifically for Evelyn.
“Everything Has Changed”: ‘The Selection’ by Kiera Cass
“Everything Has Changed” is about how your entire life changes when you meet that one person. And though it wasn’t instalove for America in Kiera Cass’s YA series, it was for Maxon. Through the duo’s first interactions, it’s obvious he’s helping her see a new side of life, and she does the same for him.
In The Selection series, America Singer was picked for The Selection, meaning she’s now competing for the prince’s heart. But she doesn’t want it; she just got dumped. As she spends more and more time in the palace and befriends the prince, she starts to realize maybe she wants more than what she had back home.
“Starlight”: ‘The Unhoneymooners’ by Christina Lauren
Swift sings about an amazing night shared by two lovebirds despite the fact everything could come crashing down at any moment in “Starlight.” I feel like that perfectly fits Olive’s life in The Unhoneymooners.
Olive has never been lucky in anything, unlike her sister. But when their luck flips and Olive is sent on her sister’s honeymoon with the best man, Olive’s luck might have just turned for the better. At least until she has to pretend she’s in love with a man she says she can’t stand.
“Begin Again”: ‘Over You’ by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
“Begin Again” is a soft song about falling in love again after a massive heartbreak. However, I’m recommending a story that starts before the girl is ready to open herself back up to love again. But all love stories have to start somewhere, right?
After Max’s explosive breakup, she turned her heartbreak into a business. She helps heartbroken girls glow up and move on permanently. But what she wasn’t planning on was Ben dropping into her life and making her rethink who she is.
“The Moment I Knew”: ‘My Policeman’ by Bethan Roberts
In My Policeman, Marion fell in love with Tom the moment she met him, but something’s always been missing from their marriage. Tom has a lover on the side, Patrick, but they can’t be together publicly. The three must find a way to balance life together so they don’t all fall apart.
“The Moment I Knew” may be about wishing someone was around again, but I went with a book that takes that sentiment a little differently. Instead of Tom not being there physically, Marion can’t rely on him emotionally. And sometimes, Patrick feels that way, too.
“Come Back, Be Here”: ‘Some Mistakes Were Made’ by Kristin Dwyer
“Come Back, Be Here” sounds like it was made for long-distance relationships. That’s precisely what Ellis and Easton have in Some Mistakes Were Made. I do have to apologize because I read this as an ARC, so you’re going to have to wait a few weeks for this book to release.
Ellis and Easton were the best of friends for all of their lives before one decision rips them apart. Ellis moves across the country, and Easton stays behind in their hometown. But a year later, Ellis is back and has to confront the feelings the former friends have been holding inside for years.
“Girl At Home”: ‘It Only Happens in the Movies’ by Holly Bourne
Instead of the guy having a girl at home in this novel, the girl in the love story just isn’t interested in dating. So while the story differs greatly from Taylor’s song, the vibes match perfectly. You won’t want to stop reading Holly Bourne’s novel!
Audrey doesn’t want to date and doesn’t want anything to do with love. Blame her parents and past breakups for the cynicism. However, life may have different plans when Harry, her flirty coworker, starts making her feel butterflies. Will she open herself up or close off even more?
“Better Man”: ‘We’ll Always Have Summer’ by Jenny Han
I just can’t stop talking about this book series or this song. Both hold a special place in my heart, so it’s fitting they pair so well together for this list. And while I could have focused on the series as a whole, the third book is the perfect match to “Better Man”. But you should still read the whole trilogy and watch the show when it comes out.
The series follows Belly as she is stuck in a love triangle with brothers Jeremiah and Conrad. But in the third book, she’s been with one of the brothers, but things aren’t going the way she’d hoped. Will she end up with him, or is she meant to be with the other brother?
“Nothing New”: ‘Kind of Sort of Fine’ by Spencer Hall
In “Nothing New”, Taylor sings about how we don’t know anything about life or the world around us. We think we know everything in high school, but once we grow up and learn how to be adults, we realize we don’t know anything. So, I chose a book where the characters confront that feeling head-on.
Senior year was meant to be a great year for Hayley and Lewis. But with the last year of high school comes a lot of life choices and changes. Hayley isn’t ready to let go yet, but Lewis is embracing it fully. When they’re partnered up for a documentary project, they end up finding themselves.
“Babe”: ‘November 9’ by Colleen Hoover
“Babe” is about how cheating affects someone – how it feels to find out, the inevitable breakup, and the feelings of doubt that come with that betrayal. Though Ben didn’t cheat on Fallon, similar feelings of doubt in a relationship are present in November 9 by Colleen Hoover.
Ben and Fallon meet every November 9 to catch up on life. They both go through several phases of life, but as time goes on, Fallon starts to doubt Ben’s intentions. So, will this love story end in heartbreak, or will it be a happily ever after?
“Message in a Bottle”: ‘Red, White and Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuiston
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about Casey McQuiston’s hit Red, White and Royal Blue. While re-reading the book, I couldn’t help but think of this Taylor Swift song, so why not recommend it? “Message in a Bottle” is about a long-distance relationship and not knowing how to tell someone how you feel because you’re so far apart.
Alex is the president’s son and is meant to look perfect for his mother’s reelection candidacy. But when an argument with a British prince, Henry, is outed to the public, they have to act like best friends for the public. But maybe the “fake friendship” is more real than either could have expected.
“I Bet You Think About Me”: ‘Of Princes and Promises’ by Sandhya Menon
Though this book recommendation skews far from the lyrics of “I Bet You Think About Me,” it has the same vibe. Especially if you watched the music video. Trust me, if you listen to music while reading, have this playing from time to time and you’ll understand.
Caterina is determined to prove she’s over her cheating ex and won’t let anything stop her. Rahul, on the other hand, will do whatever it takes to get Caterina to notice him. When she goes with him to a gala, they start to realize there might be something between them.
“Forever Winter”: ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ by Stephen Chbosky
As Taylor Swift sings about mental health and life not being the same after a traumatic event, I couldn’t think of any other book than The Perks of Being a Wallflower. It handles depression well and is an overall great read for everyone.
Charlie is barely making it through high school, and we learn about his life through several letters he writes at that time. From his friendships and fallouts to standing up for his friends, we get a realistic tale of growing up while feeling “infinite.”
“Run”: ‘Starling’ by Isabel Strychacz
What starts out as a typical night at home turns into a fantastical and suspenseful adventure. Starling fell from the stars, and two sisters are set on protecting him from those who are scared of what he is.
The novel has that same feeling Swift sings about in “Run.” Dreaming of running away with someone you love despite everything in the world telling you not to–that suspense and dangerous feeling that consumes you. It’s all here in Starling.
“The Very First Night”: ‘The Love Hypothesis’ by Ali Hazelwood
I couldn’t dare pair any book with “The Very First Night” than The Love Hypothesis. Instead of reminiscing on the beginning of a relationship like Taylor Swift sings in “The Very First Night,” we see it develop in real-time with Olive and Adam.
To get her best friend off her back about dating, Olive kisses Adam. And Adam is perfectly fine with that. They start fake dating, and Adam comes in clutch several times. Over time, Olive starts falling for Adam, but is she willing to open her heart to him?