What I’m Playing

Everyone needs a playlist for a book! And these are the songs that I listened to obsessively while I was working on them. Not all of these songs relate specifically to the plot, but I couldn’t resist sharing these songs. I’d love to hear which songs feel fitting for my books/characters too!

(New!) These are the songs I had on repeat for Jane’s book, INVISIBLE:

1. I Try–Macy Gray

Okay, I’ve loved this song for years but it really felt right with INVISIBLE and not just because Jane has some boy trouble ahead of her. See, this was by far the most difficult book in the Awkward series for me to write. So the part about trying to walk away and tripping . . . yeah, it hit close to home.

2. Maybe This Time–Ok Go

It’s not exactly a secret that I’m a huge Ok Go fan. (Hint: ReadySet was my attempt at a subtle homage to them. Sometimes I’m really bad at being subtle.) But this song felt very Jane to me. I don’t want to give too much away so I will leave it there for now!

3. That’s Not My Name–The Ting Tings

Jane is definitely trying to figure out who she is in the wake of Mackenzie’s rise to YouTube fame. And this song expressed some of that frustration really well. (Plus I get a kick out of the fact that the lyrics are, “They call me Jane. That’s not my name. That’s not my name…” Oh yes, it is!)

4. True Love–Pink (hardly any swearing)

I listened to this for both INVISIBLE and NOTABLE. Let’s just say Jane and Chelsea both have trouble getting along with some of the guys in their lives . . .

5. Do My Thing–Estelle

This song is so freaking great. I wish I had heard it back in high school. Because the important thing is that YOU feel good about what you are doing and where you are going. Just keep doing your thing!

These are the songs I had on repeat for AWKWARD:

1. Starz in Their Eyes–Just Jack (So good. Just…listen to everything by him.)

2. Solo Impala (Take the Money and Run)–The Fashion. I still love this song.

3. Stumble In–Sleepercar. I overdosed on Sleepercar and haven’t listened to them for a year. But that whole CD was so freaking good I couldn’t help myself.

4. I am Trying to Break Your Heart–Wilco. This song always makes me want to be in the passenger seat, driving cross-country with one hand dangling out the window.

5. Destroy Me–Jen & Abby. Clicked “replay” on YouTube a gazillion times while writing AWKWARD.

6. Sideways–Let’s Go Sailing. I think this song does a pretty good job of describing Mackenzie and Logan’s relationship.

These are the songs I had on repeat for DECKED WITH HOLLY:

1. Boys with Girlfriends–Meiko. I know that none of the guys in DECKED WITH HOLLY actually have girlfriends and that it doesn’t really apply. But I love how she says she should have known better. The whole kicking-yourself-for-doing-something-you-know-is-going-to-be-a-problem thing also felt very Holly.

2. Happier–A Fine Frenzy. It makes my heart hurt in a good way.

3. King of Anything–Sara Bareilles.

I love that Holly constantly challenges and questions Nick. I can totally picture her demanding to know just who made him the king of anything.

4. Do-Wah Doo–Kate Nash.

This song makes me think of Holly’s cousins. And I love that instead of hanging out with a girl she doesn’t trust, Kate Nash decides to read a book instead. Excellent choice!

5. Astronaut–Just Jack.

I listened to this song for the first time when I was horribly seasick on a ferry ride to Heron Island, Australia. It was miserable. I’m pretty sure I asked if there was a tranquilizer onboard. And for the next week I was told countless times by my friends that I had looked like death warmed over. So when I wrote a critical scene in DECKED WITH HOLLY this song had to go on repeat.

6. Marathon–Tennis.

All of their music sounds like a tropical getaway. Very fitting for DECKED WITH HOLLY.

7. My Favorite Book–Stars.

I think this may capture the way that Holly feels about Nick. Or maybe it’s the way I feel about them? Not sure. But I love it!

8. Beautiful Girl–Sara Bareilles.

Holly’s relationship with her cousins is . . . well, terrible. They make her feel insignificant and small and while I hope you don’t know anyone like them, I’m guessing that you do. Maybe in your life they are not as overtly hostile towards you, but that doesn’t make those feelings any less real or any less painful.

So I just want to make sure you know that you’re beautiful to me!

More to come! Feel free to give me recommendations!

6 thoughts on “What I’m Playing

    • Hi Brittany,

      Are you reading my mind? Or illegally tapping into my iTunes library? *eyes laptop suspiciously* I LOVE Sara Bareilles and I have been listening to that song non-stop. I will definitely have to include it in one of my playlists!

      Thanks for your enthusiasm and support! I can’t wait to share Notable with you!


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