Book Recommendations Based Off of Taylor Swift’s Midnights

This post is already really long so I’m going to make this introduction as short as possible. I made a series of posts on my Bookstagram (which you should follow if you appreciate super high quality content and humble people like myself) of Midnights songs as book recommendations. This is basically just a more in-depth version of that. Before we get into it, I’d like to give a huge thank you to my friend Ashley who gave me Midnights on vinyl for Christmas because “it had a parental warning sticker on it and I thought you would like that”. I’ve fallen in love with the album and seriously can’t thank you enough.

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Lavender Haze – The Selection Series by Kiera Cass

The Selection is a competition in a dystopian world to become the next Queen of Iléa. It’s basically The Bachelor lol. Thirty five girls are picked to go to the castle and compete for the prince’s heart and it’s all put on television. America Singer is crushed when she’s selected. She has to leave her secret lover, Aspen, to compete for a crown she has no interest in winning. However, when she meets Prince Maxon her feelings begin to change and she begins to question the future she had planned. I remember binge reading this series during COVID and loving it so much.

I feel like the series fits this song perfectly. Lavender Haze is about finding someone who loves and doesn’t judge you despite the criticism you get from others. During the Selection, America faces so much disapproval because she comes from a lower caste, she isn’t afraid to speak her mind, and she doesn’t follow society’s expectations for her. Also both of these pieces of media are insanely good. Lavender Haze gets stuck in my head all the time and I am in no way complaining about it.

"I feel the lavender haze creeping up on me"

"They're bringing up my history
But you weren't even listening"

"I've been under scrutiny
You handle it beautifully
All this sh*t is new to me"

Maroon – Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall

Boyfriend Material follows son of rock star parents, Luc. After getting into some trouble in the media, he has to get a fake boyfriend to clean up his image. That’s where Oliver comes into play. Well-respected, polite, and gloriously un-scandalous, he is the perfect respectable boyfriend. Luc also finds him painfully boring. However, once they begin their fake relationship, feelings begin to shift. Just as they’re wondering if they could be more than just a fake couple, Luc’s father shows up to overcomplicate everything.

"Sobbing with your head in your hands
Ain't that the way sh*t always ends?"

"And I wake with your memory over me
That's a real f*cking legacy to leave"

This book was full of highs and lows and Luc and Oliver’s relationship was nothing if not complicated. This song reminds me a lot of the book. This book was quite dramatic but it was very well written. It gives similar vibes to Maroon and I think they have a lot of parallels to each other. They both describe a relationship that’s intense and passionate. However both relationships fall apart as fast as they fell for each other.

Anti-Hero – A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel

Hannah, protagonist of A Danger to Herself and Others, knows it’s a mistake when she’s sent to a mental hospital after her friend falls out of a window and suffers brain damage. She’s been accused of pushing her out of the window when it was clearly just an accident. She just has to sit tight and wait for everyone else to figure out that she’s innocent and she’ll be back in time for her senior year of high school. Hannah eventually gets a roommate named Lucy, who helps her to discover the secrets that led to her being institutionalized.

First off, I would like to mention that Alyssa Sheinmel was literally the sweetest person ever when I posted this on Instagram and even reposted it. So like, make sure to go and give her all the love in the world. She’s an amazing author and I love her books. I think this song describes Hannah so perfectly. She’s a very complex character and you don’t know what’s truth and what’s lies until the very end of the book. Also both this book and this song explore the illusions of self-perception in really cool ways.

"I should not be left to my own devices
They come with prices and vices
I end up in crisis"

"It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero"

"The whole family gathers 'round and reads it and then someone screams out
She's laughing up at us from H*ll"

Snow on the Beach – Delirium by Lauren Oliver

In this dystopian novel, love is a deadly disease. Luckily there is a cure for it that you can get when you turn 18. Lena is counting down the days until she turns 18 and will no longer have the threat of falling in love hanging over her head. That is, until she meets Alex. Alex is a boy from the Wilds, an area not controlled by the government where uncured people live. He tries to show her that love isn’t so dangerous after all.

"Like snow on the beach
Weird but f*ckin beautiful"

"You wanting me
Tonight feels impossible"

"I don't even dare to wish it
But your eyes are flying saucers from another planet
Now I'm all for you like Janet
Can this be a real thing? Can it?"

Lauren Oliver was also super sweet and reposted my Insta on her story. I really loved reading Delirium and I’ve actually reread it as well which I rarely do. This book tells the story of Alex and Lena so beautifully. It describes how impossible falling in love can feel and how scary it can be to completely fall for someone. Seriously, I feel like this song was made for this book. Also there is a scene on a beach towards the beginning of this book that’s really significant. So I thought that connection to Snow on the Beach was cool.

You’re On Your Own Kid – Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

I love this book. It follows 16 year old Addie Webster who shockingly resurfaces eight years after she was kidnapped. Many things have changed in those eight years, most notably, her father is now the president of the United States. Some find her timely reappearance suspicious. Her childhood best friend, Darrow is elated to have her back, but soon a security advisor blackmails him into spying on his old friend. Is there more than meets the eye, or is Addie just an innocent victim in all of this?

I don’t want to give away too much about this book. I went into it with very little information about it and I think that’s the way you should do it. I will say that if you’ve read this book, you’ll totally get why this song goes with it and especially these lyrics in particular. Like, it gave me shivers how much these related to Zero Day. Also you really need to read this book because it’s seriously so good. I could never guess what was going to happen next and I could not put it down.

"My friends from home don't know what to say 
I looked around in a blood-soaked gown
And I saw something they can't take away
'Cause there were pages turned when the bridges burned"

"I didn't choose this town, I dream of getting out
There's just one who could make me stay"

Midnight Rain – The Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

In Shadow and Bone trilogy, the fantasy nation of Ravka is split in two by the Shadow Fold, an area full of constant darkness and monsters. When Alina Starkov’s regiment is attacked while traveling through the Fold, Alina reveals a power she didn’t even know she had to save her best friend, Mal. She is taken away to the royal court to be trained alongside other Grisha, people with magic powers. The Grisha are led by the Darkling, a figure who is as mysterious as he is powerful.

"He wanted it comfortable, I wanted that pain
He wanted a bride, I was making my own name
Chasing that fame, he stayed the same"

"My town was a wasteland
Full of cages, full of fences
Pageant queens and big pretenders
But for some it was paradise"

"All of me changed like midnight"

I think these lines describe Mal and Alina’s relationship really well in different parts of the trilogy. The first one, is further in the series so I won’t talk too much about that but if you’ve read it I bet you know what I’m talking about. The second one reminds me of the flashbacks to when they were children at the orphanage in Keramzin. The last line I think can be compared to Shadow and Bone in a lot of ways. For example, this line reminds me of the scene where Alina’s power is revealed. It also parallels Alina’s character arc as the series progresses.

Question…? – Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter

In this book, childhood friends Maddie and Logan were torn apart after someone attempted to kidnap Logan’s father, the President of the United States. Maddie’s father was his secret service agent and while he stopped the kidnapping, he whisked Maddie away to the Alaskan wilderness for her own safety. Now Logan is sent to stay with them as a teenager but Maddie is still mad at him for never writing to her all these years. What will happen when this time, Logan is kidnapped?

I feel like these lines correspond really well with Maddie and Logan’s history. They were very close as children but then grew apart because of Maddie moving away, lost letters, and not writing back. The second I saw these lyrics they reminded me of Maddie and Logan just because them growing apart and losing trust in each other is such an important part of the book. Also just saying, if you haven’t read this book I honestly don’t know what you’re doing with your life. It’s so good and Maddie is literally the most iconic character ever. Like, she’s a total girl boss.

"Does it feel like everything's just like
Second best after that meteor strike?"

"Did you wish you'd put up more of a fight, oh"

"F*ckin' situations, circumstances
Miscommunications, and I
Have to say, by the way
I just may like some explanations"

Vigilante Sh*t – The Folk of the Air Trilogy by Holly Black

The Folk of the Air trilogy follows Jude, whose parents were murdered when she was seven and she and her sisters were raised in the High Court of Faerie. However, as much as she wants to belong in Faerie, the fey won’t let her forget that she doesn’t. Many of them are cruel to her, but none more than Prince Cardan. She is determined to gain her own place in the Court, but to do so she must stoop lower than ever before and risk her own life.

"You did some bad things, but I'm the worst of them
Sometimes I wonder which one'll be your last lie
They say looks can kill and I might try"

"I don't start sh*t, but I can tell you how it ends"

"Don't get sad, get even
So on the weekends
I don't dress for friends
Lately, I've been dressin' for revenge"

I think these lines all describe Jude very well. She’s definitely an anti-hero, but you can’t help rooting for her anyways. Well, most people can’t. My friend Grace read The Cruel Prince and told me “No one cares about fairy politics”. So you know, if “fairy politics” isn’t your thing, take this recommendation with a grain of salt lol. I really liked it though and this song reminds me of Jude so much. I think the first line goes along with her and Cardan’s relationship so well.

Bejeweled – She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

After losing a basketball game against her toxic ex, Scottie gets into a fender bender with her enemy, Irene in this book. Afterwards, their mothers force them to carpool until Irene’s car is repaired. To get back at Scottie’s ex, she pays Irene to pretend to date her. Irene decides to run for a student athlete award, which sparks a debate over if cheerleading really counts as a sport. Will they realize that they actually make a good couple, or will it all blow up in their faces?

I think these lines parallel Scottie’s relationship with her ex girlfriend a lot. There’s one scene is particular when her ex offers to get back together with her and the response Scottie gives reminds me a lot of the line “And I miss you, but I miss sparkling”. Also another perk of pretending to date Irene was Scottie climbing the social ladder, which I think goes along with the first lyrics. People assume Irene is dumb because she’s a cheerleader even though she is actually very intelligent which reminded me of “Did all the extra credit, then got graded on a curve”.

"And were dancin' all night
And you can try to change my mind
But you might have to wait in line
What's a girl gonna do?
A diamond's gotta shine"

"Did all the extra credit, then got graded on a curve
I think it's time to teach some lessons
I made you my world, have you heard?
I can reclaim the land
And I miss you, but I miss sparkling'"

Labyrinth – All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places follows Finch and Violet, who meet at the edge of a school bell tower when they’re both contemplating jumping. Afterwards, they get paired up for a school project to explore the natural wonders of their state. Finch is much more excited about the pairing than Violet is. They both soon realize that they can be themselves when they’re together and Violet even begins to open up about her past. However, as they explore the world together, one of their world’s begins to contract.

"Oh no, I'm fallin' in love again
Oh, I'm fallin' in love
I thought the plane was goin' down
How'd you turn it right around"

"Lost in the labyrinth of my mind
Break up, break free, break through, break down
You would break your back to make me break a smile"

I read this book during COVID too and I just absolutely loved it. I really like this song too. Violet has a hard time trusting and getting attached to people after losing someone she loves, as is described in the first set of lyrics. Also I think the line “You would break your back to make me break a smile” describes Finch so well. It also shows the dynamic of their relationship really well.

Karma – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval is a magical carnival in which the spectators are a part of the show. This year’s show centers around finding the main character, Scarlet’s, sister who has gone missing. She has to work together with the mysterious stranger that brought them both to Caraval. The prize of Caraval this year is a magical wish. Scarlet hopes to use the wish to save her and her sister from their abusive father. However, the magic of Caraval has a way of drawing people in. As the show progresses, Scarlet has more and more trouble telling acting from reality.

Karma was the song I had the most trouble picking a book for, but I think Caraval fits it pretty well. The game of Caraval is filled with people who’ve betrayed, lied, and murdered for power, including the man behind Caraval, Master Legend himself. Practically every character in the book has done something immoral to get where they are. However, Scarlet just wants the best for her sister. The physical and emotional trauma Scarlet has faced at the hands of her father affect her decision making and priorities throughout the book. This reminds me of the second set of lyrics.

"You're terrified to look down
'Cause if you dare, you'll see the glare
Of everyone you burned just to get there"

"Ask me what I learned from all those years
Ask me what I earned from all those tears"

"Karma's a relaxing thought
Aren't you envious that for you it's not?"

Sweet Nothing – What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What’s Left of Me is a novel about a world where everyone is born with two souls. By the time children are around 5, the recessive soul is supposed to fade away leaving just the dominant soul. However this doesn’t always happen, like with Addie and Eva who are Hybrids. Everyone thinks that Eva has faded away, but she’s actually still there. Having lost control of their body long ago, Eva is stuck inside their mind, existing but unseen.

"They said the end is comin'
Everyone's up to somethin'
I find myself runnin' home to your sweet nothings
Outside they're pushing and shovin'"

"Industry disruptors and soul deconstructors"

"You say, 'What a mind'
This happens all the time"

Scientists try to destroy Eva so Addie can live a normal life. However, when they meet other Hybrids, they realize they aren’t so alone after all. This reminds me of the first set of lines. Also the phrases “soul deconstructors” and “What a mind” I think are given extra special meaning in the context of this book. In this world, souls are quite literally destroyed. People like Addie and Eva are seen as a disruption to the system and a danger to society.

Mastermind – The Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is no ordinary school. The Gallagher Girls are taught to be spies. Cammie Morgan, daughter of the headmistress, is great at blending in and hiding in plain sight. She’s fluent in over a dozen languages, and trained in hacking, martial arts, and murder. However, no one taught her what to do when she meets an ordinary boy and no amount of spying provides her with a clear answer to navigating a relationship with someone who can never know the truth about you.

Throughout the series, Cammie struggles with the weight of being a spy. No matter how bad she wants to tell someone, she can’t trust them with her true identity. It would give away Gallagher Academy and put thousands of women and girls in danger. Also this song reminds me of the romantic plot lines that occur throughout the book series. With the help of her friends, Cammie often tries to spy on guys she likes and strategizes with them about how to act around boys. Let’s just say being a secret agent doesn’t make her dating life any less complicated lol.

"What if I told you none of it was accidental?"

"If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Strategy sets the scene for the tale"

"This is the first time I've felt the need to confess
And I swear
I'm only cryptic and Machiavellian
'Cause I care"

Whew. That was a lot to get through, but I hope you enjoyed it! Make sure to let me know what your favorite Midnights track is down below! Mine’s Vigilante Sh*t but I really love the whole album. As always, I hope this post finds you well and you have a great day!

214 thoughts on “Book Recommendations Based Off of Taylor Swift’s Midnights

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  39. I love this post!! Midnight Rain with Shadow & Bone fits so well, but it also reminds me of Kanej from Six of Crows. Midnights is such a great album – I’d have to say I enjoy Maroon, Midnight Rain, and Would’ve Could’ve Should’ve the most! Vigilante is so good too tho – the lyrics are ON POINT.

    1. You’re so right! It reminds me of Kanej too now that I think about it. I hadn’t read Six of Crows yet when I wrote this post. I actually just read it and I’m reading Crooked Kingdom now. They’re both SO GOOD! Also I love Maroon and Midnight Rain too! They’re so stuck-in-your-head-able lol

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