Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Music


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the team at The Broke and the Bookish. The theme for this week is books and music, so I’ll be listing ten books that feature music.

Just a disclaimer… I haven’t read like half of these books. I’m not really into books that are specifically about music. I’m generally just not a fan of books with a male rocker love interest. But here we go:

1. Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner is the companion novel to Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver) trilogy. It focuses on Cole and Isabel’s story, and in this book Cole is a musician who’s trying to make it big in LA. I didn’t really enjoy this book very much… purely because I hated the ‘drugs, sex and rock n roll’ elements.

2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Mia and Adam from If I Stay are both musicians. Mia is a cellist, who’s aiming to become a professional. Adam is part of an up-and-coming rock band. I really enjoyed the relationship between Mia and Adam in this book and they music brought them together even though they were into different genres.

3. You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About by Daniel Herborn

This is an Australian YA debut novel, set in the inner west suburbs of Sydney. Both of the main characters are into their music and Tim is trying to make it as a musician. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book either. It just tried to be too hip and cool with all of these references to obscure bands.

4. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Etta, the protagonist of the book, is a violin virtuoso. She wants to debut as a professional but then finds out that she comes from a family of time travellers. What’s really cool about the time travel in this book, is that it incorporates music into it. Certain musical notes need to be played in order to open up the time travel passages.

5. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Music doesn’t play a huge part in this book but Jem Carstairs plays the violin and I just had to mention him because I love him so much ❀ That violin part in the epilogue KILLED me.

6. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

I read this book about 8 years ago so I don’t really remember how music was involved. I’m pretty sure the male love interest was in a band? Or the main character somehow goes through a healing process because of music?

7. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I started this book when it first came out but I had to put it down because life got really busy… and just never picked it back up. I remember music featuring pretty heavily in the first part of the book that I actually read. Also, they’re sharing earphones on the cover of the US edition, so I assume there’s a lot of music in this book.

8. The Chimes by Anna Smaill

Another book that I haven’t read. I’ve wanted to read this since I first heard about it mid last year. It’s set in a dystopian world where memories and writing don’t exist, and everybody has to rely on music? It sounds super intriguing and I know that the author is a violinist.

9. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

I haven’t read this book either but this whole book is about music. It features a girl who just can’t seem to fit in or make friends, but one day she stumbles upon party and discovers a love for DJing and some new friends who have a love for music.

10. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Haha another book I haven’t read. I know that this book has a lot of musical references and Nick is part of a band. Don’t actually know too much else.

Have you read any of these books and which do you recommend?



22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Music

  1. ChrissiReads says:

    I’ve read a few of these books. I have This Song Will Save Your Life on my list this week too. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t expect to like it as much.


  2. fiddlerblue says:

    I saw the movie for Nick & Norah’s, and it does have a good soundtrack plus music is integral to the plot. I haven’t read the Shiver trilogy but I didn’t expect music to be a part of the plot, so that’s interesting. πŸ™‚ I’m curious how Passenger integrated music into its time travel process, that sounds very unique.


  3. Nick says:

    I’ve only read This Song Will Save Your Life and Just Listen from your list! *hides head in shame*
    I did love Just Listen and really liked This Song. At some point, I want to get to Clockwork Prince and also Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist (for obvious reasons haha!).
    Thanks for sharing, Jenna!


  4. Josephine says:

    Lovely list, Jenna!
    OH MY LORD, Jem playing the violin… Jem is my favourite and that part killed me too! Agh it was just… My heart melted into a pile of mush!
    Eleanor and Park was such a cute book, and I looks the music aspect, but there wasn’t much of it.


  5. Lois says:

    I’m not typically the biggest fan of the aspiring musician type but I do love it when a book incorporates music in some ways; like in playlist forms etc. I do love the way music is incorporated in Passenger and again I desperately need to get my hands on that book!


  6. downrightdystopian says:

    I like the way you took your topic! Also, before I get into my comment, I also want to say that your blog design is ON POINT. I loved Sinner so much. I read it a few months ago and it definitely made me want to reread the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I’M THE BIGGEST FAN OF COLE. I also loved Eleanor & Park!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian


  7. Amber (YA Indulgences) says:

    So many music books! I loved If I Stay and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. There’s a bit of music in Eleanor and Park, I think the first half has the bulk of it really. I want to read Passenger, This Song Will Save Your Life and eventually finish Just Listen. I couldn’t get into that one much.
    Here is my TTT


  8. Summer @ Xingsings says:

    I read Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist one summer when I was a young teen but I literally remember nothing about it. Except that there was an adventure and music involved. XD And happy sigh. Jem and his beautiful violin. I love how Cassandra Clare gives some of her characters musical abilities. Jem and his violin. Jace and his piano. Who and what will it be for The Dark Artifices? I know I talked about priority reads and reviews ARCs, but I’m dropping everything to read that when it comes out next month. I’ll never get sick of Cassie’s books. πŸ˜€


  9. aentee @ read at midnight says:

    I honestly can’t imagine up music in my mind very well so I vastly prefer shows about music (e.g. Nodame Cantabile) than books about them. The Chimes is a little bit of a miss tbh, the pacing was really awful?! Even though the book is so slim. Anyway I still have not finished reading it and must go back at some point. But I am busy listening to my 44 hours long audiobook rn (WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF?)


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