Chat Between Chapters: Music in Books

August 30, 2015 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 13

chatbetweenchapters2In some books, music plays a big role and is almost like a character. What do you think about music in books? 

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

I can think of a couple of books where music plays (pun intended) an important role. In If I Stay, it is music that drives our main characters and music that ultimately is a deciding factor in whether Mia stays or not. The sequel Where She Went includes a quote from Adam’s songs at the beginning of each chapter. Then there’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson, where the musical being written by Tiny is central to the plot. In these books, and many others I’m sure, music is like one of the characters. Without it, a huge piece of the story is missing; but with it, the story shines. I think music goes hand in hand with with reading, with arts-based-learning being a teaching strategy and all. Some authors listen to specific music when they write, to set the mood and tone they are wanting. Some readers listen to specific types of music when reading specific types of books. So when those intersect inside the plot of a book, I’m a fan.



Yeah. What Julie said.

There are characters who are musicians like Kellen Kyle from the Thoughtless series, or Jet from the Marked Men series, or Ridge from Maybe Someday. There are characters who are really into music like Charlie from Perks of Being a Wallflower or Eleanor and Park from, yes, Eleanor and Park, or Zach from Armada who plays his father’s old arcade playlist to battle the aliens. And I’ve noticed more and more authors listing book playlists in books, and on their websites. Jay Crownover is great with this. Her playlists are excellent examples of an author matching music to characters. I’ve listened to author playlists while reading, especially the music to Maybe Someday. It was written specifically for the book. I think music and books fit well together. And authors should continue integrating the two. 


Note: Some posts may contain affiliate links. Should you choose to purchase a product, we will receive a small commission for the sale at no additional cost to you. Chapter Break is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Subscribe to Chapter Break posts.

Never miss a post on Chapter Break. Subscribe today for all the bookish awesome in your inbox.

Join 17,546 other subscribers

13 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Music in Books”

  1. Sue at Book By Book

    Yes! I thought of Perks of Being a Wallflower, too – I loved Charlie’s musical choices and mix tapes 🙂

    The other YA novel that came to mind was Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, a road trip story complete with playlists for each part of the journey – since I like to do that on our road trips, I’d loved it and copied all their playlists before I passed the book onto my young cousin.

    I am loving your weekly discussions – came here again through Lit Lover’s linkup.


    Book By Book
    Sue at Book By Book recently posted…R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X Reading Challenge

  2. Sharon

    I like it when an author includes a playlist with their book. I don’t have a particular favourite but it helps to set the mood of their story and that aspect i like.

  3. Terri M., the Director

    I love music. I own tons of soundtracks (I’m listening to the Outlander soundtrack RIGHT NOW). When music is in books, I often wish there was a playlist or soundtrack available. I know some authors have starting doing Spotify playlists which is cool.

    I’m listening to Seraphina on my drives to work. And the narrator actually sings some of the songs in the book. This definitely adds a new dimension that is lost when you read it.
    Terri M., the Director recently posted…Scenic Sundays 46: Melancholy and Italo Calvino

    • Julie

      I agree, art in general is lovely when used in books, but being familiar with it helps so much more than something abstract I can’t picture, even if well described.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge