Music is a strong pressure that connects individuals to each themselves and one another. You may shut your eyes and hearken to a track and be taken again to a different time. It’s artwork with the power to move individuals—to the previous by nostalgia, into the arms of the one who acquired away, into goals of the long run. Among the greatest love stories ever instructed had been delivered to life by track.
And for all these causes, music is extremely much like books, wouldn’t you say? Beneath we’ve compiled an inventory for music lovers and musicians—a pleasant pattern of books wealthy with music to encourage and empower you. It does, nonetheless, include a warning: These tales will get you deep in your feels and eager for stuff you didn’t know you wished.
From rap to punk to Okay-pop to ‘70s music, we’ve acquired you coated!
10 YA Books for Music Lovers
1. Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle
This highly effective Black coming-of-age story can also be a story of affection that brings to life two layered younger characters you’ll make investments your complete coronary heart in, with classes and characters that can stick with you ceaselessly. The writer broaches the topics of processing grief, belonging to oneself, and taking dangers for love. Movie fanatics also can rejoice! The novel is deeply embedded with Black tradition, with a high-spirited engagement with music and movies. Learn this one if you happen to’re craving heat and fuzzy emotions.
TW: Sexual assault
Hitch meets The Solar Is Additionally a Star on this witty and romantic teen novel a few self-professed teen love physician with a well-liked radio phase who believes he can get a lady who hates all issues romance to fall in love with him in solely three dates.
Prince Jones is the man with all of the solutions—or so it appears. In spite of everything, at seventeen, he has his personal phase on Detroit’s standard hip-hop present, Love Radio, the place he dishes out recommendation to the brokenhearted.
Prince has all the time dreamed of changing into a DJ and falling in love. However being the principle caretaker for his mom, who has a number of sclerosis, and his little brother means his goals will keep simply that and the one romances in his life are those he hears about from his listeners.
Till he meets Dani Ford.
Dani isn’t checking for anyone. She’s targeted on her plan: ace senior yr, rating a scholarship, and transfer to New York Metropolis to grow to be a well-known writer. However her faculty essay retains tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means coping with what occurred at that celebration a couple of months in the past.
And that’s one factor Dani can’t do.
When the romantic DJ meets the bold author, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, however Dani’s not trying to get derailed. She offers Prince simply three dates to persuade her that he’s value falling for.
Three dates for the love skilled to take his personal recommendation, and simply possibly change two lives ceaselessly.
2. XOXO by Axie Oh
For those who’re heart-eyed for the forbidden romance and meet-cute tropes, then look no additional than XOXO, which additionally brings you the OMG-I-had-no-idea-he-was-famous trope. Studying this e-book appears like sitting again and watching a feel-good, romantic Korean drama. Filled with wild boarding college adventures, secret love, and stand-out supporting characters, this charming quick-read will function your official induction into the Okay-pop fandom.
Jenny’s by no means had a lot time for boys, Okay-pop, or actually something moreover her dream of being an expert cellist. However when she finds herself falling for a Okay-pop idol, she has to resolve whether or not their love is definitely worth the threat. A contemporary forbidden romance wrapped within the glamorous and unique world of Okay-pop, XOXO is ideal for followers of Jenny Han and Maurene Goo.
Jenny didn’t get to be an award-winning, classically educated cellist with out selecting follow over enjoyable. That’s, till the evening she meets Jaewoo. Mysterious, good-looking, and just a bit bit tormented, Jaewoo is strictly the form of distraction Jenny would usually keep away from. And but, she finds herself pulled into spending an unforgettable night wandering Los Angeles with him on the evening earlier than his flight dwelling to South Korea.
With Jaewoo an ocean away, there’s no use in dreaming of what might have been. However when Jenny and her mom transfer to Seoul to maintain her ailing grandmother, who does she meet on the elite arts academy she’s simply been accepted to? Jaewoo.
Discovering the dreamy stranger who swept you off your toes in your homeroom is one factor, however Jaewoo isn’t simply any scholar. Seems, Jaewoo is a member of one of many greatest Okay-pop bands on the earth. And like most Okay-pop idols, Jaewoo is strictly forbidden from relationship anybody.
When a relationship means not solely jeopardizing her place at her dream music college but in addition endangering all the pieces Jaewoo’s labored for, Jenny has to resolve as soon as and for all simply how a lot she’s keen to threat for love. XOXO is a brand new romance that proves chasing your goals doesn’t must imply sacrificing your coronary heart, from acclaimed writer Axie Oh.
3. I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
Romance, variety, and physique positivity! I’ll Be the One is one other Okay-pop delight. For those who’re on the lookout for bisexual illustration, you’ll discover it contained in the pages of this e-book. Lyla Lee delivers an empowering message with compelling writing. Be ready to obsess over the chemistry between the 2 leads, and cozy-up—you received’t need to shut this one till you flip the final web page.
The world of Okay-Pop has by no means met a star like this. Debut writer Lyla Lee delivers a deliciously enjoyable, considerate rom-com celebrating confidence and physique positivity—good for followers of Jenny Han and Julie Murphy.
Skye Shin has heard all of it. Fats ladies shouldn’t dance. Put on shiny colours. Shouldn’t name consideration to themselves. However Skye goals of becoming a member of the glittering world of Okay-Pop, and to try this, she’s about to interrupt all the foundations that society, the media, and even her personal mom, have set for ladies like her.
She’ll problem hundreds of different performers in an internationally televised competitors on the lookout for the subsequent Okay-pop star, and she or he’ll do it higher than anybody else.
When Skye nails her audition, she’s instantly swept right into a whirlwind of numerous practices, stunning performances, and the drama that comes with actuality TV. What she doesn’t rely on are the extremely fat-phobic magnificence requirements of the Korean pop leisure trade, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that quickly fly along with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.
However Skye has her sights on changing into the world’s first plus-sized Okay-pop star, and meaning profitable the competitors—with out dropping herself.
4. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Quantity three in Simonverse, Leah on the Offbeat offers us drummer Leah, Simon Spier’s greatest pal, because the badass heroine. Battling nonetheless being closeted, Leah’s story will resonate and encourage many. It’s an ideal sapphic learn for many who go goo-goo for romantic and flirtatious banter. This e-book ought to include a warning, although—your face will harm from smiling like an fool.
On this sequel to the acclaimed Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—now a serious movement image, Love, Simon—we observe Simon’s BFF Leah as she grapples with altering friendships, old flame, and senior yr angst.
In the case of drumming, Leah Burke is often on beat—however actual life isn’t all the time so rhythmic.
She’s an anomaly in her pal group: the one youngster of a younger, single mother, and her life is decidedly much less privileged. She loves to attract however is simply too self-conscious to indicate it. And though her mother is aware of she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the braveness to inform her buddies—not even her brazenly homosexual BFF, Simon.
So Leah actually doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid pal group begins to fracture in sudden methods. With promenade and faculty on the horizon, tensions are working excessive.
It’s laborious for Leah to strike the appropriate notice whereas the individuals she loves are preventing—particularly when she realizes she may love one in every of them greater than she ever supposed.
5. Music From One other World by Robin Talley
Instructed by two alternating POVs and with a mixture of diaries and letters, Music From One other World is a e-book for each music devotees and historic fiction lovers! Embark on a 70’s journey with this shifting queer love story that can make you’re feeling nostalgic for the misplaced artwork of writing letters. The principle characters are so fleshed out that they’ll begin to really feel actual to you, and their braveness will encourage you to know your individual. Their bond over punk music and Patti Smith transforms into one thing a lot deeper and visceral. Monumental moments within the battle for LGBTQ+ rights are meticulously interwoven into the leads’ private lives.
A grasp of award-winning queer historic fiction, New York Occasions bestselling writer Robin Talley brings to life an emotionally charming story in regards to the lives of two teen ladies residing in an age when simply being your self was an unimaginable act of bravery.
It’s summer time 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anyplace. Not at her strict Christian highschool, not at her conservative Orange County church and positively not at dwelling, the place her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organizes antigay political campaigns. Tammy’s solely outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to homosexual civil rights activist Harvey Milk…till she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who modifications all the pieces.
Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and punctiliously shared secrets and techniques, and shortly their letters grow to be the one place she may be trustworthy. The remainder of her life in San Francisco is stuffed with lies. The sort she tells for others—like serving to her homosexual brother disguise the reality from their mother—and the type she tells herself. However as antigay fervor in America reaches a daunting new pitch, Sharon and Tammy should depend on their long-distance friendship to find their deeply private truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise towards.
6. Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
That includes lyrics from rapper Malik-16, Let Me Hear a Rhyme is a brilliantly thought out and plotted rap-infused masterpiece. Set in 1998, it’s the form of gem you grip till you’re completed becoming the puzzle items collectively. The story grips and strikes you, instructing you that it’s okay to chase after your goals, even when they don’t align along with your acquainted norms. Carry out the tissues for the ugly cries—you’ll must cradle your coronary heart when studying this one. A deep love for the music and period bleeds by these pages.
In this putting new novel by the critically acclaimed writer of Allegedly and Monday’s Not Coming, Tiffany D. Jackson tells the story of three Brooklyn teenagers who plot to show their murdered pal into a serious rap star by pretending he’s nonetheless alive.
Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was proper: Issues completed modified. However that doesn’t imply that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their greatest pal Steph’s music lie forgotten underneath his mattress after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes might flip any Mattress Stuy nook into a celebration.
With the assistance of Steph’s youthful sister Jasmine, they give you a plan to advertise Steph’s music underneath a brand new rap title: the Architect. Quickly, everybody desires a chunk of him. When his demo catches the eye of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio should show Steph’s expertise from past the grave.
Because the strain of protecting their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are compelled to confront the reality about what occurred to Steph. Solely, every has one thing to cover. And with all the pieces driving on Steph’s fame, they should resolve what they stand for or lose all that they’ve labored so laborious to carry on to—together with one another.
7. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
This nice modern makes it on our charts as one other platinum rap hit, with its take a look at life on the streets of the Backyard neighborhood. You may’t assist however be deeply invested by the heroine and admire her as she struggles along with her fledgling rap profession. Fantastically written and formed, the writer does a unbelievable job portraying a personality with development. By means of her journey, the reader is reminded of the sweetness and significance of discovering your voice.
Sixteen-year-old Bri desires to be one of many biggest rappers of all time. Or no less than win her first battle. Because the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died proper earlier than he hit huge, Bri’s acquired huge footwear to fill. However it’s laborious to get your come up once you’re labeled a hoodlum in school, and your fridge at house is empty after your mother loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first track, which works viral . . . for all of the fallacious causes.
Bri quickly finds herself on the heart of an argument, portrayed by the media as extra menace than MC. However with an eviction discover staring her household down, Bri doesn’t simply need to make it—she has to. Even when it means changing into the very factor the general public has made her out to be.
Insightful, unflinching, and stuffed with coronary heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the vital influential literary voices of a technology. It’s the story of preventing on your goals, whilst the percentages are stacked towards you; and about how, particularly for younger black individuals, freedom of speech isn’t all the time free.
8. Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Younger
In search of an entertaining and escapist learn? We’ve acquired you coated with Idol Gossip! Don’t be fooled although—this isn’t a rom-com. It’s an exploration of what it means and prices to have fame. Propelled by a deep love for music and people she loves essentially the most, the main girl exhibits us what it means to be your true self.
An inside take a look at the Okay-pop phenomenon, in a wry, punchy young-adult debut that probes cultural variations, sisterhood, and the minefield of fame.
Each Friday after college, dressed of their new South Korean prep-school uniforms — sweater vests, knee-highs, pleated skirts, and blazers — seventeen-year outdated Alice Choy and her little sister, Olivia, head to Myeongdong, courageous a dank, basement-level stairwell stuffed with graffiti, and slip right into a noreabang. Again in San Francisco, when she nonetheless had buddies and earthly possessions, Alice took common singing classes. However since their diplomat mother moved them to Seoul, she pours herself into karaoke, vamping it up of their sales space to Woman Gaga whereas loyal Olivia applauds and howls with laughter. Alice lives for Fridays, however when an older girl stops her on their manner out in the future, handing Alice a enterprise card with a bow, singing turns severe. Might the possibility encounter actually be her ticket to elite standing at Top10 Leisure’s Star Academy? With just a little sisterly help, backed by one of many world’s high expertise businesses, can Alice lead her group on stage earlier than a stadium of fifty,000 chanting followers — and simply possibly strike Okay-pop gold? Not if a sure influential blogger and the anti-fans get their manner.
Scrumptious gossip squares off with real coronary heart in a debut about standing out and becoming in, dreaming huge and staying true — for avid Okay-pop followers and people simply discovering the worldwide cultural phenomenon.
9. Okay-Pop Confidential by Stephan Lee
How a lot would you be keen to sacrifice about your self to be within the highlight? You don’t should be a fan of Okay-pop to have your each single YA want fulfilled with Okay-Pop Confidential. Forbidden love? Love triangle? Villains you’ll like to hate? Feminine friendship? Household drama? It’s acquired all of it! This YA romance is one everybody can obsess over.
On this novel about chasing huge goals, a Korean-American lady travels to Seoul in hopes of debuting in a lady group on the similar Okay-pop firm behind the preferred boy band on the planet.
Candace Park is aware of rather a lot about enjoying a job. For many of her life, she’s been enjoying the function of the quiet Korean lady who takes all AP lessons and performs a classical instrument, protecting her goals of stardom-and her obsession with SLK, Okay-pop’s high boyband-to herself. She doesn’t see how an everyday lady like her might presumably grow to be a type of Okay-pop goddesses she sees on YouTube. Though she will be able to sing. Like, actually sing.
So when Candace secretly enters a worldwide audition held by SLK’s music label, the very last thing she expects is to truly get a coveted spot of their trainee program. And convincing her strict mother and father to let her to go is all however inconceivable … though it’s nothing in comparison with what comes subsequent.
Underneath the strict supervision of her instructors on the label’s headquarters in Seoul, Candace should good her efficiency expertise to inside an inch of her life, study to talk Korean fluently, and navigate the complicated hierarchies of her fellow trainees, all whereas following the strict guidelines of the trade. Rule primary? NO DATING, which turns into inconceivable to observe when she meets a dreamy boy trainee. And within the all-out battle to debut, Candace is at risk of planting herself in the midst of a scandal lighting up the Okay-pop fandom around the globe.
If she doesn’t have what it takes to grow to be an ideal, hair-flipping Okay-pop idol, what’s going to that imply for her household, who’ve sacrificed all the pieces to provide her the possibility? And is a spot in essentially the most hyped Okay-pop lady group of all time actually value risking her friendships, her future, and all the pieces she believes in?
10. Rise to the Solar by Leah Johnson
Have fun stunning Black sapphic love with Rise to the Solar. Instructed in twin POVs with compelling, messy characters and a wealthy and distinctive setting, you’ll be daydreaming about strolling alongside the pageant with them. The story touches on betrayal and grief, however leaves you with a sense of hope.
TW: Revenge porn, gun violence, PTSD, bullying, grief
Three days. Two ladies. One life-changing music pageant.
Olivia is an skilled at falling in love . . . and at being dumped. However after the fallout from her final breakup has left her an outcast in school and at dwelling, she’s decided to show over a brand new leaf. A crush-free weekend at Farmland Music and Arts Competition along with her greatest pal is simply what she must get her thoughts off the senior yr that awaits her.
Toni is one week away from beginning faculty, and it’s the final place she desires to be. Not sure about who she desires to grow to be and nonetheless reeling within the wake of the lack of her musician-turned-roadie father, she’s heading again to the music pageant that modified his life in hopes that following in his footsteps will assist her discover her personal manner ahead.
When the 2 arrive at Farmland, the very last thing they count on is to comprehend that they’ll want to hitch forces as a way to get what they’re trying to find out of the weekend. As they work collectively, the pageant turns into a lot extra difficult than they bargained for, and Olivia and Toni will discover that they want one another, and music, greater than they ever might have imagined.
Filled with irresistible romance and irrepressible coronary heart, bestselling writer Leah Johnson delivers a shocking and cinematic story about grief, love, and the exceptional energy of music to heal and join us all.