Posted in Books, Music

PRIDE MONTH Musical Shuffle Book Tag

I brought back the Musical Shuffle Book Tag...again!

I tried to go TOO high-concept at first – 50 songs for 50 years of Pride! – but I scrapped that idea pretty quick.

For this round, I paired songs from my 2019 Pride Playlist (available here) with queer books.

Most of these are YA and I haven’t read them all.

For books I have read or know pretty well, I listed the specific representation.

Also, I tried to organize by color?

WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF??

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“I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)” by Whitney Houston

Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon 1

Rep: gay MC, mlm relationship

(CW: bullying, homophobia)

I’ve been in love and lost my senses

Spinning through the town

Sooner or later, the fever ends

And I wind up feeling down

I need a man who’ll take a chance

On a love that burns hot enough to last

So when the night falls

My lonely heart calls

 

If you’ve seen the movie version of this book, you’ll know why I chose this song.

Aside from that, the lyrics fit gooey romantic Simon pretty well.

 

“Feels Like Home” by Sigala, Sean Paul, and Fuse ODG ft. Kent Jones

Queens of Geek

Queens of Geek.jpg

Rep: bi MC, MC with Asperger’s and social anxiety, wlw relationship

(CW: biphobia)

I live the life of a rolling stone

Wherever I lay my hat’s my home

Tell me where you are and girl I’m gone

Meet me at LAX, won’t be long

 

The three lead characters travel to Supacon (ugh) to commune with fellow geeks.

I am almost positive said con takes place in LA.

HMMMM….

 

“Phone” by Lizzo (explicit)

I Hate Everyone But You

I Hate Everyone But You.jpg

Rep: queer poly MC

(CW: anxiety)

2:15 and lights come on

Pffft, where my phone?

Looking around like where my phone?

Looking where my homies went

Where the hell my homies went?

 

In this novel, two long-distance pals, one of whom is queer, communicate over the phone.

Expect a free spirit/basket case dynamic.

 

“Dancing On My Own” by Robyn

The Summer of Jordi Perez

Jordi

Rep: lesbian MC, wlw relationship

I’m in the corner, watching you kiss her, ohh

I’m right over here, why can’t you see me, ohh

I’m giving it all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home, ooh

I keep dancing on my own

 

Protagonist Abby self-identifies as “forever alone.” Who could love a fat queer girl with pink hair and amazing fashion sense?

Literally everyone. But better self-esteem is part of her character arc, so I won’t try and take that from her.

 

“West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys

Kicking in chairs and knocking down tables

In a restaurant in a West End town

Call the police there’s a madman around

Running down underground

To a dive bar in a West End town

In a West End town a dead end world

The East End boys and West End girls

 

This is a saga:

I read a book in the early 2000s about two British football besties who fall for the same girl.

Their competitive dynamic reveals some romantic tensions in their relationship.

One friend eventually accepts his interest in men; the other doesn’t.

And SPOILER: neither of them get the girl.

I can’t find this book for the life of me.

Instead, I’m sharing two queer YA books with similar(ish) plots, one involving a love triangle, the other involving soccer.

Here ya go:

“All Things” by Betty Who

The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Letters to Their Younger Selves

Letter Q

Say, it’s one more day

That you’ll be here beside me

It’s you and all of the things you do

That make it alright

Things keep getting better

 

In this anthology, well-known writers and artists (including Malinda Lo! Lucy Knisley! And my beloved Nick Burd!) write missives to their younger, questioning selves.

All the letters boil down to this encouragement: things will get better.

 

“Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” by Todrick Hall (explicit)

The House of Impossible Beauties

House of Impossible Beauties.jpg

This whole club is my runway, run bitch

Y’all five, four, three, twos, I’m a one bitch

 

Because Todrick uses the c-word and the lyrics are SUPES catty, I associated this song with an adult novel about ball culture.

I don’t play, I WORK.

 

“Womanizer” by Britney Spears

Henry “Monty” Montague from The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Vice

Rep: bisexual MC, mlm relationship, ace/aro character

(CW: violence, abuse, homophobia, racism)

Boy don’t try to front, uh, I

Know just just what you are, uh, I

You got me going

You’re oh-so-charming

 

Bi. Rogue. Alcoholic. Hot mess.

Henry parties to forget.

He pines over his best pal/partner-in-crime.

He…makes…choices.

 

“Different Colors – The Griswolds Remix” by WALK THE MOON

Heavy Vinyl: Vol 1 and Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

Rep 1: wlw relationship

Rep 2: lesbian MC, wlw relationship

(CW: homophobia)

We keep cranking the music up

Driving through our towns

But they don’t wanna hear

They want us to turn it down

So come on lovers, come on haters

Tonight we raise the fire

Cuz when the people get to dancing

Who cares about taking sides

 

I could not choose between the funky bassline and the protest lyrics.

So I picked a comic about girls working at a record shop and a book about queer Christians protesting homophobia in a small Georgia town.

 

“Human” by The Killers

Girl Made of Stars

Stars

Rep: bi MC, genderqueer character

(CW: rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse)

Pay my respects to grace and virtue

Send my condolences to good

Give my regards to soul and romance

They always did the best they could

And so long to devotion

You taught me everything I know

Wave goodbye

Wish me me well

You gotta let me go

 

Hannah and Mara abandon their former worldviews after Hannah’s assault.

They can no longer trust the boy they both love.

Justice, in this case, trumps loyalty.

Hannah and Mara share a lovely scene toward the end of the book. The joy in this song reminds me of that scene.

 

“House of Air” by Brendan MacLean

Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name

Rep: mlm relationship

(CW: graphic sex scenes, apricots)

No walls, no barriers

We talk without a word

Your eyes with no concern

Your heart forever turned

When you’re losing faith in all you’ve done

Gotta get away from everyone

Leave your broken heart outside

Let the music pacify

No one near, just you and I

In the house of air

 

Elio and Oliver create an idyllic little love bubble once they hook up.

Of course, Oliver is leaving soon.

It’s FINE. Aciman’s writing a SEQUEL.

 

“On the Floor” by Jennifer Lopez

Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens

Kings Queens.jpg

Dance the night away

Live your life and stay young on the floor

Dance the night away

Grab somebody, drink a little more

 

This song and this book sound so joyful.

Let’s all stay young on the floor…

…by acknowledging that ball culture originated in black and Latinx queer spaces!

Dance the night away! Don’t supplant their history!

 

“Drop It On Me” by Ricky Martin ft. Taboo and Daddy Yankee

The Princess and the Fangirl

Princess Fangirl

Rep: wlw relationship

Tonight it’s a special night

To get you by my side

I’ve been waiting all week long to get it on with you

Sometimes we hit the floor

Dance like we never did before

I’m going to put it on you Boricua-style

 

This song made me think of the dance scene in Geekerella, a book with a wlw side couple.

This companion novel features said couple.

 

“Mr. Put It Down” by Ricky Martin ft. Pitbull

Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In

(CW: violence, implied mutilation, pedophilia)

Who has a lifetime, baby?

We got the night right now

 

Heeeeeeeey theeeeere.

I know a spoiler that queers the relationship between Eli and Oskar.

Good rep? Probably not.

First book I thought of? Yep.

 

“Slide” by Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean, Migos (explicit)

Anger is a Gift

Anger is a Gift

Rep: mlm relationship

(CW: racism, police violence, depression, anxiety, death, grief)

Do you slide on all your nights like this?

Do you try on all your nights like this?

Put some spotlight on the side

And whatever comes, comes through clear

 

I didn’t spend much time with Moss, yet this song makes me think of him sitting quietly on the train just trying to get home.

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As June wraps up, I’m looking forward to more LGBTQIA+ book releases during the latter half of the year.

For more queer content, check out:

NO IDEA how this month passed so quickly, so enjoy it while you can!

Happy Pride!

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Author:

She/her. 4w3. Lover of vegan cream cheese and performative angst. Seattle-based writer currently dabbling in socialism and progressive Christianity. I love to call out, complain, overreact, analyze, and reimagine. This site contains the fruit of that labor.

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