Tag Archives: Music

Fictional Characters & Favorite Songs (By Layla M. ’25)

A melody sings just as profound a story as the written word speaks. Here are a few fictional characters paired with songs that I feel tell their stories, related by either emotion or physical experience. I tried not to reveal too much plot in case you haven’t read some of the books.

“Money” by Pink Floyd & Napoleon of Animal Farm by George Orwell 

“Money” describes the greed that Napoleon learned from humans, but with some extra funk and a killer saxophone solo that’s dirtier than pigs.

“No Surprises” by Radiohead & Charlie Gordon of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

In “No Surprises,” a bell chimes the main riff in thirds throughout the entire song. The simple melody is placed in thirds like a child’s lullaby, which creates an innocent, sweet mood that contrasts with the song’s lyrics of giving up by death. After gaining a normal intelligence, Charlie realized the cruelty he mistook for friendship and his childhood’s traumas. At the end of the book Charlie was just as isolated by his intelligence as he was beforehand. I felt Charlie’s sadness in his mental passage from cradle to grave in this song.

“Learning to Fly” by Pink Floyd & Watney of The Martian by Andy Weir

Similarity: Space / Space

“Dark Necessities” by Red Hot Chili Peppers & the society of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This song’s bass is so clean, almost like the sterile lives of Fahrenheit 451’s world. As for the message, there’s a dark side to the sanitized version of reality.

“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure & Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Imagine thick, saturated drums with gated reverb punctuated by jangling guitars. Drench whatever you thought of in synths, and that is what I would make the soundtrack to Eleanor and Park in movie format. Somehow, in my mind, the lushness of 80s music translates to Park’s falling head over heels for Eleanor.

“Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman & Lennie and George Of Mice and Men by Ernest Hemingway

“Fast Car” carries hope of renewal and escape, like Lennie and George’s dreams of starting their own farm.

“Jeremy” by Pearl Jam & the Creature of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The bullied becomes the bully in both “Jeremy” and Frankenstein. I guess what goes around comes around, and it comes back a whole lot worse.

I hope that this article will inspire you to consider giving some new music a listen or new book a read. If this post inspired you to make your own character/song pairings, leave ’em in the comments!

–Layla M.

Daisy Jones & The Six (review by Emma A. ’21)

Daisy Jones & The SixDaisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

About a page into the book, I was completely hooked! Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid tells the story of the rise and fall of a fictional band in the 70s. The story depicts unconditional love, addiction, self-help, and the golden era of rock, all while set to a soundtrack of some of the best made up songs I have ever read. Loosely modeled off of Fleetwood Mac, the drama and events of the novel are so realistic that you will have to keep telling yourself the band doesn’t exist!

The novel is divided into parts, each progressing through the story of the whimsical, carefree Daisy Jones and the emerging musical powerhouse The Six. Daisy and the band’s stories begin to intertwine and new group dynamics emerge and are tested. The characters are each imperfect in their own ways and there is a sense of humanity given to each of them. Unsurprisingly, my favorite character was Daisy. Daisy is headstrong, stubborn, self sabotaging, and possesses natural born talent, but she grows and develops over the course of the story. As the novel was told in an interview format, each character was reflecting on the decisions they made in the past while providing commentary and witty remarks. Each character’s voice emerged distinctly and proved a testament to their personalities.

This book was honestly a perfect shelter in place read for me and a great addition to my favorite books of all time list! I found myself eager to keep reading and couldn’t put the book down (I finished it in one night!). The story is incredibly engrossing and realistic, and though I grew up in the 2000s, I felt fully immersed in the bustle of LA and the rock scene of the 70s. -Review by Emma A. ’21

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Just Listen by Sarah Dessen (review by Monica K. ’14)

Just ListenJust Listen by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If books were meals, Just Listen by Sarah Dessen would be the chicken noodle soup of the YA Lit world. The youngest of three sisters, Annabel Greene withdraws into herself following her sister’s eating disorder, her former best friend’s malicious bullying, her growing lack of interest in her modeling career, and the constant isolation at school and home. However, before she can completely fade away, she meets the music-obsessed, completely honest Owen, who helps her gain the self-confidence to speak of what really happened the night her remaining friendships were ruined. Dessen skillfully combines family story and romance with dashes of humor, making a very accessible, engaging read. Fans of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.Just and other novels by Sarah Dessen will enjoy Just Listen. – Monica K. ‘14

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