BOOK Theme Songs

T5W is a Goodreads group with over 5,000 members.  They create topical blog prompts for each Wednesday of the month.  I have just joined this month, and you can too!

June 1st Topic Description:

Songs you associate with different books, whether it's because of the lyrics matching the story, the tone fits the story, or just because you listened to it a lot while reading that particular book.

Number 5


Linkin Park

- Leave Out All the Rest (2007)


Mistborn Book One: The Final Empire

By Brandon Sanderson (2006)

The specific connection I want to make here is between the song and the character Kelsier.  It's essentially his anthem.  Kelsier comes from a past where he was a thief lord scamming to make a life for himself in a world that would otherwise have kept him enslaved.

From there he became a prisoner in the Lord Ruler's work camp, The Pits of Hathsin, a place which should have killed him by either harsh labor, or impossible odds, and yet, he emerges as an extremely powerful Mistborn instead.

"Don't be afraid I've taken my beating I've shared what I've made"

You can tell that there was quite frequent murdering of the nobility in Kelsier's past.  And there is quite a bit more of it during the time span of this book.  When he takes on the job of destroying the Lord Ruler's empire, he adds the death of the Lord Ruler to the list without any hesitation.

This man is more than capable when it comes to destruction.  Many people die by his hand directly or as the result of the things he puts into motion.  He did not intend to become the Survivor of Hathsin, but he knows what sacrifices must be made in order to get the job done. 

"When my time comes Forget the wrong that I've done Help me leave behind some Reasons to be missed"

Linkin Park's particular brand of 'New Rock' mixes electronic music with traditional metal instruments.  This song also happens to be their version of a rock ballad. The mixing of electronic and rock gives it a mechanical sound, which creates the perfect atmosphere for the industrious world of the Mistborn Universe. 

"And don't resent me And when you're feeling empty Keep me in your memory Leave out all the rest Leave out all the rest"

The ballad aspect, along with the lyrics, give the song a melancholic feel.  As if it is at once being sung from the moments leading up to death, and from beyond the grave.

Kelsier leaves his crew behind and some of them have a hard time with that, struggling with both feelings of resentment and abandonment.  

Kelsier comes a long way from where he began. He was changed by the experience and by the people on his crew, especially Vin.  In the end Kelsier is just a man, but one whose memory gives hope to all.  He truly can be called a hero, you just have to be willing to, you know... "leave out all the rest."

Music Video:

Number 4


Disclosure Ft. Lorde

- Magnets (2015)


The Bone Season

By Samantha Shannon (2013)

I am going to have less specific details to say about this one because I read The Bone Season three years ago when it was first released.  It is unfortunately not one of my favorite books, but it has a plot and romantic interest which still intrigues me.  Because you know, one of my reading hobbies is actually conspiracy theories & alternate histories, in which I have read a bit about inter-dimensional reptilian entities who vampiraclly feed off of human consciousness...

It's a fascinating theory, and Samantha Shannon has managed to write a love story between a human and one of these such beings, the Rephaite.  It's that forbidden relationship which I am relating back to the song.

"Let's embrace the point of no return"

Okay, so if I've not lost you yet, I commend you on your ability to suspend belief.

Nineteen year old Paige is a 'Dreamwalker' in a city in which possessing psychic abilities is illegal.  She gets caught, and taken away to the secret base on the grounds of Oxford where these inter-dimensional beings are both feeding off of, and training, the prisoners.

"Never really felt bad about it As we drank deep from a lie Cause I felt melting magnets babe The second I saw you through half shut eyes"

If I am remembering correctly, there were a few scenes which dealt with drinking magical vials of some sort, and fighting not to pass out from psychic overexertion. During which, Paige would be describing her surroundings through half shut eyes.

"He was talking, 
I was wondering 'bout You and that girl, 
is she your girlfriend?"

Warden, the Rephaite love interest, also happens to be the consort to the leader of the Rephaite, so him falling for Paige is actually even more messy.

"Uh-oh, dancin' past the point of no return Let go, we can free ourselves of all we've learned I love this secret language that we're speaking"

The second they decide to get together it puts both their lives in danger.  The relationship is truly forbidden by both Rephaite and human standards and if they are found out it would mean death for the two of them, as well as, the immediate end for all that they have planned for the world.  So they are dancing way past "the point of no return."

Music Video:

Number 3


Stiff Dylans

- Ultraviolet (2008)


Keeper of the Lost Cities: Exile (book 2)

By Shannon Messenger (2013)

This song, is great.  It is super upbeat and fun.  I've loved it ever since I first heard it.  But I must admit that it is a super dramatic love anthem, with a juvenile sounding pop-rock delivery.  And that!  That is what makes it the perfect song for Keeper of the Lost Cities:Exile.  The second book in an awesome, and pretty mature, middle-grade novel series.

I could picture all the students at Foxfire Academy rocking out to it.  But more interestingly, perhaps, would be if Keefe (the guy on the cover) were in a band, and singing it about Sophie (the girl on the cover).

Keefe totally has that whole messy hair...

hates his parents...

infamous prankster...

but with a heart of gold...

young-teenage-boy-equivalent-of-a-bad-boy routine going for him.  And I would say that the next logical step in that character progression would be for him to front a high energy pop-rock band.

Beyond just how perfectly the vibe of the song fits the novel, the lyrics are dam appropriate too.

"Your light is ultraviolet"

In this fantasy series the people (who are elves) use a magic system that incorporates crystals and light.  Different crystals bend the light to do different things, such as 'light-leaping', which is their teleportation.  There are also different types of light harvested.  For example, the light of different stars in the universe.

"Visions so insane Travel unraveling through my brain"

The noble class of Elves all manifest different abilities: telepathy, empathy, technopathy, inflicting, ect... so it would not be unlikely for anyone to have insane visions.

Also, an interesting aspect to this series is that the brain of an Elf is very susceptible to psychosis.  Due to this, the health status of ones mind is a frequent concern of the characters.  And there are even some characters whose minds have unraveled due to one reason or another.

"Thought we're safe but we're dangling and it's too far to survive the fall"

Sophie, the main character is constantly finding herself in danger as she sits at the juxtaposition between the highly secret Elven vigilante group, the highly secret Elven terrorist group, and the highly unaware general Elven populous. Her friends and family get into harms way as well, as they try to aid her.

"That fire you ignited Good, Bad and undecided Burns when I stand beside it Your light is ultraviolet"

Like light, fire also plays a huge role in this story. Pyrokenisis is a recently banned ability, rendering anyone who has it as unskilled, and no longer noble. Also, an unstoppable flame called the Everblaze threatens all existence in this world.

Sophie is an ultra-unique, and ultra-powerful, Elf. And if Keefe were looking for a way to capture her awesomeness in song I think he would surely come up with "Your light is ultraviolet."

An added fun fact for you is that this song is already tied to a book. It was in the movie adaptation of the book Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging by Louise Rennison.

Music Video:

Number 2


Awolnation - Kill Your Heroes (2011)


The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvater (2012)

This song is Gansey incarnate--in music? Gansey already should have died once, so he lives his life knowing he is operating on borrowed time. His sense that life is short is very concrete.

That understanding is probably what allows him to continue on his quest for Glendower without fear of the unknown. I vibe so much with his naive longing for proof that there truly is some magical power miraculously guiding him towards discovery. Most people his age would be too insecure, or distracted, to ever go there so earnestly. He is allowing himself to search for meaning and identity.

"Well, I met an old man Dying on a train. No more destination, No more pain"

Anyone who knows anything about Richard Gansey III, will know that he is in fact an old man in a young man's body. His friends call him dad, he has insomnia, and he has traveled the world.

Graduation is frequently mentioned, as he and his friends have varying degrees of commitment to graduating Aliongby Academy.

"Well, he said One thing before I graduate Never let your fear decide your fate."

Gansey has a terrible fate. This is the year he is going to die. And what a terrible year for death it is. He is so close to finding Glendower. He has a core group of friends, all with a purpose.

And now that he has Blue, someone whom he really wants to live for, he finds that he really doesn't want to die. Yet, he continues on his quest. And at the ultimate end, he does not let his fear of death stop him from doing what is right.

"I say ya kill your heroes and Fly, fly, baby don't cry. No need to worry cause Everybody will die."

Make way for the Raven King! This was the year he was going to "fly"

Music Video:

Number 1


Twenty One Pilots

- Semi-automatic (2013)


The Raven King

By Maggie Stiefvater (2016)

This is my favorite song by Twenty One Pilots, and it totally makes me think of Ronan--especially Ronan in the Raven King. In the last installment of this glorious series, Cabeswater and Ronan's dreams are suffering from a sickness, one which can harm him as well. Its hard to think of Ronan as admitting to himself without reservation that he fears the night, but you know he must.

"The horrors of the night melt away Under the warm glow of survival of the day Then we move on, my shadow grows taller along with my fears And my friends shrink smaller as night grows near"

The men of the 21Pilots have spoken about how "the night" is featured in their songs frequently, because, as I am sure anyone reading this knows, nighttime can be a dangerously introspective time for anyone with a tumultuous mind.

"I will be saved for one whole day Until the sun make the hills its grave"

Ronan knows that he must go into his dreams to figure out what is happening, but he has no guarantee that he will survive each endeavor. Then, once he wakes up safe, his victory only lasts for a day because he will surely dream again that night.

Ronan is jagged around the edges. At once, he'll risk pulling things from his dreams to help his friends, fight hit men, and not attend class. But he also loves Adam tenderly, and cares for Chainsaw and Opal (orphan girl) devotedly.

"And I just can't hide I kinda like it When I make you cry"

Ronan curses more frequently than is necessary, and makes offensive comments. He even threw Noah out of a window, but he also cares for the sleeping dream animals at the Barns, and covers the grounds in fireflies for the sake of whimsy.

"I'm never what I like I'm double-sided"

I would imagine that during the time span of Raven Cycle Ronan could be caught singing "I'm never what I like." Because he is still clearly at the stage of figuring out who he is. Especially since there are aspects to him that some would try to have him believe are in opposition to one another.

He's at once a power magus, creator of worlds and beings, gear-head, prep school attendee (sometimes), and speaker of a dead language. He makes time for the catholic church, is a nostalgic family man, animal lover, red meat eater, and happens to be gay. He's a multi faceted character who is even more than double-sided, but I think this term works for him in the figurative sense.

Music Video:

Thanks for reading!


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