On Apr. 9, Taylor Swift released the highly-anticipated re-record of her 2008 album, “Fearless.” Now, like many of you, I lived and breathed this album thirteen years ago. So, I was incredibly excited to add a new version of “Fearless” to my record collection. To no one’s surprise, I have been on a complete nostalgia trip for the past month and have been listening to the album nonstop.
So, what better way to celebrate this stunning, new(ish) album than to combine two of my favorite things: Taylor Swift songs and books. If you are looking for a good read for the approaching summer season, simply allow one of your favorite “Fearless” tracks to lead the way.
1. “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” - “Get a Life, Chloe Brown” by Talia Hibbert
“Fearless” is all about the fearlessness that comes with falling in love. Just like the title track, “Get a Life, Chloe Brown” celebrates learning to let your guard and love with an open heart. The novel follows Chloe Brown, a proud homebody who employs her neighbor to help her “get a life” after she has a near-death experience.
2. “Fifteen (Taylor’s Version)” - “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky
In “Fifteen,” Swift reflects on the naivete, excitement and friendships that defined her freshman year of high school. Chbosky’s acclaimed novel explores much of the same subject matter, chronicling shy teenager Charlie Kelmeckis’ eventful first year as a high schooler.
3. “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” - “A Touch of Darkness” by Scarlett St. Clair
Alluding to the infamous star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, Swift’s beloved track “Love Story” centers around a forbidden romance. While there are plenty of books that capture this trope, I ultimately settled on “A Touch of Darkness” by Scarlett St. Clair. Although this retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth may find the Greek deities in an Athenian-inspired modern world, a romance between the Lord of the Underworld and the Goddess of Spring is still very much forbidden.
4. “Hey Stephen (Taylor’s Version)” - “There’s Something About Sweetie” by Sandhya Menon
On “Hey Stephen,” Swift muses about a wholesome adolescent crush. Sandhya Menon’s heartwarming YA novel is the perfect complement to this bubbly track. “There’s Something About Sweetie” follows polar-opposite teenagers Ashish Patel and Sweetie Nair, who are set up by Ashish’s scheming parents. But as Ashish and Sweetie spend more time together on parent-sanctioned dates, they soon realize they have more in common than they may have initially thought.
5. “You Belong with Me (Taylor’s Version)” - “One Day in December” by Josie Silver
If you’ve scrolled down to this song you either really love love triangles or this song was a crucial part of your emotional development. Either way, I highly recommend “One Day in December” by Josie Silver. It’s an epic, will-they-won’t-they romance that takes place over ten years. There’s an emotionally complex love triangle, unrequited love and just enough missed chances to drive you the tiniest bit insane.
6. “Tell Me Why (Taylor’s Version)” - “Her Royal Highness” by Rachel Hawkins
In “Tell Me Why,” Swift allows her frustration to run unchecked, letting the object of her affection know she’s sick and tired of his attitude. As such, there is perhaps no better lyric to describe the central romance of “Her Royal Highness” than “I need you like a heartbeat / But you know you got a mean streak.” Rachel Hawkins perfectly captures this “Fearless” track with her charming romance between an American student and the brash Princess of Scotland.
7. “Superstar (Taylor’s Version)” - “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“Superstar” is all about being in love with a famous person who is already loved by the world. There is perhaps no better compliment to this song than “Daisy Jones and the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The novel chronicles the rise and fall of the fictional band, Daisy Jones and the Six, and explores the behind-the-scenes events that caused the band to break up at the height of their fame.
8. “Today Was A Fairytale (Taylor’s Version)” - “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas
Imbued with the signature wholesomeness and wide-eyed wonder of Swift’s early work, “Today Was A Fairytale” transforms the early stages of a relationship into something out of a storybook. If you’re looking for something that is also fairytale-inspired, I recommend “A Court of Thorns and Roses” by Sarah J. Maas. It’s a “Beauty and the Beast” retelling with a fantastical twist, complete with magic, thrilling action and epic romance.
9. “You All Over Me (feat. Maren Morris) (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)” - “Normal People” by Sally Rooney
“You All Over Me” explores the process of trying to get over a dreaded ex. This track perfectly captures the characters of Connell and Marianne, whose on-and-off-again relationship is at the center of Sally Rooney’s novel, “Normal People”. The book follows Connell and Marianne throughout their young adult life, as fate continuously pulls them together despite their best intentions to leave their relationship in the past.
Well, there you have it, collegiettes! There’s no better time to get a head start on your summer reading!