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From Fearless to Lover: Finding Your Next Book Based on Your Favorite Taylor Swift Album

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Texas chapter.

Taylor Swift’s music has inspired a generation of fans with her honest and emotional lyrics. Her albums are known for their distinct themes and aesthetics, and modern literature has provided us with books that complement these different eras. Here are some book recommendations that match Taylor Swift’s album eras.

Taylor Swift (2006) – The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders is a classic YA novel popularized on BookTok and pairs well with Taylor Swift’s debut album. Set in the 1960s, the novel follows the struggles of a group of teenagers living in a rough neighborhood, dealing with issues of identity, class, and rivalry. The themes of identity and self-discovery in The Outsiders align with Taylor Swift’s debut album, which features songs that explore the complexities of teenage life and relationships. Both the novel and the album offer a raw and honest portrayal of the challenges and experiences faced by young people, making The Outsiders perfect for anyone looking to reflect on the struggles of youth and growing up, much like Taylor Swift’s early work.

Fearless (2008) – We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars is a psychological thriller that became a BookTok sensation and pairs well with Taylor Swift’s Fearless. The novel follows the story of a wealthy family with secrets and lies, exploring themes of love, betrayal, and self-discovery. Like We Were Liars, Taylor Swift’s Fearless album also explores themes of love and betrayal, making it the perfect pairing. The album features songs that capture the intense emotions of teenage love, heartbreak, and vulnerability that come with opening up to others. The family dynamics in the novel and the album’s themes of self-discovery and growth also align, as both works showcase characters who learn to navigate complex relationships and find their own paths. Together, Fearless and We Were Liars offer a captivating and emotionally charged experience that will resonate with fans of both Taylor Swift and psychological thrillers.

Speak Now (2010) – They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End is a contemporary YA novel that deals with themes of life, death, and love, matching the confessional lyrics of Swift’s Speak Now album. The novel follows two teenagers who receive a phone call on the day they are going to die and how they choose to spend their last day together. The emotional depth and complexity of the characters in They Both Die at the End reflect the lyrical storytelling of Speak Now, which features songs that chronicle the ups and downs of relationships and self-discovery. The novel’s exploration of the fleeting nature of life and the importance of living in the moment also mirrors the album’s themes of seizing the day and taking risks, making them a natural pairing for fans of Taylor Swift and contemporary YA literature.

Red (2012) – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a popular fantasy series that matches the intensity of Taylor Swift’s Red album. The series follows Feyre, a human who falls in love with a high fae lord, as she navigates the dangerous politics of the faerie world. The raw emotions and intense passion in Red mirror the romance and tension of A Court of Thorns and Roses, making them a perfect pairing. The album’s exploration of love and heartbreak, as well as the novel’s depiction of relationships and power dynamics, will captivate fans of both Taylor Swift and Sarah J. Maas. Together, Red and A Court of Thorns and Roses offer a journey of self-discovery, empowerment, and epic romance.

1989 (2014) – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern 

The plot of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern pairs well with Taylor Swift’s 1989 album through their shared focus on self-discovery. In The Night Circus, the main characters Celia and Marco question the rules and expectations of the magical game they are competing in, ultimately realizing that their fate is in their own hands. Similarly, 1989 features songs that encourage listeners to embrace their individuality and let go of the past, representing a departure from Swift’s earlier work and showcasing her growth as an artist. Both works highlight the power of personal growth and self-discovery, making The Night Circus an excellent pairing with Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. 

Reputation (2017) – One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying is a contemporary mystery novel that matches the themes of Reputation. The novel follows the story of five high school students who walk into detention, but only four walk out alive, and how they become suspects in a murder investigation. The themes of deception, reputation, and betrayal in One of Us Is Lying can also be found in Taylor Swift’s Reputation album, which uses the lens of celebrity and media scrutiny to examine how they apply to her own life. Both works offer a complex and nuanced portrayal of the impact of rumors and the struggle to maintain one’s identity in the face of adversity, making them a thrilling and thought-provoking pairing for fans of contemporary mysteries and pop music.

Lover (2019) – Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue is a romance novel that pairs perfectly with Lover. The novel follows the story of the son of the first female president of the United States as he falls in love with the prince of England, exploring themes of love, politics, and identity. The whimsical and joyful tone of Lover reflects the exuberant and optimistic atmosphere of Red, White & Royal Blue, making them an ideal pairing for fans of contemporary romance. Both works explore the complexities of love and relationships in the face of societal expectations and pressures, offering a heartwarming and hopeful journey of self-discovery, acceptance, and love.

These book recommendations are great matches for these Taylor Swift album eras, providing an enriching reading experience for fans of her music and the BookTok community alike.

Ilyanna Santos is an aspiring writer and journalist from Austin, Texas. She is currently studying journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and is the Marketing and Social Media Director for Shamari Realty. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, and having a good cup of tea.