Taylor Swift released a new album, and in conclusion, I am not okay.
I don’t exactly have the words to explain my happiness when I found out about the surprise release of Folklore, but I won’t lie, there were tears. Taylor Swift has been my favorite artist since her debut album released and I spent hours laying on the floor next to my CD player memorizing every song, and while I’ve loved everything she’s put out, this album has a special piece of my heart.
I could go on and on, but the lyrics (her best ever), storytelling, and genre (indie folk/soft pop/alternative?!) could not be more perfect. It’s genuinely my favorite album yet and!! I haven’t stopped listening to it or screaming about it since it released. So you can imagine my excitement when Ilsa created The Folklore Book Tag, and now I can talk about the album here while also talking about books!!
A major thank you to both Ilsa and Rhi for tagging me- I’ve loved talking about this album with both of them so far, so this was especially happy.🤍 I’m very much looking forward to talking about the songs, sharing my favorite lyrics at the end of each song, and tying them back to books using Ilsa’s prompts!! (Also, I will be using the graphics she created, so a thank you to her for that too.)
- Link to the original creator Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink
- Tag at least 3 people
- Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
- Thank whoever tagged you and link to their post
I just read Wild and Crooked, so the ending is the most fresh in my head and therefore I’m putting it for this. The ending isn’t quite as astonishing as, say, We Were Liars, but it did make me emotional and I had to take a moment to acknowledge what had just happened after reading it. It definitely made my heart Feeling Something, and if you aren’t reading this book for the amazing platonic friendships and uniquely brilliant characters, then read it for the plot twists at the ending!
I really love The 1, and what’s funny is that I wrote this whole post somehow forgetting to copy and paste this graphic, and didn’t realize until the very end, so this seems like the beginning of my fangirling but in reality I’ve already spent two hours talking about 15 other Taylor songs by now. But, I love this song because it has an upbeat tune and manages to be fun while simultaneously breaking me? You know, typical Taylor.
“but we were something, don’t you think so?
roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool
and if my wishes came true, it would have been you”
First of all, I am obsessed with this song!! I think it’s my favorite off the album because it gives me the best vibes. ever. I want to dance in the rain while listening to this song for the rest of my days.
I have to pick Strange the Dreamer for this prompt because I truly felt all the emotions with this book. When it was over, I remember sitting on my bed staring into space because I actually could not comprehend what had just happened. I got so emotionally invested in the characters and world Laini Taylor built, so every happy part and every sad part seemed to be amplified.
“when you are young they assume you know nothing,
but I knew you, dancing in your Levi’s, drunk under a streetlight”
I read this a while ago, but I still remember being blown away by The Forbidden Wish. I found the premise so interesting, which is why I picked it for this! (It also is a retelling of Aladdin, reminding me of how this song is a retelling of a story about Taylor’s house.) I remember finding Zahra and Aladdin really interesting characters, and enjoying the dynamic between them and hearing about Zahra’s backstory. I couldn’t put this book down because it was that fascinating!
The first time I listened to Folklore I didn’t have strong opinions about The Last Great American Dynasty, but now that it’s been out for a few days, it’s been one of the songs I replay most. I really admire the storytelling in this song and I love that it’s a true story! The way Taylor Swift can take a story and weave it into a song is unbelievably amazing.
“who knows, if I never showed up what could have been
there goes the loudest woman this town has ever seen
I had a marvelous time ruining everything”
I do feel bad for calling out any book like this, but I would have to say Shadow and Bone. I actually did like this one, but the problem is, reading it means I need to also then read the rest of the series (especially in preparation for the Netflix show). And…unfortunately, I haven’t been enjoying the rest of the books and am currently stuck on the third one. I just can’t connect to the characters or seem to care about them too much, which makes me sad! (I do like Nikolai.)
From what I’ve heard, Exile is the favorite of a lot of people, and rightfully so!! Taylor Swift and Bon Iver’s back and forth gives me chills, and lyrics are truly phenomenal. Don’t mind me crying over her genius and the sheer talent in this song.
“I think I’ve seen this film before, and I didn’t like the ending
you’re not my homeland anymore, so what am I defending”
I tear up a lot while reading books, but the one book that has made me repeatedly cry is The Book Thief. I mention this book a lot, but it always fits the crying prompts, because it’s genuinely SO heartbreaking. No matter how many times I already know the ending or am prepared for what’s coming, I find myself crying at the end every time I reread it. Don’t get me wrong, though, it’s also one of the most beautiful novels I’ve ever read!
Just like The Book Thief, My Tears Ricochet is heartbreaking and beautiful. It’s one of the songs I connected less with, though I still really like it and I think the whole idea of the song being about her metaphorical death in some way is amazing and the lyrics are some of her greatest!!
“you had to kill me
but it killed you just the same”
I couldn’t think of a book to pick for this one, so I went with a book I love immeasurably: Foolish Hearts. I think Emma Mills went into my mind, realized that I love soft boys, witty banter, boy bands, and girls supporting girls, and then she wrote this book and it made all my dreams come true. :’)
I also get the happiest vibes from Mirrorball, very similar to the happy vibes I get from Foolish Hearts. I think this might just be me, but every time I hear Mirrorball, I picture the Snowball dance in Stranger Things season 2 and it instantly makes me smile.
“I’m a mirrorball, I can change everything about me to fit in
you are not like the regulars, the masquerade revelers
drunk as they watch my shattered edges glisten”
I just reread The Penderwicks and was hit by such a wave of nostalgia. I don’t even think I was that young when I read this series for the first time (maybe ten or eleven), but it brings out the childhood nostalgia so much. This novel makes me want to go back to the days when my whole world was my front yard and the dollhouse in my room and tea parties and chalk drawings.
That’s exactly how Seven makes me feel too- like I want to be a carefree child again. I know I might sound like a broken record, but the lyrics to this song are achingly beautiful and transport me to childhood right away.
“please picture me in the weeds, before I learned civility
I used to scream ferociously, any time I wanted”
The quintessential summer read for me is Love & Gelato. I remember buying it at Barnes & Noble back before I was getting all my recommendations from book blogging and falling in love with it. I’ve read a lot of other summery contemporaries since I read this one, but I’ll always look back at it as the epitome of summer- Italian adventures, whirlwind romances, and endless amounts of gelato.
August is…brilliant. I can’t wait to put this on repeat for literally all of August, because when Taylor Swift releases a song with a month for the title, that’s what you do. The chorus is so catchy, and it’s a summer romance in a nutshell and somehow breaks my heart every time.
“for me it was enough to live for the hope of it all
canceled plans just in case you’d call
saying ‘meet me behind the mall'”
I can’t think of a book that fits this prompt more than The Astonishing Color of After. In this novel, the main character is dealing with the aftermath of her mother’s suicide. There is so much loneliness and sadness in different characters- in Leigh’s mother, in the flashbacks, in Leigh and her father as they grieve their loss differently, in Leigh’s grandparents. But this book addresses it beautifully and also managed to leave a message of hope in my heart.
This is Me Trying is so sad, but so hopeful too, just like the book. I think the feeling of giving your all, even when you don’t know if your all is going to be enough, is deeply relatable to a lot of people. I know I’ve said the word “heartbreakingly beautiful” too much in this post, but honestly, it’s the best way to describe all these songs.
“and my words shoot to kill when I’m mad
I have a lot of regrets about that
I was so ahead of the curve, the curve became a sphere
fell behind all my classmates and I ended up here”
I’m stealing Ilsa’s answer for this one because the only book I think of in recent months that did give me a book hangover was, in fact, You Deserve Each Other. I definitely went out of my normal comfort zone reading this, but it was beyond worth it! After reading about the true, beautiful love between Naomi and Nicholas, how was I supposed to go on with my life as if nothing changed?
I think Illicit Affairs is amazing- the first time I listened to the album, it made my top three. After listening to the songs a few dozen more times, I don’t know if it’s still in my top three (or even what my top three are, I’m having a crisis) but I still think the lyrics are perfection and that this song deserves every ounce of love.
“don’t call me kid, don’t call me baby
look at this idiotic fool that you made me
you taught me a secret language I can’t speak with anyone else”
I read A Court of Thorns and Roses for the first time this month, and I think it came at the perfect time. It had been on my TBR for ages, until I took it off, but one of my friends irl convinced me to read it (and she read The Raven Cycle since I read ACOTAR). It’s not one of my new favorites or anything, but I did really enjoy it and am looking forward to the rest of the series! This summer, when I’m not doing anything and needed books to distract me, was the perfect time for me to read ACOTAR.
Okay, I just have to say- I’ve had Folklore on repeat the whole time writing this post and Invisible String came on exactly as I started typing this one, so that’s fun. This song is so playful, with really lovely lyrics and such a catchy chorus! I love the idea behind it and I also think it shows off Taylor’s voice really well.
“cold was the steel of my axe to grind for the boys who broke my heart
now I send their babies presents”
I just finished I Wanna Be Where You Are, and while I’m planning to do a more comprehensive review soon, I just need to feature Chloe in this post right now! I really adored reading this book because of her character. Not only is she a ballet dancer (I am too🥺), but she’s dedicated, hard-working, a loving friend, and realistically flawed while still being a solidly good person. Chloe is the perfect example of how amazing a female character can be even without saving the world or being the “chosen one”- but just by being herself.
Mad Woman is one of my favorite songs on the album! I love the subtle feminist undertones, and it’s such a well-written song that spoke to me and I hope a lot of other women as well.
“every time you call me crazy, I get more crazy, what about that
and when you say I seem angry, I get more angry
and there’s nothing like a mad woman”
Clearly House of Salt and Sorrows has utterly stolen my heart. I am in awe of how atmospheric and haunting this book managed to be. With a dark, foggy seaside setting, eerie cliffs and lighthouses, sisters getting murdered, and mysterious balls- the atmosphere is so grim and spooky. The end of this book also still haunts me and I frequently think about it.
I also have to rave about Epiphany- I haven’t heard a lot of people say it’s their favorite, but for some reason it’s one of my absolute favorites? Every time I listen to it, I get full-body goosebumps. The lyrics are hauntingly gorgeous and I love it.
“something med school did not cover, someone’s daughter, someone’s mother
hold your hand through plastic now, doc I think she’s crashing out
and some things you just can’t speak about”
It’s been years since I first read The Last Olympian and I still am not, nor will I ever be, over the Percy and Annabeth moments in this novel. A moment of silence for Percabeth fighting together, (highlight for spoiler)Percy denying immortality for Annabeth, and the underwater scene. There are certainly so many books in PJO and HoO with Percabeth moments that I may or may not reread just for serotonin at random points in life, but this one has an extra special piece of my heart.
Betty is one of my favorites from the album! It’s just so! much! fun! The chorus is genuinely one of my favorite choruses that Taylor has ever written. The energy of this song makes me want to start dancing, and I can’t stop playing it on repeat. I also would like to ask, has anyone else noticed that Taylor Swift always calls out seventeen-year-olds for not knowing anything in multiple of her albums?
“I’m only seventeen, I don’t know anything
but I know I miss you”
Okay, I know I’m probably not the only one here who would die for the Raven Boys + Blue, but…I would. Especially for Gansey because Richard Campbell Gansey the Third has as much of my heart as I think any fictional character could. I think this gang of characters (the gangsey? yes) has proved themselves again and again to be very deserving of all the love in the world, so I’ll give this one to The Raven Boys.
I think Peace has some of most complex lyrics Taylor has ever written! It’s a gorgeous love song, but it also is heartbreaking…like the rest of the album. I interpreted it as being about her considering the difficulty of having a relationship with her fame and wow, beautiful.
“all these people think love’s for show
but I would die in secret for you”
Sadly, I have to say What If It’s Us for this. I feel like this was the OG hyped book for me- I think right around the time I started getting really involved in the book community was when the ARC reviews rolled in and it was releasing in the upcoming year. It’s not that I didn’t like this book, I enjoyed it and I thought it was really cute- but I didn’t love it nearly as much as I thought I would, and I haven’t really thought about it after finishing it until I just saw it on Goodreads and remembered about it.
Hoax, however, is one of my favorite songs on the entire album! It’s so, so beautifully written. But wow, was Taylor trying to make me cry? Because she most definitely did. I listened to this song for the first time in complete darkness under a blanket with headphones and there were tears on this song.
“stood on the cliffside screaming, ‘give me a reason’
your faithless love’s the only hoax I believe in”
I’m tagging people that I’ve specifically talked about this album with already, since I know they loved Folklore, but please let me know in the comments if you’d like to be tagged as well~
This post really quickly turned into a long one, but what can I say, I don’t know how to stop talking about Taylor Swift or books, so if you put both of them in the same post, chances are I’ll ramble on for ages. Thank you so much for reading! I hope this post could give you some new book recommendations or song recommendations, and thank you again to Ilsa for creating this tag.
What do you think of Folklore? Favorite songs? Have you read any of these books? I would love to talk about all things Taylor and books in the comments with you.