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Pairing Music with YA Lit: “Jennifer E. Smith” edition

February and romance go hand in hand like February and below zero temperatures–at least in New England (well, maybe not this winter).  So for this edition, I chose to pair music with books by Jennifer E. Smith.  Smith’s books feature romance, and often focus on fate, serendipity, and… the spark, the instant connection, that pulls two people together.  

hello goodbye and everything in betweenHello, Goodbye and Everything in Between (2015)

Summary: On the last night before they head off to college, Clare and Aidan have to decide whether they will try to make a long distance relationship work (possibly delaying the inevitable) or choose break up (on their own terms).  The two spend the night reliving some of the important events of their relationship, keeping their memories close as they get ready to head off to different parts of the country.

Pairing: Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between shows the manys ups and downs of a relationship–and that true love, lasting love, is not always an easy path.  Because of this I chose “Book of Love” by The Magnetic Fields.  (The book of love is long and boring/ And written very long ago/ It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes/ And things we’re all too young to know).  This is a great song about the endurance of love, just like the novel.


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Pairing Music with YA Lit: “My True Love Gave to Me” Edition (Part 1)

The holidays and romance?  I didn’t think the two would necessarily go together.  I mean, what’s romantic about the stress of the most over-commercialized time of year?  (I apparently need to watch Love, Actually a few more times…)  But after reading My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins, I’m a holiday romance convert.  In this collection of short stories, YA authors illustrate how the holidays can be a time of first love, caring, and sometimes even a little magic.

my true love gave to me

And now I totally see it. Curling up next to that special someone by the fireplace.  Red cheeks; not just from the cold.  The perfect gift–one that symbolizes how much you care about the other person–which might not cost a thing.

So, this time I’m pairing music to each of the stories in “My True Love Gave to Me”. This first post it will include the first six stories, and in January, the final six. Continue reading Pairing Music with YA Lit: “My True Love Gave to Me” Edition (Part 1)

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Pairing TV and Movies with YA Literature:  “The Monster Mash” edition

As I was thinking about a topic for my post this month, the horror genre immediately came to mind (hmmm… I wonder why?).  Ghostly tales, monsters, suspense.  Stay-up-through-the-night novels.  A great genre to read as the nights get longer, colder.  Winds that howl, rains that mist, and fog every morning. As I was considering possible music pairings for some of my favorite horror novels, I couldn’t help thinking about movies or tv series that I could pair them with instead.  So here you’ll find a horror you can watch, paired with horror you can read.

Harper’s Island (2009)

Harper’s Island follows Abby Mills, whose mother died tragically at the hands of the island’s notorious serial killer.  She hasn’t returned to the island since, but seven years later her best friend invites her to his wedding–the destination: Harper’s Island.  Abby must face her fears and confront her mother’s killer as family and friends start disappearing in tragic endings.  There was only one season of Harper’s Island; 13 episodes in which at least one gruesome murder happened in each, ending with a twist no one saw coming. Really? He did it?

Book Pairings:

ten_gretchen_mcneilTen by Gretchen McNeil (2012)

Also set on an island in the Pacific Northwest, Ten features a weekend house party turned murderous. The fun stops as people start dying and a DVD is found with the message: Vengeance is Mine. Another pairing for Ten; one that features a house party gone wrong?  Scream (1996)–and its many sequels.  But for the ghostly alternative: The House on Haunted Hill (1999)–or the 1959 version starring the master of creepy, Vincent Price. Continue reading Pairing TV and Movies with YA Literature:  “The Monster Mash” edition

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