Back in December I posted musical pairings for the first six stories of My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins in which YA authors illustrate how the holidays can be a time of first love, caring, and sometimes even a little magic. As promised, here are songs paired with the last six stories in the collection.
“Krampuslauf” by Holly Black
Summary: At Fairmount’s annual Krampuslauf, an unnamed narrator and her friends, Penny and Wren, decide to confront Roth. Roth is a “rich kid” who moonlights with Penny even though he already has a girlfriend. Wren and the main character have had enough of him using their friend. But when they confront Roth, impulsive Wren ends up inviting him and his preppy friends to a New Year’s Eve party. And now the girls need to scramble to put one together.
Musical Pairing: While the main character does find some romance toward the end of the story, more emphasis seems to be on Penny and Roth’s “relationship.” As such, I chose “Looking Too Closely” by Fink for this short story, because Penny refuses to see Roth’s wrongdoings (The devil’s right there, right there in the details/ And you don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself/ By looking too closely) and (The truth is like blood underneath your fingernails/ You don’t wanna hurt yourself, hurt yourself/ By looking too closely). Another great pairing would be “Ghost” by Ella Henderson–especially because Penny can’t see the evidence of Roth’s other, real relationship until it’s right in front of her (I had to go through hell to prove I’m not insane/ Had to meet the devil just to know his name).
“What the Hell Have you Done Sophie Roth?” by Gayle Forman
Summary: Sophie Roth has had many “what have you done?” moments as a freshman at U of B (let’s just say it stands for University of “the middle of nowhere”). As a city girl she stands out in this tiny college in the middle of the country. In fact she is half expecting Ned Flanders to show himself. But at a Christmas caroling concert, she meets someone who also stands out–Russell. Russell shares with her the best pie out of town (apple pie with cheddar cheese) and helps her celebrate something she’s missing this holiday at U of B–Hannakah.
Musical Pairing: Though I’m tempted to pair “Blue Moon” by the Marcels (or another 50’s song that might be a U of B favorite) with this short story, I’m more inclined to pairing it with The Simpsons theme song because Sophie and Russell get together over a shared Ned Flanders joke.