Badlands and Books

Lately the only music I’ve been listening to is Halsey’s album Badlands. It is an excellent album. It is so good that me and Alexandra from Twirling Pages were inspired to do a pair of posts where we match the songs of the album to books that we think relate either in lyrics or general feel. Half of the album will be here in my post, and the other half will be in Alexandra’s post! (with some repeat songs, because some of them were just to good not to relate two books to)


Castle – Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

Castle is really a song that sounds a lot to me like the thoughts of Vin, the main character of the first Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I think it especially works with most of the events in the second book The Well of Ascension.

“Sick of all these people talking, sick of all this noise, Tired of all these cameras flashing, sick of being poised.”

“Oh, all of these minutes passing, sick of feeling used, If you wanna break these walls down, you’re gonna get bruised.”

I don’t really want to explain any of it because, well, spoilers, but above are a few of the lines that I feel are especially fitting.


Hold Me Down – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This is the one song where I don’t really have any lyrics that I feel are a perfect match to the book, but the overall feel of the music is perfect. Six of Crows, the yet to be released (September 29th) companion novel to Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha triology is gritty and filled with situations that the main characters are unhappy with and were most likely forced into. Hold Me Down is a song that I just really think fits.


Hurricane – The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

While I don’t think all the lyrics of Hurricane fit the Darkest Part of the Forest, there are a few in the chorus that fit extremely well. In the book, Hazel is a girl who is strong and a fighter and is fully prepared to take hold of her own destiny. Hurricane is the perfect song for her.

“I’m a wanderess, I’m a one night stand. Don’t belong to no city, don’t belong to no man. I’m the violence in the pouring rain, I’m a hurricane.”


Haunting – All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Grace, the main character of All Fall Down, has seen some things. Her mother died before her eyes and ever since she has been obsessed with the man who she saw kill her. There is a lot more to the book’s story than meets the eye, and the lyrics in Haunting can describe a lot of it.

“I was as pure as a river, but now I think I’m possessed. You put a fever inside me, and I’ve been cold since you left.”

“’Cause I’ve done some things that I can’t speak, and I’ve tried to wash you away but you just won’t leave. So won’t you take a breath and dive in deep, ‘cause I came here so you’d come for me.”


Gasoline – Something Real by Heather Demetrios

“And all the people say, ‘You can’t wake up, this is not a dream. You’re part of a machine, you are not a human being.’ With your face all made up, living on a screen. Low on self esteem, so you run on gasoline.”

“Pointing fingers cause you’ll never take the blame like me?”

Being a cast member on a reality television show, the main character of Something Real is used to being treated as not quite human. She spends a lot of time being recorded, her ‘face on a screen’ if you like. Gasoline very easily could be a song about everything she hates in her situation during the book.


Control – Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

I feel like there are so many books I could pick for this song because those angsty plots where characters aren’t in control of themselves/their powers are my absolute favorite. (Wow that does not make me sound like a good person at all) But at the moment I am very obsessed with the Reckoners series so it is all I can see in this song.

Again, spoilers, so I’ll just leave you with some lines that fit. If you’ve read the books I’m sure you can figure it out. (It involves the events of Chapter 30)

“I tried to hold these secrets inside me, my mind’s like a deadly disease.”

“And all the kids cried out, ‘Please stop, you’re scaring me.’ I can’t help this awful energy, right you should be scared of me, who is in control?”


I Walk the Line – The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

“I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time.”

“You’ve got a way to keep me on your side, you give me cause for love that I can’t hide.”

The Winner’s Curse probably contains the best star crossed lovers story ever. I really love it and it is so well executed I just want to laugh over the adorable-ness and cry at the same time. Kestrel is an extremely conflicted character. She loves her country but she also loves Arin, who she’s really not supposed to love. I feel like this song expresses that sort of conflict and love and I really relate it to the book.

Well, that’s it for my segment of this album! If you want to see book pairings for the other songs in the album, make sure to visit Alexandra’s post and give it some love! (seriously do, her blog is one of my very favorite to read and her photos are always so pretty!)

All the Lights in the Sky: Albums and Books


Albums and Books: All the Lights in the Sky by Area 11

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer | The End of Infinity (Jack Blank Adventures #3) by Matt Myklusch | Zero Hour (H.I.V.E. #6) by Mark Walden | Saga (Epic #2) by Conor Kostick | Vortex (Insignia #2) by SJ KincaidSteelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson