Finally, a new year is here! Now is the time to reflect on 2020 while you construct your New Year’s Resolutions. As always, with the end of a year, comes your annual Spotify Wrapped or Apple Replay, a compilation of all your most-listened to songs, artists, and genres. While you plan for the new year, here are books to add to your TBR based on your most popular music genres in 2020!
Books to Read Based on your 2020 Spotify Wrapped!
If your most listened to genre was indie/sad girl music, read:
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
A staple theme of sad girl music is love and heartbreak. What says love and heartbreak more than a Romeo and Juliet retelling? These Violent Delights is set in 1926 Shanghai and features rivals Juliette, the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang, and her first love Roma, the leader of the White Flowers. When the city is wreaked by a mysterious plague, Roma and Juliette must set their differences aside to save the city.
Yolk by Mary H.K Choi
Another theme of indie music is the open discussion and destigmatization of taboo issues such as mental health. Mental health is also a huge theme in Mary H.K. Choi’s upcoming novel, Yolk. Jayne and June Baek are nothing alike. These sisters who moved from Seoul to San Antonio to New York together don’t want anything to do with each other. That is, until June gets cancer. And Jayne becomes the only one who can help her.
If your most listened to genre was K-pop, read:
Shine by Jessica Jung
If you loved K-Pop this past year, you will be obsessed with this book that follows seventeen-year-old Korean American Rachel Kim in her life as a recruit for one of Seoul’s largest K-pop labels. The rules are simple: Train 24/7. Be perfect. Don’t date. Easy right? (Not so much.)
Made in Korea by Sarah Suk
K-Pop stars are highly glamorous. Not only has K-pop taken the world by storm, but so has K-Beauty, as shown in Sarah Suk’s upcoming novel, Made in Korea. Valerie Kwon and Wes Jung are major rivals in their school’s student-run K-Beauty enterprises. Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them.
If your most listened to genre was pop music, read:
Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch
Pop music is all about having fun and traveling, just as Liv Varanakis does in Love & Olives. After years without her estranged father, Liv joins him in Greece and dives into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. However, Liv slowly discovers the real reasons her father chose to reunite.
The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch
Pop music encourages people to embrace their true selves, regardless of how they were born. This is something Sky Baker strives to do in The Sky Blues. Although Sky is openly gay, making sure he was invisible has always been easier than being himself. But, when he decides to ask his crush, Ali, to prom, he will stop at nothing to make sure his haters won’t get the best of him and his plans.
If your most listened to genre was rap music, read:
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
If you love rap music, you will love Jason Reynold’s novel in verse, Long Way Down. The story takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.
Your Heart, My Sky by Margarita Engle
Highly acclaimed for her verse novels, Margarita Engle is coming out with Your Heart, My Sky in 2021. Liana and Amado are living in Cuba’s el período especial en tiempos de paz—the special period in times of peace. A chance encounter with an enigmatic dog brings Liana and Amado together. United in hope and hunger, they soon discover that their feelings for each other run deep. Love can feed their souls and hearts—but is it enough to withstand el período especial?
If your most listened to genre was R&B music, read:
The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
R&B, or Rhythm and Blues, originated in African American communities in the 40s, and is very much guided by Black culture today. If you listened to mostly R&B this year, you’ll be enraptured by the coming-of-age novel The Black Kids. Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. But, everything changes when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a Black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the Black kids.
Wings of Ebony by J.Elle
J.Elle makes the fantasy world and urban neighborhoods collide in her upcoming novel Wings of Ebony. Rue, half-god and half-human, breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves.
If your most listened to genre was EDM music, read:
My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong
EDM, or electronic dance music, was made for nightclubs, raves, and festivals, and is highly popular for people who love to party! If you listened to EDM this year, you’ll love My Summer of Love and Misfortune. When Iris’s family sends her to Beijing, she gets swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself.
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman
A large part of the EDM culture is rebellion, a prominent theme in The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman. Nami dies and wakes up in a place called Infinity to find an imposing queen has taken rule over the afterlife. As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.
If your most listened to genre was classic rock music, read:
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
Rock music grew in popularity in the late 60s early 70s before hitting its peak in the 80s. If you listened to a ton of Classic Rock this year, read Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf, set in 1969. Melati Ahmad looks like your typical movie-going, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her.
Bruised by Tanya Boteju
Classic Rock hits are staple tunes for roller derby bouts, and once Daya in Bruised attends one, she is hooked. The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, the more she realizes it’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing.
If your most listened to genre was classical music, read:
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare
You will love the Edwardian London in which Chain of Gold is set if you listened to a lot of Classical music this year. Cordelia Carstairs is a Shadowhunter, a warrior trained since childhood to battle demons. Cordelia’s mother wants to marry her off, but Cordelia is determined to be a hero rather than a bride. However, her new life is blown apart when a shocking series of demon attacks devastate London.
When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
Classical music is highly important to the protagonist in the upcoming novel, When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert. All Beth wants is for her tight-knit circle of friends to stay together. When Beth witnesses a private act of violence in her friend Jason’s home, the whole group is shaken. So, Beth and her friends make a pact to do whatever it takes to protect Jason, no matter the sacrifice.