at the end of every year, spotify does a wrap up of the music each individual listens on the app. when i checked mine last year, data showed that i binged IU’s songs which made her my “most listened to artist” and i’m not even complaining. ever since her “YOU&I” and “good day” days, i’ve been a fan of her music and herself as an individual. i adore her aesthetics and her voice. any genre of music she does, i’ll probably support and love.
when she announced an upcoming album for later this year, i was ecstatic. in celebration for IU’s new song “celebrity” that came out on january 27th, i wanted to do something extra. while this isn’t an entirely new concept, the idea of combining books and music came to my mind. hence, i’ll be recommending books based on my favorite songs by IU in this post!~
for each recommendation, it’s a mixture of my own understanding of the lyrics of the song and further research on what IU intended the music to mean. i believe each person interprets music in their own ways and each song would resonate differently with each individual. for fans of hers, if you’re reading this post, let me know if any of my favorite songs of IU’s are yours too!
books: i’ll be the one & the knockout
inspired by a friend who “often drew attention for her eclectic clothing choice and tastes, varied talents, and shy nature. However, others treated her as an odd person for it.” “celebrity” is a song for those who felt out of place and were judged because of their uniqueness.
☾ i’ll be the one – lyla lee
skye doesn’t fit into the categories of a usual k-pop idol. entering the fat-phobic entertainment industry, after acing her audition, skye vows to break all the preconceived notions that a plus-sized girl wouldn’t be able to become a k-pop star. throughout the competition, it was unsurprising that skye faced many malicious comment about her weight. however, she bravely showed everyone that nothing would hold her back from her dream.
☾ the knockout – sajni patel
as an indian girl muay thai fighter, kareena never felt comfortable enough to share her truth about her passion for boxing because of past judgements that she had received from people in the indian community. with the support of other female athletes in her school, her loving parents and the adorable love interest, kareena gradually stopped letting negative voices enter her head and ruin this incredible chance at the US muay thai open for her.
books: the seven husbands of evelyn hugo & they both die at the end
IU mentioned that “eight” has a theme of “self-reflection”. the song discusses about adults reflecting upon their life, reminiscing the simple days that were swept away by time and wishing to be free of responsibilities that came with adulthood.
☾ the seven husbands of evelyn hugo – taylor jenkins reid:
evelyn hugo’s an iconic hollywood actress who lived a scandalous life. monique, an unknown reporter, was chosen to write evelyn’s biography. throughout the novel, both evelyn and monique went through moments of contemplation about their lives–evelyn about her seven husbands, her true love and the sacrifices she made for her acting career, monique with her job and marriage issues.
☾ they both die at the end – adam silvera:
having one last day to live, both mateo and rufus underwent an abrupt and emotional journey of reflection and living. afraid of terrifying outcomes, mateo has lived his life cautiously and never ventured to do things he wished to do. that day, though, he decided to experience a day that wasn’t like his usual. they talked about mateo’s fears and rufus’s struggles. with that title, i had to brace myself for the worst and the worst did arrive. i hope they find that “‘orange island’ where we felt freedom rather than sadness”.
books: heartstopper & felix ever after
lyrics of “blueming” relates the intricacies of modern-day romance with phrases like “our rectangular chat screen”. this pop rock/electro number stole my time away from other songs and “blueming” was on replay for a couple of months. IU mentioned that “the time when ‘roses’ bloom quickly and at most is right after being immersed in love. It is shortly before the confession of one’s though, when expressing honest feelings to the other with all the words in this world, except for a single decisive sentence.”
☾ heartstopper – alice oseman:
the first book that popped up to my mind was heartstopper since i absolutely loved the characters and the discovery of their feelings for one another. the fluffiness between charlie and nick got me melting from the moment they became friends to them realising there was something more.
☾ felix ever after – kacen callender:
one of my favorite reads of 2020 features felix love’s journey about self-discovery, self-love and loving others. a beautiful book with a powerful message. grappling with his identity and the transphobic instagram DMs he had been receiving, felix questions about his own self-worth and feelings about himself. at the same time, he’s slowly falling in love and landing himself up in a love triangle. i adored felix and his love interest. their feelings came from the right place and had the right intentions unlike the other one.
decided to split this recommendation into two parts because i have three more favorite songs planned! it’ll probably be out early february!! so excited~ hope you enjoyed this post! i thought it was be easy matching books with songs but some were quite challenging. for similar posts in the future, i’ll branch out to other music genres. as always, thank you for giving this post your time 💖