The best memories in my life are steeped in music. When that right song plays at just the right time, life seems bigger; more transcendent. Chbosky describes it perfectly in The Perks of Being a Wallflower:  “and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” Yes. That’s exactly how it feels.

In the same way, the books with that perfect soundtrack really stand out in my memory, and make the story seem boundless. They have also introduced me to some really fantastic music– like Nick Drake’s Pink Moon album, and the song “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass, to mention a couple.

Check out a few of these YA books with a soundtrack, and open yourself up to new sounds and lots of afternoons lying on your bedroom floor with your headphones on.


Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

“God Save the Queen” by The Sex Pistols

“Assimilate” by Skinny Puppy

“Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas

“Something I Learned Today” by Hüsker Dü

“How Soon Is Now?” by The Smiths

“Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits

“This Charming Man” by The Smiths

“Holiday in Cambodia” by The Dead Kennedys

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Divison

“Rise Above” by Black Flag

“867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone

“Forever Young” by Alphaville

“Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams

“Bad” by U2

“In Between Days” by The Cure

“Cruel Summer” by Bananarama

“Scarborough Fair/Canticle” by Simon & Garfunkel

“Helter Skelter” by The Beatles

“Rio” by Duran Duran

“Who’s Johnny” by El DeBarge

“Bitchin’ Camaro” by The Dead Milkmen

“Alison” by Elvis Costello

“Steppin’ Out” by Joe Jackson

“Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers

“There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths


If I Stay by Gayle Forman

“School’s Out” Alice Cooper

“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” by The Ramones

“In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” by Frank Sinatra

“SpongeBob & Patrick Confront The Psychic Wall Of Energy” by The Flaming Lips

“Roadrunner” by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

“Cello Sonata No. 3, A major, Op. 69: Allegro vivace” by Beethoven – Maria Kliegel

“Ride of the Valkyries” by Wagner

“Le Grand Tango” by Yo-Yo Ma

“Pezzo capriccioso in B minor, Op. 62” by Tchaikovsky – Maria Kliegel

“Gabriel’s Oboe from the Mission [Excerpt]” by Yo-Yo Ma

“Something In The Way” by Nirvana

“Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Hob. VIIb:2 (1998 Digital Remaster): III. Rondo (Allegro) – Cadenza” by Haydn – Jacqueline Du Pré – London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli

“Girlfriend in a Coma” by The Smiths

“Vile” by Melvins

“Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler

“Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley & the Wailers

“Amazing Grace” by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

“Love American Style” by The Mr. T Experience

“P.S. You Rock My World” by The Eels

“Fire and Rain” by James Taylor

“Requiem” by Mozart

“Waiting For Vengance” by Oswald Five-0

“It’s OK” by Dead Moon

“Stay Free” by The Clash

“Tragedy” by The Wipers

“II. Andante con Moto e Poco Rubato From Three Preludes” Yo-Yo Ma


Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

“Jennifer” by Lipo

“Descartes Dream” by Misanthrope

“Velveteen” by Prickle

“Thank You” by Led Zepplin

Other artists mentioned in Just Listen:

Pink Floyd
Black Flag


Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

“I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” by The Ramones

“Dirty Old Egg-Suckin’ Dog” by Johnny Cash

“Chump” by Green Day

“Living for the City” by Stevie Wonder

“Ruler of My Heart” by Norah Jones

“Something He Can Feel” by Aretha Franklin

“Pictures of You” by The Cure

“Let’s Get Down” by Tony! Toni! Toné!

“Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music

“You’re the one for Me, Fatty” by Morrissey

“I Want It That Way” by The Backstreet Boys

“Flôr Di Nha Esperanca” by Césaria Évora

“32 Flavors” by Ani DiFranco

“Ruby Soho” by Rancid

“My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music

“Take a Chance on Me” by ABBA

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles

“Should I Stay Or Should I Go?” by The Clash

“Toxic” by Britney Spears

“I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline

“Always Wanting You” by Merle Haggard

“Something about What Happens When We Talk” by Lucinda Williams

“Something” by The Beatles

“My My Metrocard” by Le Tigre

“Triple Trouble” by The Beastie Boys

“Wrapped up in Books” by Belle and Sebastian

“I’ll Be Faithful” by Dusty Springfield

“It’s a Pity to Say Goodnight” by Ella Fitzgerald

“So in Love” by Curtis Mayfield


The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

“Asleep” by The Smiths

“Blackbird” by The Beatles

“MLK” by U2

“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

“Vapour Trail” by Ride

“Scarborough Fair” by Simon & Garfunkel

“A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum

“Time of No Reply” by Nick Drake

“Dear Prudence” by The Beatles

“Gypsy” by Suzanne Vega

“Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues

“Daydream” by The Smashing Pumpkins

“Dusk” by Genesis

“Something” by The Beatles

“Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister

“I’m Going Home” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show

“Another Brick in the Wall, Part II” by Pink Floyd

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