I used to be a musician. Now the role of playing music has gone to the actually talented people. As for my current job, I simply look for books about music that I loved to pieces. Or notes. Take your pick. Basically, music has left my physical life, although they clearly exist in books.
Really embarrassing confession: I read about three of these books very recently to add them to this list. I’m sorry! Good musical books are actually hard to find! I had to do about eight hours of “research.” Translation: Sorry, parents. I was staying up late reading.
1. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Simply put, The Sky is Everywhere is a masterpiece. It’s poetic, raw, heartbreaking, and altogether beautiful. Jandy Nelson masters the world of emotion, making the reader want to laugh and cry at the same time. Lenny truly is passionate about music, and that passion seeps from every single page.
2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Gayle Forman can write. Mia and Adam are so intense and raw. I love how magical their romance is. What I love about them is that they’re both musicians, so their romance not only creates music but is music. You won’t read about a better relationship.
3. Amplified by Tara Kelly
Reading Amplified is my idea of being in your own paradise. It’s a fast read with cute boys, great friends, good music, and lots of pleasure. Don’t not read this book just because it’s my third choice!
4. Good Enough by Paula Yoo
Good Enough is perfect for everyone, especially for any high school kid dealing with the dreaded “tiger” parents. If you’re feeling pressure to get into the only three schools that matter (Harvard, Yale, Princeton), you should read this book. If you’re not, you should read this book. Good Enough is funny, real, enlightening, and smile-inducing. Good Enough is good enough for me! (I know, you’re cringing.)
Seriously though, Patti is a great character who happens to be fantastic with a violin.
5. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
This is the story of getting over suicide, traveling to California with a random boy, and listening to a bunch of music. Translation: Saving June is a book I’ve reread countless times. Hannah Harrington captures the reader’s heart with her brilliant book.
This book sparked my classic rock interest. What other book can say that?
6. Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Virtuosity takes you to the real world of music. It’s as competitive and nerve-wracking as the world of ballet and dance. I devoured this book; it’s edgy, musical, romantic, and addicting. While or not you can relate to her love of music, Virtuosity deserves to be read.
7. The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta
Melina Marchetta writes about raw, broken boys. Thomas Mackee is such a boy. My first time reading his story, I basically started bawling. Yeah, Melina is just that amazing and skilled. Too bad I can’t write like her!
8. Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
While Jennifer Echols will never be able to pen a book as good as Going Too Far again, Dirty Little Secret is pretty good. It’s charming, sweet, and fast-paced. Although Virtuosity masters the classical industry like no other, Dirty Little Secret lets you in today’s modern industry.
9. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Just read Just Listen. I’m part of the pessimistic group that believes Sarah Dessen’s writing is going down a downward spiral. Enjoy a book from her peak about reconnecting to music and getting braver.
10. The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas
In my opinion, The Survival Kit is a knock-off of Saving June. While still an enjoyable read, Saving June is the real deal. However, The Survival Kit is more light-hearted and less thought-provoking. If you’re doing a midnight read, I recommend The Survival Kit. Music plays a huge role, but honestly, I just needed this book to finish a top ten list. (I probably shouldn’t have admitted that….)
My personal favorites are The Sky is Everywhere and If I Stay. However, every single book on this list is recommended. That’s a pretty astonishing feat from a picky reader!