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The Taylor Swift Album Challenge

Hello friends! Recently, Morgan @ Morgan Is Reading Again tagged us for the Taylor Swift Album Challenge, a tag that was originally created by Rhonda @ Rhonda With A Book. Many thanks to Morgan for tagging us! 💙

We decided to follow Morgan’s example and include our favorite song from each album, making the post more colorful and fun to scroll through. We hope you’ll enjoy our selection of songs and books and that you’ll also do the tag if you are a fan of Taylor Swift.

taylor swift: an author’s debut book

Sabrina: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman is a debut novel that is very close to my heart. It’s a hard-hitting YA contemporary that, as sad as it is, still manages to feel hopeful and even fun at times. To this day, almost two years after I read it, I still find myself thinking about the main character. I sped through this within 24 hours, it was that hard to put down, so I can’t recommend it enough!

  • I have a vague memory of watching this music video one single time and never again, and yet the chorus has become stuck in my head every now and then over the last ten or so years, so of course I had to pick “Our Song” for this.

Vera: My mind immediately went to Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer, a YA fantasy debut with a truly villainous cast at the helm. I recently finished the final book in the trilogy and I can’t recommend it enough – I love the character arcs, the plot and the fact that this is one of the few series where the redemption of the characters is not the goal of the series.

  • I picked “Should’ve Said No” from Taylor Swift, because I love how energetic and fun this song is. If the video I picked gets deleted I’m sorry, but I had to pick this excellent performance of the song.

fearless: a book that scared you

Sabrina: For this question, I haven’t gone with a horror, but still, the book I have chosen had my heart racing in fear – Jade War by Fonda Lee.  It was not a traditionally scary scene, but it made me truly anxious.  I loved Jade War even more than the first book and I am so excited for Jade Legacy, the final book, to be released this year.  You need to get on to this amazing adult urban fantasy series if you haven’t already!

  • I attach a lot of sentimental value to things and this song – “You Belong With Me” – is one of those as it reminds me so much of a certain time in my life.  And with Fearless (Taylor’s Version) having just come out, I’ve rediscovered my love for it.

Vera: I’m going to be honest and admit that it’s really difficult for horror novels to scare me, but Josh Malerman’s Bird Box really managed to pull me into the story so it’s no surprise that I found some of its scenes really frightening. I found the netflix adaptation horrible, but I’d definitely recommend the book to fans of the horror genre.

  • There was no question, I had to pick “Mr. Perfectly Fine” from Fearless (Taylor’s Version), as I loved this ‘From the Vault’ song from the first time I listened to it.

speak now: a book with great dialogue

Sabrina: I guess great dialogue is not up there on my list of things I look for in a novel, because, scrolling through all the books I’ve read, I could not tell you which ones had good dialogue, or any dialogue at all!  Fortunately I read Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert recently, so I still remember the dialogue in it.  It was fantastic and realistic – it really made me understand and believe the different relationships between characters.  It made me smile a lot too, which is always a nice bonus.

  • I always say that I never watch music videos, but this post is proving me to be a liar because I loved the “The Story of Us” video when it was released and I remember watching it fairly often.

Vera: I had to think a bit about this one and I ended up choosing The Diviners by Libba Bray in the end, as I love the banter between the characters. If you like historical fantasy, found families and great romances then this series is for you.

  • Here’s the time to confess that I wasn’t a big Taylor Swift fan until I fell in love with some of the songs from Red, so I only really heard “Long Live” when I watched the Reputation Stadium Tour on Netflix. Since then, however, “Long Live” has because one of all time favorite songs by Taylor.

red: a book with red on the cover or in the title

Sabrina: I’ve picked a recent favourite for this prompt and it’s The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe.  I absolutely loved this intense YA thriller that switches between the troubled past and the frightening present of a teen stuck in a bank robbery – along with her girlfriend and ex-boyfriend.  The storytelling in this book was impeccable and the relationships between the characters were so well done.

  • For this album I’ve chosen “Everything Has Changed”.  I was an Ed Sheeran fan at the time this song came out (if I recall correctly, it was because of his connection with One Direction, lol), so of course I enjoyed it.

Vera: I decided to go with Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant for this prompt, a book that’s cover is black and red. I loved this horror fantasy and would highly recommend to those of you who have ever wanted to read a book about monstrous mermaids.

  • “I Knew You Were Trouble” was the easiest choice I had to make for this post, because it’s the song that turned me into a big Taylor Swift fan and it remains one of my top favorites by her to this day.

1989: a book published the year you were born

Sabrina: I am so mad about this, because I have read at least one book from every year of the nineties, except 1996 – the year I was born.  So, I guess I have failed this challenge!  I can say I have seen the movie adaptations of a couple books released that year though – so I am choosing Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding because I’m pretty sure I liked that movie.

  • I love “Blank Space” so much, and I watched the music video a lot for this song too. I love how there is this whole story contained in the one song and its context.

Vera: I was shocked by this but apparently Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere was first published in 1996, which is when I was born. While Gaiman is a hit or miss for me, I love this adult fantasy by him, especially because of the detailed world building.

  • 1989 is one of my favorite albums by Taylor, so this was a difficult choice, but I decided next to Out Of The Woods for two reasons: (1) this is probably my favorite video that Taylor has ever done, and (2) I love, love, love the bridge. Her bridges are always great, but this is one of her best, imo.

reputation: a book that lived up to its hype

Sabrina: I feel like I have not shut up about this series this year, but The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin is always worth talking about.  It’s an adult SFF trilogy that has absolutely incredible world building and complex characters that will never leave your mind.  Definitely lived up to the hype.

  • Of all the Reputation songs I’ve listened to (which admittedly is not a large number), “Gorgeous” is the one I most enjoy – I love the chorus!

Vera: I think the best possible book I could pick for this prompt is The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune. I was scared I’d dislike this novel even though I’d heard nothing but incredible things about it, but it ended up becoming one of my all time favorite books.

  • I love Reputation even more than I love 1989, so this was a difficult choice. It was an especially close call between Getaway Car and Don’t Blame Me, and while I chose the latter in the end, I adore both of these songs equally.

lover: a favorite romance or book with a romantic subplot

Sabrina: I have a few favourite romance novels now, but today I am picking Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali because I haven’t mentioned it for a while.  I love the characters and themes in this YA contemporary romance and it also has one of my favourite book covers of all time.

  • “Death by a Thousand Cuts” is my choice for this and, full disclosure, I only listened to this for first time on Thursday 😅

Vera: Call me predictable, but as soon as I saw this prompt and remembered that I haven’t mentioned this series in a few weeks I immediately decided to pick the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh. I love this paranormal romance series to the moon and back, and I always turn to it when I’m looking for a low-stress reread.

  • I love Lover, but I’ll admit that in my eyes it’s not as good as 1989, reputation, or Taylor’s two most recent albums. In any case, Lover is still full of incredible songs, my favorite being “Cruel Summer” – I can never stop myself from singing along when I hear the bridge.

folklore: a fairy tale, folktale, or myth retelling

Sabrina: I would typically go for a Beauty and the Beast retelling here, because I tend to love those, but I’m mixing it up and going for Lanny by Max Porter, which is a take on Green Man folklore.  I loved the writing style in this book and the character relationships.

  • This is the first full Taylor Swift album I listened to, and as such, I have a lot of favourites!  I have recently rekindled my love for “cardigan” though, after seeing the performance at the Grammys, so that’s what I’ve picked.

Vera: This prompt made me realize that I haven’t really read any retellings in the past year or so, so I had to go back and pick something I read a few years ago. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Basshardoust is an excellent feminist retelling of Snow White, and a novel I loved from start to finish.

  • Ah, this was so tough, because folklore is full of wonderful songs. Ultimately, I decided to go with august because it’s the song that has stayed with me the most strongly since the release of folklore.

evermore: a book you could read for the rest of your life

Sabrina: I mean, you probably already know this if you’ve been around for a while, but it’s Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.  I adore everything about this middle grade fantasy: the setting, the magic system, the characters, the romance, the writing style etc.  It’ll always be my ultimate favourite book.

  • Again, I have a lot favourites from this album, but “ivy” is my choice today. I really love this song and the way it makes me feel.

Vera: This is such a difficult question, especially because I’ve already used Psy-Changeling and The House in the Cerulean Sea for other prompts. So I’m going to go with Act Like It by Lucy Parker, a fantastic rom-com that always makes me happy, no matter how many times I reread it.

  • Like folklore, evermore is a wonderful album – I actually love it even more than folklore – so this was a difficult choice. In the end I decided to go with champagne problems because the bridge of this song is one of the best bridges Taylor has ever written.

let’s chat!

Are you a fan of Taylor Swift? What’s your favorite album by her? What about your favorite song? Have you read any of the books we picked?

8 thoughts on “The Taylor Swift Album Challenge

  1. I lover her so much but only really got into her during quarantine so I feel like I missed out on a lot of years. I love everything and anything on Folklore and evermore, vibing with Cowboy Like Me rn.


  2. Ahhh, I loved this post and it was nice seeing your favourite songs from each album!! Out of the woods bridge is one of my faves too, Vera! I can’t wait to read Starfish next month, as it’s on my May tbr, fingers crossed I’ll love it as much as you, Sabrina!
    And a really off-topic question: I’ve searched a lot to do a horizontal line just like you did in this post, but I am only able to do a really thin line, and I can’t figure out for the life of me how to customize it. How do you guys do it?


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