Is it just me, or are more and more books using songs as the book titles? This is something I expect to see more in romance novels, where punny titles aren’t hard to come by and the word “earl” is a pretty easy substitute for “girl,” but I’m starting to see this more and more in YA titles too. Enough so that I decided to put together a list of some of the book titles that get songs stuck in my head every time I see them or hear someone talk about them.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
This is the book that started it all for me. I read Since You’ve Been Gone earlier this summer, and I had Kelly Clarkson’s song stuck in my head the entire time! It was sometimes difficult for me to concentrate on Emily’s adventures completing a checklist left behind by her best friend Sloane when she mysteriously disappeared for the summer when all I could think was “You had your chance you blew it / Out of sight, out of mind.”
In this case, I would personally recommend sticking with the song. I didn’t care for the book that much because I disliked how Emily’s entire life existed around Sloane — she didn’t know what to do with herself without her best friend, and I just can’t relate to being that dependent on someone, especially someone who disappeared like Sloane without telling Emily where she was going. But I did appreciate the throwback to Kelly Clarkson.
Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios
I’ve seen Bad Romance getting a lot of hype lately, and it sounds like a really well written book about one girl’s account of her toxic and abusive relationship with her boyfriend. My understanding is that it hits on a lot of important themes and handles the abusive relationship really well, so it’s definitely something I’d like to check out…but I keep hearing Lady Gaga every time someone mentions this book!
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
I Believe in a Thing Called Love is another book that I’ve been hearing a lot of praise for. It follows the story of a girl who seems to have everything in life, but she’s never had a boyfriend. In order to fix that, she decides to apply some of the lessons she’s learned from the Korean dramas her father loves to her real life, employing her “K Drama Steps to True Love” with surprising results.
Honestly, I didn’t connect this to a song title when I first heard about it and added it to my Goodreads. But when I was looking for some book titles to help fill out this post, I realized that it shares a title with a popular early 2000s rock song. That I now can’t get out of my head. Once you’ve made the connection, there’s no going back. You’re welcome.
You’re the Earl that I Want by Kelly Bowen
You’re the Earl that I Want made me think of this post idea again when I read it earlier this month. It’s the story of Heath Hextall and Joss Somerhall, who haven’t seen each other since they were children but get swept up in a centuries-old treasure hunt soon after they reconnect as adults. As the two work together to solve the murder of a Bow Street Runner and find the treasure, they gradually fall in love. I enjoyed this story a lot, but every time I looked at the cover, I kept hearing Danny and Sandy singing “You’re the one that I want / oo-oo-oo, honey.”
Kiss the Earl by Gina Lamm
Kiss the Earl is a book that’s been on my TBR for a while. Part of that is, of course, because the story of comic book writer Ella Briley somehow stumbling into the past and right into the arms of her own Mr. Darcy, Patrick St. John, sounds really cute. But part of it is also because I keep hearing Sebastian crooning “Sha la la la la la / My oh my / Looks like the boy’s too shy / Ain’t gonna kiss the girl…”
Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare
Do You Want to Start a Scandal is one of the rare romance novel titles that doesn’t use a play on earl and girl in it. Instead, they use an even worse earworm: Frozen. This is actually one of my favorite novels by one of my favorite romance authors. It follows the story of Charlotte Highwood and Piers Brandon, who are believed to have engaged in a scandalous tryst in the library during a house party. Only it wasn’t them, so in order to clear their names and prevent themselves from being forced into marriage, they must work together to figure out who the mystery lovers were. It’s a great story, but now when I see it on my shelves, I can’t stop myself from singing “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” Dangit. Now this is going to be stuck in my head all day.
Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen
We now find ourselves venturing into the world of female pop songs. Earls Just Want to Have Fun promises to be the engaging story of Maxwell, a lord who has been roped into his brother’s investigation of Marlowe, a pickpocket, housebreaker, and member of a notorious gang of thieves. It also promises to get Cyndi Lauper’s hit song stuck in your head.
What an Earl Wants by Kasey Michaels
What an Earl Wants has a classically beloved premise: a girl disguised as a boy. In this case Josephine Quincy is posing as the Earl of Sinclair’s secretary before he unmasks her as a girl and romance ensues. It also shares a name with one of Christina Aguilera’s early hits and is pretty much guaranteed to make you start singing “What a girl wants, what a girl needs / Whatever makes me happy sets you free.” If you’re extra lucky, it’ll also remind you of the cute Amanda Bynes movie that’s always playing on TV.
I Kissed an Earl by Julie Ann Long
How can you put together a list of popular earworms without including Katy Perry? Don’t worry, Julie Ann Long has you covered with I Kissed an Earl, the story of Violet Redmond, who gets swept up in the Earl of Ardmay’s mission to capture a notorious pirate and, of course, finds herself in the middle of a tempestuous romance. Whether Violet ever kisses any girls and finds herself liking it remains to be seen.
Idk about you, but my brain is about to explode by trying to pick which catchy song is the catchiest and doomed to play on repeat in my brain for the rest of the day. Which of these books is going to give you an earworm for the rest of the day? Are there any other book titles that instantly make you think of songs? Let me know in the comments!