16 Books Based On Folklore by Taylor Swift


hello everyone! by now, you’d have at least heard that taylor swift just released her eight album, titled folklore, out of nowhere on july 24th, 2020. this got the entire internet freaking out since there isn’t a single hint whatsoever that indicate taylor is going to release a new album. i don’t think i mentioned this often, but i’ve been a swifties since i was in 7th grade. i even had a taylor swift stan account back before i start book blogging. now, i might not be as obsessed as i was back then, but to this day i still listen to her new songs everytime she released one, and keeping an eye out on major events. so of course, when folklore dropped, i immediately start listening to it. the whole album has a calm and soothing theme in it, and maybe because of that, i suddenly had an idea to write a post based on it. so here it is, i give you 16 books recommendation based on folklore by taylor swift :

the 1

what-ifs, lost, wondering

for me, the 1 describe the feelings someone has to their long-lost love. wondering what would happen if they chose the other path, and so on. that’s why, this song reminds me of june and day’s relationship in champion by marie lu, specifically during the ten years between the ending and the epilogue. during those years, i’d like to imagine that june must’ve wondered at least once about what would happen if she choose the other way.


memories, old, special

i feel like the sun is also a star by nicola yoon has similar vibes with this song. cardigan talks about young love, and it often means falling fast and hard. the entire book took place in one day, but trust me, it doesn’t feel like insta-love at all. we get to see how daniel and natasha could fell that hard and fast, despite the circumstance around them.

the last great american dynasty

rich, complex, tragedy

when i listened to this song, i immediately thought about even in paradise by chelsey philpot, despite the fact that i read this book more than 5 years ago. even in paradise tells the complex world of the rich, which i think is similar to the life of rebekah harkness, whom this song is based on.


past, resist, fight

this one’s my favorite song from the album. exile describe the feelings of two ex-lovers, where one doesn’t want to move on, and the other one’s eager to start a new relationship. this reminds me of adam and juliette’s relationship in unravel me by tahereh mafi. although i don’t remember the details, i think their relationship ended because adam was holding her down, insisting that it’s what best to her, when she just wanted to grow.

my tears ricochet

fixation, resentment, confusion

“cursing my name, wishing i stayed, look at how my tears ricochet”. based on that line, my tears ricochet immediately reminded me of every book with enemies-to-lovers trope. for that, i choose the cruel prince by holly black. this song reminds me of jude and cardan’s relationship throughout the trilogy, especially at book two (aka the best book in this series).


captivating, shining, fragile

mirrorball might be looked upon by a lot of people, but it also could break easily. just like mirrorball, caterina lavalle from of curses and kisses by sandhya menon is admired by the students at her school, but secretly she’s also pretty fragile. throughout most of the first book, she’s painted as the ‘mean girl’, but seeing that the second book will be about her it’s safe to assume that all is not what it seems.


childhood, remember, long-lasting

although it doesn’t really match the meaning of the song, magnolia by kristi cook still gives similar vibes, in the way that both feature childhood problem that could be resolved easily. magnolia has one of the best childhood-friends-to-enemies-to-lovers tropes (the yearning! the tension!!) i’ve ever read, which is why i still love this book until now.


fling, summer, fleeting

when talking about ‘summer’ and ‘fling’, when we collided by emery lord immediately came to my mind. complete with a coastal town setting, this book will give you all the ‘summer love’ feels. however, despite the sunny theme, this book also deals with a pretty heavy theme toward healing.

this is me trying

acceptance, moving on, forgiveness

eventhough the song indicate a romantic relationship, i think it could also describe perfectly the relationship between Rumi and her mother in summer bird blue by akemi dawn bowman. they had quite a rocky relationship, especially after the death of Rumi’s sister. the whole book told their journey through grief, and toward acceptance and finding each other again.

illicit affairs

secrets, lies, obsession

i think the thousandth floor by katharine mcgee is the perfect book to be compared to this song. the whole book is packed with drama™, complete with secrets and betrayals from every single one main characters in there. another book that i think describe this song is anna k by jenny lee. i haven’t actually read this one but it’s basically a retelling of anna karenina, and we all know anna karenina could be summed up as ‘illicit affairs’.

invisible string

connected, fate, happiness

invisible string was inspired by the ‘red thread of fate’ myth, believing that soulmates are tied by a string. i choose roseblood by a. g. howard since it also involve the concept of soulmate that are connected to each other. this book is one of those book that i didn’t expect to love, but then end up rating it 5 stars.

mad woman

revenge, provoke, betrayal

this song tells the story of woman that’s being used and corrupted, and when she’s finally had enough and snapped, everyone tried to blame her. in the shadows between us by tricia levenseller, the main character’s story is quite similar to the song. after being used and betrayed, she decide to use everyone back to reach her goal. i really recommend this book since we didn’t have enough book with morally-grey character (and complete with morally-grey love interest!).


strong, peace, together

it’s quite hard to choose a book that’s similar to this song since i wasn’t really sure what this song means, but i finally decide on clap when you land by elizabeth acevedo. instead of turning against each other after losing their father and learning about his secrets and betrayals, yahaira and camino decide to stay strong and help each other. despite the complex and unusual nature of their relationship, they manage to make it work.


seventeen, mistake, love

betty is another favorite of mine, simply because it reminds me of country-era taylor! i feel like a lot of contemporary book could be compared to this song (teenage love, after all, is not perfect), but i decide to choose words in deep blue by cath crowley. it’s been quite awhile since i read this one, but i remember that i can’t stop crying while reading it. this book is a mess, but a (very) good one.


insecurity, earnest, battle

despite being titled ‘peace’, this song actually talks more about ‘never finding peace due to their shortcomings’. it reminds me of girl against the universe by paula stokes. the main character, maguire, suffers from PTSD since she’s been involved in numerous accidents in the past. due to this, she believes she’s a bad luck and wouldn’t get close to anyone. this book tells the journey of how maguire try to overcome it, so she can make actual relationships both with family and friends.


toxic, locked, helpless

the whole song screams ‘toxic relationship’ for me, and bad romance by heather demetrios tackle this subject quite well. i’m cheating a little bit here since i haven’t actually read this book, but based on bloggers whose reviews i trust, i think this book is fit with this song.

have you listened to folklore? if so, what’s your favorite song? also, have you read any of the book mentioned above?

24 thoughts on “16 Books Based On Folklore by Taylor Swift

  1. I LOVED THIS! I posted my own version of books based on this album earlier today so it was interesting to see how we interpreted the songs differently for the books. I’ve never heard of Roseblood, but I’m intrigued and it’s definitely going on my TBR. Awesome post.


  2. Aahhhh I love this post so much, Tiffany!! I think you picked amazing books that fit the songs very well ☺️ I love that exile’s your favorite song from folklore, it’s one of my favorites as well! I think my top favorites are august, the last great american dynasty, the 1, and betty ❤ also I've read Summer Bird Blue and liked it a lot 💞


  3. This post is SO cool and I love it a whole lot. The album is just WOW. I’ve liked TS and I listen to her music but she’s not exactly my taste. But this album IS and I love it a lot. I love ALL your answers. The Cruel Prince eeepp (though everyone is pairing it with exile hehe). I also am really intrigued by Of Curses & Kisses. I’ve never read one of Sandhya’s books before, I tried but didn’t love the writing, but the plot sounds AMAZING


  4. I just started listening to this album, and the last great american dynasty is my favourite song from it so far. It’s so haunting.

    Lovely job on this post.


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