Top Ten YA Books with a Beat

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and features a new top ten list each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten (Genre of your choice) Books and I’ve chosen to list some favorite YA music-themed books. I’ve been toying around with this list in my head for months now, because I think YA and music are a perfect pairing. There are still a lot of books I want to check out in this category, including many on this and this list. What are your favorite music themed books?

Listed in no particular order, here are 10 YA books with a beat:

1. Audrey, Wait! by Robin BenwayProbably the one that started it all for me. A break-up song turned #1 hit makes Audrey a reluctant star.

2. Amplified by Tara Kelly Girl with something to prove forgoes college to join a band to show she has what it takes to make it in the music business.

3. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – Music loving teenagers in New York City have an all-night adventure.

4. Rival by Sara Bennett WealerRivalry between two high school singersย ร  la Glee.

5. The Survival Kit by Donna Freitas – Music is a healing agent for a girl grieving over her mother’s death.

6. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCourA quirky book about an amateur girl band on the road in the Pacific Northwest.

7. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert – A girl with music roots starts her own punk band to bring her family full circle.

8. Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly – A girl that never fit in bonds over music and clicks with friends at a new school.

9. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detourย by Morgan Matson – A cross-country road trip life healing journey with awesome playlists and romance. Saving June is another great book in this category.

10. If I Stay by Gayle Forman – A gifted classical musician and rock musician are the main characters of this touching story about life and death, and music is one of the themes of the series.ย 


34 thoughts on “Top Ten YA Books with a Beat

  1. Fantastic list – I loved Audrey, Wait; Nick & Norah; and If I Stay! I’ll have to check out the others on your list! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Super great idea for a list, love it! Now I’m dying to read the few on here that I haven’t read (especially Rivals and Amplified).

  3. fishgirl182 says:

    great topic.i admit that i haven’t read any of these books. i feel so unmusical! i really want to read the disenchantments and if i stay. thanks for sharing and adding books to my tbr pile. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I haven’t read any of these, but the covers are all so pretty! If I Stay looks brilliant.

  5. Tara says:

    Brilliant list – I love books that are music-based. I’ll definitely be putting some of these on my Amazon wishlist for reference!

  6. BookTasty says:

    Fun list! I haven’t read any of these, but some look good! I’d add Just Listen by Sarah Dessen to the list if it were mine ๐Ÿ™‚ Very cute idea!

    1. Lucy says:

      I really need to read Just Listen to round out my music themed reading. Thanks for the rec!

  7. I’ve only read Audrey, Wait. Great take on the topic. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I have If I Stay & Amy & Rogers on my shelf…must read soon.

  8. Lori says:

    Oh, I love your list! Music themed books are always great. There are a few on there that I still need to read but I love Audrey, Wait!, Nick & Norah, Amy & Roger, The Disenchantments, If I Stay….I just love them all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Elin says:

    Love your list. Love the movie Nick and Norah Infinite Playlist but never read the book;)

  10. MTG Reviews says:

    I love music themed books, The Disenchantments was my most recent and I LOVED it. Went out and got Nina’s other book, Hold Still, because of it, though that one isn’t a music book. Great selections here. I have been meaning to read The Survival Kit. Will have to get that one soon!

    Jenna @ Making the Grade

    1. Lucy says:

      Same here – I also picked up Hold Still because I loved The Disenchantments. Hope to read it soon. Think you will really like The Survival Kit!

  11. Great topic Lucy!! I love that! Other than a couple of those, I don’t think I’ve heard of most of them before ๐Ÿ™‚ When i saw your topic, I personally thought of Saving June! (tho it’s not necessarily fully about music)

    Great list!

    Michele | Top 10 Books Set in Toronto

    1. Lucy says:

      I totally agree about Saving June – music definitely plays a part in that book ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. readerbuzz says:

    A nice twist on the usual YA list! Thank you.

    Here’s my
    Top Ten Books That Take Place in Paris.
    I’d love to have you stop by!

  13. Creative list! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I’m reading Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist now and I LOVE IT! I loved If I Stay (and Where She Went) as well. Another I would add to the list is Incarnate. It has music, and dragons,and it’s set in a dystopian world. Awesomesauce! Happy Reading!

    Check out YA Litwitโ€™s Top Ten Fairy Tale Retellings and my GIVEAWAY!

    1. Lucy says:

      Oh I didn’t realize Incarnate incorporates music as well, Karis. Another great reason to check it out! Glad you are enjoying Nick and Norah ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Bekka says:

    I really wanna read Rival. I had no idea what it was about until now, but it sounds different!

    My TTT

  16. bookchelle says:

    Great list, Lucy. So many books around music, most that I haven’t read yet. I’ll have to make sure to add them to my list. Thanks for the list!

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I like this topic… I am hoping to read The Disenchantments soon, but will definitely check some of these others out! Also, I saw Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist the movie and it was kind of blah… the book is better, I assume?

    1. Lucy says:

      I think in most cases the book is better than the movie, but definitely give The Disenchantments a try.

  18. BermudaOnion says:

    Great list! The only title that’s familiar to me is If I Stay.

  19. Kelsey says:

    I haven’t read any of these books, but they sound awesome! I have If I Stay on my TBR list at the moment.

  20. OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS LIST! Music themed YA is super awesome. Seriously, it’s one of my favorite themes. Love love love Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. Love Audrey Wait! Love If I Stay. I just want to hug your list.

    Also, one good music themed YA: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John.

    1. Lucy says:

      Thanks April!
      Five Flavors of Dumb looks awesome and is one I I’ve had my eye on. Glad to hear you found it worthwhile.

  21. Candice says:

    I love how YOU this list seems. Granted I don’t really KNOW you but after following your blog I feel like this list couldn’t be more perfect for you! I honestly can’t think of any books I’ve read that would fit this list but I see SEVERAL that sound really amazing and I’ve wanted to read for a while now. Great list! Love it so much!

    1. Lucy says:

      Aw thanks, Candice! Hope you give some of these a try sometime.

  22. Lucy! This list is such great, awesome FUN!! I can’t tell you how much I LOVE reading YA music books, and what I love about them is that they span so many different incarnations–some have playlists, some feature musicians. LOVE IT. I’ve actually never heard of Rivals and now I must investigate. But I ADORE Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. Adore it. And I can’t wait to read Amplified and The Disenchantments. Another music book that I just finished and really liked was Virtuosity.
    Also, like Candice, even though I don’t know you very well, this list seems like it would scream Lucy ๐Ÿ™‚ YAY!!!!

    1. Lucy says:

      Thanks, Amy! I definitely want to read Virtuosity sometime soon. You’re right that there are so many creative ways music is used in books. Amy & Roger is one of my all-time favorites.

  23. Oooh this is a really original topic! I liked it a lot. Good job.

  24. reutreads says:

    I loooove this list! Amazing picks!

  25. Lucy, what a great idea for a top ten. I really want to read many on your list, especially Amplified. Thanks for all the suggestions!

  26. […] Music – So many choices here, and in fact I’ve already done a top 10 music book list. But Zero by Tom Leveen is one I read recently that centers around music as well as art, and is a […]

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