Soundtrack to a Good Book
I've read two YA novels this summer that feature music as a major part of their story line. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell claims romance with the Smiths playing in the background. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, which explores the notion of a young teenager genuinely confused by his sexuality while fighting off 6-foot tall killer praying mantises, repeatedly names Exhile on Main Street as the best album ever. (Side note: despite the seemingly strange plot line of Grasshopper Jungle I really liked the book.) This seems like something new, yes? I did a quick Google search and found lots of YA books about music but nothing that mentioned music as a part of the scenery.
I wonder if Rowell and Smith wanted the music to tell us more about the characters or about the story. I guess the marriage of music and story isn't new. Many blogs I follow are now pairing music with words and recipes. Spotify recently featured an ad for Zach Braff's new movie that asked listeners to create their own soundtrack for the film. I like it in books, I think, as long as this new trend isn't an attempt to lure me into a future feature length film. (Or is it?? Ugh. )
It is an interesting notion, and one I think I like, to have a soundtrack go along with the book you are reading. I listened to music mentioned in both books while reading and when I finished the books. It made me curious about what music I would pair with some of my favorites. Maybe "Welcome to the Jungle" and Where the Wild Things Are? Lynard Skynard's "Simple Man" and The House at Pooh Corner?
|A musical match?|
What do you think? Do books deserve soundtracks to carry us through the stories? Is this a sneaky plot for YA fiction so they have a soundtrack when it goes to the big screen? Or maybe this is a new way for "users" to interact with the world around them? Anybody read any other books with music influences?