Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Break-up songs that I'd like YA authors to use as inspiration

Last week, I talked about wanting more realistic relationships in YA. Be gone with all of those happily-ever-endings. What I want to read about are break-ups. The dramatic and angry ones, the ones that just peter out naturally and everything in between. And it was as I was walking to my sons' school that I realised there are some great break-up songs that I could definitely see as being great potential YA novels.  Stick with me.


You Oughta Know by Alanis Morisette

Is it just me? Man, I love this song. I love angry Alanis more than most things. And I can't help but belting out the lyrics to this one all these years later.  (I'M HERE TO REMIND YOU... etc.) Perhaps this is just my own personal preference, but I would love to see more angry girl characters in YA books ala Alanis Morrisette in this song. And not only that, there's so much emotion in it too. I listen to this song and I can just see it. This big, emotional relationship (and also 'perverted'?!) in which 'forever' is discussed. And they break up and he moves on straight away. Sounds like a great teen drama to me. No shrinking violets that will shrivel up and die under a broken heart.

It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced
Are you thinking of me when you fuck her?

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is the Queen of the Break-Up Song, right? I could have chosen any of a number of Taylor Swift songs but I just love We Are Never Getting Back Together so much. It's fun and funny and catchy. Plus I just love the story I see behind this song  - of one of those back-and-forth exhausting and drama-filled relationships with break-ups and those three magical words solving problems that shouldn't be solved by saying 'I love you.'

And the idea of YA characters dancing around in pyjamas and animal costumes to help someone get over a break-up is pretty great!

I say, "I hate you," we break up, you call me, "I love you."

Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson

My favourite line of this song is 'Since U been gone/I can breathe for the first time' and I kind of love how Kelly trashes her flat and all of her clothes and then really belts out the bit about having her freedom to breathe. Some relationships are like that, stifling. And it's possible to become somebody that you don't recognise or like in that situation.There's no hint about running into the arms of someone else, just basking in that celebration of putting yourself first for the first time in awhile.

Someone Like You by Adele

I adore Adele. And this song. It is very over-played, but whereas I would mind with other songs, I don't with this one. I love the heartbreak in this song and how emotional it is. And I love how giving Adele is in this song. Obviously still in love but she seems genuine in wishing the best for her old flame. Obviously this relationship has ended and he's found someone else and poor Adele has the hope of someone else as she holds onto her old feelings. Aww. Not quite as angry or confrontational as some of the other songs, but still powerful in a quieter way.

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it.
I'd hoped you'd see my face and that you'd be reminded
That for me it isn't over.

Irreplaceable by Beyonce
I'd love to see some Beyonce-attitude in some YA novels. Don't put up with any crap, ladies. Even though I hate the implication that she's moved on already after this crappy relationship but the thing I like the most is that she's clearly saying that there's a choice available. I think a lot of YA romance leaves out a lot of choice when it comes to falling in love.
So don't you ever for a second get to thinkin'
You're irreplaceable?

Do you have a favourite break-up song? Which song would you like YA authors to take inspiration from? 


  1. Great post, Clover! I couldn't listen to any of these songs because my Internet is being insanely slow and refusing to load any of them, so I shall have to come back later and listen to them then. The ones I can remember (Kelly Clarkson, Adele, Taylor Swift) I think could inspire some great stories. Take note, YA authors!

    1. Thanks, Maya :) I'd really like to see more break-ups in YA stories.

  2. I love this post Michelle!
    I definitely agree about needing more break-ups and break-up stories in YA. A lot of them seem to reflect that you'll find the love of your life at sixteen or seventeen and that's just not true. For some, maybe, but not likely for everyone and it could cause self-esteem issues for some teenagers.
    Plus, it would be nice to read such a realistic portrayal of relationships, especially in some of the darker YA where in reality, those couples would argue and break up sooner then sticking together!
    And those songs were all great picks too! I love Taylor Swift's song <3

    1. Thanks, Faye :)

      Yes, I definitely do think it has some impact on self-esteem and what sort of expectations teenagers might have about relationships.

      I'd LOVE to see a dark portrayal of a YA break-up. I want to read You Oughta Know in a book format. Pleeeeease.

      (I have such a crush on Taylor Swift!)

  3. I'd love, love, love a novel that works Someone Like You into it. It's so full of emotion and grit that it's make a brilliant story.

    1. I couldn't agree more, Sophie! I love that song. It always makes me feel quite emotional when I hear it..

  4. Even thinking about the Adele song makes me well-up. That whole album in fact. And yay to break ups! In the YA context, of course ;)

  5. Even thinking about the Adele song makes me well-up. That whole album in fact. And yay to break ups! In the YA context, of course ;)

    1. Isn't it amazing? I love it so much. In fact, I'm going to listen to it again now..


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