Behind the Song

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Sep 2017

Member Reviews

I really enjoyed the concept and the idea behind this book. Personally, I could never really get too far into the novel and found it difficult to read. I thought that the book had a very interesting concept, but I don't think that a book of short stories is my type of book.
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When I heard that there was a book full of short stories about music I knew I had to read it! I wasn't disappointed, I really enjoyed reading all the different stories. I also loved the fact that you could listen to the song along with the story that it went with. I think this book was interesting and unique.
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An interesting concept, but it didn't keep my interest very well.
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Behind the Song is 14 short stories / essays that are inspired by music.  How music can transport us. How music can inspire us.  The short stories that were based on songs I found to be really cool - I've never really been inspired to write a story after listening to a song but I definitely can see how many can.  Maybe I can use that idea as a future writing prompt for myself when I am stumped.  There is also an essay from G.Love - who was one of the few names I recognized - that was about a song he wrote which I really found to be interesting.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.
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Unfortunately this book wasn't for me and I did not finish it. Thank you for the opportunity :)
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An interesting read but not really my thing to be honest. I can see why some would enjoy it though.
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This book was a complete hit for me - I love all things YA, music and anthologies! I loved that each story was very much it's own, so much so that you can really get a good idea of each author's personality. There's a good mix between non-fiction, horror, fantasy, contemporary - really something for everyone. Highly recommend!
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I don't knos if it was the subject matter or just the way people wrote but I hated this
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This was, unfortunately, a mess. The few good parts read like first drafts of better stories and the worst parts were just incoherent. The idea was fantastic, having authors write stories and essays based on a particular song of their choosing. I love that. But it felt like while teens were the target audience, several of the authors missed that mark. 

Overall, 2 stars because the idea behind the collection is great. But it needs some major editing, both in form and substance.
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Do you love music?

Do you love YA literature?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if your favorite authors turned songs into songs? (Yeah, this last one is a stretch, but after reading this anthology I want more authors to try this.)

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you should check out this anthology. Bear in mind that, as with any collection there are some hits and some misses, but reading this one is worth it just to see what these authors have created.
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Behind the Song is a Young Adult anthology of short stories inspired by music. There are fourteen stories in all, and while most of them are fictional, there are a couple that are nonfictional. I love creating my own personal soundtracks for favorite books, or even for my own writing playlists, so I was very excited about reading Behind the Song and listening to the different songs that inspire other writers.

For the first twelve stories, I read the story after listening to the song that inspired it. I listened to the last two songs after reading their respective stories, and this may have contributed to a greater feeling of suspense since I couldn’t make guesses about what would happen next based on the song lyrics.

Below are my favorite stories from Behind the Song:

Miss Atomic Bomb by Anthony Breznican (inspired by The Killer’s “Miss Atomic Bomb”) - If you enjoy dystopian stories, you will love this one. I was a bundle of nerves the entire time I was reading Miss Atomic Bomb, and I had to take a bit of a breather after finishing it because there was so much to unpack and think about. I love short stories for this very reason: every action, every moment of suspense is magnified and condensed into the length of a novel chapter.

‘Cold Beverage’: The Song I Wrote That Changed My Life by G. Love (inspired by his song “Cold Beverage”) -
 Before reading this story, I had never even heard of the song “Cold Beverage”, but now I listen to it about once a week because it is SO FUN! Check out the video on the playlist below, even that is fun to watch (I watched it twice while typing this blog post). This is a memoir short story (I refrain from using the word “essay” because that makes it seem dull, and it’s anything but), because it’s written by the singer G. Love about how he created his song “Cold Beverage” and why he still loves it nearly two decades later.

Time To Soar by Donn T (inspired by Amy Winehouse’s “October Song”) - This is one of those stories that really needs to be read multiple times. First of all, I’m not too familiar with Amy Winehouse’s music, but after listening to “October Song”, I see why she had such a loyal fan following. Time To Soar reads like a true story, perhaps creative nonfiction, but it isn’t. It’s filled with suspense, heartbreak, and hope, and overall it has an inspirational and optimistic message.

Anyone Other Than Me by Tiffany Schmidt (inspired by Dave Matthews Band’s “Dancing Nancies”) - This short story could have been turned into a full-length novel, and I would have loved it just the same. It’s a coming of age story about turning over a new leaf and finding oneself. There are swoon-worthy moments, and even suspenseful ones, and it all takes place at a summer camp which makes it really fun to read. I had heard of Tiffany Schmidt before, but this is the first time I’ve read anything by her; I will definitely be picking up one of her books sometime because I really enjoyed her tone and writing style.

Doomed? by K.M. Walton (inspired by Marcy Playground’s “All the Lights Went Out”) - I’m glad that Behind the Song ended with a fantastic story like Doomed? It’s one that surprises you with a twist you won’t see coming, one that will keep you thinking about the story long after you’ve finished it. Doomed? is told through two narrators, and it’s easy to follow along, although it’s another story that deserves to be read more than once.
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I had a hard time getting into this book.  I think it was more me than the book itself.  Will try again another time...
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While the description of this anthology excited me greatly, sadly the content did not. I loved the idea of stories inspired by songs, especially as music is a passion of mine. However, I expected the stories to feature music and for the music to be much more of a focus. To me, the stories that I managed to get through, which wasn't that many, were odd and seemed quite pointless. In the end, I couldn't even finish this book as it just was not for me.
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3.5 stars

I always request anthologies assuming I'm going to love them, but I usually don't. I specifically requested this one because I love music, yet there were so many songs here I didn't know, but for someone dedicated, I am sure that might be a good thing since they can explore new music. I was so SHOCKED to read a story inspired by 2NE1!!! That was the highlight for me -- although the tears that welled up threatened to fall with that story...

I didn't rate many of the early on stories very highly. In fact, many of these stories were very lyrical-- intense and otherworldly, but for me they fell flat.... but looking back at the table of contents, trying to recall the stories I read days before, I remember them all fondly. So, I did not like the way they were told, but I enjoyed the story-- the plot, and most of them I think will carry on with me. 

Stories I enjoyed:
♦Suburbiana (Or the Return of Super Frog) [Song: The Suburbs by Arcade Fire] by David Arnold
♦Miss Atomic Bomb [Song: Miss Atomic Bomb by The Killers] by Athony Breznican
♦Second Chances [Song: It Hurts by 2NE1] by Ellen Oh
♦Anyone Other Than Me [Song: Dancing Nancies by Dave Matthew Band] by Tiffany Schmidt
♦The Ride [Song: The Middle by Jimmy Eat World] by Suzanne Young
♦Doomed? [Song: All the Lights Went Out by Marcy Playground] by K.M. Walton

So, I liked more than I disliked, even though I didn't know the songs. Most of these stories ended up with me fighting off tears. The way they pulled at the reader's heartstrings within just a few couple pages is almost magical. Some are uplifting and inspiring! 

I'm not sure who I would recommend this one to... If people like short stories or emotional stories-- definitely character driven, then this is one to check out.
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I LOVED THIS BOOK!  I only wanted to read this book because of one of the fourteen authors, David Arnold.  I loved his other two books so much that I was excited to read anything by him, even if it was a short story.  Thankfully, the other authors were just as good! All of these stories had a specific song connected to it.  Whether, the story was about how a song was written, how a song inspired them to write the story, or as simple as the song being mentioned in the story, these were so much fun.  Also, before each story there is a little blurb from the author about which song is in their story and why so to help prepare myself for each story, I would listen to a snippet of each song on iTunes.  I even ended up buying a couple because they were so good.  I highly recommend this anthology for book lovers and music lovers.
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One of my favorite things to do when I'm reading a book is find out if it has a playlist, or if it doesn't, make one of my own. So when I read the synopsis of Behind the Song, I wanted to read it so bad. This little collection of stories has a perfect mix of fun, heartfelt, and magical tales. And while there are some stories I enjoyed more than others ("Suburbiana," "You Know Something's Happening Here," "The Ride," and "Doomed"), they all bring something special to the collection. Of course I made a playlist to go along, and discovered some old forgotten songs ("Wonderwall," "Dancing Nancies," "The Middle"), some songs I'd never usually listen to, but enjoyed ("Cold Beverage," "It Hurts"), and even discovered a few new favorites ("October Song," "All the Lights Went Out"). If you love to read and love music, be sure to pick this one up!
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What a great anthology!! 

The idea behind this anthology was music. Do you ever hear a song and picture the story the music is telling? Well this is an entire book of just that, short stories describing the songs. It features many, many authors and just as many musicians. Some stories are personal experiences (looking at you G. Love) while some stories are purely fiction (looking at you Jonathan Maberry).  Each story was different and I honestly enjoyed most of them. I loved listening to the song before reading the story so I could get my mindset where the author is. 

Just a little biased here, but Ellen Hopkins wrote an amazing story inspired by The Eagles' Hotel California, even includes lyrics from the song (which is hilarious to me because I regularly slip song lyrics into every day conversations). The wonderful, Suzanne Young wrote a great story inspired by Jimmy Eat World's The Middle, which included lots of emotions you go through growing up and honestly may have been my favorite story in the anthology. 

Overall, it was a great read and I would definitely suggest it to music lovers everywhere.

K.M. Walton penned a special message about this book and what it means to her!

If you liked this but want a book that is more personal, check out my review of Party Of One by Dave Holmes!!

I'm so thankful that Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley provided me an advanced copy of Behind the Song, which is out now!
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What an awesome Idea to pair music with short stories. We all feel more creative when we connect to our favorite music. So why not write down the stories that the music leads us to. This is exactly what an amazing group of YA authors and musicians have done. Starting a new story was like moving through your favorite song playlist on a lazy summer afternoon.
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