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Whenever I write, I have to listen to music. The right song puts me in the mood to write a certain scene, or gets me into a character’s head. This playlist is so diverse because this book isn’t just a thriller or a romance or historical fiction or a coming-of-age story—it’s all of them, so I picked lots of different kinds of songs to accompany certain scenes in my book. I hope these songs affect you as deeply as they affected me.
1. Paramore, “Brick by Boring Brick”
I love the raw emotion in the singer’s voice. The song’s message—about letting go of the fairy-tale castles of childhood—mirrors the main character’s struggles so perfectly.
2. My Chemical Romance, “Welcome to the Black Parade”
If you want to get into the twisted head of my main character’s brother, this is the song to listen to! I listened to this song over and over while writing chapter sixteen, and once you’ve read that part, you’ll understand why.
3. Grimes, “Genesis”
I admit, I can barely make out what Grimes is saying, but the song’s romantic and mysterious feel make me shiver every time I hear it.
4. David Guetta featuring Sia, “Titanium”
This is such a great fight song. It’s about standing up to your enemies, even while they’re trying their hardest to destroy you.
5. Nelly Furtado, “Childhood Dreams”
I’m not afraid to confess, I cry when I listen to this song about the surprise and wonder of falling in love . . . and the beautiful realization that leaning on someone doesn’t make you weak.
6. Radiohead, “Creep”
How could I write a book about Nazis without including “Creep” in my playlist? The verses about wanting to be special and have control remind me of Hitler.
7. Emeli Sandé, “Next to Me”
I adore this song about loving and trusting someone else completely. Listen to this while reading chapter thirty-seven, and you’ll understand why I picked it.
8. Nicki Minaj, “Right Thru Me”
To me, this song is about the shock and gratitude we feel when we realize someone loves us, even when we’re acting our worst.
9. The Killers, “Read My Mind”
This song captures the aching isolation and loneliness several characters in Prisoner of Night and Fog feel.
10. Thirty Seconds to Mars, “Kings and Queens”
When I listen to this epic song, I think about the bittersweet moments we all experience when we move from childhood to adulthood.
11. U2, “With or Without You”
Best. Love. Song. Ever. Enough said.
12. Florence + the Machine, “Shake It Out”
I love the verses about blindness and trying to let go of the past. Listen to this song while reading chapters twenty-one and twenty-two, and you’ll get a deeper sense of what the main character is going through.
13. Paramore, “Monster”
This bitter, angry song makes me think of how disillusioned and disappointed we feel when our idols fall before our eyes.
14. Nicki Minaj featuring Rihanna, “Fly”
There was no way I couldn’t include this haunting song about women triumphing over the enemies surrounding them.
15. Coldplay, “Viva la Vida”
To me, this song is about a complete reversal of fortune, a constant theme in the Nazis’ torturous rise to power.
16. No Doubt, “Running”
I can’t say why I picked this song or I’ll spoil the ending. Listen to it while reading the last chapter, and you’ll understand why I had to include “Running.”