Paula Stokes has put together a completely danceable playlist for her new book, THE ART OF LAINEY. Read all about her song choices and listen to the Spotify playlist below!
I had really lofty goals for The Art of Lainey playlist. I wanted to capture the essence of fun and summer and falling in and out of love. I also wanted to feature songs from several different genres since each of my main characters has different musical tastes. Finally, I wanted to give my early readers a chance to weigh in on the songs they felt worked with the book, so five of these songs were chosen from a list submitted by my street team. (Thanks, #TeamLainey!) Ranging from punk to hip-hop to Taylor Swift, I truly think this playlist has something for everyone.
1. “So Obvious” by Runner Runner: This song is the perfect mix of fun and love and summer. If the book were to become a movie, I envision it starting with this song playing at the coffee shop and Lainey dancing and singing along to it as she rings up customers.
2. “Popular” by Nada Surf: There are three important rules for breaking up. Do you know how to dump someone properly? Let Nada Surf show you the way in this hilarious summertime anthem.
3. “Tear in Your Hand” by Tori Amos: This is one of the most haunting and beautiful breakup songs I’ve ever heard. It’s perfect for Lainey’s rage and devastation, as well as for her eventual acceptance of the situation.
4. “Dig” by Incubus: The Art of Lainey is a summer romance, but it’s also a story about the importance of true friendship. Bianca is the one who keeps Lainey from losing herself.
5. “Girls Chase Boys” by Ingrid Michaelson: This is a fun little number about the frustration and futility of relationships. It’s got the perfect fluffy feel for the novel.
6. “Roar” by Katy Perry: Even as she tries to win Jason back, Lainey knows he treated her badly and she’s not going to let him get away with it again. She’s finally learning to stick up for herself and this is like an anthem for her.
7. “Start a Fire” by Ryan Star: How do you know if your feelings are real or just physical attraction? This dilemma drives the middle of the book. The bridge to this song is also where I got the name of the fictional song “Wake Up Dreaming” that figures prominently in the story.
8. “Whatcha Say” by Jason Derulo: Eventually Jason wises up and tries to apologize to Lainey with a speech that sounds a lot like this song.
9. “A Beautiful Lie” by Thirty Seconds to Mars: It can be easy, but damaging, to hide behind something false. Lainey cares for Micah but their fake relationship is a lot less scary to her than a possible real one.
10. “Girl Is on My Mind” by The Black Keys: Readers don’t get to look inside Micah’s brain but I’ve spent lots of time in there and I can tell you he’s been thinking about Lainey a lot.
11. “Start of Something Good” by Daughtry: Once again, the music is perfect for a summer romance. The lyrics speak of hope and hesitation, two things that are warring in both Lainey and Micah’s hearts for much of the story.
12. “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by the Dropkick Murphys: There’s one co-ed soccer scene in the book that is less about friendly recreation and more about serious business. I needed some ferocious, high-energy music to play in the background.
13. “Warzone” by The Wanted: About three-quarters through the story, Lainey re-reads The Art of War and comes to some different conclusions than those that served as the basis for her original plan.
14. “Fearless” by Taylor Swift: Micah and Lainey’s developing feelings are subtle and downplayed for the majority of the book—no gooey PDA or declarations of love. But still, they have some amazing, romantic moments—kind of like the ones in this song.
15. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” by the Ramones: Micah is really influenced by music that his father listened to back before he was killed in a robbery. I definitely wanted to include some classic punk on my playlist, and this fun little love song works nicely with one of the scenes near the end of the book.
16. “Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks: The first time I heard this was in the coffee shop when I was writing The Art of Lainey. Everything about it—from the catchy chorus, to the uptempo beat, to the lyrics—works for the story. If the book became a movie, this is the song I would see playing as the end credits roll.
Ready for more Lainey? Read the first 70+ pages below!