the folklore book tag // sweet, sad, and sympathetic books, & my thoughts on the songs

Like everyone else, I am a Taylor Swift stan.

So of course I freaked when I heard Taylor was dropping a new surprise album!!! I really love the vibes of folklore! It’s definitely what I’m obsessively listening to right now. So far my favorite songs are cardigan, exile, and illicit affairs (the bridge!!!), but it’s definitely constantly changing as I listen more.

Anyways, when Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink made a folklore book tag, of course I had to do it lol I tagged myself shamelessly. Also the Ilsa made all the beautiful graphics that I will be using!

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  • Link to the original creator: Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink
  • Tag at least 3 people.
  • Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
  • Thank whoever who tagged you and link to their post.

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I don’t think anyone can argue that the ending to The Mark of Athena didn’t leave them speechless. I mean… a literal cliffhanger, ya know what I mean. I’m just glad I was late to the party and read this after the whole series was out because I could not wait.

This is a pretty good song. It’s not one I’ve come back to though. Pretty catchy. 3.5/5

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Words In Deep Blue is a beautiful happy sad book. It’s a simple contemporary with sweet friendships and relationships, but it also deals with grief and death and if I wasn’t smiling through teary eyes the whole time.

I love cardigan! It’s one of my favorites so far. I’m in absolute love with the dreamy whimsical vibes of the music video! Also the scene where she’s literally drowning but clings to her piano (nevermind why it’s not sinking lol) is so powerful music literally saves her. I felt that. 4.5/5

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Sorcery of Thorns is absolutely a fascinating and extremely well told story. It’s just such an amazing books that can blow you away, and the magic and fantasy and everything is woven so well together. And how can you not be fascinated by magical libraries and grimoires???

I feel like a lot of people really like this one but I don’t like it that much lol. I mean, compared to the other songs. I guess the story of it is pretty nice though. 3/5

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I honestly wish I had never read Leah of the Offbeat because I hated this book but I loved Simon Vs. The Homo sapiens Agenda, and honestly Leah ruined Simon for me. It destroyed characters and relationships (romantic and friendships) I loved and I can’t see my babies the same!! I just pretend it doesn’t exist in my head cannon lol.

I absolutely love this song! Bon Iver and Taylor blend their voices together so nicely and wow this song makes me feel things. And the lyrics are crazy incredible. You’re not my homeland anymore… so what am I offending now? 5/5

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Five Feet Apart is a wonderful book but it’s also so sad. Brings me back to the sicklit days. Honestly I basically never cry while reading books but this one was so moving that I almost did, I got a little teary eyed!! In the book and the movie! I just wanted my poor babies who have gone through so much to be okay!!

This is such a deep moving song that really resonated with me. Because… my tears have been ricocheting lately. The lyrics and way they fit in the melody are just… really moving. 4/5

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Harley in the Sky. Akemi Dawn Bowman really went there and she said Kay, I see you and I hear you and I love you. She really said yes you’ve been struggling your whole life never fitting in to one group or another but that’s okay because you’re beautiful and valid as you are. You’ve always felt sad and scared and anxious around people but that’s okay we’re all just trying. Nobody understands, and you’ve always felt sidelined, but I understand and I love you.

Anyways, it’s a shame that this prompt has my favorite book but this isn’t my favorite song it didn’t feel like it was written just for me lol. It’s pretty nice, but it’s kind of a skip song for me. 3/5

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Ella Enchanted is my childhood favorite and I’ve read it so many times it’s falling apart and I love it to bits. I always reread it and I always get nostalgic when I do. I wish I could go back to the simple days of Ella Enchanted.

This is another song that I felt pretty meh about, kind of a skip. It does make me feel a bit nostalgic though so I appreciate that. 3/5

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Ilsa said bonus points if the book is sad so what better book than Second Chance Summer? All the summer vibes, of a summer spent hanging out beachside with friends! But also casually ripping out my heart because it’s her last summer with her dad dying of cancer okay I’m crying.

I saw someone say on twitter that people who like august are people who like Cruel Summer (lover) and Getaway Car (reputation) and those are my two favorite songs off those albums lmao accurate I like this one too. 4/5

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Up To This Pointe really deals with sadness of someone who realizes that her life dream isn’t going to happen, gets betrayed by a friend, and just feels awful, feels her whole world crashing around her, as everything she worked for ends up meaning nothing, . And my situation isn’t as dire as hers but damn if I didn’t feel that in my sadness of plans and goals I worked hard for getting cancelled thanks to covid.

This is another song that the lyrics and message of it really resonated with me. I’m… I’m a mess, okay, but I’m trying. Also I really like how it feels echoy and ethereal. 4/5

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The Queen of Nothing gave me a major book hangover. I was pretty much inconsolable for a week after reading it. In fact my whole family can probably tell you the plot of this book even though they never read it because I rambled about nothing else.

Also it’s not the prompt and it didn’t give me a book hangover but I want to take a moment to share that this song, illicit affairs, is literally the book Anna K.

All I have to say is the bridge of this song is incredible. I blast it on repeat and I’ve been singing it all day every day and it’s not physically possible to listen to the bridge of this song without getting up and twirling and leaping I don’t make the rules just saying. Don’t call me kid, don’t call me baby, look at this godforsaken mess that you made me… 5/5

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Loveboat, Taipei is a book I read really recently, last month, and it’s also another book that really speaks to me, feels like it was written for me (not as much as Harley though lol). I read it while I probably would have been in Taipei myself if not for covid. It reminded me how wonderful it is to be Taiwanese and inspired me to bake tai yang bing (Taiwanese sun cake). Ever is also a dancer who was on color guard like me, and reading how much she loved dance reminded me that I was like that too and inspired me to pull out my old rifle and start spinning again. So basically it got my sad self off my butt in quarantine and got be doing what I love, baking cultural foods and dancing, again.

I really do like the idea and imagery of an invisible string! I really do! But this song just feels so… skip! 3/5

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I just adore Lara Jean from To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before so much! She and I are so similar, from both being half Asian, to both being introverts, to both loving baking, to both loving reading romance books, to both loving our families, to both loving scrapbooking/yearbook, to… anyways, I absolutely adore her and want to be her best friend.

This song is honestly a jam. I really like the lyrics and the instrumentals too. 4/5

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The Wicked Deep is very haunting. It has all the spooky vibes, small beachside town where kids are lured to a watery death. This book was so haunting and atmospheric and also I loved it so much and also it shook me because the ending was so crazy and low-key creepy and I didn’t see it coming and it’s been a long time since I read this book but thinking about it now still has me shook.

This song is so beautiful and wow is it moving. It seems to be a wonderful tribute to all the healthcare workers working so hard during this pandemic and feels all sad and lonely and haunting I love it so much. 4.5/5

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Is there a single couple with more yearning than Kaz and Inej? They have touch aversion, they’re never even kiss, but they are just y e a r n i n g for each other and there is so much slow burn angst and aklsdjfoisafjd. They’re just both like in love with each other and they’ll support each other no matter what but they have so many obstacles in their way but they’re still aklsjf aklsfj alkjfdklj

This song is such a bop I love it. It’s so much fun to jam out to, and yes I love how it feels sapphic. 4.5/5

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There are a lot of characters I adore! One that comes to mind right now is Cinder because I love my badass cyborg lunar queen! She literally starts a revolution against her crazy aunt and you can bet I’d be there fighting along side her, pls use my body as a shield before killing Levana.

This is maybe the only song I don’t really like on this album lmao skip. 2/5

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I’m still angry at Frankly In Love because I wanted to love that book so much and I’d heard such good things about it, such amazing glowing reviews… and then I hated it lmao. Frank is a piece of trash I hate him and how he treats everyone, and also this book tried to cover so much and actually covered nothing and everyone who loved it lied to me.

I like the lyrics of this song, and it feels like a nice way to end the album. I don’t like the melody as much though, it’s okay. 3/5

asset 5I’m not tagging anyone because I low-key feel like I’m late and everyone who is a swiftie has already done this tag lmao but I had so much fun doing it so if you want to, I tag you!

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Let’s Chat

Are you obsessed with folklore too? What’s your favorite song off the album? Do you like any of these books I’ve mentioned? I’d love to chat in the comments below!

37 thoughts on “the folklore book tag // sweet, sad, and sympathetic books, & my thoughts on the songs

  1. Exile has to be my favorite! I swear that stopped the album for me because I had to listen to it 500 times close runners ups are this is me trying and last great American dynasty!

    Also I particularly love your pick for illicit affairs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So confession: I’m not the biggest Taylor Swift fan…??? *Braces for the oncoming mob and pitchforks*. I loved her growing up but at some point [I think it was around the Reputation era] I just sort of out grew her music. That being said – Folklore could 110% change my mind because Cardigan is so hauntingly whimsical and I’m low key OBSESSED with the melody. Also PETER PAN VIBES!!!

    But oh my gosh you picked the perfect books to capture each song. Second Chance Summer just SCREAMS Taylor Swift. Also, thanks a lot Kay – you’ve got me convinced I need to read the Wicked Deep for October. I’m going to have to start sending you my bills!!! 😂😂😂

    Much love! 💙💙💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh nooooo! Tbh I didn’t really like Reputation and was kind of done with her for a couple years, but I adored Lover last year which reinstated my status as humongous Taylor Swift stan haha. Yess Folklore and Cardigan are so amazing I’m 100% here for the whimsical Peter Pan vibes!! (now that I think about it I was also obsessed with Wonderland from 1989… could be a theme here hmm). Second Chance Summer is all the sad Taylor Swift vibes and ahh Wicked Deep is the perfect spooky haunting book!! haha well… sorry but not sorry ❤

      Liked by 1 person


    My favorites from the album are cardigan, invisible string, and hoax. Great book choices, I am very much on board with you on Kaz and Inej :), I’m literally just fangirling incoherently at this point. They have amazing banter and there were times I was just like *oh Kaz, oh Kaz, Inej you go girl* Ooh I haven’t seen a blogger rate the songs out of 5 stars yet for this tag, so it was interesting to see your choices!! I’m excited to read some of these books, thanks again for doing such a marvelous job on this tag 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am obsessed with folklore! I’m not sure if it’s beat out Reputation as my favorite album yet, but I am in love. My favorites are probably “august”, “mirrorball”, and “betty”, but it changes with every listen

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      1. Ahh I’m lowkey the opposite Reputation is probably my least favorite of her albums… although I did really like Call It What You Want and Getaway Car, and was just really underwhelmed by the songs she released as singles/made music videos for lol. Folkore is so amazing though I love it so much!! I love august and betty especially ❤


  5. Ooooh yes I totally feel the same about Leah on the Offbeat! I dunno something about that story just didn’t settle in me the way Simon did, but alas. Also Cinder is a true cyborg icon and we can’t help but love her, I’m 100% in agreement!!! I haven’t listened to this album in a few weeks and am now feeling a huge urge to go relisten!! ♥

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  6. omg second chance summer is the epitome of sad summer vibes 😭😭 & kaz and inej!! the fact they’ve never even kissed yet they’re one of the most famous ya couples ever is proof of their power. also, i listened to folklore but it’s just okay for me :”””) But it’s 100% a me thing bc ballads/soft pop/whatever you call its genre isn’t my thing. i love the bridge of illicit affairs though!

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    1. Second Chance Summer truly is all the sad summer vibes ❤ (tbh maybe that book is a lot like the mood of summer 2020 now that I think about it…) Yesss Kaz and Inej are the only couple that can make me squeal and sob and fall apart from just holding hands alksjdfoasjfioeasd im dying thinking about them rn. Oh no Caitlin back again with not liking what everyone else loves aren't you lmao. the bridge of illicit affairs and that alone is the only thing giving me life in 2020

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  7. Totally agree with your pick of Leah on the Offbeat. It’s such a shame because I was so looking forward to reading it because I love Simon VS so much. Unfortunately the characters just felt totally different and Leah was kind of annoying oops.
    Also YES to Kaz and Inej. So so much yearning oh my. Those two have my whole heart and honestly the end of Crooked Kingdom had me squealing. It ended so perfectly (so I’m kind of scared for a book #3 if there is one).
    & Second Chance Summer broke me as well. I’ve never fully cried like that at a book. I usually just tear up and that for me is crying at a book but THIS ONE. I didn’t really have an emotional attachment to any of the characters and it was just kinda meh until the ending. Sad summer vibes in a nutshell.

    As for folklore faves, my top three are the last great american dynasty, betty and the lakes. They just hit different<3<3.

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    1. Ugh Leah was awful I don’t know why everyone likes her so much she’s just… a brat lmao. Kaz and Inej hav so! much! yearning! and I am here for it!! and yesss second chance summer has all the sad summer vibes it’s such an amazing book and made me sob. I love Betty and the lakes so much too, and the whole album tbh ❤

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  8. Eeeepp SO SO SO glad you did this Kay. I LOVE all your answers so much <3<3

    Mark of Athena is so perfect omg. Such a good ending. I can't imagine not having the next book on hand welp. Yesss feel exactly the same about cardigan oof. That piano is just!! I'm just obsessed with the entire music video tbh.

    I am going to pretend you didn't slightly hurt my feelings by giving seven 3/5 and not enjoying the stunning instrumentals and vocals. K bye.

    Also yelp I'm glad I never read Leah on The Offbeat because yikes. But also omg relatable with QoN. For me it was because I ADORED that book and there was nothing left to read. And I wanted more JudexCardan lmao IM TRASH

    So excited to read Harley In The Sky and I'll scream at you when I do. I'm hoping to get to Starfish asap and then hopefully get ALL of Akemi's books. Also super pumped to read Loveboat. Lara Jean is such a great answer too! And I LOVE mad woman too, such a great song with all the feminist vibes. Love to see it.

    YESSSS KANEJ!! I,,, wow have been meaning to reread them and am lowkey not prepared to obsess over them all over again welp.

    Our taste is the complete opposite because my faves are seven, hoax, mad woman, cardigan and my tears ricochet xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahh thanks ruby ❤ Mark of Athena is my favorite HOO book and the ending was just… heart stopping okay bye gonna go be deceased now. and the cardigan music video is a masterpiece!! the song too but the video is just… enchanting. Haha sorry about that I did genuinely enjoy the song… just the other songs on the album are way better lol.

      Leah on the Offbeat was so disappointing I loved Simon so much and then we got this… disaster of a girl and a book lmao. asdofjklsafj queen of nothing shook me and Jude and cardan just make me… lose all ability to do anything except flail around.

      Ahh I hope you love it!! All of Akemi Dawn Bowman's books are just absolutely incredible ❤ ❤ and love boat Taipei and to all the boys ofc ❤

      kanej…. I need a moment alone to collect my feelings okay they just make me dissolve into a puddle of mess and goo asdkfjlsafsadfj the!! yearning!!

      haha our tastes in this album are kind of opposite. I really like cardigan and my tears ricochet too tho! and tbh the whole album is just amazing even my least favorite songs from the album are still really good ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s been a while but I can still remember screaming after finishing Mark of Athena! Lol. I haven’t read Leah on the Offbeat yet, but I feel bad that it affected how you felt about Simon, which is a favorite book of yours. Oh, and Second Chance Summer is stunning!

    I really want to do this tag but I kinda feel guilty since I haven’t even listened to the album yet! One day, one day…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love cardigan too! And words in deep blue is such a great pick and a great book! I didn’t like last great american dynasty as much as other people either- but it is listenable. And Sorcery of thorns is such a well told story. Exile was amazing!!! I love ella enchanted too. I didn’t love illicit affairs as much when I first listened to the album, but now it’s really grown on me and is one of my most listened! Also, really want to read anna k as well! Lara Jean is an amazing character. Wicked deep is such a good choice. Loved reading this!


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