Musical Monday is a sporadic feature where I share songs, musicals, bookish playlists and have recently opened it up to author playlists for their own books. 🙂
Hi everyone! I am so happy to share this post that Adi Alsaid (author of Let’s Get Lost) so kindly put together for his new book Never Always Sometimes which releases August 4th from Harlequin Teen!
Playlists for Dave and Julia from Never Always Sometimes
“Eres” by Café Tacuba- A longing love ballad that Dave would strongly related to, and it being in Spanish would maybe help keep his longing secret.
“Fell in Love with a Girl” by The White Stripes- Okay, Dave’s not just about love songs. But this is a huge change of pace from the above, and speaking from experience, it’s a song that hits home when you’re a teen in unrequited love.
“By Your Hand” by Los Campesinos- A little cheekier and wilder than just a love song, but something about it makes me think of the mental place Dave is a few chapters into the novel.
“True Love Will Find You in the End” by Daniel Johnston with Beck- And we’re back to the mopey love ballads. But oh so pretty. The harmonica just feels like an instrument that would speak to Dave.
“Talk to Strangers” by Saul Williams- The spoken-poem vibe of the song could easily make it go onto Julia’s list, but the content is all Dave.
“Find Love” by Clem Snide- Despite the title, not a mopey love ballad. One that another character specifically plays for him.
“That Teenage Feeling” by Neko Case- This song makes a specific appearance in NAS, so its inclusion in this playlist is necessary. But I won’t say much about it, other than the fact that Neko Case kicks all sorts of ass and Julia loves her.
“The Body Electric” by Hurray for the Riff Raff- A tongue-in-cheek “screw you” to the folk ballad cliché of murdering your wife. That sounds pretty Julia to me.
“Get Lonely” by The Mountain Goats and “Song for Zula” by Phosphorescent- More songs specifically mentioned in the novel that I’ll refrain from analyzing to avoid spoilers. Different tones entirely.
“A Case of You” by Joni Mitchell- A love ballad, Julia-style. The first verse even has a clever, biting retort, but is not without its sweetness.
“Does Not Suffice” by Joanna Newsom- Beautiful, cutting lyrics about a relationship that will not withstand surface emotions or apologies.
Instead of an intro to the characters, I thought maybe I’d present the playlist as the introduction. Dave and Julia are two best friends who share much in the way of tastes and opinions, with Julia’s strong will perhaps swaying a decision or two.
But it’s interesting to me how well these lists came together, and how different they are once I finished trying to place songs for each character. I didn’t realize how many songs I’d specifically mentioned in the book, or how many I recall listening to during certain scenes. More impressive though, is thinking of a song that I haven’t even heard in years and thinking: Yup, that’s a Julia song.
If you haven’t heard of Never Always Sometimes, here is the description from Goodreads:
Never date your best friend
Always be original
Sometimes rules are meant to be broken
Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they’d never, ever do in high school.
Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he’s broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It’s either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember.
Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they’ve actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.