Pick a Taylor Swift Ex-Boyfriend and Get a Young Adult Book Recommendation

Taylor Swift has been through her fair share of heartbreak, each ex usually inspiring a kiss-off, a heartfelt ballad, or a hit pop song.

But now the starlet seems to be settling down with actor Joe Alwyn, so it makes sense that her forthcoming seventh studio album is titled Lover. To honor the heartbreak that has led to some of our fave songs, we’ve matched an amazing young adult book recommendation with each Swift ex. Who is your favorite?

John Mayer: Genuine Fraud, psychological thriller book by E. Lockhart

He’s the man who inspired Taylor’s gorgeous, take-no-prisoners takedown “Dear John,” a thorough dressing-down of one’s ex if we’ve ever heard one! We think this short-lived relationship matches Genuine Fraud! E. Lockhart’s latest mystery thriller book is full of twists and turns, with the plot running in reverse order to add to the confusion. The story follows Imogen, runaway heiress, cook, orphan, and totally unreliable narrator, and her friend Jules, an athlete and social chameleon with a knack for disguise. If Tay and JMay’s relationship had you on the edge of your seat, so will this psychological  thriller!

Joe Jonas: Field Notes on Love, young adult romance book by Jennifer E. Smith

One of Taylor’s earlier relationships infamously ended in a twenty-five-second phone call (ouch), but it did inspire great songs like “Forever and Always” off her second album Fearless, her heart-wrenching ballad “Last Kiss” from Speak Now, and the uplifting “Holy Ground” song from the album Red. For a young adult book as utterly romantic as this short-lived but iconic duo, check out Field Notes on Love. It’s an adorable meet-cute romance about two teens who are thrown together on a cross-country train trip, and is perhaps one of the most touching and heartfelt young adult romance books you’ll read this year. Luckily, it doesn’t end with a twenty-five-second phone call.

Harry Styles: Tell Me Things, young adult contemporary by Julie Buxbaum

Taylor’s tumultuous relationship with One Direction singer Harry Styles inspired the coyly titled “Style” and the pulsating pop song “Out of the Woods” from 1989. Even Taylor Swift couldn’t resist falling for the brooding heart throb musician, just like Jessie in Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. It’s a love story with the perfect amount of humor and tragedy. Full of emotions as complex as the ones Harry Styles inspired, it’s the perfect read for lovers of poignant romance books.

Jake Gyllenhaal: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, YA horror novel by Kiersten White

Jake Gyllenhaal arguably inspired some of Taylor Swift’s best songs to date, including “All Too Well,” “State of Grace,” “Red,” “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” and her first #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Most of her Grammy-nominated Red album was based on this messed-up love affair, so it’s fitting that The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein would be our book recommendation for this ex. This haunting YA novel is a story of survival, following Elizabeth Lavenza’s attempt to manage Victor’s dangerous temper and entertain his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost. Taylor and her blue eyes survived the tumultuous break up with Jake, and all of those heavy emotions certainly match the intensity of this YA book.

Taylor Lautner: Words in Deep Blue, young adult romance by Cath Crowley.

If you loved the gorgeous “Back to December” song from the Speak Now album, you may or may not know it was inspired by Taylor’s relationship with another Taylor: Twilight star Taylor Lautner. Their relationship was fleeting, but oh so sweet. Even the most cynical of critics thought they were a cute couple. Taylor + Taylor fans will love the adorable romance in Words in Deep Blue (which even sounds like a Taylor Swift song title) by Cath Crowley. It’s about two teens who find their way back to each other in a bookstore full of secrets and crushes, grief and hope.

Calvin Harris: House of Salt and Sorrows, young adult fairytale retelling by Erin Craig.

Taylor’s relationship with DJ Calvin Harris was like a fairylale…until it wasn’t. He inspired much of the heavy-hitting material on her album Reputation, including “I Did Something Bad” (in which she flat-out calls him a narcissist), and is referenced on songs like “Gorgeous” and “Don’t Blame Me.” House of Salt and Sorrows, is part fairytale, part horror, part romance. Sounds a lot like their relationship. Just as Taylor got swept away by Calvin Harris, readers will get swept away by this dark and romantic tale.

Tom Hiddleston: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Taylor’s relationship with Avengers actor Tom Hiddleston was a whirlwind. The unexpected coupling resulted in many cute photo moments and, quite possibly, Reputation’s frenetic “Getaway Car.” In The Sun Is Also a Star, the bestselling YA novel that inspired one of this year’s teen drama flicks, Natasha and Daniel fall for each other almost instantly. Their own whirlwind romance is all about Natasha letting go of her cynicism and embracing the magic of love.


Become a Book Nerd

When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.