Keep Me Posted!

Sign me up for the latest news from Penguin Teen, including new books, special offers, and promotions.

Love, Death & Shakespeare: A SPEAK OF ME AS I AM Playlist by Sonia Belasco

SHARE

Sometimes you read a book and think to yourself “I need the soundtrack of this.” Sometimes, you’re so lucky that the author creates one for you! Speak of Me as I Am by Sonia Belasco is a moving story of grief, honesty, and the healing power of art – the ties that bind us together, even when those we love are gone. Read a bit more about the book below, then grab your headphones and start listening!

 

About the book:

Melanie and Damon are both living in the shadow of loss. For Melanie, it’s the loss of her larger-than-life artist mother, taken by cancer well before her time. For Damon, it’s the loss of his best friend, Carlos, who took his own life. As they struggle to fill the empty spaces their loved ones left behind, fate conspires to bring them together. Damon takes pictures with Carlos’s camera to try to understand his choices, and Melanie begins painting as a way of feeling closer to her mother. But when the two join their school’s production of Othello, the play they both hoped would be a distraction becomes a test of who they truly are, both together and on their own. And more than anything else, they discover that it just might be possible to live their lives without completely letting go of their sadness.

 

Onto the playlist!

 

1. “Better Days” – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

I love this optimistic, unsentimental look at how to envision a better future when things are tough. That to me is Damon and Melanie’s relationship in a nutshell.

 

2. “Godawful Things” – Lake Street Dive

What an upbeat song about how terrible life can be! But it’s so important to be grateful for the people who come into your life when you’re struggling, as those connections often become the strongest.

 

3. “Trust in Me” – Etta James

Etta James – besides being an awesome and legendary soul songstress – is a point of intersection for Melanie and Damon, a touchstone.

 

4. “You’ve Got to Learn” – Nina Simone

Nina Simone sings about grief like no other, because she knew that one of the hardest parts of being sad is pretending you’re okay.

 

5. “Stay” – The Suffers

Both Melanie and Damon love soul music, and this is the kind of contemporary soul I imagine they would listen to together (and maybe make out a little?).

 

6. “Mother” – Florence & the Machine

This fierce song represents Melanie’s mother and the scope of that loss.

 

7. “Patchwork Lover” – Noah Guthrie

Melanie and Damon are both coming apart at the seams, trying to help stitch each other back together.

 

8. “Apologize” – Kacey Musgraves

I like this stripped-down version of the One Republic song, which has always been Damon and Carlos’s theme song in my mind. Grief often comes with a desire to say you’re sorry, but it can feel like it’s too little, too late.

 

9. “Shelter” – Ray LaMontagne

Melanie and Damon are definitely each other’s shelter in the storm that is loss, but they also lost those that sheltered them.

 

10. “Rooks” – Shearwater

This song has always resonated with me as being about that hard-to-define sadness that comes with loss. It feels almost funereal.

 

11. “Can’t Go Back Now” – The Weepies

Personally, this song has helped me in moving forward when so much of my attention feels focused on the past, and I imagine it would help Damon and Melanie too.

 

12. “I Miss You” – Beyonce

Beyonce may be talking about the end of a romance here, but that is a form of grief too.

 

13. “Higher Love” – James Vincent McMorrow

I see Melanie and Damon’s story as a hopeful one, a search for a higher love, a way of rising from the ashes.

 

 

 

 

Get your copy of Speak of Me as I Am!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#AuthorSpotlight

Meet the Author: Astrid Scholte!

This summer on Penguin Teen, we’re celebrating all the amazing debut books hitting shelves and the incredible authors who wrote them! This week we’re reading Astrid Scholte’s Four Dead Queens. Astrid Scholte’s debut made QUITE the splash last February, and now she’s here to tell you all about it herself!   Hello! I’m Astrid Scholte and my debut … Continued
See More

Quotes Readers are Loving from TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN

If you’re a John Green fan (or even if you aren’t), you know that he is one of the most quotable authors out there. Since the Turtles All the Way Down paperback just recently hit shelves, we have absolutely loved seeing which quotes from the book have resonated with readers, inspiring incredible fan art, and beautiful bookstagrams, … Continued
See More

Cinnamon rolls to the rom-com front!

While we love writing unapologetic, unconventional girls—flirtatious, forward Megan and cutting Cameron—we don’t often discuss the other half of the romance equation in our YA rom-coms: the guys. We love our male leads, and we’re excited to unpack them in the context of important conversations in and outside YA on male stereotypes and masculinity.   … Continued
See More

Important Moments from John Green’s Interview on 60 Minutes

Whether you know him as the founder of Vid-Con, the YouTuber you can’t stop watching, or the author who made you cry your eyes out, chances are: you’ve heard of (and love) John Green. In case you missed John Green’s appearance on 60 Minutes (aired October 7th, 2018), we’ve rounded up some of the most … Continued
See More

Recapping Game of Thrones: Final Season, Episode 5

Carnage.   Wow.   “The Bells” did, in fact, toll during the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones. But then Daenerys decided to, um, kill everyone.   After she’d won.   After King’s Landing had been taken efficiently and neatly, with minimal loss of life and during a full surrender by its people.   And … Continued
See More

Four Dead Queens: the PLAYLIST!

Let’s face it. Sometimes, you’re reading an epic mystery fantasy and you just need to jam. As it turns out, Astrid Scholte author of Four Dead Queens feels the same way, and she’s shared her playlist with us! Although she’s not one for writing to music, she certainly knows how to build the perfect Four Dead Queens reading atmosphere. Scroll … Continued
See More

Read an interview & excerpt with the author of THE ART OF BREAKING THINGS!

In honor of our #NewBooksNewVoices celebration, Laura Sibson, author of The Art of Breaking Things has answered some questions for us and shared some insider info on her publishing journey! Read her interview below and scroll down to read an excerpt of her debut novel, The Art of Breaking Things!   Q: What are your top three absolute … Continued
See More

Recapping Game of Thrones: Final Season, Episode 4

  A lot happened in “The Last of the Starks,” that’s for sure, and not all of it good. The show decided to reward many of its followers with some good old-fashioned fan service, but also revealed some of its persistent flaws. Since this week’s episode came right off the back of another crazy, zany, … Continued
See More

Meet the Author: Laura Sibson!

This summer on Penguin Teen, we’re celebrating all the amazing debut books hitting shelves and the incredible authors who wrote them! This week we’re reading Laura Sibson’s The Art of Breaking Things. But, instead of us telling you about Laura Sibson’s gorgeous debut, we’re going to let author tell you herself!     My debut young adult novel, The … Continued
See More

Recapping Game of Thrones: Final Season, Episode 3

Well it certainly was a “Long Night.” Man. Wow. So much to unpack. I don’t have the space, stamina, or processing power to cover everything incredible that happened in last night’s LONGEST RUNNING BATTLE SCENE IN TV OR MOVIE HISTORY, so I’ll stick to the highlights and low light—literally, it was dark (again, literally)—of one … Continued
See More
BACK TO TOP