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The Official REBEL OF THE SANDS Playlists Are Actually the Best

You know how some books just need to have a soundtrack? They’re so epic you basically feel like you’re in a movie – and you can’t help thinking that every chapter deserves the perfect song. If you’ve read Rebel of the Sands, you know that the nonstop adventure, rebellion, romance, and magic definitely make it one of those books. Luckily, the author Alwyn Hamilton created her own playlists for Rebel of the Sands, meaning each song is pretty much destined to be perfection. Read on for Alwyn’s picks!


1. The Soundtrack of the Rebellion


Rebel Rebel (David Bowie): Do I need to say more? If ever there was a soundtrack to a rebellion run by a whole bunch of teenagers, this is it.


Kickass (We Are Young) (Mika vs. RedOne): This is a song about young and wild and reckless and hopeful that you can chance the world. There’s no line in this song that doesn’t sound like the rebellion to me, from the frantic hopeful music to the lyrics.


Baba O’Riley (The Who): Sure there’s the line about Teenage Wasteland. But the famous opening bars of this song are what sum up the rebellion for me. The excited rush of it, that every time I hear it sounds like it should be the soundtrack to running through the open towards something brighter.


Easy to Love (The Jezabels):  This is one of those songs that I have heard dozens of times but can’t quite untangle. But to me it sounds like a song of someone who can’t ignore the darkness in the world. And that’s the Rebel Prince in a nutshell. He sees the desert hurt and bleed and he wants to heal it.


Believe (The Bravery): The Rebel Prince’s cause is an act of faith when it boils down to it. It’s full of people who are disillusioned with the world and want something else to believe in.


Empire (Dar Williams):  The Rebel Prince’s cause doesn’t shy away from the seeing the bad in the country they’re already living in. And that’s what this song is all about.


We are Young (3OH!3):  This isn’t just a song about being young. It’s about young angry and determined to build our own world. And that’s what the Rebellion is all about.


If I Die Young (The Band Perry): The Rebellion is full of hope and youth, and reckless life. But it’s also at the core of a war. And that means some of the rebels are bound to die young for the cause.


Sink or Swim (Tyrone Wells): This song always sounds like the soundtrack to a hopeful battle to me. Sure it’s probably a metaphor for love. But I chose to take it literally here.


Wanted Dead or Alive (Bon Jovi): This can sort of sum up just about anyone in the rebellion. But a few people in particular. They’re all wanted by the Sultan and his army, dead or alive.


We are Young (Fun): If the rallying cry of the Rebellion wasn’t already “A New Dawn, A New desert” it would be the chorus of this song “Tonight we are young, so let’s set the world on fire.” It also sums up some of the slightly dysfunctional relationships inside the rebellion.


Hey Brother (Avicii): Family is one of the most defining parts of the rebellion. It’s family by blood for some, and a found family for others.


Broken Crown (Mumford and Sons): This is a song for the Rebel Prince and those darker moments of doubt that creep in sometimes when you’re leading a rebellion.


I Fought the Law (The Clash): The rebellion definitely fought the law…if the law won is yet to be decided.


Kisses Over Babylon (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes): The beat of this song sounds like marching towards a cause to me. It fits with the rebellion in some of its’ more unified moments.


Home (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes): The rebellion represents home to a lot of people who don’t have one. The people inside it find home with each other.


Children of the Revolution (T. Rex): Closing off with this one, which I don’t think needs much explaining either. But if the rebellion was marching into battle, this is the song they’d do it to.


#2. Amani’s Character Playlist


Chasing Twisters (Delta Rae): Everything in this song is Amani to me. From the reckless frantic beat to the idea of her chasing her dreams, trying to catch them like twisters that will sweet her up into something bigger sounds like her to me. She’s a girl born with lightening in her heels and with Dust and Devils on her conscience.


Initials B.B. (Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra): This song builds slow and tense, then at 0:44 breaks into the truly badass. It’s the soundtrack to rising to a challenge. It’s the soundtrack to the shooting contest in the first chapter of the book to me.


Remember the Name (Fort Minor): If this is a song about earning a name that passes into infamy it definitely belongs to the girl who goes by the Blue Eyed Bandit.


Gunpowder and Lead (Miranda Lambert): There are a fair few country songs about women getting their own against a world that would chew them up and spit them out. But this is the one for Amani to me.


Paradise (Coldplay): If Amani had a Luke Skywalker moment, staring out across the dunes at the horizon, this would be the soundtrack to it. Dreaming of a better place, right there beyond her reach, half real, half imagined.


Hit Me With Your Best Shot (Pat Benetar): This song is Amani at her toughest and cockiest for me. You want to come after her, she will take you on right back.


I Knew You Were Trouble (Taylor Swift): This song alternates between being about Amani from Jin’s point of view and about Jin from Amani’s point of view. And it fits in right when they meet in the first couple of chapters of the book.


Dust (Augustana): This is the part of Amani that Dustwalk. The part that’s a little bit dark and a little mistrustful and a little bit angry at the hand her town has dealt her.


Paloma (Carbon Leaf): This is a song about a girl running towards freedom. “The dreams you seek are straight ahead in every direction.” Is a line that sums up that secret vulnerable part of Amani that’s full of hope.


American Girl (Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers): Amani might not be an American girl, but she’s definitely raised on promises of a great big world with lots of places to run to. Besides, this song always reminds me of the scene in Scrubs where Dr. Elliot Reid turns herself into a badass.


Bang Bang (3OH!3): This song has always sounded like the anthem of a truly badass girl to me. And if that doesn’t describe Amani I don’t know what does. So put your hands in the air, she’s gonna shoot.


You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid (The Offspring): This song is about someone a little bit ruthless, willing to lie and claw their way to what they want. With a thousand lies, and a good disguise. And Amani is a Damn Good Liar.


Alone Together (Fallout Boy): This song kind of sums up Amani and Jin’s relationship at the beginning of the book for me. Or at least when they meet and how they wind up on the road together.


Bulletproof (La Roux): Besides the obvious bullet metaphor for the girl with the gun this is a song for a badass girl closing off her heart.


Run (Delta Rae): Another Delta Rae song. This is a more hopeful song about running, and it belongs to the moment Amani breaks free of her dead end town and starts to tame the roads that can’t be tamed.


You Give Love A Bad Name (Bon Jovi): If anyone is a loaded gun it’s Amani. There’s a ruthless side to the girl with the gun that fits with this song for me.


Your Surrender (Neon Trees): There is an important part of Amani’s journey that is about letting her guard down. And that’s what this song is about.


Angel With A Shotgun (The Cab): I have written more of REBEL to this song that I would care to admit. It always sounds like an inspiring song about finding a cause to fight and the moment something shifts inside Amani. And again, the shotgun metaphor doesn’t hurt with the Blue Eyed Bandit.


Bad Girls (M.I.A.): I wrote most of Chapter 23 to this. It’s a song for 2 badass girls ready to live fast and die young and Amani is half of that team.


Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen): If Amani lived on the modern age she would probably wear blue jeans with a red bandana sticking out of the back pocket because this song would be her anthem. She was indeed born to run.


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