1. Run - Daughter
This song just makes me think of Margo feeling restless and wanting to leave and just be somewhere else: "I don't know what we're doing / I don't know what we've done /But the fire is coming / So I think we should run".
2. Handle With Care - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
"I'm so tired of being lonely / I still have some love to give / Won't you show me that you really care". I think this song makes me think of the idea of Margo that Q creates. Like, there are definite moments where it's like he expects to be able to find her and fix her and him finding her will make her want to come back and stuff, when that's not actually the case, but this song makes me think of that image of her. I don't know guys, I'm still experiencing the aftermath and I haven't fully processed everything yet. My mum just asked me if I want cake and I gave a very spaced out reply of "give me a moment to finish writing this first". I turned down cake to try and express this nonsense. I already feel like this is not a good trade off. Onwards we go!
3. Miss Nothing - The Pretty Reckless
Something about this just makes me think of Margo. Like, that anger and frustration that makes her want to leave. "And as I watch you disappear into the ground / My one mistake was that I never let you down / So I'll waste my time and I'll burn my mind / O miss nothing, miss everything". The miss nothing/miss everything makes me think about the multiple Margo's that are different people see and the way in which she can never be all of those things because she's just a girl.
4. Foundations - Kate Nash
This just always makes me think of Q trying to cling onto the clues left to him and doing all he can to try and figure out where Margo is. "My fingertips are holding onto the cracks in our foundations / And I know that I should let go but I can't"
5. As You Do - Castanets
Not sure why this one is here but it is! Deal with it.
6. Smile Like You Mean It - Elmore
"Save some face, you know you've only got one / Change your ways while you're young". This song just really makes me think of that bit where Q has gone to the party so he can drive his drunk friends home and he's imagining how often Margo must have been at these things smiling and interacting with people but just not feeling it, screaming inside, and just feeling disconnected from it all. I wanted to find a cover version of this song for this playlist and this one works really well, it's just what I wanted to find. The original juxtaposes the melancholy lyrics with the upbeat music but I think this version fits the playlist better because it just captures that mood better.
7. I Can't Make You Love Me (David Keller Remix) - Bon Iver
I listened through all the Bon Iver I own while reading this, hence why it features twice. I just think this remix is lovely to be honest! It was playing during the bit where they're road tripping to go find Margo and it just really fitted to me. This song is on a playlist that my friends and I listened to during our really intense dissertation finishing week, so it's already linked to that feeling of desperately filling up on sugar and energy drink in order to stay awake and power through so it really fitted their road tripping. It also makes me think of Q and Margo asleep under the stars and kissing before he leaves again: "Morning will come / And I'll do what's right / Just give me til then / To give up this fight".
8. Wasting My Young Years - London Grammar
I feel like so much of this soundtrack is melancholy but I just got slightly captured by that sort of whistful need to leave, "I'm in love with cities I've never been to and people I've never met". Q wants that idea of the future with college and marriage and kids, whereas the now is enough for Margo, and I just feel like this song sums up how I imagine her feeling before she runs away, that wish to not be trapped and stuck forever.
9. The Wind - Cat Stevens
So I adore this song so much ever since I was a very small child and watched Almost Famous and fell in love with Penny Lane and watched her dance around amidst discarded roses to this song. And I just feel like Penny Lane and Margo are probably really similar in many ways: "I listen to the wind / To the wind of my soul / Where I'll end up well I think / Only God really knows".
10. Re: Stacks - Bon Iver
I just listened to Bon Iver a lot when reading this really. Simple as that. Also it was playing when I read a bit that I really liked: "for the longest time, it felt kind of like my chest was cracking open, but not precisely in an unpleasant way".
11. False Alarm - KT Tunstall
"Every time I turn around / There's nothing there at all / So tell me why I feel like / I'm up against the wall / But maybe it's a false alarm / Every answer sounds the same / Just colours bleeding into one / That hasn't got a name / Maybe I can't see / Maybe it's just me". I just think of Q constantly rereading Song of Myself and trying to figure out the clues really.
12. Don't Think Twice It's Alright - Bob Dylan
I put on a bit of Bob Dylan because it's mentioned in the novel and this is one of my favs. "It ain't no use in calling out my name gal / Like you never done before / And it ain't no use in calling out my name gal / I can't hear you anymore". So many of these songs are just related to me imagining Margo travelling and wandering and this one is no different. Clearly it tapped into something in my brain.
13. Maps (Acoustic) - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
"Wait / They don't love you like I love you". I think for a bit Q does have this sort of entitled feeling towards Margo? Like, if he's able to work out who she really is then he'll have earned her or something, or earned the right to make her come home. Which gets dismantled obviously, but it's what this song makes me think of.
14 Allemande (Live) - Keane
"Allemande, where have you gone? / Did I know anything about you?" I just really enjoyed how the book dismantled the way that people imbue others with importance and worth beyond who they are. It's something that occurs a lot in fiction, where your narrator builds someone up to immense heights and attaches all of this significance and worth to them and eventually forgets that they're just a person, so I enjoyed seeing that idea taken apart. "Margo was not a miracle. She was not an adventure. She was not a fine and precious thing. She was a girl".
15. You Are What You Love - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
This whole flurry of songs is just me reacting to the deconstruction of Q's idolisation of Margo really. This is almost like the Margo viewpoint: "To you I'm a symbol or a monument / your rite of passage to fulfilment / But I'm not yours for the taking". It's so dangerous to view someone as more than a person; it decreases your self worth and will never going end well because they will eventually fall short of your construction (inevitably because at the end of the day they are just a person) and leave you with some form of harsh reality check. "What a treacherous thing it is to believe a person is more than a person".
16. I Summon You - Spoon
Q just spends so much time trying to summon Margo to him, constantly rereading Song of Myself and imagining her and trying to understand who she is which culminates in this epic road trip quest where he lets go of the vision, but this song makes me think of all that summoning that happens previously. "I summon you here my love / Got the weight of the world / I summon you here my love".
17. Misguided Ghosts - Paramore
This is just another Margo song really: "Cause I'm one of those ghosts / Travelling endlessly / Don't need no roads / In fact they follow me".
18. Lost - KT Tunstall
Last song was a Margo song, this song is a Q song. "I got lost following you / Time could have stopped / And I never knew / I got lost following you / Following you".
Night Like This / LP - I don't understand the specifics but 8tracks can't stream this song from soundcloud so I guess it's just not going to be on my playlist! I just feel like this song so exemplifies the night Q and Margo spend doing the pranks and breaking into Seaworld: "Stars are falling, are we falling too? / Dawn is coming, what's this coming to? / On a night like this / On a night like this / Stars are falling, are we falling too?" &&&&& "If we survive the storming and we're alive by morning / We'll never be the same, I'll never be the same".
I really enjoyed this book! After finishing The Ground Beneath Her Feet I just really wanted something that I could lose myself in and this really filled that brief. I was determined to read it before the film comes out so that's that achievement done! This is only the second John Green book I've read but I've really enjoyed both and definitely look forward to reading more of him in the future. Just a few extra thoughts on the book: I really liked all of the characters. Like, a lot. I thought they were great. I love John Green's writing, it's so beautiful but it's also just really fun and entertaining. In my second year I did an American Literature course so lots of the texts he mentions are ones that I've studied so that was also cool because I have lots of opinions on them myself. I sort of want to just go back and reread this again because it's all so quotable and I'm sure there are so many bits that I just haven't appreciated enough on my first read through. I've just really enjoyed this!