This story was first published on The Reading Room.
If you haven’t bought Adele’s latest album yet, you’ve probably been listening to “Hello” on repeat for a while. But, we’ve got a solution for you. We’ve matched all 11 songs from Adele’s album 25 to books. See which book your favorite song is matched to, and let us know if you have any other recommendation matches in the comments!
1. “Hello”—The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks
We know, we know—is it cliché to choose a Nicholas Sparks book for this power ballad? Maybe. But this book truly embodies the song. “Hello” is about an old relationship (“when we were younger and free”) that was severely messed up, and is now trying to be repaired. “I must’ve called a thousand times?” or written 365 letters …
Notable lyrics: They say time is supposed to heal, yeah / But I ain’t done much healing
2. “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”—Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
Ah, the infuriating relationship between Rhett and Scarlett. Scarlett’s in love with Ashley (who is married to her friend) throughout the entire novel; only, she doesn’t realize she’s in love with Rhett, too, until he leaves her. Adele’s song sounds like Rhett saying goodbye to Scarlett, and telling her to (sarcastically) enjoy life with her new beau.
Notable lyric: I’m giving you up
3. “I Miss You”–Fifty Shades of Grey, by E.L. James
You may not like Fifty Shades of Grey, but it does pair pretty well with this Adele song. Adele sings about missing someone, especially when the lights go down. The relationship of Christian and Ana is similar in that respect—a relationship based on the foundation of sexuality.
Notable lyrics: Treat me soft but touch me cruel / I want to teach you things you never knew
4. “When We Were Young”–Forever…, by Judy Blume
Does this book make you nostalgic? Us, too. Judy Blume’s coming-of-age story about first love and teenage sexuality, Forever…, is the perfect pair for this song. While everything might not work out in the end, the characters still have this moment.
Notable lyrics: Let me photograph you in this light / In case it is the last time / That we might be exactly like we were
5. “Remedy”–Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
This song may have been about Adele’s first child, but we think Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild perfectly embodies it. The song expresses the need for a ‘remedy’ from a cruel world. For Strayed, that remedy was finding herself after hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
Notable lyrics: But when the pain cuts you deep / When the night keeps you from sleeping / Just look and you will see / That I will be your remedy
6. “Water Under the Bridge”—Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Mr. Rochester and Jane’s romance is unlikely from the start due to their very different circumstances. Rochester is engaged to someone else, and Jane is his employee—acting as a tutor for his semi-adopted daughter (also named Adele … no, really). Adele sings: “If you’re gonna let me down, let me down gently/Don’t pretend that you don’t want me,” and that’s more than a bit like the ever confusing relationship between these two characters in Jane Eyre.
Notable lyrics: Have I ever asked for much? The only thing that I want is your love
7. “River Lea”—We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
The YA suspense follows Cadence, a member of the affluent Sinclair family, who vacations on a private island every summer. But one summer, something happens causing Cadence to lose her memory and follow the missing pieces back to the truth. Cadence’s family is dysfunctional at best, with her mother and aunts constantly fighting over everything from spouses to inheritance. “River Lea” blames upbringing for mistakes, as does We Were Liars.
Notable lyrics: But it’s in my roots, it’s in my veins / It’s in my blood / And I stain every heart that I use to heal the pain
8. “Love in the Dark”—The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene
The 1951 novel’s story is quite similar to “Love in the Dark.” The tale of an affair between characters Bendrix and Sarah during World War II is about love and loss, while the heartbreaking song expresses feelings of defeat. The lyrics examine a relationship without regret, but firmly states that it must end.
Notable lyrics: It is the world to me / That you are in my life / But I want to live / And not just survive / That’s why I can’t love you in the dark
9. “Million Years Ago”—What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, by Raymond Carver
The collection of short stories contains four that are especially relevant when comparing them to this song: “Mr. Coffee and Mr. Fixit”; “Sacks”; “Little Things”; and, “Everything Stuck to Him.” Many of Carver’s stories focus on regret and reflection, which is exactly what’s happening in “Million Years Ago.” Many of the stories, like “Mr. Coffee and Mr. Fixit,” deal with coming to grips with a troublesome relationship; while, “Little Things” depicts a struggle between two feuding parents over their child. Heartache, tragedy, and coming to terms with the bad things in life all play a role in this collection of short stories as well as “Million Years Ago.”
Notable lyrics: I know I’m not the only one / Who regrets the things they’ve done
10. “All I Ask” — The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Scary changes happen when you grow up. That’s exactly what character high-schooler Charlie realizes in this coming-of-age novel. Charlie is in love with an older student, Sam, who is going off to college. On their last night together, they finally discuss their feelings for one another. Adele’s song about love ending and people leaving is a perfect pair for this book.
Notable lyrics: If this is my last night with you / Hold me like I’m more than just a friend
11. “Sweetest Devotion”—Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
Adele’s song “Sweetest Devotion” resembles Anne’s relationship with her adopted parents Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. Although they thought they were getting a boy orphan to help Matthew run their farm, they soon learn to love and accept Anne. The song also happens to be able Adele’s son, making this a great fit.
Notable lyrics: I wasn’t ready then / I’m ready now