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You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  502 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Tim’s a young singer-songwriter with a guitar case full of songs and dreams of finding an audience to embrace his tunes.

Mandy’s obsessed with music and a compulsive dreamer. She’s longing for something more fulfilling than daytime TV and cups of tea with best friend Alice, something like the excitement and passion of rock ’n’ roll.

When their eyes meet at a gig, sparks fly
Paperback, 345 pages
Published May 1st 2015 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published April 27th 2015)
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3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  502 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
If I wasn’t for the short chapters, I would’ve really struggled to finish this book. I couldn’t relate to the characters, not just because of their interests but because the book seems to be written for a very specific audience.

Tim and Mandy are both hipsters who meet and bond over their mutual love for gigs, music and indie bands. Tim plays in a band and has torrents of girls after him, but he’s too cool for that. Instead, he spends his nights at gigs and his days coasting through his repeat ye
Daniel Herborn’s debut novel, You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About, is the story of Mandy and Tim, two teens living in Sydney’s Inner West. Mandy lives at home with her older sister, her father, and step-mother. She took a year off after finishing high school but so far all she’s done is sleep, watch lots of daytime tv, and work at a local cafe. Tim lives has always wanted to be a musician. He’s currently living with his uncle, writing songs, and playing any gig he can, which is how he me ...more
This title features on my Worst of 2015 list!

Actual rating 1.5

Tim is a musician who’s repeating year 12:
‘You’re a recalcitrant, Tim. Always will be.’
‘I don’t know what that means,’ I say.
‘Why doesn’t that surprise me?’
‘I thought this was a geography class, not a pretentious words class.'

Mandy has finished school, is working a job she has no passion for, and is stuck in a bit of a rut:
Maybe there’s some great cultural movement going on now that I’m missing out on. Maybe one day people will lo
May 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommended to Arlene by: Nomes
Sometimes I think that the difference between the happiest people and the most miserable bastards is only one thing; the ability they have to control their memories.

Another lovable Aussie YA book that is a perfect read for fans of rock music.

Tim is repeating his last year of school before uni and his intentions were to have a low-key year. He wanted to take the time to get things back on track after a crazy time he had the year before with family and life in general. His plan is going well unti
Quirky, funny, smart and sexy. (Not for the Year 7s that's fer sure).

Told in short, snappy back-&-forth chapters, alternating Mandy then Tim, it's a homage to old rock, punk rock, new style rock and the people who embrace it.

Mandy is having a gap year, which turns out to be a year of watching daytime television, working at a sandwich bar, and going to local band venues to check out the scene. Mandy knows her stuff. She's committed to her musical tastes, and when she meets Tim, singer songwri
~temera  makeeta~
cuteness overload !!
in the beginning, I though the way Tim and Mandy's friendship/ relationship started was a bit ridiculous, considering they new nothing about each other but we're basically already 'in love' after the first three words spoken between them, but it developed overtime and I found it quite adorable!
and I absolutely LOVED Mandy, she is absolutely the coolest person ever I don't how to to describe, she's just so cool!
this is probably the only book I've read that's set in Australi
Cheska the Great is Not Okay
3.5 stars rounded up to 4.

It wasn't the best-written YA book out there, so I can see why some people didn't like it and where they're coming from--but I still liked it.

It was down-to-earth and realistic, to the point that this could've been a true story about real teenagers from Sydney. There was no pretentiousness a la Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars, there were no earth-shattering events that broke that realism. Of course they do experience a few conflicts throughout the story,
Sep 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, 2015
I love books. I love music. Rarely do I love books about music. It should be a match made in heaven, but for some reason they never really gel for me.

The good about this book:
- Loved the Aus setting. The Australian setting was well drawn with the writer accurately capturing the heady days of young adulthood, right down to their slang and abbreviations.
- Loved all the characters. They weren't perfect, but they were believable, relatable, and well-drawn.
- Loved the focus on music, even if I though
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loveozya, bookgasm
You're The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About is a lovely coming of age about finding yourself and finding that person that makes life suck a little less. Told in dual points of view and both being heavily involved within the Sydney independent music scene, both Mandy and Tim are surprised neither of them have met before. Mandy is a barely employed sandwich artist, preferring to spend her day sleeping or watching mindless daytime television. While Tim was li
May 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, aussie-ya
read the last few chapters sat outside in the sun listening to the sounds of the courteeners play in the distance. so serendipitous and I'm completely in love. if you enjoy fresh and snappy stories that can be devoured in one gulp, then this ones for you.
Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
I'm giving away an ecopy of this awesomeness in HERE.
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was a winner for me - I read it in two sittings and felt full and satisfied at the end. I have no problem with books that switch between characters for each chapter, although I did get a bit mixed up as to which character I was reading in this one because some of the switches were happening after only one page.
A lot of the story made me feel sad and hopeless, but it also reminded me of this time in my life and I really connected with Mandy..... in her TV preferences especially! I total
➰ Angela ➰
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Um, wow this book is fucking amazing. It opened me up to a whole new world of music and for that I will be eternally grateful. It is absolutely safe to say this is now one of my favourite books I have ever read
Marcus Dabb
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This guy can write. Love the style of alternating characters & got more & more drawn in the further I read. Have found that books with a strong music theme can go awry, but the author has pulled off something special. Fantastic first novel. Looking forward to his next offering.
Jess - The Tales Compendium
In a Nutshell: A book about first love, friendship, finding your way, drinking tea, music, and all that music inspires.

For my full review, please visit my website:
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm too old for this book.

This is the kind of YA I probably would have adored when I was the target age for YA novels, but I'm a little old and a lot cynical and it is what it is.

As whole I wasn't a fan of the rabid change of POV throughout, as a consequence I never truely felt settled with the two main characters until about half way through because their voices weren't being defined well. I also wasn't a huge fan of progress of the novel in general... there was a sense of directionless meander
Emily Mead
Dec 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I liked this one for the most part, but the VERY short chapters bugged me, because it was hard to really invest in a particular moment when they were all cut off early. Also, books about music are difficult because everyone has different tastes - while I loved all the music in Perks, for example, I didn't so much in this one (or at least, I didn't know of it).

Still, I liked how both main characters took different routes to the main one of high school>university>job - that's nice to see :)
Yeah yeah...the title got me straight away.
What girl, regardless of age, doesn't want songs written for/about her by some groovy guy?

Writing, the creative process in whichever form, is a response to life.
An experience, emotion, sensation, conversation, image, person, moment, a witness.
It requires thought, sensitivity, honesty, patience, a certain way of looking at and seeing things...
And then, courage because all creative expression makes us vulnerable.

What is in a song?
layers of music and words
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Such a boring book, nothing happened! I liked the beginning when I was learning about the characters but then the story line went no where. I had 40 pages left and couldn’t be bothered.
May 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Crossposted to Imaginary Misadventure.

You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About was a pleasure to read. This contemporary romance inhabits the vague space between young adult and the burgeoning new adult category. Directionless school leaver Mandy meets aspiring musician Tim in a moment of serendipity charged with the delicious possibility of their mutual attraction developing into something more.

Surpassing my expectations of an Inner West answer to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Daniel H
Cheryl Hawkins
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Such a joy to read, this book felt so real, I was right there living every moment with Tim and Mandy.. It is funny (so many times I found myself having a good chuckle), sad, hopeful and everything in between I loved the way it was written, the words and phrases used and the music lesson I received. Most of all I loved Tim and Mandy two young people who share a passion for music who are a little lost, who find each other, fall in love and find their way. A beautifully written, charming must read.
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music, aussie-ya
I really hoped for more
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About revolves around two central characters, Tim and Mandy and their lives when they meet. It's about finding who you are and where you belong. Both Tim and Mandy are young adults, around the same age I think. The author includes many musical references (which, most of the time, I didn't get, but that's ok because it refers to music more in the late 1900s) in the story which is fitting of course as both Tim and Mandy are clearly passionate about music and m ...more
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
You’re the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About was one of my most anticipated releases this year — so what went wrong?

I know the few people that have rated this on Goodreads have given it pretty high rating which is the only reason I made it to page 107 at all. I’m mentioning this book, like with every book, everyone is going to have a different opinion — this is mine.

Music books are difficult to read in my opinion. Everyone listens to different bands, different albums, different genres and someti
Elizabeth Merrick
I really enjoyed the book and the story. It reminded me about when I was in high school going to local show around Sydney and how I should start going to them again.

I loved that when Mandy and Tim met, it wasn't instant love but the attraction and the possibility for a relationship is there. Throughout the book their relationship isn't over bearing and kind of takes a backseat to the music and friendship that the pair share. The relationship fizzles out and the connection between Tim and Mandy
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015-books
This book has some faults.

Mandy is a bit lethargic about life, which means when the story was told from her point of view I was feeling incredibly bored and borderline cynical. Her character development doesn't occur until the last 20 pages and even then her bland personality doesn't improve.

Then there is one of my pet-peeves, insta-love. I was okay with it when I thought it was just lust because that is something I believe, but near the end they are talking about how they fell for each other
Jan 28, 2016 rated it liked it

A friend of mine described this book as being characters and a setting but no plot to bind them together. It took me so long to read not because it was a bad book, it's just that there was nothing to engage with.

Every character aside from the main two were largely forgettable (I had no idea who certain people were supposed to be for the entirety of the novel). The only thing I really enjoyed was the snapshot of the Sydney I know.

Unfortunately; the rating should be taken as a reflection of
I don't usually discard books after a few chapters.

Typically, I will persevere with a book, no matter how tedious and uninspiring it is.

Not the case with this one.

I literally could not get past the first two chapters.

So so bad.
I'm not sure what it was about this one I couldn't get into. I think Mandy irritated me a little -- she came off as a bit pretentious to me, and to be honest, I didn't like any of the music mentioned! Just not for me, this one.
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Daniel Herborn is a writer from Sydney, Australia. His writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Time Out Sydney, Australian Book Review, The Big Issue, Eureka Street and many others.

His YA novel 'You're the Kind of Girl I Write Songs About', a love story set in the dives and cafes of Sydney's Inner West, is out now.

I'm never on here, but say hi over at:, faceb
“Remember: you're not JUSTa fan. The whole thing falls apart without people who believe in it.” 3 likes
“The songs don't completely make sense unless they find their audience.” 0 likes
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