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Behind the Song

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  32 reviews

A song to match everyone's heartbeat.

A soaring melody, a pulse-pounding beat, a touching lyric: Music takes a moment and makes it a memory. It’s a universal language that can capture love, heartbreak, loss, soul searching, and wing spreading—all in the span of a few notes. In Behind the Song, fourteen acclaimed young adult authors and musicians share short stories and pers

Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
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Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  95 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Sep 06, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This book includes my story "City Girl"!
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am all about music, YA, and anthologies so BEHIND THE SONG was sure to be a hit for me. This incredible anthology hit it out of the park.

A few reasons I loved Behind the Song (and I think you will, too):

Each author is at their complete best. I've read or interacted with most of the authors (though not the musicians) so I have a sense of their personality and these stories just have so much heart. Their stories were so their own that I couldn't help but smile. I especially appreciated Ellen Ho
Lea (drumsofautumn)
Full video review here!

I was so excited to pick up Behind the Song but found myself disappointed with most of the short stories. I was expecting this anthology to not only have essays and short stories inspired by certain songs but that the theme in the stories itself would be music too and because that wasn't the case, I felt very underwhelmed by this overall.

I found a lot of the short stories to be super absurd and weird. I wasn't expecting to get such a range of different stories without any
Angela Auten
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Since this is an anthology, I will review each story separately and rate it. Then give the book an overall rating. Probably going to also listen to the songs after reading all the stories.

Suburbiana (Or, the Return of Super Frog) by David Arnold

Rating: 3 Stars

Short review: This story started out pretty weird. As it progressed further, I liked it more. Danny and Troy were definitely interesting characters. The author pretty much tackled standing up for yourself. Bullying happens everywhere. We d
Jessica White
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm giving this 3 stars only because the editing was so terrible and I had to regularly try to decipher words, hoping the finished copy is cleaner! Otherwise, 4 stars.

What a great anthology!!

The idea behind this anthology was music. Do you ever hear a song and picture the story the music is telling? Well this is an entire book of just that, short stories describing the songs. It features many, many authors and just as many musicians. Some stories are personal experiences (looking at you G. Love
Ben Truong
Behind the Song is an anthology of fourteen short stories and personal essays which was collected and edited by K.M. Walton. This anthology is a compilation of stories and essays written by authors and musicians sharing the deep influences of music that helped to shape their lives, particularly calling upon their own adolescences.

For the most part, I really like most of these contributions. Behind the Song is an anthology collection of fourteen short stories or personal essays centering on the s
Maggie Nambot (macarons & paperbacks)
Behind the Song is a Young Adult anthology of short stories inspired by music. There are fourteen stories in all, and while most of them are fictional, there are a couple that are nonfictional. I love creating my own personal soundtracks for favorite books, or even for my own writing playlists, so I was very excited about reading Behind the Song and listening to the different songs that inspire other writers.

For the first twelve stories, I read the story after listening to the song that inspired
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
*I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

3.5 stars

I always request anthologies assuming I'm going to love them, but I usually don't. I specifically requested this one because I love music, yet there were so many songs here I didn't know, but for someone dedicated, I am sure that might be a good thing since they can explore new music. I was so SHOCKED to read a story inspired by 2NE1!!! That was the highlight for me -- although the tears that welled up threatened
Dedra ~ A Book Wanderer
I was provided an e-galley of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley.

One of my favorite things to do when I'm reading a book is find out if it has a playlist, or if it doesn't, make one of my own. So when I read the synopsis of Behind the Song, I wanted to read it so bad. This little collection of stories has a perfect mix of fun, heartfelt, and magical tales. And while there are some stories I enjoyed more than others ("Suburbiana," "You Know Something's Happening Here," "The Ride," an
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I only wanted to read this book because of one of the fourteen authors, David Arnold. I loved his other two books so much that I was excited to read anything by him, even if it was a short story. Thankfully, the other authors were just as good! All of these stories had a specific song connected to it. Whether, the story was about how a song was written, how a song inspired them to write the story, or as simple as the song being mentioned in the story, these were so much fun. A ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pamela Scott

I loved the concept behind this collection, stories and essays inspired by music. Music is something that does speak to everyone and certain songs resonate more than others. Perhaps they remind us of a significant experience such as first love or someone who once met a lot to us. I enjoyed the essays more than the stories which surprised me. The essays were a mixed bag written by singers discussing their own music as well as writers inspired by specific so
It's a mix of short stories and autobiographical pieces, so this collection is a real mixed bag. Some I didn't read. I felt that some of the fictional stories could have been shorter.I was hooked by the first story by David Arnold because his story is set in my hometown, but not the part I live in so it was sort of cool to see a story about Suburban Fort Worth.Anthony Breznican's "Miss Atomic Bomb" made my skin crawl. It kept the tension up well, but the threat to the girl and the ending made me ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was, unfortunately, a mess. The few good parts read like first drafts of better stories and the worst parts were just incoherent. The idea was fantastic, having authors write stories and essays based on a particular song of their choosing. I love that. But it felt like while teens were the target audience, several of the authors missed that mark.

Overall, 2 stars because the idea behind the collection is great. But it needs some major editing, both in form and substance.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an awesome Idea to pair music with short stories. We all feel more creative when we connect to our favorite music. So why not write down the stories that the music leads us to. This is exactly what an amazing group of YA authors and musicians have done. Starting a new story was like moving through your favorite song playlist on a lazy summer afternoon.
Alexis Stankewitz
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I wasn't familiar with some of the songs,but this collection was extremely interesting to me,both as an avid reader and an avid music fan. I especially loved the story "City Girl" by E.C. Myers. (I would love if he expanded on the story to make it novel-length,if not a trilogy). A definitely interesting collection.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it
A series of short stories and essays written by young adult authors and inspired by songs they love or at least have very specific attachments to. Mostly I really enjoyed the sort of memoirish essays in which the authors talked about what certain songs meant to them at certain points in their lives. The short stories were a lot more hit and miss for me.
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
When I heard that there was a book full of short stories about music I knew I had to read it! I wasn't disappointed, I really enjoyed reading all the different stories. I also loved the fact that you could listen to the song along with the story that it went with. I think this book was interesting and unique.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Two of the stories in here i didn't like all too well, but the book is definitely worth it anyways. I especially loved "Doomed?" by K.M. Walton. It actually made me interested in reading more from her. Over all, i'd say it deserves a 4 out of 5, if you enjoy short stories and music, this one's worth the read.
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it
*This book was given to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review*

Anthologies are always a mixed bag, but even if I don't like one of the stories, I don't feel bad because they're so short. I enjoyed that this one was music themed and as a bonus, remembered how much I loved G. Love & Special Sauce :)
Sep 30, 2017 rated it liked it
There are some absolutely stunning pieces in here while others don’t quite work well. There’s an art to short stories that is different from the art of novel creation, and some of these don’t measure up.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
#BehindtheSong is a must-have mentor text that will inspire MS/HS readers & writers. Songs interpreted as short stories & personal essays. 📚🎼❤️
"Music is the soundtrack of our lives. ---- a zip file of culture, ideas, and free thought..."
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
An enjoyable book, some of the stories I enjoyed more than others, and the fact that I didn’t know many songs referenced made it a little difficult, but I definitely learnt about a lot of artists, songs and authors and that made the book a good read.
Jen Selinsky
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This modern classic contains stories and personal essays written by many popular authors, including Ellen Hopkins and K.M. Walton. The featured songs, as well as their accompanying stories, are a very eclectic mix, which makes it attractive to young bibliophiles and audiophiles alike.
Madison Leonhardt
I don’t feel like I can give this book a proper rating. I disliked some stories, DNF’d some, and really enjoyed a few. I purchased this solely because Suzanne Young had a piece in it. Her story was great of course and the book had an interesting concept.
Kaitlin Kline
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn't like this anthology as much as I thought I would. A few of the stories were very good, but I was mostly underwhelmed.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was so excited when I stumbled upon this book, however the stories that I didn't like far outweighed the few that I did.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Some were well written, insightful stories and essays. Others were YA.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The contents of this book somehow eluded my expectations but It's anthology fairs my taste when it comes to different random stories.
Sep 30, 2017 marked it as dnf
While the description of this anthology excited me greatly, sadly the content did not. I loved the idea of stories inspired by songs, especially as music is a passion of mine. However, I expected the stories to feature music and for the music to be much more of a focus. To me, the stories that I managed to get through, which wasn't that many, were odd and seemed quite pointless. In the end, I couldn't even finish this book as it just was not for me.
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K.M. Walton is the author of the contemporary young adult novels, CRACKED (2012), EMPTY (2013), ULTIMATUM (2017), and her BEHIND THE SONG anthology (2017). She is represented by Jim McCarthy from Dystel, Goderich & Bourret Literary Management.

K. M. had a gazillion dreams when she was a little girl. Her biggest dream was to be a teacher. Teaching became a reality for K.M. and she taught for twelve

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