This week's edition of Saturday Soundtracks brings you the lyrical musings of author Rebecca Serle. Her most recent release, The Edge of Falling, just hit stores March 18th and is one of my favorite reads of the year so far! Tune in below and settle in for this week's soundtrack.
Growing up in privileged, Manhattan social circles, Caggie’s life should be perfect, and it almost was until the day that her younger sister drowned when Caggie was supposed to be watching her. Stricken by grief, Caggie pulls away from her friends and family, only to have everyone misinterpret a crucial moment when she supposedly saves a fellow classmate from suicide.
Now she’s famous for something she didn’t do and everyone lauds her as a hero. But inside she still blames herself for the death of her sister and continues to pull away from everything in her life, best friend and perfect boyfriend included.
Then Caggie meets Astor, the new boy at school, about whom rumours are swirling and known facts are few. In Astor she finds someone who just might understand her pain, because he has an inner pain of his own. But the more Caggie pulls away from her former life to be with Astor, the more she realises that his pain might be darker, and deeper, than anything she’s ever felt. His pain might be enough to end his life…and Caggie’s as well.
1. Better in Time by Leona LewisThis song was pretty much on repeat while I was writing my first book, When You Were Mine. I've said before that Rosaline's journey following her breakup with Rob paralleled my own: after saying goodbye to a great love, everything feels uncertain. But out of that pain came my first book, which reminded me to be grateful for every experience. Sometimes success can come from the most unexpected places! This song deals with moving on from your first love, and how even though that process may be difficult and heart wrenching- it does all get better in time!
2. Family Tree by Matthew WestI love this song, the lyrics are so relatable for what teens (and adults too!) experience as part of growing up, growing apart, and growing together with their families. One of my favorite lyrics is: "Are you gonna be like your father was, and his father was? Do you have to carry what they handed down?" I listened to this song quite a bit when writing The Edge of Falling, because it reminded me so much of Caggie's journey. Her family has been splintered after the death of her sister, and she has to decide how to grieve and move on. But it's still a hopeful song! I'm all about trying to find hope in dark situations, and music definitely keys me into that headspace when I'm writing.
3. Down by Jason WalkerTrue story: some of my favorite songs have come from TV shows! I didn't even know this song existed until I heard it on The Vampire Diaries during one particularly emotional breakup scene between Stefan and Elena. (For my Vampire people: season 1 breakup, guys. When she cried behind the door? Brb, I need to get some tissues just thinking about it.) I love this song because every time I hear it, a very particular story replays in my head, and reminds me that music is SUCH an influential mode of storytelling. The perfect song at the perfect moment can make an entire cast of characters come to life.
4. Uptown Girl by Billy JoelHere's a little secret about me: I love music about New York. There's something romantic about the city, and that is multiplied when I hear artists like Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra, and Billy Joel sing about the city I love so much. Uptown Girl is a sweet song, too! If you really listen to the words, it's about a guy from a different, "downtown" neighborhood who falls in love with a girl he feels is out of his league. We don't know if he ever gets up the courage to talk to her, but he admires her from afar. Makes you wonder who YOUR secret admirer could be, hiding amidst the hustle and bustle of NYC. ;)
5. Forever by LFO
Last confession: sometimes when I'm writing a romance scene, I write it to really cheesy 90's R&B, and LFO's cheese takes the cake. It brings you right back to awkward school dances and first crushes. (There may be a scene or two in my upcoming book, Famous in Love, written to this song. No, I will never reveal which ones.) There's really nothing more to say, just go listen. I promise it will be worth it.
Rebecca Serle is the author of When You Were Mine, The Edge of Falling, and Famous in Love and is an obsessive lover of all things pop culture. She blogs about The Vampire Diaries for New York magazine’s Vulture and can be found on Twitter: @RebeccaASerle. She, like Caggie, lives in Manhattan—just far from the Upper East Side.