Bookworms may sometimes find that they spend so much time indoors with a good book (or twelve) that pop-culture passes them by. But even those who have had to have their noses surgically removed from the inside of their favorite novels have heard of Ariana Grande. The Grammy award-winning singer has come a long way since she first appeared as an actress on Nickelodeon. She's racked up awards and is now lauded for her attitude, social media posts, charity work, and for speaking out about feminism and other issues.
While many of her songs focus on all the possible permutations of love (and the lack of love), Grande also sings about everything from work and money to her fabulous female friends. Just like a good book, her songs capture attention and tell a great story, so we’ve decided to match some of her biggest hits with these book pairs.
"7 Rings" — Crazy Rich Asians
Whoever said money can't solve your problems
Must not have had enough money to solve 'em
"7 Rings" is a song the certainly celebrates everything big, bling, and bought for yourself! With lyrics about buying anything she wants, namedropping Tiffany’s, and ticking all the luxe lifestyle boxes (champage, diamonds, private jet…) this is a song for anyone after that 1% life. Which, of course, is a perfect fit with Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians. All about the insanely rich in Singapore, Crazy Rich Asians is filled with all the bubbles, mansions, and private jets that Ariana could want — and then some! There’s no doubting that these characters could buy whatever they desire, whenever they desire it…and throw a little backstabbing in for good measure.
"Thank U Next" — To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
One taught me love
One taught me patience
And one taught me pain
Like Crazy Rich Asians, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before may sound familiar to Netflix fans, as the hit novel has since been turned into a film for the streaming service. Penned by Jenny Han, the book centers on Lara, a young girl who boxes up her feelings about boys…literally! Rather than talk about them, she writes letters to her various crushes and puts them in a box. It seems to be working well, until she discovers that someone opened that box and sent them out, and now Lara has to face every boy she’s loved before. What better song to match to this great story than Grande’s "Thank U, Next" hit? Grande, like the fictional Lara, uses this hit to write about the romances of her past, thanking her exes for everything they have done for her, and happily stating that she’s still moving on.
"Break Up With Your Girlfriend" — The Other Boleyn Girl
You can say I'm hatin' if you want to
But I only hate on her 'cause I want you
Books about the Other Woman, even just the potential other woman, will always be a favorite. But for the classic tale of a love triangle, you can’t go wrong with Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl. Set in the court of King Henry VIII, it tells the story of the King’s decision to divorce his wife for his mistress, throwing the kingdom into turmoil for the stunning Anne Boleyn. Readers will love getting a glimpse at this famous historical temptress who could easily be the type to sing "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored." By all accounts, she was after power (or even love), but she would certainly suit this twist on a love song, where Grande sings to a sexy guy in the hopes that he’ll dump his girlfriend just for her.
"Focus" — #GirlBoss
I'm over here doing what I like
I'm over here working day and night
While Grande’s favorite topic might seem to be love, money and hard work is definitely a close second for the singer! "Focus," another hugely catchy hit, is all about standing on your own two feet and not caring what anyone thinks, because honey, you’ve got some hustling to do! This is the perfect anthem for Sophia Amoruso’s #GirlBoss. Memoir, inspiration, and a touch of how-to, #GirlBoss chart’s Sophia’s rise from semi-anarchist dumpster diver to totally unique CEO — a journey that Grande would surely approve of!
"Bang Bang" — City of Girls
Sure she got a body like an hourglass
But I can give it to you all the time
Sure she got a booty like a Cadillac
But I can send you into overdrive
Last, but absolutely not least, we’re pairing one of Grande’s biggest hits with a book that shot up the New York Times’ bestseller list within weeks of release: Elizabeth Gilbert’s latest novel, City of Girls. Set in 1940s New York, it explores a young woman coming alive in a world of showgirls, off-Broadway, cocktails, and mayhem. A personal sexual revolution, feathered headdresses, and women helping women in the big city…what would better suit Ariana’s thumping hit (created with her own creative girl gang, Nicki Minaj and Jessie J) about the best you’ll ever have?
Which books would you pair with Grande’s other hits? Tweet @quirkbooks and let us know!