Behind the Song by K.M. Walton

Behind the Song

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...

Title:Behind the Song
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Edition Language:English

Behind the Song Reviews

  • Anthony Breznican

    Hey guys, I'm one of the contributors to this book. My story is a dark little "Tales From the Dark Side"-style thriller, and I thought I'd post this essay about its unusual sources of inspiration:

    The book's editor, K.M. Walton, came up with the concept of crafting an original story that was based in some way on a piece of music, and I thought it was an exciting and creative way to get some words on the page.

    If you liked the book,

    Hey guys, I'm one of the contributors to this book. My story is a dark little "Tales From the Dark Side"-style thriller, and I thought I'd post this essay about its unusual sources of inspiration:

    The book's editor, K.M. Walton, came up with the concept of crafting an original story that was based in some way on a piece of music, and I thought it was an exciting and creative way to get some words on the page.

    If you liked the book, or are just curious about what in it, here's how my part of

    came together.

    It was a true honor to be included in this collection with so many inspiring and phenomenal storytellers.

  • Christy

    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

    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 Hopkins' story (I haven't read her stuff before) and EC Myers (who writes an amazing speculative fiction piece that is so deep I felt like I needed to decompress after I read it).

    The personal essays. Jonathan Maberry gets REAL in his and it was fun to see G. Love and Donn T write about their songs and experiences with music.

    A good mix of stories. From the non-fiction to the fantasy to the cute contemporary (OMG Tiffany Schmidt's story), this anthology has a mix of everything.

    It's KM Walton's story that really surprised me. I haven't read anything by her previously but her story (which is the last story) really stood out. I may have shed a tear (or ten).

    Highly recommend this anthology!

  • Lea (drumsofautumn)

    Full video review

    !

    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

    Full video review

    !

    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 connecting point. I thought that music would always be IN the story as well but it wasn't. So there's really no way to determine if you're gonna enjoy this anthology.

    Overall I enjoyed the essays way more than the short stories. Because the essays focused on music, be it a musician writing about the song writing process or an author writing about how a certain song inspired them, the music was always part of the essay as well. This is exactly what I was looking for and what I had hoped this anthology would be. My favourite was by far “The Opposite of Ordinary” by Beth Kephart. The way she described how a song made her feel and how it inspired her, was very special but also relatable.

    A short story that I really enjoyed was “The Ride” by Suzanne Young. It was clearly inspired by a song but it was also IN the story, even though it wasn't a big part of it. But Young was able to write a short story that reflected what I had wanted lots more of the stories to be. It was inspiring and uplifting and made a connection to music.

    Overall I would say if you are a fan of anthologies that feature a lot of different stories, you will find that in this book. If you're looking for an anthology that talks about the power of music and how much it can influence people, you should looks elsewhere.

    Suburbian by David Arnold: 1/5 stars. I saw no point to that story.

    Miss Atomic Bomb by Anthony Breznican: 2/5 stars. Intriguing world building but what an absurd story. TW for sexual assault & physical abuse.

    Cold Beverage by G. Love: 3/5 stars.

    Tiffany Twisted by Ellen Hopkins: 2/5 stars. The last part was intriguing but overall it was just a lot of WTF.

    How Miracles Begin by James Howe: 4/5 stars.

    The Opposite of Ordinary by Beth Kephart: 5/5 stars.

    About You Now by Elisa Ludwig: generous 2/5 stars. That was just unsatisfying.

    You Know Something's Happening Here by Jonathan Maberry: 4/5 stars

    Time To Soar by DONN T: 3.5/5 stars. A little absurd but also very intriguing & I liked the writing.

    City Girl by E.C. Myers: I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO RATE THIS.

    Second Chances by Ellen Oh: 3/5 stars. A kinda overdone concept but still "enjoyable".

    Anyone Other Than Me by Tiffany Schmidt: Also don't know how to rate this. It was kinda cute but it was also a lot of nope.

    The Ride by Suzanne Young: 4/5 stars.

    Doomed? by K.M. Walton: 4/5 stars. That one definitely made me emotional & I felt invested.

  • Maggie Nambot (macarons & paperbacks)

    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

    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 it. I listened to the last two songs after reading their respective stories, and this may have contributed to a greater feeling of suspense since I couldn’t make guesses about what would happen next based on the song lyrics.

    Below are my favorite stories from

    :)

    - If you enjoy dystopian stories, you will love this one. I was a bundle of nerves the entire time I was reading Miss Atomic Bomb, and I had to take a bit of a breather after finishing it because there was so much to unpack and think about. I love short stories for this very reason: every action, every moment of suspense is magnified and condensed into the length of a novel chapter.

    - Before reading this story, I had never even heard of the song “Cold Beverage”, but now I listen to it about once a week because it is SO FUN! Check out the video on the playlist below, even that is fun to watch (I watched it twice while typing this blog post). This is a memoir short story (I refrain from using the word “essay” because that makes it seem dull, and it’s anything but), because it’s written by the singer G. Love about how he created his song “Cold Beverage” and why he still loves it nearly two decades later.

    - This is one of those stories that really needs to be read multiple times. First of all, I’m not too familiar with Amy Winehouse’s music, but after listening to “October Song”, I see why she had such a loyal fan following. Time To Soar reads like a true story, perhaps creative nonfiction, but it isn’t. It’s filled with suspense, heartbreak, and hope, and overall it has an inspirational and optimistic message.

    - This short story could have been turned into a full-length novel, and I would have loved it just the same. It’s a coming of age story about turning over a new leaf and finding oneself. There are swoon-worthy moments, and even suspenseful ones, and it all takes place at a summer camp which makes it really fun to read. I had heard of Tiffany Schmidt before, but this is the first time I’ve read anything by her; I will definitely be picking up one of her books sometime because I really enjoyed her tone and writing style.

    - I’m glad that

    ended with a fantastic story like Doomed? It’s one that surprises you with a twist you won’t see coming, one that will keep you thinking about the story long after you’ve finished it. Doomed? is told through two narrators, and it’s easy to follow along, although it’s another story that deserves to be read more than once.

  • Sionna

    *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

    *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 to fall with that story...

    I didn't rate many of the early on stories very highly. In fact, many of these stories were very lyrical-- intense and otherworldly, but for me they fell flat.... but looking back at the table of contents, trying to recall the stories I read days before, I remember them all fondly. So, I did not like the way they were told, but I enjoyed the story-- the plot, and most of them I think will carry on with me.

    Stories I enjoyed:

    ♦Suburbiana (Or the Return of Super Frog) [Song: The Suburbs by Arcade Fire] by David Arnold

    ♦Miss Atomic Bomb [Song: Miss Atomic Bomb by The Killers] by Athony Breznican

    ♦Second Chances [Song: It Hurts by 2NE1] by Ellen Oh

    ♦Anyone Other Than Me [Song: Dancing Nancies by Dave Matthew Band] by Tiffany Schmidt

    ♦The Ride [Song: The Middle by Jimmy Eat World] by Suzanne Young

    ♦Doomed? [Song: All the Lights Went Out by Marcy Playground] by K.M. Walton

    So, I liked more than I disliked, even though I didn't know the songs. Most of these stories ended up with me fighting off tears. The way they pulled at the reader's heartstrings within just a few couple pages is almost magical. Some are uplifting and inspiring!

    I'm not sure who I would recommend this one to... If people like short stories or emotional stories-- definitely character driven, then this is one to check out.

  • Jessica White

    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

    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) while some stories are purely fiction (looking at you Jonathan Maberry). Each story was different and I honestly enjoyed most of them. I loved listening to the song before reading the story so I could get my mindset where the author is.

    Just a little biased here, but Ellen Hopkins wrote an amazing story inspired by The Eagles' Hotel California, even includes lyrics from the song (which is hilarious to me because I regularly slip song lyrics into every day conversations). The wonderful, Suzanne Young wrote a great story inspired by Jimmy Eat World's The Middle, which included lots of emotions you go through growing up and honestly may have been my favorite story in the anthology.

    Overall, it was a great read and I would definitely suggest it to music lovers everywhere.

    K.M. Walton penned a special message about this book and what it means to her!

    If you liked this but want a book that is more personal, check out my review of Party Of One by Dave Holmes!!

    I'm so thankful that Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley provided me an advanced copy of Behind the Song, which is out now!

    This review and special author message can be found on A Reader's Diary, along with reviews of books from Ellen Hopkins, Suzanne Young, and Dave Holmes!

  • E.C.

    This book includes my story "City Girl"!

  • Dedra

    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

    , 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

    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

    , 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," and "Doomed"), they all bring something special to the collection. Of course I made a playlist to go along, and discovered some old forgotten songs ("Wonderwall," "Dancing Nancies," "The Middle"), some songs I'd never usually listen to, but enjoyed ("Cold Beverage," "It Hurts"), and even discovered a few new favorites ("October Song," "All the Lights Went Out"). If you love to read and love music, be sure to pick this one up!

  • Jolene

    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

    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. Also, before each story there is a little blurb from the author about which song is in their story and why so to help prepare myself for each story, I would listen to a snippet of each song on iTunes. I even ended up buying a couple because they were so good. I highly recommend this anthology for book lovers and music lovers.

  • Amanda

    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.

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