Louder Than Words is not just a book about love, life and the drama that comes with it, you can also read the novel with an accompanying playlist to set the mood.
Author Iris St. Clair now shares the Louder Than Words playlist in the post below.
Playlists allow me to DJ my musical experience and tailor it to the mood of the story I'm reading, writing or mulling over for plot points. The music helps me define the inner emotions of the characters and summarize the key themes.
For Louder Than Words, certain songs resonated with me as being Ellen's "voice." Later when I pulled together a longer, more diversified playlist, I expanded this to the other characters as well.
Here are few songs from the Louder playlist and the why behind my choice. Usually a few lines of lyrics snag my attention. Sometimes it's the timbre of the singer's voice. Other times it's the tempo or atmospheric quality of the song.
1. Come With Me Now by Kongos.
This song is pure testosterone. It's both aggressive and seductive at the same time. It reminds me of Ellen locked in the supply closet with a smooth-talking teacher who has wickedness on his mind.
2. Hurricane by MS MR
The lyrics and the echoey lonely sound of the lead singer's voice nabbed my attention for this one. This could easily be Ellen talking about her earliest thoughts about Rex.
"I jumped the gun
So sure you'd split and run
Ready for the worst
Before the damage was done."
3. Hot N Cold by Katy Perry
This is how Ellen sees Rex as he takes her through a series of highs and lows, from giddy anticipation to crushing disappointments through the friend zone and beyond.
4. I'm With You by Avril Lavigne
The angsty, searching for someone lyrics reminded me of Ellen, who seems alone and adrift after losing her father, her mother and most of her friends. Is the Rex the one she's meant to finally find, the one who's supposed to "take me by the hand; take me somewhere new"?
5. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
This song captures the longing and waiting by both characters for the stars to finally align for them to be together. You can feel the great sense of relief that the wait is finally over but in retrospect, they would have persevered as long as a thousand years if that's what it took.
6. Message to My Girl by the Split Enz
I could easily envision Rex singing this as he realizes his past actions might have consequences. He realizes his "atonement", his message to the girl he desperately wants, must be very specific to what she needs and louder than any words he could ever utter.
"I don't wanna say I love you
That would give away too much
Hip to be detached and precious
The only thing you feel is vicious"
7. My Secret Place by Joni Mitchell (with Peter Gabriel)
I have always loved this song for its final lines:
"Out of all of the girls that you see on bleachers and café windows
Sittin', flirtin' with someone
Lookin' to have some fun
Why did you pick me?"
Why did Rex pick Ellen? What was it that drew him to her with such persistence? He could have had almost any girl, tried to forget her with another, but in the end, she was the one, the only one, he wanted.
Aww ... makes my heart light and happy.
If you want to listen to the entirety of the Louder Than Words playlist, check it out on Spotify. The entire 56 minute list is comprised of:
• Come With Me Now by the Kongos
• Bad Day by Daniel Powter
• Hurricane by MS MR
• Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men
• Hot N Cold by Katy Perry
• My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson
• Blue Jeans by Lana Del Rey
• I’m With You by Avril Lavigne
• Breathe In by Frou Frou
• If You're Not The One by Daniel Bedingfield
• Message to My Girl by the Split Enz
• A Thousand Years by Christina Perri
• Best Day of My Life by American Authors
• My Secret Place by Joni Mitchell
Louder Than Words
Title: Louder Than Words
Author: Iris St. Clair
Publication: September 16, 2014 by Swoon Romance
Disappointment has been on speed dial in Ellen Grayson's life lately. Her dad died, her mom numbs the grief with drugs and alcohol, and her so-called friends have slowly abandoned her.
Trusting a popular teacher with her troubles should have been safe and should NOT have led to an unwelcome seduction attempt that made her desperate to escape the final moments of Junior year. Lesson learned. Best to keep all the sordid details to herself and trust no one.
Enter Rex Jacobi, a cocky boy, recently transplanted from New York City and fellow summer camp employee. Though his quick wit and confidence draws her in, she can't let him get too close. And summer is just long enough and hot enough to keep a boy like that at arm's length.
But by the time Rex's charm wears down her resistance, it's too late. He's put Ellen on the "just friends" shelf and has shifted his romantic attentions to the impossibly annoying and perky anti-Ellen. Even worse, the teacher who tried to get her to sleep with him is still at it, preying on other girls while Ellen struggles to come to terms with what happened.
With her ability to trust as shaky as a chastity vow on prom night, Ellen must decide if she has enough remaining courage to speak up about the well-liked teacher and risk retribution, tell Rex how she really feels about him and risk heartbreak, or hold all her secrets inside. After all, it's the only safe place she knows when the only thing louder than words is the fear of being rejected.