YA Friday: Harry’s House

Harry's House is the long-awaited third album by the British singer and actor Harry Styles. Harry drew inspiration from an album in the '70s called Hosono House and began wanting to create an acoustic EP in his house that would feel very intimate.

"I immediately started thinking about what Harry’s House might look like. It took time for me to realise that the house wasn’t a geographical location, it was an internal thing. When I applied that concept to the songs we were making here, everything took on new meaning. Imagine it’s a day in my house or a day in my mind. What do I go through? I’m playing fun music. I’m playing sad music. I’m playing this, I’m playing that. I have doubts. I’m feeling stuff. And it’s all mine."

Which makes it the perfect album to pair with some of our favorite young adult fiction titles. Check out the songs and books below and comment with your favorite!

1. Music For a Sushi Restaurant

The opening song of the album mingles smooth jazz and funky ‘70s pop. Styles sings about making sushi while relating it to his desire for a relationship.

I Love You So Mochi, book cover

I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement.

She's obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother disapproves, and when they get into an explosive fight, Kimi's entire future seems on the verge of falling apart. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi's estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.

When she arrives in Japan, she's met with a culture both familiar and completely foreign to her. She loses herself in the city's outdoor markets, art installations, and cherry blossom festival -- and meets Akira, a cute aspiring med student who moonlights as a costumed mochi mascot. And what begins as a trip to escape her problems quickly becomes a way for Kimi to learn more about the mother she left behind, and to figure out where her own heart lies.

2. Late Night Talking

With a “classic, 70s-esque vibe,” the second track is rumored to have been written about Styles’ partner and how they would talk all night while on tour.

Emergency Contact, book cover

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

3. Grapejuice

In the third track, Harry sings about an emotionally intimate relationship as he dreams of them being together. Throughout the track, it becomes clear that he’s come to the realization that he enjoys life more with his partner. The lyrics almost seem like a little dream of Harry spending time with his favorite person and a good bottle of wine, what “Grapejuice” really is, to hide away from the stress of his daily life.

The Great Godden, book cover

The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff

Everyone talks about falling in love like it’s the most miraculous, life-changing thing in the world. Something happens, they say, and you know …

That’s what happened when I met Kit Godden.

I looked into his eyes and I knew.

Only everyone else knew too. Everyone else felt exactly the same way.

This is the story of one family, one dreamy summer – the summer when everything changes. Our watchful narrator sees everything in a holiday house by the sea, including many things they shouldn’t, as their brother and sisters, parents, and older cousins fill hot days with wine and games and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers – irresistible, charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s a serpent in this paradise – and the consequences will be devastating.

4. As It Was

The lead single and fourth track sees Styles singing in a somewhat sorrowful voice about his bittersweet feelings of loneliness and the past, masking it with synths and an upbeat sound reminiscent of music from the ‘80s. Styles describes the song as “metamorphosis, embracing change and former self, perspective shift and all that kind of stuff.”

It Sounded Better in My Head, book cover

It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day―in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

5. Daylight

The fifth track focuses on a lover who pushed Harry away despite all his affection for her.

The Dove in the Belly, book cover

The Dove in the Belly by Jim Grimsley

At the University of North Carolina, Ronny's made some friends, kept his secrets, survived dorm life, and protected his heart.

Until he can't. Ben is in some ways Ronny's opposite; he's big and solid whereas Ronny is small and slight. Ben's at UNC on a football scholarship. Confident, with that easy jock swagger, and an explosive temper always simmering. He has a steady stream of girlfriends. Ben's aware of the overwhelming affect he has on Ronny. It's like a sensation of power. So easy to tease Ronny, and throw playful insults, but it all feels somehow loaded.

Meanwhile, Ronny's mother has moved to Vegas with her latest husband. And Ben's mother is fighting advanced cancer. A bubble forms around the two, as surprising to Ronny as it is to Ben. Within it, their connection ignites physically and emotionally. But what will happen when the tensile strength of a bubble is tested? When the rest of life intervenes?

6. Little Freak

The sixth track is a sweet and melodic ballad where Harry Styles reflects on a previous relationship that slipped through his fingers. Throughout the song, the British singer is nostalgic about the time he spent with this person, recreating vivid images of the things involved: a golf swing, a trampoline, a crystal ball, red wine, and ginger ale. In the end, Styles leaves some marks of regret of how the relationship ended—before he could show his lover the truest parts of himself, and he blames himself.

When We Were Them, book cover

When We Were Them by Laura Taylor Namey

When they were fifteen, Willa, Luz, and Britton had a friendship that was everything.

When they were sixteen, they stood by one another no matter what.
When they were seventeen, they went through the worst.
And when they were eighteen, Willa ruined it all.

Now, the week of graduation, Willa is left with only a memory box filled with symbols of the friendship she has nearly destroyed: A book of pranks. Corsages from a nightmarish homecoming. A greasy pizza menu. Greeting cards with words that mean the world... It’s enough to make Willa wonder how anything could tear her, Luz, and Britton apart. But as Willa revisits the moments when she and her friends leaned on one another, she can’t avoid the moments they leaned so hard, their friendship began to crack.

As Willa tries to find a way back to Luz and Britton, she must confront the why of her betrayal and answer a question she never saw coming: Who is she, without them?

7. Matilda

In the seventh song, Harry somberly sings to somebody whose family did not treat her well. He takes inspiration from Roald Dahl's book Matilda about a girl with telekinesis who was mistreated by her principal and parents. The song asserts a common theme in the album that home is not a place, but a state of mind. Styles does this by showing how Matilda’s house was not home to her.

This Golden State, book cover

This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg

The Winslow family lives by five principles:

1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.

Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.

When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.

Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?

8. Cinema

Harry spoke about the eighth track saying, "When I write songs, they kind of start out just, I guess, mine. I think it's important to write from what you're going through at the time and trying to turn life into what you make. I guess it's like, the most you can kind of capture a moment is kind of being true to that."

Alex, Approximately, book cover

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

9. Daydreaming

The ninth track is a sunnily upbeat song about a relationship so great; it's like "livin' in a daydream." It's a song made for dancing to – the horns enthusiastically tooting away in the back combined with Styles' shouted "ooh-ooh" s and "woo" s make every listen a lively experience, resemblant of the relationship Styles is singing about.

Dreamology, book cover

Dreamology by Lucy Keating

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. In reality, getting to know each other isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

10. Keep Driving

The tenth track is a song about ignoring everything else in the world, and when everything is going downhill, you and your loved one just “keep driving,” refering to trying to move past all the crazy stuff in the world and going about your day despite everything else falling to pieces.

Boys of the Beast, book cover

Boys of the Beast by Monica Zepeda

THE ROUTE. Seventeen hundred miles from Portland, Oregon, to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

THE BEAST. Grandma Lupe's 1988 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe.

THE BOYS. Three strangers who also happen to be cousins:

Matt. Evangelical Christian. Earnest. Film nerd. Carrying a dream to make movies--despite the future, his father has planned for him.

Ethan.Jewish. Gay. Sci-fi nerd. Carrying a phone that contains his entire relationship with Levi--unless they finally get to meet IRL on this trip.

Oscar.Stoner. Smartass. Too cool to be a nerd. Carrying a letter that haunts him--no matter how hard he tries to escape it.

THE END ... just might be a new beginning.

11. Satellite

The eleventh track begins as a light and airy track, in which Harry Styles sings about a lack of communication and the desire to be there for someone who keeps him at a distance, and then the song ends up exploding with drums, synths, and echoing vocals. The song hinges on the analogy of a satellite mainly used for communication, navigation, and planetary observation. In Harry’s case, he can only observe the person he’s singing about.

A Complicated Love Story Set in Space, book cover

A Complicated Love Story Set in Space by Shaun David Hutchinson

When Noa closes his eyes on Earth and wakes up on a spaceship called Qriosity just as it’s about to explode, he’s pretty sure things can’t get much weirder.

Boy is he wrong.

Trapped aboard Qriosity are also DJ and Jenny, neither of whom remember how they got onboard the ship. Together, the three face all the dangers of space, along with murder, aliens, a school dance, and one really, really bad day. But none of this can prepare Noa for the biggest challenge—falling in love. And as Noa’s feelings for DJ deepen, he has to contend not just with the challenges of the present, but also with his memories of the past.

However, nothing is what it seems on Qriosity, and the truth will upend all of their lives forever.

Love is complicated enough without also trying to stay alive.

12. Boyfriends

In the twelfth song, Harry Styles speaks about how many boyfriends tend to mistreat their partners by mediating on a troubled relationship between two people. Much of the piece draws from the relationships he’s seen his sister and friends in.

The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver, book cover

The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver by E. Lockhart

Ruby Oliver is 15 and has a shrink. She knows it’s unusual, but give her a break—she’s had a rough 10 days. In the past 10 days she:

  • lost her boyfriend (#13 on the list),
  • lost her best friend (Kim),
  • lost all her other friends (Nora, Cricket),
  • did something suspicious with a boy (#10),
  • did something advanced with a boy (#15),
  • had an argument with a boy (#14),
  • drank her first beer (someone handed it to her),
  • got caught by her mom (ag!),
  • had a panic attack (scary),
  • lost a lacrosse game (she’s the goalie),
  • failed a math test (she’ll make it up),
  • hurt Meghan’s feelings (even though they aren’t really friends),
  • became a social outcast (no one to sit with at lunch)
  • and had graffiti written about her in the girls’ bathroom (who knows what was in the boys’!?!).

But don’t worry—Ruby lives to tell the tale. And make more lists.

13. Love Of My Life

Styles has said the final song is a "bare and sparse reflection on home and loving England and all that kind of stuff. It's also very much in the spirit of what Harry's House is about."

History is All You Left Me, book cover

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

When Griffin's first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he's been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin's downward spiral continues. He's losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he's been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.