YA Friday: Taylor Swift Eras as YA Books

Taylor Swift

The first Taylor Swift era introduced a young and talented singer-songwriter who captivated audiences with her relatable country-pop songs. Her self-titled debut album, Taylor Swift, showcased her storytelling abilities and emotional depth, resonating with a wide audience. With hits like "Tim McGraw" and "Teardrops on My Guitar," Taylor Swift quickly rose to mainstream success. Her live performances highlighted her natural talent and connection with fans. This era established her as a rising star and laid the foundation for her future success and evolution as an artist.

Wildflower, book cover

Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker

The best songs come from broken hearts.

Sixteen-year-old Bird Barrett has grown up on the road, singing backup in her family's bluegrass band, and playing everywhere from Nashville, Tennesee to Nowhere, Oklahoma. One fateful night, Bird fills in for her dad by singing lead, and a scout in the audience offers her a spotlight all her own.

Soon Bird is caught up in a whirlwind of songwriting meetings, recording sessions, and music video shoots. Her first single hits the top twenty, and suddenly fans and paparazzi are around every corner. She's even caught the eye of her longtime crush, fellow roving musician Adam Dean. With Bird's star on the rise, though, tradition and ambition collide. Can Bird break out while staying true to her roots?

In a world of glamour and gold records, a young country music star finds her voice.


The Fearless era propelled Taylor Swift into superstardom with her second studio album, Fearless, released in 2008. It showcased her growth as a songwriter, capturing the essence of teenage experiences and love. The album's lead single, "Love Story," became a global sensation, solidifying her pop status. Taylor's evolution as an artist was evident in her glamorous image and elaborate stage performances. The era also marked her connection with fans and Grammy success, establishing her as a versatile force in the music industry.

Fearless (Taylor's Version) is the re-recorded version of Taylor Swift's second studio album, Fearless. Released on April 9, 2021, this re-recording marked a significant milestone as the first re-recorded album in Taylor's ongoing effort to regain control of her music catalog.

Along for the Ride, book cover

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

Speak Now

The Speak Now era showcased Taylor Swift's growth as a musician and songwriter. She took complete creative control with her third studio album, Speak Now, writing all the songs herself. The album delved into themes of love, heartbreak, and personal reflection. Hits like "Mine" and "Back to December" resonated with fans, highlighting Taylor's vulnerability and growth as a songwriter. Her confident live performances featured theatrical elements, captivating audiences. This era solidified Taylor as a cultural icon, engaging with fans and advocating for causes. Critically acclaimed and commercially successful, Speak Now set the stage for her continued success.

Speak Now (Taylor's Version) is the re-recorded version of Taylor Swift's third studio album, Speak Now. Released on July 7, 2023, this re-recording marked a significant milestone as the third re-recorded album in Taylor's ongoing effort to regain control of her music catalog.

The Summer of Broken Rules, book cover

The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther

Meredith Fox has been going to Martha's Vineyard for the summer as long as she can remember. But this summer is the first one back since the death of Meredith's sister. It will all be overwhelming, but even more since since the entire extended family will be together for her cousin's big wedding.

Unfortunately, Meredith's longtime boyfriend unexpectedly dumped her two weeks before the wedding, leaving her dateless. Luckily, she has the perfect distraction. Her family has a tradition of playing the ultimate game of Assassin every summer, and this year it will take place during the week of wedding festivities.

But her target just happens to be a very cute groomsman. She's determined to not let herself get distracted, not let herself be lost in another doomed relationship. But as the week progresses, she can't help falling for him, which may cost her not only the game, but also her heart.


The Red era marked a pivotal moment for Taylor Swift, showcasing her artistic evolution. She embraced a pop-oriented sound in her fourth studio album, Red, exploring themes of love and self-discovery. Hits like "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and "I Knew You Were Trouble" topped the charts, displaying her versatility. Collaborations and experimentation with different musical styles expanded her artistic horizons. The era's successful worldwide tour highlighted her growth as a dynamic performer. Red received critical acclaim, solidifying Taylor as a pop superstar. This era set the stage for her bold artistic directions in the future.

Red (Taylor's Version) is the re-recorded version of Taylor Swift's fourth studio album, Red. Released on November 12, 2021, this re-recording marked a significant milestone as the second re-recorded album in Taylor's ongoing effort to regain control of her music catalog.

Why We Broke Up, book cover

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.


The 1989 era marked Taylor Swift's transition from country to mainstream pop. Her fifth studio album, 1989, showcased a sleek, synth-driven sound with catchy pop anthems. Hits like "Shake It Off" and "Blank Space" dominated the charts, highlighting her evolution as a songwriter. The era's bold visuals and strong fan engagement contributed to its success. 1989 received critical acclaim and solidified Taylor's status as a pop superstar.

1989 (Taylor's Version) is the re-recorded version of Taylor Swift's fifth studio album, 1989. Released on October 27, 2023, this re-recording marked a significant milestone as the fourth re-recorded album in Taylor's ongoing effort to regain control of her music catalog.

City Love, book cover

City Love by Susane Colasanti

Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives.

Sadie is a native New Yorker. She is hopeful, romantic, and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate. Then she meets her dream boy: cute, funny, and quirky in all the right ways. The chemistry between them is unreal. Could he be the one?

Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources. Moving to New York City is just another adventure for her. Darcy wants this summer to be all about boy adventures—nothing serious. But how much fun is too much?

Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC so she can put her past behind her and reinvent herself. The only thing standing in her way is the grand total of seventy-three cents she has saved. Then she meets a guy who wants to show her the glamorous side of New York—a side that she would never get to experience on her own. If Rosanna doesn't resist, she may find herself in city love.

Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl's life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once . . . in a way it will never be again.


The Reputation era marked a shift in Taylor Swift's image and sound. Her sixth studio album, Reputation, embraced a darker and introspective tone, exploring themes of fame and personal growth. Hits like "Look What You Made Me Do" showcased her confrontational lyrics. The era featured a more guarded and enigmatic persona, symbolized by the snake motif. The Reputation Stadium Tour highlighted her captivating live performances. While the era received mixed reviews, it was commercially successful and demonstrated Taylor's artistic growth and ability to reinvent herself.

The Accidental Bad Girl, book cover

The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan

After getting caught hooking up with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracized. She plans to keep her head down until she graduates. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked, and she’s being framed for stealing from a dealer, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking in the shadows of her Brooklyn private school. If she wants to repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, she’ll have to decide who she really is—and own it. The longer she plays the role of “bad girl,” the more she becomes her new reputation. Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall.


The Lover era marked a return to a lighthearted and romantic sound for Taylor Swift. Her seventh studio album, Lover, featured upbeat anthems and heartfelt ballads. Hits like "ME!" and "You Need to Calm Down" showcased her catchy pop songwriting. The era celebrated love, inclusivity, and positivity, with Taylor advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. The visuals embraced pastel colors and dreamy storytelling. Lover received critical acclaim and commercial success, solidifying Taylor's status as a beloved pop artist.

Red, White & Royal Blue, book cover

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?


The folklore era marked a departure for Taylor Swift as she embraced a more introspective indie-folk sound. Her eighth studio album, folklore, showcased intimate and storytelling-focused songs. Hits like "cardigan" and "exile" highlighted her collaborations and musical experimentation. The era exuded a sense of mystery and nostalgia, with minimalistic visuals and a personal connection to fans. folklore received critical acclaim, debuted at number one, and showcased Taylor's growth as an artist.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, book cover

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Dante can swim. Ari can't. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother, who is in prison. Dante is fair-skinned. Ari's features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.


The evermore era was Taylor Swift's follow-up to folklore, featuring introspective indie-folk soundscapes. With her ninth studio album, evermore, she continued exploring storytelling and emotional depth. The enchanting single "Willow" highlighted her captivating vocals and dreamy melodies. evermore maintained the mystical aesthetic of folklore, embracing a natural and ethereal visual style. It received critical acclaim, debuted at number one, and further established Taylor as an innovative artist.

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.


The Midnights era marks Taylor Swift's return to personal storytelling and introspection from recording her older records. Her tenth studio album, Midnights, takes listeners on a journey through 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout her life. With an A side and B side, the album features introspective tracks that explore darker themes. Tracks like "Anti-Hero" delve into her insecurities, while "Lavender Haze" reflects on protecting love in the era of social media. The album shattered previously-held streaming records, and three hours after its release, Swift unveiled Midnights (3 am Edition), which includes sonically darker tracks. Swift fearlessly examines vulnerabilities, showcasing her growth as an artist, and invites listeners on a profound journey of intimate storytelling.

What Happens After Midnight, book cover

What Happens After Midnight by K.L. Walther

Lily Hopper has two more weeks until she's officially finished with boarding school. With graduation quickly approaching Lily is worried that she's somehow missed out on the fun of being in high school. So, when she receives a mysterious note inviting her to join the anonymous senior class Jester in executing the end-of-year prank, Lily sees her chance to put her goody-two-shoes reputation behind her.

When Lily realizes the Jester is none other than Taggart Swell, her ex-boyfriend, she's already in too deep to back out. Lily might've dumped Tag, but she still has major feelings. Plus, his brilliant plan to steal the school's yearbooks, targets none other than Lilly's prom date: the Senior Class President, Daniel.

As the group of pranksters hide cryptic clues across campus for Daniel to find, Lily and Tag find themselves in close quarters. As the exes dodge Campus Safety guards, night owl teachers, a troop of freshmen, and even Daniel himself, new sparks fly. But old hurts and painful secrets refuse to be ignored. And with graduation on the horizon, Lily can only hope that breaking the rules will help mend her heart.