Sometimes I’ll casually watch a show for years, just popping in to catch an episode or two. But other times I’ll become instantly obsessed, binging every episode I can get my hands on in a matter of days. This was my recent experience with the Amazon Original Series Mozart in the Jungle, which I watched in a flurry of laughter, tears and the occasional swoon.
For such an awesome show, Mozart in the Jungle has been flying mostly under the radar, at least until it cleaned up at the Golden Globes this year. And why wouldn’t it? Gael Garcia Bernal is awesome as Rodrigo, the young upstart conductor who takes over the New York Symphony from the older, traditional Maestro Thomas (Malcolm McDowell). The cast of characters all shine, but the true story is in the will-they/won’t-they relationship between Rodrigo and Hailey (Lola Kirke), his second-chair oboist.
As it turns out, I might have a major thing for musician romances. Luckily for me, love stories involving musicians are a huge trope in novels—and they never seem to go out of style. So here are my four favorite musician romances inspired by Mozart in the Jungle:
Where She Went, Gayle Forman (Speak, 2012)
Two years ago, Forman’s insanely popular YA novel, If I Stay, was made into a major motion picture starring Chloë Grace Moretz. I love Forman’s story about Mia Hall, a young classical bass player trying to decide whether to live or die after a devastating accident. But I’m even more in love with the sequel, Where She Went, which follows Mia’s first love Adam Wilde as he deals with rock and roll fame. Adam’s band, Shooting Star, is topping all the charts and selling out arenas, but he’s deeply unhappy after losing Mia. Where She Went is all about how the two musicians find their way back to each other. It’s heartbreaking, sweet and one of my favorite books of all time.
The Storm: A Storm Novella (The Storm Series), Samantha Towle (Amazon Digital, 2015)
Towle’s awesome Storm Series starts with The Mighty Storm, which was released in 2013. Now four books and counting, the series tells the story of Tru Bennett, a British journalist who reconnects with first love Jake Wethers years after they were separated. Only Tru has a boyfriend, and Jake is the lead singer of one of the most popular bands in the world. Of course the two fall in love again, but not without a lot of angst. The fourth book, The Storm: A Storm Novella, came out in December 2015, telling the whole story from Jake’s point of view. Hot and sweet, these books are must-reads for any fans of romance and music.
Just Kids, Patti Smith (HarperCollins, 2010)
Part of Mozart’s charm is seeing New York City through Hailey’s eyes as a young, up-and-coming musician. And no one knows what it’s like to be a young musician in NYC more than Patti Smith, who moved to the city in the late 60s with love and best friend Robert Mapplethorpe. The two go on an amazing journey together in this powerful memoir, exploring their art, their sexualities and what it means to be poor, young and in love in the city. The book is so well written that it won Smith a National Book Award in 2010. She recently wrote a sequel, M Train, which was released just last October.
Rock Chick Reckoning (Rock Chick #6), Kristen Ashley (Amazon Digital, 2011)
I’ve read all of Ashley’s fun, romantic Rock Chick series, but Reckoning is definitely one of my favorites. The story follows Stella, lead singer of popular local band The Blue Moon Gypsies. She once dated hottie bad boy Mace before he left her heartbroken. Now he’s back and looking for a second chance, but Stella has the band – and it’s needy members – to deal with. Can the two reconnect? You’ll have to read to find out. But expect lots of awesome rock and roll, hot make outs and Ashley’s signature fun and quick writing style. Also be sure and check out her latest novel, Sebring, which came out January 11.