Recommendations

Book Recommendations Based on My Chemical Romance Songs

You might not know this but My Chemical Romance is one of my favourite bands ever—if not my number one favourite band. They’ve just released their first song since 2014 and they’re currently on their first proper tour after they reunited in 2019. Despite their decision to skip Spain and my bitterness over that, I’ve definitely been enjoying seeing everyone post videos of the concerts and the fandom resurgence that’s sprouted. Because of all the contagious excitement going around, I’ve really been listening to the band super consistently for the past few weeks and, me being me, I thought it was a great idea to try to recommend some books based on a few of their songs.

My Chemical Romance’s albums are concept albums, which means there’s a story attached to them, but I’m going to try to base my recommendations solely on the songs I’ve chosen so as not to make everything extra complicated. Also, the songs are in no particular order and I think you all need to appreciate the gargantuan task it was to decide which ones to include because I feel extremely sad for all the fantastic ones I didn’t add—especially because I didn’t talk about some of my favourites.

1) The Foundations of Decay

I need to start this post off with their most recent release. Waking up to new, unexpected MCR music was an experience, which I topped off by then proceeding to listen to this on loop. This song is the perfect balance of their older sound and the experience that present day MCR bring to the table.

Let our bodies lay while our hearts will stay
Let our blood invade if I die in pain
Now, if your convictions were a passing phase
May your ashes feed the river in the morning rays
And as the vermin crawls, we lay in the foundations of decay

I have to say that Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White really fits many of MCR’s songs—I actually put another one in the playlist I made for it—but after finishing the book, I really think this pairing is really good. I run with the concept of decay, something that affects Benji seeing as he is basically rotting from the inside.

2) Thank You for the Venom

I know I shouldn’t be making grandiose statements like this but this song might actually be my favourite MCR one, at least right now after seeing countless videos of them playing it live. It is just yet another fantastic song on my favourite MCR album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge—and that’s a statement that I’m sure about.

You'll never make me leave
I wear this on my sleeve
You want to follow something
Give me a better cause to lead
Just give me what I need
Give me a reason to believe

There is just no way to read those lyrics and not think about The Girls Are Never Gone by Sarah Glenn Marsh. Despite Dare running a supernatural podcast, she starts the novel not really believing in ghosts. Although her conviction runs deep, eventually she becomes more and more sure that something paranormal is happening around her.

3) House of Wolves

I was quite obsessed with this song for a long time and because of that it’s still one of my absolute favourites. I adore the fast beat and the sheer amount of words in the bridge section.

And say, say what I wanna say
Tell me I'm an angel, take this to my grave
Tell me I'm a bad man, kick me like a stray
Tell me I'm an angel, take this to my grave

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio is the perfect book for this song. We have a character, Oliver, telling us about the murder he’s supposedly committed to be in prison but throughout the novel we’re not sure if he’s actually bad or not, we don’t not whether he’s “an angel” or a “bad man”.

4) Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

This is probably the first My Chemical Romance song I actively listened to, so of course it holds a special place in my heart. I remember being completely taken with the film-like quality of the music video. This is also the one song I will be taking into account the album concept, because my recommendation is:

I'd rather go to Hell
Than be in purgatory
Cut my hair, gag and bore me
Pull this pin, let this world explode

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, and Becky Cloonan in the tie-in comic book for My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days album, and it’s amazing. You might have heard of the lead singer—Gerard—’s other comic, The Umbrella Academy, but this one is just as good if not better. Listening to the album and reading this is a great experience as this dystopian story of evil corporations and survival really comes to life.

5) Honey, This Mirror Isn’t Big Enough for the Two of Us

I’m fully aware that I’m gushing about every song, but this is another great banger. This one is particularly raw because of the subject matter, but also the absolutely insane vocal performance by Gerard Way. Additionally, the bass in this song is a highlight for me.

Well, I'll choose the life I've taken
Never mind the friends I'm making
And the beauty that I'm faking
Lets me live my life like this
And well, I find it hard to stay
With the words you say
Oh baby, let me in

This song is all about drug use, just like Crank by Ellen Hopkins. It talks about the ugly truth of living with an addiction, and the book is the perfect match, as it details the horrible realities Kristina lives through.

6) Sleep

I wanted to include a slower song into the mix and, to be quite honest, I debated for a long time which one to go for. I decided on this one—despite it not being the most ballad-like—simply because it’s one that I’ve been listening to a lot lately. It is also completely heartbreaking and eerie because of the real life recordings included.

A drink for the horror that I'm in
For the good guys and the bad guys
For the monsters that I've been
Three cheers for tyranny
Unapologetic apathy
'Cause there ain't no way that I'm coming back again

I loved the idea of pairing this song with A Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson. Constanta becomes the monster, but she accepts her fate, and eventually uses that to her advantage.

7) Give ‘Em Hell, Kid

The guitar intro in this one is simply the best thing I’ve ever listened to and it never fails to get me excited and jumping around. I already told you this entire album makes me lose my mind, didn’t I?

Well, I'm a total wreck, and almost every day
Like the firing squad or the mess you made
Well, don't I look pretty walking down the street
In the best damn dress I own?

This is a messy song, it’s high intensity and, as we can read and hear, the lyrics are unhinged—especially when you take into account the concept album. That’s why I wanted to link this to Boy Parts by Eliza Clark. Irina is a fascinating main character, but she’s not exactly trustworthy or sane in any way.

8) The World Is Ugly

Finally, I wanted to include this song, as I’ve only become obsessed with it in the past few weeks. It’s a slower and definitely less intense one but it’s also beautiful. Despite the title, I think that the message is one of hope and, to me, it comes across perfectly.

For every one of us
There's an army of them
But you'll never fight alone
'Cause I wanted you to know
That the world is ugly
But you’re beautiful to me

In The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester by Maya MacGregor we see many horrible things happening to Sam. But thankfully, they manage to surround themself with people that love them. The book, just like the song, sends out a message of hope. It’s an ode to living through the ugliness of the world.

Have you ever listened to My Chemical Romance? What are some of your favourite songs? Have you read the books I talked about?

See you next time, Maria

16 thoughts on “Book Recommendations Based on My Chemical Romance Songs

  1. Beyond knowing of their existence and hearing their songs on the radio every once in a while, I’m afraid my My Chemical Romance knowledge is extremely limited 😅 But after having a closer look at some of these lyrics, I’m thinking I might have to change that… Seriously, these are so depressingly good! 🤩

    I’m still not sure if the musical style is exactly my thing, though. I usually perfer the softer, more melodious stuff 😅 But maybe I’ll just have to listen to it some more! After all, I never thought it was possible to get me into metal, either, and now here I am, years later, kind of obsessed with Sabaton 🤣

    But anyway, I loved this! Your pairings all have me really intrigued, and of course, I love that you put If We Were Villains into this post! 🥰 After being so disappointed by The Atlas Six, I am actually very much itching to read that and satisfy my quality dark academia content cravings 😇

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooooh, with how you say you like eerie and macabre stuff, their lyrics are totally for you. As for the music itself, that’s very personal, but never say never I guess 😂 I’d say give it a chance but obviously, I’m very biased. There are some softer songs you might enjoy, for instance Disenchantment and Cancer.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it regardless! These types of posts are always super fun to write since it’s just me absolutely gushing about my favourite things 😂 I do hope you enjoy If We Were Villains!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the recommendations – I’ll definitely check Disenchantment and Cancer out! 🤗

        And oops, I meant to write “reread” 😅Because I’ve already read If We Were Villains and know for a fact that I love it! After The Betrayals, it’s probably my favorite dark academia book out there 🥰 However, since it’s been like three years since I last read it, I’m getting hazy on details… Which means recovering from The Atlas Six sounds like the perfect excuse to get back to it! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know MCR reunited! That’s so cool! I was obsessed with them when I was in high school, I even had a T-shirt haha
    I still haven’t read Dowry of Blood, but I really should do it someday !
    My favourite songs are Helena, Welcome to the Black Parade and I Don’t Love You. Now I need to listen to them!

    Liked by 1 person

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