hello! today I’m so excited to be creating an original book tag that features two of my favorite things: books and Halsey. if you know me a bit personally, you may know that I’m a big fan of Halsey. she’s my favorite celebrity and a couple of days ago, we celebrated the 5th anniversary of her debut album BADLANDS! she released a live album for this (please go listen to it!!!), and now I’m listening to badlands on repeat again as if we went back into time.
after a bit of research, I realized that there is no badlands book tag on booktube so I wanted to create one myself. I talked about it on twitter and some people were excited about it! however, since I’m taking a break from booktube, I’m going to be doing it here. I did find a badlands book tag on here, but I can’t give any credit because the person who created it deleted their blog, and no one has done that tag since 5 years ago, so I think it’s safe for me to create one. so here it is!
- link to the original creator: alison @ antari reads.
- answer the following prompts for each song on the album.
- tag some people to celebrate badlands!
castle – a fantasy book featuring a royal family
castle is such a good song, but live? god tier level, it’s so energetic. for this prompt, I’m picking A Darker Shade of Magic. there are a lot of fantasy books out there featuring a royal family, but the relationship between Kell and Rhy? yes, I want more of that please.
hold me down – a book you think deserves more hype
hold me down is another song that I started loving even more after hearing it live. Halsey’s live performance is just that powerful. for this, I’m picking The Gilded Wolves. listen, I know this book is loved by a lot of people. but it still deserves MORE hype. I’m so tired of seeing reviews comparing it to Six of Crows. they have the same trope, but that’s it. the characters are so lovable, please read it.
new americana – a book with LGBTQIA+ representation
new americana is such an underrated and misunderstood song in my opinion. it’s not a favorite of mine, but it will always hold a dear place. I found it so hard to pick a book for this prompt because I wanted to talk about so many books, but I chose Felix Ever After because I love Felix and Ezra so freaking much and it’s one of my favorite contemporary books I’ve read this year!
drive – a book featuring a road trip or a lot of travelling
drive is one of those songs that I’ve always liked, but recently, I play it on repeat because I suddenly appreciate it so much more. so for this prompt, I picked Hunting Prince Dracula (or the whole Stalking Jack the Ripper series) because each book is set somewhere else. the reason why I chose the second book in particular is because it’s my favorite of the series and I love the setting in this one! it’s so eerie, dark, almost creepy.
hurricane – a book with a strong female main character
“don’t belong to no city don’t belong to no man” is such a powerful lyric!!! also when Halsey plays this song live, she says “this song is a reminder that you do not belong to anybody but yourself” and I think that’s beautiful. for this prompt, I couldn’t pick another book than The Poppy War, because Rin? yeah, she doesn’t take shit from anyone and that’s why I love her so much.
roman holiday – a book featuring a canon ship you love
roman holiday is one of my favorite songs of this album. I cannot listen to that song without singing it from start to end. and the instrumentals are chef’s kiss. ugh, I love it so much. this was another difficult prompt because there are a lot of book couples that I ship, but I decided to go with Girls of Paper and Fire. if you’ve ever seen fan art of Lei and Wren, you know what I’m taking about.
ghost – an anticipated read that ended up being disappointing
ghost is the start of it all for me. that’s the first song I’ve ever heard from Halsey. I remember youtube recommending me the music video, and I was sold in a hot minute. sadly, that wasn’t the case for The Shadows Between Us. this book was marketed as a “slytherin romance” and I was so intrigued. unfortunately, I can’t even remember what happened in the plot because I was bored while reading it.
colors – a book with a lot of character development
colors might have been my first favorite song from Halsey, the first one where I learned the lyrics by heart because I wanted to sing it all the time. and live? the confettis? iconic, truly iconic. for this prompt I picked A Song of Wraiths and Ruin because the characters go through so much in just the first book, and I’m really curious about their development in the sequel too!
strange love – a book you consider as a guilty pleasure
the thing I love most about strange love is Halsey’s vocals when she sings it. also the guitar in the live version? god tier. my book guilty pleasure has to be The Foxhole Court. objectively, I know this book isn’t great. but I love the characters so much, and the plot is so intense, it kind of feels like fanfic… oops.
coming down – a book that has emotionally destroyed you
coming down is such a good song to begin with, but coming down acoustic version?!!! Halsey truly did that for us, huh. for this prompt, I chose The Midnight Lie, aka a new all time favorite book from this year. the ending though!!! it left me in such a big book hangover and I need the sequel ASAP, please!
haunting – a paranormal book that gave you the chills
haunting is the kind of songs that gets stuck in my head for a whole day. I’d be like “I’m begging you to keep on haunting” from the moment I get up till I go to bed at night. for this prompt, I picked City of Ghosts. not that this book is particularly creepy (I mean, it’s a middle grade book), but the atmosphere is so dark and eerie, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable, but in a good way. perfect for halloween!
gasoline – a book that you want to re-read
gasoline is a classic. gasoline is the song we all wait for at the beginning of Halsey’s shows, because we want to sing it so badly. (and we want to scream “do you call yourself a f*cking hurricane like me!!!” so badly too). I read The Starless Sea in january of this year, but I already want to re-read it. this book was just so beautifully written… I already miss it.
control – a book with an antihero or a morally grey main character
OKAY CONTROL! this is another of my all time favorite songs from badlands, but also from Halsey in general. I just love it so freaking much, I want a tattoo from it (soon…). also the way she sings the end in the live album? I just can’t anymore. this is also my favorite prompt from this book tag and I’m excited to read everyone else’s choice. I picked Vicious (yes I realize it’s the third V.E. Schwab book, but I love her books so much). Victor is such an interesting morally grey character and I kinda want him to be my friend… but definitely not my enemy though.
young god – a fantasy book featuring deities
young god is one of my favorite songs from this album too (yes I realize I have a lot of them, no I’m not sorry). also, the way she lets the crowd sing the end of the song in the live version just give me the chills. for this prompt, I chose The Never-tilting World. this book features two goddesses, and the plot is so interesting. also it’s written in four point of views and they’re all really good. I really wish more people would read it!
i walk the line – a retelling you like better than the original work
this is probably one of my least favorite songs of Halsey… but you didn’t hear that from me. I’m cheating a bit with the prompt, because I chose The Song of Achilles but I’ve never read The Iliad. I have read The Odyssey though, so I know how dense Homerus’ writing is. also, I don’t think the original work could beat TSOA for me, because it’s one of my all-time favorite books. I really want to re-read that one too by the way!
bonus: is there somewhere – a book that makes you feel nostalgic
I know that technically, is there somewhere isn’t from badlands, but I had to include it. this song… wow. it means so much to me. it’s one of the rare songs that make me cry just by listening to it. I just get so emotional. when I listen to ITS, I think back to when I saw Halsey live, to when I met her, and I’m remembered by how much love and admiration I have for her. seeing her perform this song live is one of the best experiences ever. for this prompt, I picked The Hunger Games. this trilogy was what truly got me into reading, and I got so attached to the characters that I also get very emotional when I watch the movies or I re-read the books.
- Minna’s Reading Corner
- Sasha and Amber Read
- Half Wild Books
- Me Myself and Books
- and everyone else who wishes to do it (either here or on booktube)!
what’s your favorite track from BADLANDS?
thank you so much for reading, and until next time ♡