Top 25 Teen & Young Adult Music Fiction Novels About Music and Musicians
We all love a good YA novel about musicians, so I put this list together of the best teen and young adult books about music and/or musicians!
Click the title of the book to see it on Amazon. Most of these books are on Kindle!
*Books are rated by their sales rank & reviews at the time of this article. Editorial reviews have been left out of blurbs to save space.
#25 Kill the Music by Nansi Kunze
If everyone loves the world’s hottest band, who’s trying to destroy them?
Most people would love to be Lorna Powell, travelling the globe with her brother and his mega-famous band. Then again, most people don’t realise just how annoying four handsome rock stars can be. A new home and a new school seem like the start of a normal life – until Lorna overhears a chilling plot to silence the band forever.
Soon Lorna is drawn into a frantic attempt to identify the killer before they strike. But it’s not easy to track suspects around the world when she’s got homework to do and secrets to protect. And when gorgeous lead singer Marius starts to act strangely, Lorna wonders if she’s had the wrong idea all along . . .
#24 The All-Stars: Teen Rock Sensation by Sydney Faith
Ro didn’t plan on becoming an overnight Super Star. She used to listen to the radio. Now she’s on the radio!
The All-Stars? Teen Rock Sensation. Ro? Seventeen, Undiscovered Musician. Until last summer. The All-Stars was a band of five, until management forced a shift in talent, upsetting the balance of their fame. When 17-year-old Ro has the chance of a lifetime to join the band, she battles with whether she’s willing to throw away the life she has planned to become the sixth All-Star.
Ro’s love of music started after the death of her father. She never thought her love of music would lead to anything besides a way to heal herself. Meeting world famous musicians, The All-Stars, in a coffee shop? Slowly falling in love with Dylan, lead singer of the band? Forming an unbreakable bond with the members of The All-Stars? Totally not in her plan.
Join Ro on her journey of self-discovery, first romance and learning to follow her dreams.
A young adult (YA) novel full of Witty Humor, Heartwarming Friendship and Captivating Characters.
#23 Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron
Told in a voice that’s honest, urgent, and hilarious, Struts & Frets will resonate not only with teenage musicians but with anyone who ever sat up all night listening to a favorite album, wondering if they’d ever find their place in the world. Music is in Sammy’s blood. His grandfather was a jazz musician, and Sammy’s indie rock band could be huge one day—if they don’t self-destruct first. Winning the upcoming Battle of the Bands would justify all the band’s compromises and reassure Sammy that his life’s dream could become a reality. But practices are hard to schedule when Sammy’s grandfather is sick and getting worse, his mother is too busy to help either of them, and his best friend may want to be his girlfriend.When everything in Sammy’s life seems to be headed for major catastrophe, will his music be enough to keep him together?
#22 Rock War: Book 1 (Rock War Series) by Robert Muchamore
Meet Jay. Summer. And Dylan.
Jay plays guitar, writes songs and dreams of being a rock star. But his ambitions are stifled by seven siblings and a terrible drummer.
Summer works hard at school, looks after her nan and has a one-in-a-million singing voice. But can her talent triumph over her nerves?
Dylan is happiest lying on his bunk smoking, but his school rugby coach has other ideas, and Dylan reluctantly joins a band to avoid crunching tackles and icy mud.
They’re about to enter the biggest battle of their lives. And there’s everything to play for.
A spectacular start to the new series from Robert Muchamore, bestselling author of CHERUB – read on with Rock War: The Audition, a story especially written for World Book Day.
#21 Because: Book One in the Time’s Song Series by R.K. Slade
Can music save you when your world comes crashing down around you?
Talented teen musician Rigby Raines is an extremely shy introvert who loves the Beatles and Beethoven. She wants only one thing in life: to follow in her mother’s footsteps as drum major of her high school marching band.
Still reeling from the unexpected loss of her mom to cancer last year, she is torn between her anxiety and stage fright and the desire to honor her mom.
Bullied for years by Taura Jacobs, self-proclaimed band queen and trumpet section leader, an unexpected discovery allows Rigby to face the past and experience a musical adventure of a lifetime.
Does Rigby have what it takes to conquer her fears, stand up for herself, and win the drum major tryouts?
#20 Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell
“His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.”
Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she labored her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no color, no beauty in her life. That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.
#19 A Dream for Two by Kate Goldman
Elise Roberts dreams of being a pop star but has been stuck in her hometown since she graduated from high school. Her life seems achingly dull and mapped out when she’s suddenly laid off from the offices where she works as a secretary. With her faithful guitar Elise moves to New York where she takes up waitressing but sings at open mic nights. One night she meets the charismatic Dylan, who is the lead singer for his up-and-coming band. Dylan oozes charm but also arrogance and Elise initially dislikes him. As they vie for attention each night on the same open mic circuit, they come into conflict with one another, but beneath this conflict they harbor more intense feelings for one another. Just as Elise and Dylan have fallen head-over-heels in love, their dreams come true and each of them strikes a deal with a famous record label. Now they are being torn apart by their careers and begin to question whether their success is worth anything if they are not together. Can Dylan and Elise’s new love survive the strain of their burgeoning careers and is either of them willing to sacrifice their dream for the sake of their relationship?
#18 The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
From the award-winning, bestselling author of Hold Still and We Are Okay.
Colby and Bev have a long-standing pact: graduate, hit the road with Bev’s band, and then spend the year wandering around Europe. But moments after the tour kicks off, Bev makes a shocking announcement: she’s abandoning their plans – and Colby – to start college in the fall.
But the show must go on and The Disenchantments weave through the Pacific Northwest, playing in small towns and dingy venues, while roadie- Colby struggles to deal with Bev’s already-growing distance and the most important question of all: what’s next?
Morris Award–finalist Nina LaCour draws together the beauty and influences of music and art to brilliantly capture a group of friends on the brink of the rest of their lives.
#17 The Haters by Jesse Andrews
From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them.
Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band.
For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.
In his second novel, Andrews again brings his brilliant and distinctive voice to YA, in the perfect book for music lovers, fans of The Commitments and High Fidelity, or anyone who has ever loved—and hated—a song or a band. This witty, funny coming-of-age novel is contemporary fiction at its best.
#16 Flower by Shea Olsen & Elizabeth Craft
These are the things that I’ve always wanted:
To get the top grades in my class.
To make my grandmother proud.
And most of all, proof that I could succeed where the rest of my family had not: a Stanford acceptance letter, early admission.
My mother and my sister were obsessed with boys and love and sex. So obsessed that they lost sight of their futures, of what they wanted. And in the end, they lost everything.
I’ll never let a boy distract me. I promised myself that.
But that was before Tate.
Before the biggest pop star on the planet took an interest in me.
Before private planes and secret dates and lyrics meant for me alone.
There’s so much I don’t know. Like why he left music. Where he goes when we’re not together. What dark past he’s hiding. But when we kiss, the future feels far away. And now…I’m not sure what I want.
#15 Guitar Notes by Mary Amato
On odd days, Tripp uses a school practice room to let loose on a borrowed guitar. Eyes closed, strumming that beat-up instrument, Tripp escapes to a world where only the music matters.
On even days, Lyla Marks uses the same practice room. To Tripp, she’s trying to become even more perfect—she’s already a straight-A student and an award-winning cellist. But when Lyla begins leaving notes for him in between the strings of the guitar, his life intersects with hers in a way he never expected.
What starts as a series of snippy notes quickly blossoms into the sharing of interests and secrets and dreams, and the forging of a very unlikely friendship.
Challenging each other to write songs, they begin to connect, even though circumstances threaten to tear them apart.
From beloved author Mary Amato comes a YA novel of wit and wisdom, both heartfelt and heartbreaking, about the power of music and the unexpected chords that draw us together.
#14 Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers
His world is music. Her world is silent.
Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.
When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.
#13 The Sound of Us by Julie Hammerle
Kiki Nichols might not survive music camp.
She’s put her TV-loving, nerdy self aside for one summer to prove she’s got what it takes: she can be cool enough to make friends, she can earn that music scholarship, and she can get into Krause University’s music program.
Except camp has rigid conduct rules—which means her thrilling late-night jam session with the hot, equally geeky drummer can’t happen again, even though they love all the same shows, and fifteen minutes making music with him meant more than every aria she’s ever sung.
But when someone starts reporting singers who break conduct rules, music camp turns survival of the fittest, and people are getting kicked out. If Kiki’s going to get that scholarship, her chance to make true friends—and her first real chance at something more—might cost her the future she wants more than anything.
#12 Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
Just know from the start that it wasn’t supposed to go like this. All we wanted was to get near them. That’s why we got a room in the hotel where they were staying.
We were not planning to kidnap one of them. Especially not the most useless one. But we had him-his room key, his cell phone, and his secrets.
We were not planning on what happened next.
From thrilling new talent Goldy Moldavsky comes a pitch-black, hilarious take on fandom and the badass girls who have the power to make-or break-the people we call “celebrities.”
#11 I’m Not in the Band by Amber Garza
I like Kassidy Milton. There, I said it. She’s funny, beautiful—even though she doesn’t know it—and my favorite kind of weird. But I can’t tell if she’s into me or just trying to get close to me for a chance with my famous twin brother instead. I mean, it has to be me. I am the better-looking one.
But Kassidy has some demons, and she’s not good at letting people in. That happens when you’ve been hurt by someone close to you. I can relate. Trust is a funny thing; it’s hard to gain but easy to lose. I might just learn that the hard way.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book includes a snarky heroine, a swoon-worthy hero, crazy best friends, your favorite music, and lots of feels.
#10 This Song Will Save Your Life: A Novel by Leila Sales
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales’ THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
#9 The Heartbreakers (The Heartbreak Chronicles Book 1) by Ali Novak
“When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music.”
Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara-even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.
Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?
But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver – dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band – when her sister could be dying of cancer?
Ali Novak wrote her debut novel My Life with the Walter Boys when she was just 15 years old, and has since penned her next book, The Heartbreakers. First a hit on the online community Wattpad, her second novel has over 38 million reads and is loved by readers around the world.
#8 Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
The New York Times bestselling he-said/she-said rock n’ roll romance that inspired the motion picture starring Michael Cera (Juno, Arrested Development) and Kat Dennings (Thor, TV’s 2 Broke Girls)!
“I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?”
Nick frequents New York’s indie rock scene nursing a broken heart. Norah is questioning all of her assumptions about the world. They have nothing in common except for their taste in music, until a chance encounter leads to an all-night quest to find a legendary band’s secret show and ends up becoming a first date that could change both their lives.
Co-written by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, co-author of WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON with John Green (THE FAULT IN OUR STARS), NICK & NORAH’S INFINITE PLAYLIST is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story that reminds you how you can never be sure where the night will take you…
#7 This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
A New York Times bestseller
She’s got it all figured out.
Or does she? When it comes to relationships, Remy’s got a whole set of rules.
Never get too serious. Never let him break your heart. And never, ever date a musician.
But then Remy meets Dexter, and the rules don’t seem to apply anymore.
Could it be that she’s starting to understand what all those love songs are about?
#6 Before Goodbye by Mimi Cross
A RITA Award finalist, Best First Book.
Music means more than anything to high school student Cate Reese; it’s also what unites her with Cal Woods. Devoted classical guitar players, Cate and Cal are childhood friends newly smitten by love—until a devastating car accident rips Cal out of Cate’s life forever. Blaming herself for the horrific tragedy and struggling to surface from her despair, Cate spirals downhill in a desperate attempt to ease her pain.
Fellow student David Bennet might look like the school’s golden boy, but underneath the surface the popular athlete battles demons of his own. Racked with survivor’s guilt after his brother’s suicide, things get worse when tragedy darkens his world again—but connecting with Cate, his sister’s longtime babysitter, starts bringing the light back in.
As Cate and David grow closer, the two shattered teenagers learn to examine the pieces of their lives…and, together, find a way to be whole again.
#5 Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
From the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Once and for All
To find the truth you’ve got to be willing to hear it.
When she’s modeling, Annabel is the picture of perfection.
But her real life is far from perfect.
Fortunately, she’s got Owen. He’s intense, music-obsessed, and dedicated to always telling the truth.
And most of all, he’s determined to make Annabel happy. . .
#4 Not with the Band by Kelli Warner
Drama. Jerks. Another new school.
Those are three things Kassidy Perry vows to avoid her senior year of high school. Unfortunately, it looks like the Universe didn’t get the memo. When her mom marries the football coach from a rival high school, Kassidy’s forced to move (again), enroll in a new school (again) and adapt to life with three stepbrothers, including the school’s star quarterback who’s barely said two words to her. And what’s up with her incredibly hot-yet-cocky neighbor who’s developed a weird habit of climbing the trellis to her bedroom’s balcony? Nothing about her senior year is turning out the way Kassidy planned—and that’s before a revealed family secret drops the biggest bombshell yet.
Jordan Lawson could care less about football, even though he’s starting his senior year on the radar of college recruiters. He just wants to play music with his band, win a national contest with a record label and pursue his dream of being a musician. When those plans are threatened, his saving grace lies in the hands of his new stepsister. But how can he ask Kassidy for a monumental favor, when he’s partly to blame for derailing her life? And what if getting what he wants puts her dreams in jeopardy?
In her debut YA novel, Kelli Warner weaves a humorous and relatable story about finding your way in a world you can’t control—and what happens when the people you least expect turn out to be the ones you need the most.
#3 When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Wealth, fame and a real-life romance she never expected—seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett lands it all when she agrees to become a pop star’s fake girlfriend in this smart, utterly addictive novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt
Under ordinary circumstances, Oakley Ford and Vaughn Bennett would never even cross paths.
There’s nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star’s got Grammy Awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he’s settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary.
Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley’s image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She’ll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little.
Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there’s no telling what your heart will do…
#2 Fractured Beat (Meltdown Book 1) by RB Hilliard
When Grant Hardy, Meltdown’s lead singer, falls off the stage in the middle of a concert while under the influence, his record label has no choice but to step in and take control.
The solution is simple.
Send Grant to rehab and avoid a public relations nightmare by covering it up as a bad case of the flu.
When the rehab facility’s recommendation for extended treatment starts to affect the label’s bottom line, they are forced to find an alternative solution – hire an in-house counselor for the duration of the tour.
There’s just one problem.
Grant Hardy isn’t an addict.
#1 Play On by Samantha Young
The New York Times Bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series and Hero returns to Scotland in this passionate and evocative romance about love, loss, and surviving both.
Nora O’Brien chased a dream from Indiana to Scotland, so sure it was the right thing to do. Three years later she was left in her adopted country with nothing to her name but guilt and regret.
Until Aidan Lennox entered her life.
Older, worldlier, a music producer and composer, the sexy Scot should never have made sense for Nora. But somehow in each other they found the light they were looking for, the laughter and the passion—the strength to play on despite their past losses.
But when life dealt Aidan another unlucky hand, instead of reaching for her he disappeared. The agonizing loss of him inspired something within Nora. It fired her spirit— the anger and hurt pushing her forward to take control and reach for her dreams.
Finally pursuing a career on stage while she put herself through college, everything is how Nora wants it. She’s avoiding heartbreak and concentrating on her goals.
Sounds easy but it’s not. Because Aidan is back. And for some reason he hates Nora.
He’s determined to be at war with her.
And she has absolutely no idea why.
And there you have it!
*Disclaimer, I haven’t read all of these books. Nothing in this post is sponsored or endorsed by any authors or publishers.
Yes, I did include my own book in here, but please note that I gave it a fair rating.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helped you find your new favorite book!
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<3 Sydney Faith