Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well! As I’m sure you may have noticed, I’ve started quite a few series on this blog, including my Sapphic Recommendations series, but some, like my Tarot series, have remained unfinished (oops!). Today, I’m hoping to remedy that by completing (for now) a series I started on a whim at the end of January this year, after I became engrossed in Kpop again instead of reading! If you haven’t checked out the first post, you can do so here, where I recommend queer books based on my favourite NCT 127 and NCT U songs (though I might do song recs based on the new Loveholic album if anyone’s interested…). This time round, I’m going to be tackling some of my favourite WayV, NCT Dream and solo songs!
Are we starting off with a song that’s not technically an NCT song…yes, but in my defence NCT Dream ate up PRETTYMUCH on Up to You (listen to it if you don’t believe me) so it really should be their song! Up to You is a really fun, serotonin-boosting song that deals with the topic of consent, so I thought that it needed a book with an equally important message that still has a fun twist to it! Squad is a graphic novel that is being released later this year, written by Maggie Tokuda-Hall (author of The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea) and Lisa Sterle (who illustrated my tarot deck that I love so much!). It follows a group of teenage girls who love to, and I quote, “get dressed up, go to parties, target entitled, date-rapey Bros, turn into wolves, and eat them”. As soon as I heard that tagline I was sold and I can’t wait for its release, and I think it’s the perfect match for this song!
Don’t Need Your Love is one of NCT Dream’s SM Station songs, and is also a collab with HRVY (who I’ll admit I didn’t know existed until this song)! This song is another really upbeat one, despite being about heartbreak and moving on from a failed relationship, so I decided to choose a book that I read recently and loved, that deals a lot with leaving behind toxic relationships! In As Far As You’ll Take Me, we follow Marty, who has left the US for London, with just his oboe, his suitcase, and his meagre savings from his summer job. Desperate to get away from the homophobic church that his parent’s are part of, Marty is excited to start this new life, and soon hits it off with a boy and is travelling across Europe with his new friends. But soon the homesickness starts kicking in, and Marty starts to realise that his new life might not be all he hoped it would be.
This next NCT Dream song is one of my favourite NCT songs of all time! Walk You Home came out a few summers ago when I was working at a café on a fruit farm and I have fond memories of driving home from rugby training in the warm evenings with the sun just going down and the street lights starting to turn on and playing this song the whole way home. The nostalgic, warm feeling that this song gives me is the reason why I picked The Falling in Love Montage by Ciara Smyth because this book just screams summer evenings with friends to me! The book follows Saoirse who 100% does not believe in love, and has sworn off of relationships, because what good are they if her mother can’t remember who she is and is sitting in a care home due to her dementia while her dad is dating other women. But one night at an end of term party, Saoirse meets Ruby who convinces her to spend the summer with her recreating cliché rom-com dates, but with no strings attach – at the end of the summer they will break everything off. But much like every single rom-com, the two start to fall for each other!
The final NCT Dream song on this list, 119, has a whole different vibe to the other three. It’s still an upbeat sort of song but, let’s be real, it’s all about the sexual tension you have with someone else and playing games with that person. I was going to choose The Clinch by Nicole Disney but I used it on the previous NCT songs post, so I decided to choose I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre instead, due to the sheer romantic/sexual tension between the two main characters! I Think I Love You follows Emma, who absolutely adores rom-coms, and Sophia, who after her parents’ divorce no longer believes in love. After the two butt heads while their group of friends tries to come up with a concept for a prestigious film festival, the two end up competing against each other. But after some friendly interference, perhaps there’s more to their snarky remarks and cutting insults.
Despite being my favourite NCT subunit, I’m only including two WayV songs in this post, half because they have a smaller discography than the other subunits, and half just cos some of their songs aren’t my taste! Bad Alive is one of their songs that also has an English version, but that was quite difficult to pair with a book. So, once again, I decided to go with vibes! Several times through the song the members sing that they’re a ‘bad kind of player’, so I decided to choose Masquerade by Anne Shade in which one of the side/main-ish characters is well known as being a player among the ladies! To sum it up, Masquerade is an adult, sapphic historical romance set in 1920s Harlem and follows two Black sapphics falling in love to the backdrop of masquerade drag balls – and if that alone doesn’t sound amazing, I don’t know what does!
The second WayV song, Let Me Love U, is a whole different vibe to the first, and is a really sweet, wholesome song, and so I had to choose a really sweet, wholesome book to go along with it! Cheer Up: Love and Pompoms is a graphic novel that comes out in August later this year and follows two girls – Annie, an academic lesbian who joins cheerleading to improve her college application, and BeeBee, a trans girl who is captain of the cheerleading team and who must keep up her grades in order for her parents to support her transition. I highly, highly recommend checking this one out when it’s released later this year!
The last two songs are solos by two members of NCT, the first being Try Again – an SM Station collab between Jaehyun and d.ear! As I’m sure you can guess from the song title alone, this is about giving a relationship another chance, so of course I had to choose a second-chance romance! Not This Time is a really fun second chance sapphic romance between two women who were formerly in the same girlband and who dated for a while before breaking up after one of them went solo. Years later, the two have a chance meeting when one of the women, now working as an interior designer, happens to turn up at the other’s house to work on a renovation.
Star Blossom is another NCT(ish) song that has been a favourite of mine for a wee while, but this one was a lot harder to come up with a comparison for, so I went with vibes again! The song sounds like something that wouldn’t be amiss in an animated film with princes and princesses, so I decided to go for a fairytale retelling – Malice by Heather Walter. Malice is a sapphic sleeping beauty retelling with a romance between Aurora and the evil witch who is responsible for her curse that only a kiss will cure, but Aurora doesn’t want to kiss anymore princes, the supposed villain on the other hand, well, that’s a whole other story!