Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie

I read A Darker Shade of Magic over break. This book is seedily spellbinding, burningly brilliant, and in desperate need of a playlist…


A Darker Shade final for IreneAbout A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped. (Goodreads)


  • Bad Reputation by Joan Jett

So many characters in A Darker Shade of Magic have bad reputations. Plus, this song is a classic.


  • Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani

I’ve had “Hollaback Girl” stuck in my head for a while. Gwen Stefani’s song reminds me of Lila’s snarky attitude.


  • Eyes Open by Taylor Swift

Keep your eyes open or you’ll get robbed. Lesson of the millennium, kids.


  • Trouble by Nevershoutnever

This song is so playful and charming, just like Lila is deep down inside…


  • God Only Knows by Beach Boys

God only knows when Lila and Kell will save all of the worlds, or if they’ll even stay alive!


  • Beauty and the Beast by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson

Lila and Kell have an epic story. An epic story calls for an epic song sung by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson.


  • Hurricane by Bridgit Mendler

Bridgit Mendler makes me smile. Her voice is so infectious, and the vibe reminds me of the lighter parts in A Darker Shade of Magic.