25 Creative Novels About Music, Bands, and Musicians to Love

Books About Music
25 Creative Novels About Music, Bands, and Musicians to Love 37

My house has always had music and it has always had an important role in my life. So, novels about music always bring me extra joy because they combine two things that I love so much.

We were so excited to make novels about music, bands, and musicians a prompt for the 2023 reading challenge because we have wanted to include it for years. So whether you like contemporary fiction or romances, there is a little something for everyone on this list.

Table of Contents

The book about music post fulfills a prompt for the 2023 reading challenge! It’s not too late to join!

*The novels about music post contains affiliate links. Purchases made through links result in a small commission to us at no cost to you. Some of these books have been gifted. All opinions are our own.

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25 Creative Novels About Music, Bands, and Musicians to Love 38

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Best New Novels About Music

The Breakup Tour by Emily Wibberley

The Breakup Tour by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

Pop superstar, Riley Wynn is going on tour for her latest album and bringing along her first love as her pianist for the hit song inspired by their romance. As they tour across the states, they reflect on why their relationship ended so long ago and feel the tugs of an invisible string pulling them back together 😉.

It was such a fun read during my winter vacation. I was rooting for Riley and Max the entire time (while imagining that Travis Kelce was a pianist and not a football star.) It’s Taylor Swift fanfic and just plain fun! *Gifted by Berkley Publishing

Diva

Diva by Daisy Goodwin

Daisy Goodwin has done it again with this incredible biographical fiction about Maria Callas, famed Opera singer, and lover of Aristotle Onassis. 

As usual with Daisy Goodwin’s stories, I found myself transfixed by the story of Maria’s life and her relationship with Onassis. It was fascinating to see how their courtship affected her performances and how she grew to become an unstoppable force in an industry ruled by men.

Why we like it: I had previously read Gill Paul‘s story Jackie & Maria and thought I might find this book redundant, but I was wrong. They bring two different perspectives that flush out the Maria – Onassis- Jackie O love triangle. #gifted by St. Martins Press

Find this book in Music Books, Biographical Fiction

The farwell tour

The Farewell Tour

This detailed historical fiction novel is about Lillian Waters and her rise to fame as a country music star. Now, in 1980, her voice has failed her with vocal nodules and she is embarking on her farewell tour. Her last stop? The home and sister she has not seen since she walked away at 10 years old.

Lillian’s story is filled with so many details that at times it was hard to remember she is a fictional star. The events that shaped her life were hard to read at times. This story is a slow build, character-driven novel.

The Ingenue

The Ingenue by Rachel Kapalke-Dale

Rachel Kapelke Dale does it again with her newest novel, The Ingenue, featuring a musical prodigy who has fallen from grace.

Back home to deal with the recent death of her mother, Saskia is expecting to inherit the famed Elf House that she grew up in. But when her mother’s will stipulates Saskia’s former lover is the recipient, Saskia goes in search of answers – unlocking the trauma of her past in the process.

Sprinkled throughout with vignettes of feminist retellings of fairytales, this searing story explores the mother-daughter relationship and examines the dark truth behind sexual predators. I was transfixed by her writing and rooting for Saskia to slay her demons like a true fairytale heroine. This heart-thumping book about music was a best book of 2022 pick for me.

The Violin Conspiracy

Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

February 2022 GMA Book Club Pick

WHAT A MYSTERY! The Violin Conspiracy opens with a man’s 14 million-dollar Stradivarius violin being stolen and the drama doesn’t let up.

Ray McMillian is a young black musical prodigy who just so happens to have inherited his grandpa’s busted-up fiddle – which turns out to be a rare violin built by one of the greats. But when the origins of the violin come into question along with Ray’s claim to the instrument, the plot keeps thickening.

Truly the story was a gripping page-turner I could not put down. Slocumb’s ability to weave a multi-faceted tale was astounding. When it comes to novels about music, this is a must-read mystery book!

YA Novels About Music

All My Rage and more goodreads choice awards 2022 books

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

I was not sure what to expect when I read this book. It is a powerful YA story that is unexpected and powerful. The story deals with very serious topics like alcoholism, drug use, overdoses, and sexual assault.

These can all be trigger warnings, especially for any Young adult reading the book. I enjoyed it but, I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if it was not described as a love story. There is an underlying theme of what you would do for someone you love but, I would not classify this as a love story.

on the come up

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas has done it again with this novel about music.  Unlike the book, The Hate U Give when I completely understood Starr and her motivations, Bri was different for me. 

In this case, I questioned her actions and related more to her mother than I did to her.  I wanted to reach through the book and talk some sense into her.  It felt like I was sitting by while someone made bad decisions and there was nothing I could do about it.  This book is a must-read book for book clubs.

echo

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

The story is three tales woven together in one with a magical harmonica at the center. The story follows a harmonica as it lands in the hands of Freidrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California.

Part fairy tale and part historical fiction, this is one story that is amazing for middle grade and adults alike. Each child has their own adventure but the end brings the three stories together in a beautiful way.

Why We Love This Book: I listened to this feel-good book and it blew me away. The full-cast audiobook plays music so it is a full sensory experience. In our opinion, this story is best in audiobook format. 
Appropriate for ages 10-12
Find this book in
World War II Books for Kids / Magical Realism Books / Books for 13-Year-Olds / Audiobooks for Kids / Novels About Music

the beauty that remains

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

What a fantastic debut novel! Ashley Woodfolk is definitely an author to look for in the future.  Each teen in this story is learning how to cope with life in the aftermath of intolerable loss with the hope that music can bring them back to each other.  Woodfolk tells each of their stories with such emotion and understanding and integrates them seamlessly.

Logan, Shay, and Autumn are all dealing with loss differently and Woodfolk does a wonderful job of telling their stories. The stories seem so genuine- not neglecting the role of friends, parents, and siblings when dealing with loss. Despite being about a difficult topic, this book is so readable and relatable.  Teens, young adults, and adults alike will be able to read this book and relate.  I am so glad that I was given the opportunity to read this wonderful book about music.

Novels About Musicians

shotgun lovesongs

Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler

Loosely inspired by Bon Iver, who went to high school with Butler, this story is about a quartet of childhood friends as they deal with small-town life, and grapple with the impact of a famous friend.

Each friend – a farmer, a musician, a rodeo performer, and a rock star – reckon with where life has taken them and how it’s impacted their friendships. I connected with the journey these men went on and the growth they experienced.

This novel about music is perfect for men and women. Just be prepared to really want to listen to Bon Iver while reading this one.

Symphony of Secrets

Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb

This is the newest novel from the best-selling author of The Violin Conspiracy, a GMA Book Club Pick. When a Professor is researching a newly discovered song from a famous American composer, he finds a connection between the composer and a black woman named Josephine Reed. As he digs further into the past, he will not stop until he uncovers the truth about Josephine.

Flashing between the present day and the 1920s, this story is a character-driven slow-burn until the 60% mark, when it turns into a heart-pounding thriller. I loved this summer book about music and I think you will too.

Malibu Rising and other June 2021 Novel Ideas

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

June 2021 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

Nina Riva is having her annual summer party which is famous for its epic scale and exclusivity. But this year, the party will end with devastation.

Nina and her siblings are famous children of one of the biggest rock stars of all time and they each have their secrets. Perfect for a list of books about music, right?

I have loved the last two books by Taylor Jenkins Reid so much that I often recommend them to friends for their universal appeal. I had high hopes for this family saga but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

I enjoyed the book but I felt that it was a little drawn out at times. Still, I loved Nina’s character and her ability to surf puts her on our list of books about women in sports!

The Key to My Heart and more novels about music

The Key to My Heart by Lia Louis

Natalie Fincher was living a life she loved until her new husband died in an accident leaving her with a fixer-upper of his dreams. Two and a half years later, Natalie is still feeling lost and depressed. She spends her free time playing piano in the tube.

When she finds music in the piano bench meant for her, Natalie starts to feel a spark. Her inner musician comes aloe for the first time since her husband’s death. Who is leaving her husband’s favorite music?

Of all the novels about music, the main character in this one had the most emotional journey.

every note

Every Note Ever Played by Lisa Genova

Richard is a concert pianist who lives to hear the standing ovations from his audiences and thrives on being perfect. When he loses control of his pinky finger, and slowly the muscles in his hands and body, his life comes crashing down.

Now, Richard has ALS and nobody to turn to except his ex-wife. This novel about music will have you questioning life, forgiveness and what it means to find peace.

The Unsinkable Greta James

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith

Greta James is at a crossroads in her career and her life. After a very public breakdown following her mother’s death, Greta decides to go on an Alaskan Cruise with her father.

But Greta and her father haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. This book focused on Greta’s relationship with her dad and herself. There is a side love story angle, but I would not classify this book as a romance.

I loved Greta’s soul-searching set against the gorgeous backdrop of Alaska. This boat book about music is the perfect vacation read.

Historical Fiction Novels About Music

Opal Nev

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton

This is the closest of the books like Daisy Jones and The Six. It’s told in an interview format and is about a band from the 70s. The comparison makes sense… and yet…

This 70s book is wonderful in its own right! No comparison is needed. It looks at sexism and racism in the music industry during this time period and is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining. It is a total must-read. This is one of the full cast audiobooks that we included in our Ultimate List of Feel-Good Books to Brighten your Day

Daisy Jones and the 6

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

March 2019 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

This best book of 2019 pick needs to be listened to, not read. Seriously, I think this might be one of the best audiobooks of all time.

I expect it to sweep the Audies this year for sure because full cast audiobooks can really take the story to the next level. The book is laid out in chronological order about the making of a band in the 70s, but the story is told in interview style from a dozen sources.

The audio version has a different narrator for each character and the performances the actors give are stupendous. I was overcome with emotion numerous times while I was listening.

This celebrity fiction story about the rise and fall of one of the hottest bands was so utterly fabulous – it’s pure sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll in all the best ways. This is one of the novels about music that isn’t for the faint of heart and is a feel-good book you will not want to miss.

and after the fire

And After the Fire by Lauren Belfer

This novel is based on the historical events of WWII.  Henry, an American soldier in Germany takes a manuscript from a seemingly deserted mansion and accidentally kills the woman who tries to stop him. 

Years later,  when he dies, he leaves the manuscript to his niece Susan with the request to return it to its rightful owner. This story spans from the late 1700s until the present as we follow the manuscript, a lost work of J.S. Bach.  This novel about music was incredibly well-written and researched. 

Jackie and Maria and more of the best books of 2020

Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul

Excuse me while I gush about Gill Paul‘s newest biographical fiction book, Jackie and Maria.⁣ Gill Paul is quickly becoming an auto-buy author for me. I loved Another Woman’s Husband and The Lost Daughter, about the Windsors and Romanovs respectively. Paul’s take on a new dynasty, The Kennedys, is equally compelling.⁣

Most people know about Jackie’s life during her White House years, but hearing the tale of what caused her to marry Aristotle Onassis was fascinating. I loved the dual narrators of Jackie and Onassis’s long-time lover, opera singer Maria Callas.⁣ It’s a perfect political novel about music!

Historical Fiction

Ultimate List of Historical Fiction

Love Historical Fiction? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of Historical Fiction carefully divided by time period.

Romance Novels About Music

Romantic Comedy

Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

April 2023 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Sally Milz is a sketch writer for a late-night comedy show. She begins to write a sketch called the Danny Horst Rule, which makes fun of average-looking men dating gorgeous women, but the reverse almost never happens.

When a pop music icon signs on as the musical guest and host for the show for the week, sparks begin to fly, but Sally doesn’t know if it is just in her head. After all, he is a gorgeous star!

We love Curtis Sittenfeld and could not wait to read this book. This is a slow-burn romance that I absolutely loved. Part of the book takes place over email correspondence during the COVID lockdown and I could not get enough. This is one of my favorite novels about music.

The Deja Glitch

The Deja Glitch by Holly James

Jack has been reliving the same day for months and believes the only way out of this circle is to get Gemma Peters to fall in love with him. The Problem? Gemma has a feeling of deja vu, but she cannot remember Jack and has made a vow not to date musicians again (after her last boyfriend used her).

I had high hopes for this time travel romance and it did not let me down. Do not be worried that you will have to read the same things over and over. This book has a refreshing spin that was utterly enjoyable. Thank you for my gifted copy of this book.

Happy ever after

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Romance books about music? SIGN ME UP FOR THEM ALL!

I had a really hard time reading during this “stay-at-home and homeschool three children while working” pandemic. I changed up my genres a bit and indulged in feel-good reads, romance books, and Fantasy. ⁣

This celebrity romance was a definite feel-good book with the most fun little twist. Every chapter has a song to go with it. It’s the perfect song to go with the mood of the chapter. ⁣

⁣I loved this book so much that I immediately read the first book in this series.

Just another Love Song and more novels about music

Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey

Sandy Macintosh thought that she would be with her high school sweetheart, Hank Tillman, forever. But, Hank was always meant for great things, and Sandy stayed in her small hometown. Sandy was heartbroken went Hank left.

Now, 15 years later, Hank is a very successful musician and he has come home. His presence is disrupting Sandy’s stable, existence as a store owner and she begins to question if she is actually as happy as she has been pretending to be. This is such a charming romance novel about musicians.

Dirty Billionaire

Dirty Billionaire by Meghan March

Crey and Holly’s love story starts as a one-night stand but turns into a marriage so she can get out of a contract with her record company and he can take control of her.

He’s a billionaire businessman from NYC, she’s an up-and-coming country singer from Nashville. They are worlds apart and that push-and-pull goes a long way in creating the tension of the series….but be warned. This celebrity romance book about music has very little story and a whole lot of sex.

Is Romance your favorite genre? We created the Ultimate List of Romances carefully divided by sub-genre so you can find your next favorite read.

Magical Realism Novels about Music

the House in the Cerulean Sea

House on the Cerulean Sea by T.J Klune

Linus baker works as a caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth.  He is sent on a mission to a secret orphanage where 6 of the world’s most dangerous youth live.  This story was so much more than the sum of its parts.

The magic and the orphan aspect are all reminiscent of Harry Potter. The story has just a touch of magic but somehow seems too relevant. 

Throughout the novel, the importance and the power of music is one of the many beautiful things about this book.

the magic strings of frankie presto

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Album

As full cast audiobooks go, this book about music is the best one I have ever listened to. This magical realism book is also one of my favorite books of all time.  It is narrated by “music” who is telling the story of a magician named Frankie Presto. 

There are multiple people who narrate this book and it is more like a play.  I could listen to this contemporary fiction book over and over so it no wonder that it is one of my all-time favorite books. I loved this book and bought a copy which I lent to an unnamed person who loved it and did not return it.  My second copy has met the same fate.  Third time’s a charm?

Love magical realism books? We do too! That’s why we created this list of the best magical realism books

Literary Fiction Novels about Music

Bel Canto and more novels about Music

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Bel Canto’s story about a months-long hostage situation was lovely. It was so interesting to see the relationship between the hostages and their captures develop.

One of the main people is a famous Opera singer and the reason everyone was at the venue on the night of the capture. The movie adaptation of this book about music was great too. This pick from contemporary fiction books is a must-read.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce and more than 60 more of the best feel good books

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

 Music is big in my house so this book spoke to me. Frank is a man who helps everyone with their problems by giving them the music they need from his little music shop. It sells only vinyl.

When a woman faints outside his shop, Frank realizes he can’t hear the music she needs. His life changes forever. This book is a similar feel to Little Paris Bookshop/Perfume Collector.  There is a playlist on Spotify that goes with this book.  So sit back, read, listen and enjoy this novel about music.

contemporary fiction header

Ultimate List of Contemporary Fiction

Love Contemporary Fiction? We do too! That’s why we created the Ultimate List of Contemporary Fiction carefully divided by genres.

Holiday Books About Musicians and Music

Novels about music

All I Want for Christmas by Maggie Knox

I can’t with this charming Christmas romance book about musicians by Maggie Knox. It’s like reading a Hallmark Christmas movie but with a lot of steamy bits put in!

Sadie and Max are competing in a Country music reality TV show (think American Idol or The Voice.) Their chemistry is off the charts on stage, so the execs ask them to team up for their performance.

As they learn to get along off-stage as well as they do on it, a passionate romance ignites. Until the machinations of the music industry drive a wedge between them. Can they reconcile before Christmas?

The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch

The Rewind by Allison Winn Scotch

Frankie and Ezra were inseparable during college and it all ended in an epic breakup a decade ago. Now, they are seeing each other for the first time since at their friends’ New Year’s Eve of Y2K wedding.

When they wake up in bed together with wedding rings on their fingers and NO memory of what happened, they find themselves in search of answers. And all this has to happen before Ezra’s girlfriend shows up at the wedding because Ezra is planning on proposing.

This romance music book is a hilarious glimpse into the past and an adorable romance on this list of New Year’s Eve books as well.

Holiday

The Best Holiday Book Lists: Holiday Book Hub 2024

Our Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and more Holiday book lists are in one place!

Which novel about music, bands, and musicians made it onto your to-read list?

Books like Daisy Jones and the six

12 Stunning Books like Daisy Jones and the Six

Looking for another book about musicians? This list can help!

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