Who Put This Song On | Sticky Note Review

Who Put This Song On is a 2019 novel by author and poet Morgan Parker. This novel is one that spoke to me in so many ways — except that in the 90s, “emo” wasn’t really a thing. I have distinct memories of wearing super baggy black corduroy pants and long-sleeved black t-shirts during marching band rehearsal. Sometimes, there was also eye-liner. My dad said I was goth (which was probably the closest thing to emo when I came through). Depression was a thing to. The internal monologue of our protagonist sounded so familiar I had to put the book down upon occasion.

Trapped in sunny, stifling, small-town suburbia, seventeen-year-old Morgan knows why she’s in therapy. She can’t count the number of times she’s been the only non-white person at the sleepover, been teased for her “weird” outfits, and been told she’s not “really” black. Also, she’s spent most of her summer crying in bed. So there’s that, too.

Lately, it feels like the whole world is listening to the same terrible track on repeat–and it’s telling them how to feel, who to vote for, what to believe. Morgan wonders, when can she turn this song off and begin living for herself?

Life may be a never-ending hamster wheel of agony, but Morgan finds her crew of fellow outcasts, blasts music like there’s no tomorrow, discovers what being black means to her, and finally puts her mental health first. She decides that, no matter what, she will always be intense, ridiculous, passionate, and sometimes hilarious. After all, darkness doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Darkness is just real.

Loosely based on her own teenage life and diaries, this incredible debut by award-winning poet Morgan Parker will make readers stand up and cheer for a girl brave enough to live life on her own terms–and for themselves. 

From Goodreads

This novel is one that spoke to me in so many ways — except that in the 90s, “emo” wasn’t really a thing. I have distinct memories of wearing super baggy black corduroy pants and long-sleeved black t-shirts during marching band rehearsal. Sometimes, there was also eye-liner. My dad said I was goth (which was probably the closest thing to emo when I came through). Depression was a thing too. The internal monologue of our protagonist sounded so familiar I had to put the book down upon occasion.

There’s a lot of music in this book. If you’re so inclined, Parker made an accompanying playlist that you can find on Spotify.

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