"How Soon is Now" by The Smiths
In their early interactions, this song connects Eleanor to Park; in a way, the song almost works as Eleanor reaching out to Park: "I am human and I need to be loved/Just like everybody else does."
"The Good Times Are Killing Me" by Modest Mouse
Rowell herself said that this was the song she imagined was playing in Eleanor's head in that first scene on the bus. "Have one, have twenty more 'one mores' and oh it does not relent."
"Dear God" by XTC
"XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus."
"Re: Stacks" by Bon Iver
Though Bon Iver's lyrics might not always make sense, the feelings behind this song fit the load that Eleanor has been carrying in her life.
"Wildfire" by Seafret
Perhaps more of a song for both Eleanor and Park, but it describes their love, especially from Eleanor's point of view: "I needed sunshine in the darkness burning out."
"Kiss of Life" by Friendly Fires
From Rowell's website: “When I was writing this book, I wanted to capture how it feels to love someone. You love them with your head. And then you love them with everything else. When they’re with you, you vibrate. When they’re gone, you ache. This song does both.”
"I Want To Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles
I imagine, as their relationship buds, Eleanor carefully allows herself to think this about Park; especially when she finally lets her guard down around him. Plus, you know Eleanor loves the Beatles.
"Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division
Park puts this on a tape for Eleanor, and later on the bus, her and Park discuss the song at depth, ending with Eleanor saying "I just want to break that song into pieces...and love them all to death."
"Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane
For the car ride to Minnesota--though her situation was never simple, Eleanor's love for Park was something she could rely on, but she knew that leaving might mean the end of their relationship.
"Say It To Me Now" by Glen Hansard
I imagine this song fits Eleanor when she's finally able to escape her stepfather, and becomes radio silent for Park. Perhaps she's looking for a sign, for when she finally feels ready to open up that door again. But, that will remain a mystery, unless we get a sequel to this wonderful book.
This definitely makes me want to pick up this book and read it again; flipping through it, I forgot how much good music is mentioned between the pages. Might have to be placed in my TBR pile. But anyway, enjoy! :)