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‘Sunkissed’: author Jenny McLachlan talks us through the playlist for her fun, flirty novel


At Maximum Pop! we understand the importance of both music and literature – how one inspires the other and betters it. Songs tell stories. Stories need songs. It’s one of the best relationships we can think of.

We found a kindred spirit in Jenny McLachlan who agreed to tell us a little bit about the link to music in her own book ‘Sunkissed’:

I love music. I listen to it when I write, when I run and whenever I’m in the car. I go and see bands all the time. If I’m out running and my iPod runs out of battery I walk home because my run has just become boring exercise instead of a disco. Music basically makes life better.


All my books have music running through them, and Sunkissed is no exception. When I include music in a book, I try not to use any songs that are too contemporary as they will date the book really quickly.

Here’s my Sunkissed playlist. If you listen to these tracks while reading the book and eating a cinnamon bun or two, you’ll be having the perfect Sunkissed experience!

1) Adele – Someone Like You

In Sunkissed, fifteen-year-old Kat is sent to Sweden for the summer and she really doesn’t want to go. As she’s going to the airport Someone Like You comes on the radio and her dad starts to sing along at the top of his voice. Then her friends join in. I love the idea of everyone in the car belting out a power-ballad…except Kat. She’s staring out at the rain filled with dread about what’s about to happen to her.

2) Bonnie Tyler – Holding Out for a Hero

Power-ballad #2. Once in Sweden, Kat’s Auntie Frida drops a bombshell: they are actually going to spend the summer on a tiny island with one shop and no phone reception. How will Kat survive? Once there, she’s dragged to a disco where she sits at the side and watches everyone else having fun. This song comes on and Kat knows all the words because her mum and dad sing it to each other. Kat’s been waiting for a boy to sweep her off her feet (her hero) and he’s just about to appear.

3) Ritche Valence – LaBamba

Kat is standing in the sea when she hears this Euro-disco classic drifting across the island. There is a full moon and the sea is beautifully warm and totally still. Kat has a mad urge to rip off her clothes and go for a skinny dip, after all, there’s no one around to see her…is there?

4) The Cardigans – Lovefool

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUIElvJRyNU

Fast-forward a chapter or two and Kat is sitting in a café by the sea watching the sunset. Even better, a gorgeous Swedish boy is sitting next to her. What could go possibly go wrong? When this song starts playing, Kat looks across the café and suddenly the words ‘Lovefool’ take on a whole new meaning.

5) Dancing Queen ABBA

In a furious rage, Kat enters an endurance race called Tuff Troll only to discover she can only compete with a partner. Desperate to save face, she begs one of her friends to come to the island and enter with her. I don’t want to give too much away, but the friend who turns up has a tropical fish called Oyster (named in a comp by MP!er, Tiann) and she loves the Swedish pop superstars ABBA.

Kat’s friend invents Fun Run to make their training bearable. The girls run round the island, listening to the same playlist and breaking out into synchronised dance routines. This is how Kat ends up doing the worm to ABBA in front of her mortal enemy. I’d love to try out Fun Run, but for some reason none of my friends will do it with me!

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Written by Laura Fulton

Book Channel Editor at MaxPop! Have a thing for the sea and pretty paperbacks. Saved by amazing grace.

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