Now and Forever is about the girlfriend of the world’s biggest rock star.
Of course there’s a playlist. Listen on Spotify and get the overview here:
1. “Everything” – Lifehouse
This is the song Sterling sends to Ethan in the first chapter of Now and Forever. She’s had that song on repeat every since the day Ethan first asked her out. To Sterling, “Everything” is Ethan’s theme song. It sounds like him. It feels like him. She loves losing herself in the sound of him. Sterling is so deep in the love haze she can’t remember what she used to think about before Ethan.
2. “An Alright Start” – Sigur Ros
Ethan responds to “Everything” by playing “An Alright Start” for Sterling. Sigur Ros is an Icelandic group with an ambient, post-rock sound. Ethan tells Sterling that their music is beautiful, just like her. “I don’t have the words to tell you how I feel about you,” he says. “So I found a song in another language to do it for me.” “An Alright Start” is about two people falling in love. They spend the day together just walking around downtown and and enjoying being in their own world where they understand each other better than anyone ever has before.
3. “Bright Lights” – 30 Seconds To Mars
Ethan Cross has the most hardcore fangirls in the world. They worship him as the god of their musical religion. The sound of “Bright Lights” captures the thrilling rush of musician worship. It speaks to every single one of us with big dreams that will never die. Ethan Cross always knew he was destined for insane fame. His laser focus burns brighter than ever.
4. “Say Anything” – Good Charlotte
5. “Echo” – Jason Walker
6. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams
“Happy” captures the pure elation Sterling feels the first time she hears one of Ethan’s songs on the radio. That moment where you realize one of your biggest dreams just came true.
7. “Mirrors” – Justin Timberlake
You reflect me, I love that about you
And if I could, I would look at us all the time
8. “Get Low” – Dillon Francis & DJ Snake
There’s something about how the beat of “Get Low” builds to a crescendo that reminds me of waiting for concerts to start as a teen. I’d be in the audience with my friends shaking with anticipation. Adrenaline zinged through my veins so sharply I couldn’t sit still. That moment when the lights went low, when the first screams cut across the stadium as whoever you were there to see took the stage, was electric. “Get Low” has that same electric quality.
9. “Talking Backwards” – Real Estate
The only thing that really matters
is the one thing I can’t say to you
10. “In Your Eyes” – Peter Gabriel
The first sentence of Now and Forever says it all: “When I open my front door, Ethan is holding his phone over his head playing ‘In Your Eyes.’”
11. “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough” – Michael Jackson
One of Ethan’s main musical influences was Michael Jackson. This is one of those MJ songs that encapsulates everything found in an Ethan Cross song: ubiquitous appeal, classic endurance, and an infectious beat that forces you to move.
12. “I Was a Fool” – Tegan and Sara
This song reflects how Sterling feels when Ethan starts changing. He always knew that insane fame was his destiny. But he promised that he would never change. He would always be Sterling’s Ethan, the Ethan she knows better than anyone, the Ethan she fell in love with. Until that promise is broken…
13. “Set Fire to the Rain” – Adele
We all know “Set Fire to the Rain” is the ultimate breakup song. When Sterling’s world is shattered, she questions everything Ethan ever told her. Every promise he made, every passionate whisper in the dark. No matter how many times Sterling hears these lyrics, they resonate so strongly she can barely breathe.
You can find playlists for all of my books on my website. Rock on, friendly neighbors!