Review: Who Put This Song On? by Morgan Parker

This book surprised me in a lot of ways, but I found myself thoroughly wrapped in it before I knew what was happening. Who Put This Song On? is an unusual novel that needs to be read.

Who Put This Song On CoverTrapped 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. (Goodreads) Goodreads

I received an eARC of Who Put This Song On? from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Who Put This Song On? needs trigger warnings for mental illness, discussions of mental illness, discussions of suicide attempt, drug and alcohol use, on page racism, discussions of racism, homophobia on page, and over-policing of Black teenagers.

This novel is unusual in that it does not have a real plot, so much as it is a series of vignettes showing the highs and lows of Morgan’s life. Judging by the author’s note, it was sort of based on Parker’s own life, and it felt very real despite the lack of plot. I also loved every bit of the music in this book, and I intend to build a playlist with it.

Who Put This Song On? is beautifully written and honest about depression and mental health in a way that a lot of people – especially young people – will need. I recommend it. Pick it up from Amazon or Indiebound through our affiliate links.


 Title:  Who Put This Song On?

Author: Morgan Parker 

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Length: 336 Pages

Release Date: September 24, 2018

Rating: Recommended

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

Representation: Black female mentally ill main character, Black side characters, Latinx side character, gay side character,


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