Jenny Han Shares The Taylor Swift Song In The Summer I Turned Pretty She Was Really Passionate About Getting Into The Series At The Right Moment

SPOILERS are ahead for The Summer I Turned Pretty, streaming now with an Amazon Prime subscription

If you’ve binged The Summer I Turned Pretty already, you know the series has a banger of a soundtrack. Hit songs from artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Billie Eilish make the series, but most notably, Taylor Swift’s music makes a recurring appearance on the series after the artist used the trailer for the show to re-release “This Love” and effectively get Swifties hoping 1989 will be the next era she might revisit following her masters being sold. But there are a couple Swift songs in particular that are close to author/showrunner Jenny Han. 

When CinemaBlend spoke to The Summer I Turned Pretty author and co-creator of the Amazon Prime series, she shared one Taylor Swift song she was really passionate about getting at the exact right moment in the show. In her words: 

I think in the fourth episode when we used ‘False God’, I felt sorry for our poor music editor because I made him [add the song] literally eight times in different ways where I was like ‘Can we try starting it at this moment? Can we put it here? Can we have him walk out to it?’ Like I wanted to see it all different ways to see the best way to really marry it to the scene.

About halfway through the season, The Summer I Turned Pretty brings the heat when Lola Tung’s Belly and Christopher Briney’s Conrad almost kiss in episode 4. As Jenny Han told us, she spent a lot of time with the music editor making sure the song off Taylor Swift’s 2019 album Lover came in at the exact right time. 

In many ways, it feels like the Taylor Swift music drops feel intentional to Belly’s particular feelings toward her childhood friend, Conrad, who is acting completely different this summer. She’s long had a crush on him, as illustrated in the first scene when Conrad is shown with “Lover” playing. Jenny Han also shared a second Swift song that has always been important to The Summer I Turned Pretty

I make playlists for books and I tend to do that at the beginning of the writing process to help me sort of tap into the emotional vein of the stories… The Way I Loved You. That's something I was listening to when I was writing it originally. So the fact that we got it was just an incredible gift.

“The Way I Loved You” came out in 2008 as Jenny Han was first writing the story, i.e. her first YA novel before continuing Belly’s story with a trilogy and later writing the All The Boys books. The song plays later in the season, and the author spoke more to getting Swift’s music in the streaming series, saying this: 

I think for me just as a fan, to be able to give the book fans that moment is what is really meaningful to me, because if you're a fan of The Summer I Turned Pretty, I'm pretty sure you're a fan of Taylor Swift. And I know this because so many fans have asked me to put her music on the show and I just never knew if we were gonna be able to or not. So when we were, I just, I couldn't believe it. That's probably the most excited I've been in the whole process and the fact that we got like five total, which I'm really excited for the fans to see, because it will be like, I think maybe unexpected at times at certain big moments.

Over the years, Taylor Swift songs have made their way into all kinds of movies and TV shows, including the singer writing an original tune for the upcoming book adaptation of Where The Crawdads Sing. Swift music has always been important to Jenny Han as an author, her fans who read her books and attach to their stories, and now the new streaming series. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.