Tina Kakadelis
YA Author


Burn Before Reading: A Carly Allen Story

Playlist Thursday: Desert Island

"If you were stranded on a desert island and you could only listen to twenty songs for the rest of your life, what would they be?" - You Great. I'm so glad you asked.

Tina's Desert Island Mixtape

  1. Heaven Is a Place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle - This is one of those songs that just feels like the first time every time I listen to it. Now it's a low-key gay anthem thanks to San Junipero and I can't say I'm mad about that. It's a little out of my vocal range, so I'm basically screaming it at the end with the key change. But if you don't scream along to a song, do you really love it??
  2. Life is a Highway by Tom Cochrane - One time, I was home alone at my old apartment and I was awakened at 2 A.M. by someone incessantly ringing the doorbell. I texted my two other roommates, who were out of town, and was like, hey, are you guys ringing the doorbell?? They both said no. I know the rational thing would be to go look through the peephole to see who it was, but if you thought I was about to look through my damn peephole at 2 A.M. while home alone, then you are a FOOL. I've seen a horror movie or two in my day. I know how that would've ended. Anyway, I grabbed my guitar by its neck as a weapon and crept back toward the bedrooms. I had my keys, wallet, and phone in case I needed to jump out of the window. Eventually the ringing stopped, but I was SHOOK as the kids say. All of this nonsense to say, I listened to Life is a Highway on repeat for about an hour to calm my nerves.
  3. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen - I feel like this is self-explanatory at this point.
  4. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty - As previously mentioned in the Murder at 2 A.M. Doorbell Story, I have a guitar. This Petty song is the first one I learned on the guitar. I can't play that many, but I can stumble through Free Fallin'. It's also magical to drive through the California canyons at sunset listening to this song.
  5. If I Could Turn Back Time by Cher - I feel like not enough people talk about how incredible this song is. Just as a society, we're not using it in enough pop culture soundtracks. IT'S NOT ENOUGH, PEOPLE. Especially with all this '80s nostalgia resurfacing. It's about time somebody gives me a gay love story montage set to this song.
  6. Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper - This song's 100% iconic and I don't feel like I need to justify its presence here. This should be on EVERYONE'S desert island mixtape.
  7. We've Got Tonight by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band - I had to put a few slow songs on here to give desert island me a relaxing break. This is also just a dope power ballad I've talked about before. Obviously, there will be repeats because these are my all-in, diehard songs, y'know?
  8. In Your Room by The Bangles - How did Walk Like an Egyptian became the song The Bangles are known for instead of this absolute jam? We should all be ASHAMED of ourselves. This is an egregious error on our part. Almost unforgivable.
  9. Like a Prayer by Madonna - Guys, Madonna is a legend. This song's unreal. Again, I don't feel like I need to justify its presence here.
  10. It's All Coming Back to Me Now by Celine Dion - This is the single greatest eight-and-a-half minute-long power ballad and I need everyone in the world to appreciate it. It goes HARD. It's about an insanely turbulent love affair and Celine Dion goes all in. Many friends of mine have been treated to me performing this in my car. And by performing, I do mean PERFORMING. I'm talking Tony-winning performance.
  11. Rocket Man by Elton John - I've always really liked this song, but its recent use in Battle of the Sexes has solidified its place on the list. It's the scene where Billie Jean and Marian are driving up the coast after spending the night together. It's one of my favorite scenes, and the movie using this song just made my heart hurt in a really good way.
  12. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver - This song scared me as a kid because there's the lyric that goes "All my memories gathered 'round her/Miner's lady, stranger to blue water." It was the stranger part that got me because of Stranger Danger, y'know? Anyway, I dated a girl from West Virginia once and as a gag gift, I made her a mix CD of about fifteen different versions of this song. She did NOT think it was funny, so I guess it's for the best she's not around anymore.
  13. Super Trooper by ABBA - My favorite dumb fact about ABBA is about their costumes. ABBA always wears these insanely ridiculous outfits and there's a reason for that. In Sweden, clothes can only be a tax write-off if it's not something you would wear in your day-to-day life. Isn't that kind of brilliant?? They wear these weird clothes for the sole purpose of getting a tax break. Incredible.
  14. Rich Girl by Hall & Oates - Again, I feel like we've all dropped the ball when we let You Make My Dreams Come True be more popular than Rich Girl. What? That's just my 100% right opinion.
  15. Three Small Words by Josie and the Pussycats - Y'all know my feelings on this cinematic masterpiece, and the soundtrack is no different. I've got the CD in my car and I have it on vinyl too. I'm ride or die for this fictional band. I'm not talking the Riverdale version. I'm talking OG 2001 band.
  16. American Pie by Don McLean - This song also scared me as a child because of the Helter Skelter line. I didn't know what that was, but then there was a TV show or mini documentary that started airing commercials called Helter Skelter. The commercials were super creepy and I was very young, so I was like what the fork is this song about. I finally asked my mom and she said that was a mystery and no one was sure. Which made me think it was connected to the creepy Helter Skelter commercials. And thus, my fascination with conspiracy theories was born.
  17. Wasted by The Summer Set - I couldn't figure out which Summer Set song to put on this list because they were my favorite band for ten years. In the end, it felt right to put the last song on their last album here. The last music they'll ever put out as a band. "Turn the lights on/Party's over/Maybe someday we'll never grow older."
  18. Fearless by Taylor Swift - I'll just come out and say it; Fearless-era Taylor Swift is the best era of Taylor Swift. I mean, it had You Belong With Me, Sparks Fly, Fearless, Fifteen, Love Story...I could keep going. All the hits. This album is incredible. And Fearless the song is my favorite because it's such a sweet story. I also really like what Taylor Swift had to say about the idea of "fearless" and how it's not the absence of fear, but having those fears and living in spite of them. This is the hands-down best era of Taylor. (Red-era is a close second.)
  19. Damn Sam (I Love a Woman That Rains) by Ryan Adams - I felt like I should throw another mellow song on here and this one is kind of my go-to when I want to relax. I love me some sad dad Ryan Adams.
  20. Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by Starship - Hi, so if you haven't bought my forking book yet, go do that. Not just because I'd like to splurge on this fancy yoghurt I like, but because this song plays an integral role in the story and so, it's kind of embedded itself in me.