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Allison Pearson's Favorite Crush Songs

Allison Pearson knows a thing or two about a catchy tune. Her new novel, I Think I Love You, is a hilarious and moving look at what it means to fall in love with a song—and with the person who’s singing it. We asked Allison to put together a list of her favorite crush songs, and the result is an irresistible video-mixtape, suitable, of course, for swooning. Read on for her picks!

I Think I Love You – The classic Partridge Family anthem to unrequited love still comes up paint-fresh after an incredible 41 years. Great tambourine work from the younger Partridge kids and, of course, vocals from the boy in the posters on my bedroom wall, David Cassidy himself.

It must be a dead heat for the top spot with David Cassidy’s Daydreamer. Oh God, I can still feel his breathy voice on the back of my neck. See how gorgeous he was:

Oh Lori – Alessi Brothers. The quintessential summer love song, sizzling with youthful infatuation and testosterone. And they manage to work in the word “bicycle.” Respect.

Dear Mr. Gable, You Made Me Love You – Judy Garland. Check out the young Judy in her nightgown singing to a photo of Clark Gable. One of the songs that made me want to write my new novel – to try and explain why it is we never forget our first crush.

I’m Not In Love – 10cc. Like a metaphysical poet, the singer tries to clamber out of the pit of obsessive infatuation, but only slips in deeper. John Donne, eat your heart out. This is beautiful.

Seasons in The Sun – Terry Jacks‘ infuriatingly catchy ballad of doomed teen love gets into your brain like gum. I prefer Franki Valli’s heart-stoppingly lovely My Eyes Adored You.



(They Long to Be) Close To You – The Carpenters
. This is the ten ton truck of crush songs. I wasted several sentences in my novel trying to capture the genius of Karen Carpenter’s voice—molten chocolate etc.—but you only have to hear her opening “Why” to submit utterly. “On the day that you were born, the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true/So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair and golden stardust in your eyes of blue.”

Puppy Love – Donny Osmond. I was a Cassidy fan back in the early Seventies, when you were either a Donny or a David girl, but I have to admit this ballad of teen yearning holds up well and Donny looks better every year. He’s right when he sings that we patronize first love and underestimate its primal power. Here he is at the Ohio State Fair in 1972, with a backing track of screams. Way to go, girls!

–Allison Pearson

Click here to read an excerpt of I Think I Love You, and click here to download the reading group guide. Plus, the gang at Knopf has put together a hilarious (and revealing!) video about teen crushes—click here to watch it, and share your own teen crushes in the comments!