Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry

Title: All Our Pretty Songs

Author: Sarah McCarry
Series: Book One in a Planned Trilogy
Published By: St. Martin's (July 30, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 2.5 to 3 Stars

Book Description:
The first book in an exciting YA trilogy, this is the story of two best friends on the verge of a terrifying divide when they begin to encounter a cast of strange and mythical characters.

Set against the lush, magical backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, two inseparable best friends who have grown up like sisters—the charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora and the devoted, soulful, watchful narrator—find their bond challenged for the first time ever when a mysterious and gifted musician named Jack comes between them. Suddenly, each girl must decide what matters most: friendship, or love. What both girls don’t know is that the stakes are even higher than either of them could have imagined. They’re not the only ones who have noticed Jack’s gift; his music has awakened an ancient evil—and a world both above and below which may not be mythical at all. The real and the mystical; the romantic and the heartbreaking all begin to swirl together, carrying the two on journey that is both enthralling and terrifying.

And it’s up to the narrator to protect the people she loves—if she can.

My Thoughts and Review:
I honestly can't tell you if this book is poetic and beautiful or just strange and the inner workings of a mad man. Would it really matter either way?

The author pulls you right into this tale, a tale about a girl I don't even know the name of. I don't think once the narrator's name is spoken and yet, we know everything about her. Every single dark, twisted, thought. Every damaged aspect of her and Aurora's very sad childhood. 

We know everything there is to know about two girls so very similar and so very different that they couldn't be anything other than best friends. 

I could sense the almost Shakespearean feel to the writing, it read more like lyrics to a very sad sonnet. A dark comedy minus the humor of a real play by the master himself.

And while this is very much a tale about horrific monsters and beasts and things that do bump in the night, it is also a tale of love and loss. About letting go and becoming who you are really meant to be. It is also a tale about the true meaning of friendship and survival and not letting go when it is sometimes easier to.

I have heard this is only book one in a planned trilogy and after the ending, I am not sure where the author will go with the story. Will the characters get a second chance? Can they right the wrongs of their past? Are we going to get a whole new tale of terrors and nightmares? A whole new cast of characters and beasts?

I don't know and honestly, I don't know if I want to venture into their world again. While it was lyrical and magical it was also bizarre and dark and not some place I would like to go very often, if at all. 

I am still, as I write this reviews minutes after finishing the story, unsure how I feel about what transpired throughout. I don't know how to honestly rate this one. Master piece or complete madness? 

Maybe I will just let you decide for yourself after you become immersed in the story and into the gothic world that McCarry has created....

*All opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was in no way compensated for this review*


  1. Hm. I'm thinking I'm going to pass on this one:) I love a book that's unique and sometimes strange, but this seems like it might be almost a little too strange and dark, and I think I'm in the mood for something a little lighter and more straightforward. Too bad though, such a pretty cover on this one! Thanks for the lovely review:)

  2. Sometimes the weird books work for me, and sometimes they don't. I don't think this is one I would enjoy much going by your description. So I'll hold off for now unless someone else convinces me I should try it.

  3. This sounds interesting, but probably not like something I would enjoy. Thanks for the great review.

  4. Yeah, this one will definitely not be for everyone.

  5. This reminds me of my experience with Teeth. It was a disturbing book told with beautiful writing but not one that I enjoyed. THis is my first encounter with this one, and I ma going to trust your judgement and pass on this. THanks for the honest review, Ali. Don't roast. Its hot here too!

  6. Oh I remember that one Heidi, yes, very similar!

  7. This sounds unique..i think I would want to sample it before I decide. I love the cover and appreciate your thoughtful review.

  8. Hmm, although you're unsure about this one and you obviously had some issues with it, I must admit I am more than intrigued by how unique and captivating it sounds. I love odd little stories and while it's hard enough to hold my attention these days, I'm thinking this just might.

  9. Thanks Kim!

    @Maja, if you do read it I can't wait to see what you thought about it!

  10. interesting, not sure how i feel about this one yet. I seen it around, but its been on a back burner.