Rummanah Aasi
  As many of you already know I'm a huge fan of Greek Mythology. I can never get enough of mythological retellings and learning about lesser known deities, which is what drew me to Sarah McCarry's debut novel, All Our Pretty Songs. This review is based on the advanced reader's copy that I received from the publisher via Netgalley.

Description: 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.

Review: An enigmatic, nameless narrator and her best friend, Aurora, have known each other since birth and are close like sisters though they may not share the same bloodline. Their mothers lived together, were best friends, carrying on their intoxicated party lifestyle full of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Their mother's friendship ended when Cass, the narrator’s mother, decided to give it all up when the girls were young and raise her daughter soberly, making a small living as a fortune-telling witch and taking in Aurora whenever the teen’s junkie mom wasn't sober enough to keep her safe. 
  As teens, the narrator and Aurora mirror and compliment each other. Aurora is flighty, sweet, life of the party compared to the narrator's dark, unwelcoming, and goth style. Aurora is trying to fill the void of her dead father who use to be a rock star by taking enough drugs to see if she can feel him on the "other side". The narrator has always assumed the role of Aurora's caretaker, being her rock to anchor her and stabilize her as much as she can. The narrator and Aurora have a unique relationship, one that fringes on familial love and quite possibly something else which is brought to the spotlight when Jack, a mysterious adult guitarist, comes into their lives and the girls' differences come to a head. 
  Before you groan and say "not another love triangle?!" let me assure you that this triangle is not the type we have generally seen thus far. Yes, Jack and the narrator fall in to lust and then eventually love within a matter of days, Aurora doesn't have any interest in Jack but rather is jealousy of the narrator's devoted attention towards him. Aurora has her eye son Jack’s scary boss, a man named Minos, who has an otherworldly air about him that the narrator immediately recognizes. Minos convinces Aurora and Jack that can pursue their dreams and desires if they the small Northwest town for fame in California. 
  For the longest time, I wasn't not sure where the mythology kicked in until about three fourths into the story where Minos is introduced. The myth that McCarry alludes to is not loosely based and hard to grasp. In contrast her narrative is smooth and seductive, peppered with references from authors and philosophers from Rousseau to Block. Though I did have issues with the insta-lust/love between the unnamed narrator and Jack, I do see a running theme of impulsion throughout the story. I wish I got to know Jack a bit more as a character, he never really solidified for me. All Our Pretty Songs is the first book in a planned trilogy which will tell the outcomes of the girls, Jack, and the other secondary characters in this usual paranormal romance story. I would recommend this book to readers who like dark stories featuring the fey, fans of Greek mythology, and those who are looking for a more sophisticated paranormal romance story.  

Rating: 3.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong sexual content, drug use, and language throughout the novel. Recommended for Grades 10 and up.

If you like this book try: Dirty Wings (All Our Pretty Songs #2) *Released in 2014, Tithe by Holly Black, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, or Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath #1)
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    The narrator remains unnamed throughout? Or do we learn her name at some point? That's kind of interesting, it would add a kind of desperation to this read for me, I'd so badly want to know who she is! I'm not loving the insta-love aspect at all, but at least it's not a traditional love triangle, so that's good:) I'm leaving this as a "maybe" Rummanah, you didn't seem blown away by it and I'm in the mood for something completely amazing. Fantastic review as always though!

  2. This never drew my attention before now, but I must admit it sounds dark and alluring. I'm curious about the mysterious narrator, and I'm always drawn to stories that involve Greek mythology. Even though it doesn't become evident until very late in the story, I'll still have to check it out.
    Lovely review.

  3. Candace Says:

    I have seen at least one negative review for this so it's nice to see a balanced one, that has more positive things mentioned. I have felt a bit burnt out on mythology books but since it shows up later it might work for me since we can get invested in the characters before hand.

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