All Our Pretty Songs By Sarah McCarry
Published by St Martins Griffin
2.5 out of 5 Stars
Format: EGalley (Released 30th July 2013 in a variety of formats)
I’ll admit it, it was the cover that pulled me in AGAIN. Its pretty and dark and twisty. So is the book, well maybe not pretty, but dark and twisty ala Meredith Grey (If you don’t get the reference, shame on you).
All Our Pretty Songs is a story of loss, of darkness and the supernatural and of friendship. It is only now that I realize that there is no name for the narrator, which is odd, but kind of fits with the story style. The narrator is best friends with Aurora, their mothers were best friends until a massive argument (the truth behind which is hinted at towards the end of the book) separates them, but the daughters/girls remain each others rocks – their better halves. Much of the first half of the book is reinforcing this bond to the reader, ensuring that the reader appreciates just how connected they are. The girls run wild, drinking, partying, drugs there are no rules in their world and nothing to tear them apart. Then comes the boy, Jack. In a cliche’d YA book the boy would go for the gorgeous best friend, not the ‘nothing’ rocker narrator, but he doesn’t, he goes for the narrator and there’s instalove a plenty. The book then goes in a strange and seriously mind bending direction, its not what you think – its nothing to do with a love triangle of the classical sense, although Jack is integral to the loss of friendship, again not the way you’d think….
I don’t really know what to say other than: HUH?
This is a strange, strange book. I understood it, but not the purpose of it, apparently its the start of a trilogy but it didn’t leave me wanting more, there was no shock or jaw dropping moment, in fact it all felt a little self indulgent. McCarry brought the supernatural in but didn’t use the world in a great way, it was a bit paint-by-numbers. There was nothing original. When you compare her world to something created by Laini Taylor, there is no competition, Taylor’s worlds crush anything in this book.
I didn’t like any of the leads, they were one dimensional and unrealistic. The plot equally so, plus there was the reactions of people – Raoul says to the narrator not to go to the party, that its a dangerous world and gives her a cross, and then after all she sees there, she doesn’t bother to ask him what he knows?! Her mother apparently has had similar relations with the dark side, yet when it all kicks off, she doesn’t seem the tiniest bit bothered, nor does the Narrator ask her!
I really am struggling to give a review that tells you anything about the book, it was a nothing book to me, the writing style was pretty gritty but I felt that McCarry was trying to be too clever and show off her writing skills, as opposed to writing the story as it needed to be told.
I have gone to 2.5 stars (although its nearer 2 than 3) because it was at least a little original, the ending whilst not surprising shows that McCarry isn’t afraid to make the unpopular decisions in her writing and doesn’t feel the need to neaten everything up. There’s promise there as a writer, but this is one series I’m not going to continue with.
ARC/EGalley Kindly provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.