Book Review: All Our Pretty Songs

All Our Pretty Songs
Published By: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Page Count: 240
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal, Mythology

All Our Pretty Songs is a gorgeously written paranormal tale with a heavy sprinkling of Greek mythology. Add in a Pacific Northwest setting (I'm pretty sure it's Seattle, but it's never stated) and you have a recipe for success. I love stories set in the Pacific Northwest; I also appreciated that there is a not a vampire or werewolf in sight. This story deals with something even more chilling.

I liked that I went into this one relatively blind. I knew that the story included paranormal and mythology elements, but I had no idea what to expect beyond that. I loved trying to piece together what sort of beings I was dealing with and I want other readers to have the same experience. I won't tell you what is in store for you, but it was the sort of thing that made shivers run up and down my spine. There were a few parts that seriously freaked me out.

Sarah McCarry's writing is beautiful and I instantly fell in love with her use of language. This reads more like a piece of literature than your typical YA novel which was a nice change of pace. However, there were times when the story was difficult for me to immerse myself into and the characters were not easy to love. In fact, I don't think I really liked any of them. The main character is simply the narrator. She has an identity and I did connect with some of her emotions, but I never truly clicked with her. Her existence is so different from my own and I wouldn't want to trade places with her. All of the characters are damaged on some level. 

This is the sort of story I needed to be in the mood for - it's dark and depressing. There is always a time and place for those stories, but it wasn't the story I needed at the time. That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it - I did - it just wasn't one of my favorites from 2013. I'm also perplexed that this is the first book in a trilogy. I felt like everything was resolved in this novel; it was bittersweet, but I felt like there was closure. I'm interested to see where McCarry will take the story and I do plan to read the upcoming novels. There is a lot of potential and creativity lurking within these pages.

If you're looking for a light paranormal romance, this is not the novel for you. If you're craving something a little darker and more serious, then you need to pre-order. I could see rereading this one in the dark evenings of fall and loving it.

One Last Gripe: I wanted to know more about Cass and Mia's relationship with Minos. 

My Favorite Thing About This Novel: I loved all the musical connections. I couldn't help comparing Jack to the story of Robert Johnson.

First Sentence: Aurora and I live in a world without fathers.

Favorite Character: Raoul

Least Favorite Character: Aurora

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.


  1. This sounds like a very fun premise! Like you, I far prefer a paranormal read without vampires and werewolves (unless very well done) since they are so overdone lately.

    1. It was a beautiful read and a lot deeper than most YA novels. It was a nice change of pace.

  2. I just got this in the mail from GR, I can't wait to read it! Great review(:

    1. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one once you've had a chance to read it.


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