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240 pages, Hardcover
Published July 30, 2013
A single note, faint and sweet, travels all the way from the stars to fall lightly to earth, and then another, scattering soft as rain. His music is like nothing I have ever heard. It is like the ocean surging, the wind that blows across the open water, the far call of gulls. It catches at my hair, moves across my skin and into my mouth and under my tongue. I can feel it running all through me. It is open space and mountains, the still dark places of the woods where no human beings have walked for hundreds of years, loamy earth and curtains of green moss hanging from the ancient trees. Salmon swimming against the current, dying as they leave their eggs, birthing another generation to follow the river back to the sea. Red-gold blur of a deer bounding through the woods. Snowmelt in spring, bears lumbering awake as the rivers swell, my own body stirring as though all my life has been a long winter slumbered away and I’m only now coming into the day-lit world. As he plays the party stills. Birds flutter out of the trees to land at his feet and he is haloed in dragonflies and even the moonlight gathers around him as though the sky itself were listening. The music fills every place in my body, surges hot and bright in my chest.
The 17-year-old No-Name Narrator (NN) of this story thinks she's pretty tough. She's spent her whole life taking care of her best friend, Aurora, the poor-little-rich-girl daughter of a dead-by-suicide rock star and a heroin addict, as Aurora flirts with following in her parents' footsteps. But when Jack, a beautiful and talented singer/guitarist, enters their lives, followed by a powerful and creepy music mogul, NN's toughness -- and her love for Aurora -- are tested to their very limits.This books sounds grim and gritty. And it kind of is. NN and Aurora drink, smoke, and sleep around, and this has all been going on so long that it's treated very casually by the narrative -- this is no issue book making a big deal out of teen experiences, good or bad. Instead, this is an incredibly beautifully written, subtle, poetic story about love, desires (sexual and not), and how people lose their souls and (maybe) win them back.
"Do you know what it's like to be a girl pieced together by appetite and impulse?"
- All Our Pretty Songs, p.18