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All Our Pretty Songs

(Metamorphoses #1)

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,227 ratings  ·  317 reviews
This is a story about love, but not the kind of love you think.  You’ll see…

In the lush and magical Pacific Northwest live two best friends who grew up like sisters: charismatic, mercurial, and beautiful Aurora, and the devoted, watchful narrator.  Each of them is incomplete without the other. But their unbreakable bond is challenged when a mysterious and gifted musici
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Tessa It was a little annoying and also annoying that Aurora's dad's name is unknown, but it becomes known in the second book so perhaps the narrators name …moreIt was a little annoying and also annoying that Aurora's dad's name is unknown, but it becomes known in the second book so perhaps the narrators name will as well!(less)

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Faye, la Patata

Have you ever had dreams where they were so surreal and weird that they didn't make sense at all? Those kind of dreams where the most random of things meshed together in a gruesome way, making them visually look like Dali's paintings, except only ten times more bizarre? It's this book. A huge sloppy mess that gave this out-of-the-world feeling, like you're frozen in time and surrounded by distorted faces and deformed objects. I wish I could describe it better, but in a nutshell, this was how
Original review posted on The Book Smugglers

All Our Pretty Songs: an unnamed (and unreliable) narrator, a love story (but not like you expect) and a retelling of the Orpheus myth (but not like you know it).

All Our Pretty Songs: almost too good to be true. How is this a debut work? With this level of awesome prose? And gutsy storytelling? And by gutsy I really mean: simply writing a story that follows young characters who experience life – sex, drugs and rock & roll – in a way that is as real as
Sarah Elizabeth
“This is a story about love, but not the kind of love you think.”

This was a bit of a strange story, but at least it was quick.

Firstly, I don’t like that the main character doesn’t have a name – or rather we’re not told her name, but either way – she’s a human being! She deserves to have a name! So for that reason I’m going to pretend her name is Jane. Anyway, I felt quite sorry for Jane and Aurora in this story, their father’s were completely absent (Aurora’s father was dead through a suicid
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.
Well, I thought this was pretty amazing and I absolutely loved it.
This is one of those times when I'm almost completely stumped as to how to reflect on a work I've read. I debated in my head what I wanted to rate this book because there were times when it had me, there were times it completely lost me, and yet somehow in the go-betweens, I found a way to push through the narrative enough to care where where it went to the end. Note to all, though, I don't think this book will strike home with everyone who picks it up. And I'm wondering just how much of a fit t ...more
monica kim
Jul 02, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars - Boy oh boy, I'm so sad right now because up until 2/3 of the way through this book I was certain it'd be a new favorite. The writing was dreamy and stunning. I loved the depiction of friendship, the weirdness and otherworldly vibe. I think, however, it falters when it begins to make the fantasy elements more literal. It almost felt like a totally different book. ...more
Jessy MelodyofBooks
Hier gehts zur Rezension: ...more
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
‘Aurora and I live in a world without fathers,’ – so begins this tale by an unnamed narrator, about her and Aurora living on the edge until one of them falls in.

Aurora is the daughter of a famous and deceased rockstar; a Cobain-esque legend who left behind a wild daughter and her junkie mother, Maia, in a too big house with plenty of cash but no moorings. Our anonymous narrator is the daughter of Cass, once Maia’s best friend who was there in the rockstar hey-days and saw her best friend decay
Nov 09, 2012 marked it as maybe
Shelves: ya, pub-2013
Pretty cover is pretty.

Jun 02, 2013 rated it liked it

First, what didn't work for me: I don't get why this is a trilogy. The writing is absolutely beautiful and lush and enveloping, but it did remove me as a reader from the story. And there's not a whole lot of story because the story is in the writing. This could have been expanded to be the entire story in one volume and not lost the style at all.

I also do not understand why it's set in the 90s. Maybe because the 90s teen age life is before my own time as a teenager -- I turned 13 in 1997, whi
Jul 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, reviewed
1.5/5 stars

When I first came across this book I was immediately drawn in by the beautiful cover. I loved the colors and vines and was immediately curious as to what it would be about. After reading the synopsis I was definitely intrigued- ancient evil? A world both above and below? I thought it would be right up my alley. However, as beautifully written as this book is, I found myself bored for the majority of the time. I felt there was entirely too much description and found it to be unnecessar
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-galley
Confuzzled. On the one hand the gritty feel in this drew me in. How they’ve only got each other (or at least, how she thought they only had each other). Then there’s how oddly lyrical things went… because of said darkness, it’s moody and descriptive, but at times too much. Points of this, had me questioning the images conjured, was it them tripping in a bad way? (Good) Or was this trying too hard to be atmospheric and whimsical/ fantastical? (Not good.)

That split set aside, this was filled with
Celica Jones
Aug 19, 2013 rated it did not like it

I wish I could give this book zero stars. It's unreadable. I didn't even get a hundred pages in before I started skimming to get to the end. I am glad I did that, but would have preferred never having picked up the book at all. It's pointless, nearly plotless, and a waste of time.

The central characters are Aurora and a nameless narrator. It's a toss up as to which is more annoying. Both are badly written characters - self-obsessed, self-involved, better than everyone else, and so, so gifted
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
this is the book. this is the book i spent my whole adolescence fantasizing that my life was like. i want to live in this book.

Soma Rostam
Jul 02, 2013 rated it liked it

I cannot describe this book. it was so confusing that I don't even know what genre it is. One word comes to my mind. WEIRD. This book was just plain weird. A lot of strange things and an even stranger plot.
What's even stranger is that I don't know the name of the main character in the book. The one who talks in first person. The one that the whole story is about. The author NEVER mentioned the name, so I will go with the initial "A". A and Aurora have been friends since forever. They did every
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On Ageless Pages Reviews!

"Do you know what it's like to be a girl pieced together by appetite and impulse?"
- All Our Pretty Songs, p.18

This review is probably going to end up quite short -- I don't have a lot to say about All Our Pretty Songs and almost none of what I do have to say is good.

All Our Pretty Songs has a great premise. It also can boast some truly amazing prose. When the mood strikes/the planets align/etc,. McCarry can create some truly visual and lo
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
As I started to read this novel, I found myself engulfed and enraptured by both the descriptive language and the relationship that seemed to exist between the two main characters; Aurora and our Narrator. We aren't given a name for the eloquent and artistic Narrator, whose words and experiences lead us through the tangled maze of this story.

At first, that is to say, for the first two-thirds of this novel, I thought I was reading an amazing coming of age tale; a story similar in vein to _The Out
i need to reread this soon all of it was so much
Apr 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry
Book One of a trilogy
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Rating: 1 star
Source: eARC from NetGalley

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 eve
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
This has some really lovely writing but I felt it needed more of a denouement.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I’m finding it hard to, well, find the words to convey how amazing, brilliant, wonderful this book was.

All Our Pretty Songs is a reworking of the Orpheus myth, the story of when he goes to the underworld to save his beloved wife. But it’s not just her lover the narrator has to save, but her best friend too. But what if they don’t want to be saved?

It’s hard to tease out what I enjoyed, because it is so irrevocably bound up together. It’s like, the writing was lush and lovely because of the heart-
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Judging by other reviews, this is largely a love-it-or-hate-it book. It's not hard to see why -- the stream-of-consciousness-like narration, the nameless protagonist, the quiet shift into the paranormal and surreal.

To be honest, the only thing that really bothered me is that this turned out to be not a standalone but the first installment in a trilogy. I like it when things don't end tidily for the characters. I like it when love is not the be all and end all, when characters make mistakes and d
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: grunge fans, fantasy fans, literary fiction fans
All Our Pretty Songs, Sarah McCarry's YA debut, is one of my favorite novels of the year. Set in modern-day Seattle, it tells a story of friendship, love and loss in haunting, lyrical prose. The nameless narrator tells us her story and that of her best friend, Aurora, who is not-so-subtly a fictionalized Francis Bean Cobain (the late Kurt Cobain's daughter). This is literary fantasy at its most beautiful.
Grunge references abound in this novel, including its title (from the lyrics of Nirvana's "I
Neil (or bleed)
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
One word: WEIRD.

In the first place, I assume that this will be a fast read but I'm afraid it's not. I found it hard to devour every bit of this book maybe because of the writing style which is somehow lyrical in nature (though really amused me) or I'm just used to simple writing style lately.

Chapter 1 was very long. Descriptive. The narrator managed to tell the past. Quite boring. Hints were the story will lead through, bubbled under.

Chapters 2 to 5, though quite short now, were still quite con
Mar 29, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an okay read, although at times I did feel bored or confused. I felt more bored in the first half as very little happened, but more confused in the second half.

I'm glad this didn't feel that long.
Wendy Darling
Beautiful writing, but unfortunately, slight in story.

Full review is on the blog:
Sherry Ann
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: both gender in grade 7 & up
Basically, the book is about two girls who share a special connection with each other, almost like sisters. Then, a musician named Jack comes, and with the power of his voice, attracts not just both girls but a dark mythical figure. Suddenly, both girls must decide whether their friendship is strong enough to keep them together. The plot itself was not all bad, but there were some parts of the book that gave no excitement and instead were very dull and monotonous.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful prose. I appreciate that friendship is more important than gender in this book. (view spoiler) not sure what to say about this book besides that I loved it. And now I have a lot of new bands I need to listen to. ...more
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
A song of love and sadness... One can go after one's love and do whatever it takes to get there but after that its not in one's hand. Some times we get our desire, other times we have to learn to let go gracefully, even if we are stubborn things.
Its a story of two friends cum sisters, Aurora and her sturdy babycakes... Music, fallen glories, Jack and Death.
Death that seperates us and make us come together too.
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Sirens Conference: All Our Pretty Songs 1 17 Jan 25, 2017 09:29AM  

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I'm Sarah McCarry. The Rejectionist is my blog. I was born in Seattle and live in Brooklyn. I write books and eat a lot of dumplings. I like fomenting insurrection, crushed velvet, and getting in trouble. ...more

Other books in the series

Metamorphoses (3 books)
  • Dirty Wings (Metamorphoses, #2)
  • About a Girl (Metamorphoses, #3)

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