All Our Pretty Songs by Sarah McCarry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An intriguing, dark tale about two teenagers with mythological connotations, an evocative Pacific Northwest setting, and characters who are products of the punk and grunge scene, including the main characters Aurora (based on a combo Frances Bean, Kurt Cobain's daughter, an imagined daughter of Jimi Hendrix, and Edie Sedgwick?) and Maia, her best friend. Aurora is the daughter of a deceased rock star who owns the town. She is a tragi-glamorous figure whom Maia, the daughter of Aurora's mother's ex-best friend (they were groupies back in the day) loves and protects until Jack, an incredible, mysterious musician comes along. They are both pulled towards him, but in different ways: Maia is in love with him, and Aurora shares his need for darkness to survive.
Can Maia have her best friend and the man she loves? Or is this asking too much? Where does Maia end and Aurora begin? How will Maia survive without Aurora?
Lots of connections to mythology in this book: passage into Hades, Faust, Mephistopheles, and, in the person of Jack, the romantic lead, the blues musician Robert Johnson
Compelling and dramatic
Themes of friendship, love, music and race (Aurora and Jack are black)
The jacket illustration is whitewashed (a white character is depicted instead of a black character for commercial purposes: this is an unethical practice that publishers engage in because they believe that picturing black characters on book jackets limits the audience)
It is the beginning of a series and I find them too much of an investment: I feel like I have to buy every book in a series for the library, when in reality the reading curve goes like this: the first book gets read x number of times. The second book gets read half as many times. The third gets reads half as many times as the second one--basically no one reads it.
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