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Dirty Wings: A Novel (All Our Pretty Songs) Hardcover – July 15, 2014

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Product Details

  • Series: All Our Pretty Songs
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (July 15, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250049385
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250049384
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #546,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“[A] lyrical stand-alone prequel…The prose is exquisitely crafted, moving effortlessly from dizzying to heartbreaking…A breathtaking companion volume, fully readable on its own and devastating in the context of its predecessor.”—Kirkus (starred review)

“McCarry’s hauntingly beautiful, darkly poetic language is her strength, and a sense of magical realism pervades the narrative throughout.” —School Library Journal

“Exhilarating.” —VOYA

"Sarah McCarry's strange and gorgeous punk fairytales make magic accessible and imbue the everyday with the weight of myth. A joyous and heartbreaking journey to the dangerous crossroads of friendship and love, Dirty Wings left me in awe."—Bennett Madison, author of September Girls

"We all talk about the next Francesca Lia Block, but Sarah McCarry is it.  This is the kind of fevered and subversive story that teenage girls will pass around.  Sarah McCarry is the patron saint of girls on the edge."—Erica Lorraine Scheidt, author of Uses for Boys

Praise for All Our Pretty Songs

"McCarry's beautifully rich narrative is smooth and seductive...effortlessy dropping references to authors from Rousseau to Block...Goths and romantics both will eagerly await the second installment of this suspenseful planned trilogy."—Booklist (starred review)

“Haunting, otherworldly and heartbreaking.” —Kirkus (starred review)

All Our Pretty Songs is a gorgeous, haunting tale of love and loss that manages not only to be deeply passionate, but desperately tender. The prose melts in your mouth.” —Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series

About the Author

Sarah McCarry was born in Seattle and lives in Brooklyn. She is the recipient of a MacDowell Colony fellowship and has written for Glamour, The Stranger newspaper, the Rumpus, and Tor.com. She is the editor and publisher of Guillotine, a nonfiction chapbook series focused on revolutionary nonfiction.    

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Customer Reviews

Either I read fast or it was a bit short.
As it happens, and despite being number two - or perhaps because it was quite evidently a big number two - this novel goes nowhere and nothing of note happens.
Amazon Customer
Cass is the complete opposite of Maia in many ways, but she didn’t help me make sense of Dirty Wings anyway.
Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on August 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Although the story of the "good girl gone bad" may be a bit played out at this point, it seems to work effortlessly in Sarah McCarry's DIRTY WINGS.It's essentially the story of two 17-year-old girls, each lost in her own way, who find solace in one another. Maia is the picturesque suburban princess who, like many of her kind, was cursed with a dreadfully narrow idea of both her life and the world around her. She is on a straight path to what her pretentious mother and overwhelmingly embittered piano teacher call "success," all the while completely oblivious to what she really wants. Fortunately, she meets Cass, a tough, street-smart rug rat of a girl who's been through more than most teenagers can imagine. When these two fractured souls unite, they feel an undeniable pull towards each other. Maia learns more from Cass in a few months than she's learned throughout her entire life. Soon, they become as thick as thieves (literally), and Maia has become an entirely different person both inside and out.

Obviously, this isn't just some happy-go-lucky story of two unlikely friends. Sure enough, obstacles arise, including Cass's reoccurring dreams of a skeleton man with eyes as black as night, and a dreamy young rocker boy who seems to have his piercing blue eyes set on ripping Maia from Cass's grasp. What exactly does this skeleton man want? I don't know. And will rocker boy succeed? I don't know that either. The book ends with a cliffhanger that leaves the reader dying to know the rest of Cass and Maia's story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. DIRTY WINGS is a prequel to ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS, and I cannot WAIT to read that book. The characters of Maia and Cass are amazingly complex, and their friendship is equally so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christal on July 25, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Dirty Wings answered questions from All Our Pretty Songs that I didn't even know I had! I mean that in a good way; it addressed situations and issues that I didn't realize were so meaningful in the first book, giving it much deeper layers. Though it seemed less fantastical than the debut, Dirty Wings was definitely an important chapter in the overall story and helped ground two characters that were more secondary in the previous book. Though this book could be read as a standalone, the experience will be much richer if you read both. This prequel novel was so good that it made me dig out the previous book so I could give it another once over.

Cass and Maia were the mothers of the main characters in All Our Pretty Songs and we learned a little about them and their strained friendship, but not much about their history. Dirty Wings is their story and the events here lay the groundwork for the previous book. Maia was a sheltered piano prodigy -- adopted and provided for but never certain if she was actually loved. Cass was a runaway, scraping by on the streets. You wouldn't think they had anything in common, but a decision to steal away one summer created a lifetime friendship. As Maia ran from her parents, their expectations, and her music, Cass was just content to be with her. They have a pretty idyllic summer, going from concert-to-concert, beach-to-beach, and popping pill after pill. They are happy and carefree and secure in their friendship until Jason appears and draws Maia away. Now Cass is on the outside looking in and she can't help feeling jealous. One bad choice could cause her to lose everything that she loves...

I loved following the developing friendship and love between Maia and Cass.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kiki Deister on July 15, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The first book in this series, All Our Pretty Songs, was a book that appealed to me for its uniqueness. It was a weird and often disturbing read and those flavors extended to this book, a prequel of sorts. It answered so many questions, even questions that I didn't even always know that I had!

This is the story of Cass and Maia, the mothers from the first book. In AOPS, there was a lot of wondering about why these two were the way the were, what made them into the people that they were. These girls come from such different worlds. One came from a privileged life with all the opportunities in the world. The other came from a disadvantaged home, with little of even the most basics of things. Against all odds, they bond, even if that bond is often dark and always codependent.

The story goes back and forth from the beginning of their friendship to the present time in that book, all of it before the timing of the second book. That back and forth really illuminates the changes the girls go through, the way their lives transform over time. Like the first book, the story is dark and disturbing, painful and raw.

Although this is part of a trilogy, it is an odd trilogy. The first book is set considerably into the future from the second. There is still a gap in time between the time of the second and that of the first. I am hoping that the next book will cover that time because I think there is still a lot of story to tell between Cass and Maia.

Things to love...

--The unique style to the story. It feels like a chemically altered reality and it is fascinating!

Things I wanted more/less of...

--The paranormal aspect. The blurb touts this series as an epic story of the battle between good and evil.
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