When someone asks me what all the hullaballoo about YA is these days, I don't start by talking about Twilight or The Hunger Games, I talk about how there is Literature, with a capital L, being written for young readers, books that are both accessible and fun to read but full of meaning, beautiful prose and depth. It's an incredibly exciting time to be a reader, and I'm so jealous of all the Kids These Days.
Case in point are the books by my good friend Sarah McCarry, first her incredible debut All Our Pretty Songs, but even more especially the prequel Dirty Wings.
Dirty Wings is about the deep, intense friendship of the mothers of the main characters in All Our Pretty Songs, when they were teenagers with hopes and dreams and confusions, and it's told with such beauty and precision.
But hey, don't take my word for it, here's what Kirkus had to say (in a starred review, naturally):
Looking to see what all the YA hype is about? READ THIS.The prose is exquisitely crafted, moving effortlessly from dizzying to heartbreaking. Each setting—an exhaustingly filthy punk house, the New York street where Maia’s hermitlike father suddenly comes to life, the Mexican beach town where the girls’ road trip ends—is vibrantly constructed through careful detail and spare but evocative prose.A breathtaking companion volume, fully readable on its own and devastating in the context of its predecessor.