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Guest Mixtape by Sarah McCarry for All Our Pretty Songs

We're so excited to welcome Sarah McCarry (aka The Rejectionist) to share a playlist she made for her debut YA novel, ALL OUR PRETTY SONGS (out July 30!), which retells the Orpheus and Eurydice myth against the backdrop of 1990s Seattle. We loved the book like burning, and can't wait to see the music she's chosen!

When I started writing All Our Pretty Songs I was staying in a little cabin in the woods and my life was falling apart, and I didn't know anything about what was going to happen next or if any of it would turn out okay. Which is not a great place to be in your heart, but it is a good place to be if you are writing about teenagers. There is a lot of music in the book I wrote, music I listened to when I was young and every song was like a door into a world I wanted to live in, a world without the stupid mess of parents and rules and people who knew nothing about you trying to tell you who you were. When I was seventeen what I wanted more than anything else was out, a want so huge I thought it would tear me apart, and the only place that want let go of me for a little while was up front in the pit at shows, sweaty and screaming along, the music loud enough to get me out of my head, my heart, my body.

I have not been seventeen for a long time and you know all those songs anyway, or most of them. That's the music I listen to on the subway or when I am cleaning my house or when I am cross about something and the solution is to pick up the cat and dance her around the apartment, which I find very soothing, although the cat doesn't. The music I listen to when I write now is mostly the kind of music that makes you sad about things that never actually happened. I write best in a state of acute longing. So that is what this music is for, for me anyway, music that is bittersweet and sad and has teeth to it and is about wanting things you don't have, or having things you don't want, or bad decisions, or broken hearts. Some of it is old and some of it isn't. I am happy a lot of the time, too, but that's a different kind of music.

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