A Kurt Cobain-Inspired YA Novel? Yes Please. Check Out ‘Dirty Wings’

We've got an exclusive excerpt right here.

If you’re a YA fan who is currently looking to read the polar opposite of “The Fault In Our Stars,” well, do we have a book for you: “Dirty Wings,” by Sarah McCarry.

The prequel to McCarry’s debut YA novel — punk-rock “Orpheus and Eurydice” retelling, “All Our Pretty Songs” — “Dirty Wings” tells the tale of a pair of teenage runaways: ragged, streetwise Cass and her piano prodigy friend Maia. A tangled, unconventional love story, the book follows the two as they find themselves going deeper and deeper into a world of music and evil — along with Maia’s Kurt Cobain-proxy lover — from which they may not be able to extricate themselves.

In case you’re not up on your Nirvana lyrics, both “All Our Pretty Songs” and “Dirty Wings” reference the grunge band in their titles — and with the aforementioned Kurt Cobain proxy who sells his soul to make music and ends up taking his own life.

Intrigued yet?

The book officially drops on July 15, but you can get an exclusive sneak-peek below. Three guesses why we chose this section…

Dirty Wings

Later, they make popcorn and watch MTV, a thing Maia has never done. “What do you mean, you’ve never seen MTV?” Cass says, horrified.

“I’m not really allowed,” Maia says.

“Princess, you are seventeen.”

“You met my mom.”

“I did, yes.” Cass shakes her head. Maia is astonished by the music videos, the men in tight pants moving against animated backdrops. A man eats cereal at a round table in the middle of the desert with a lady in a glittering red headscarf. A man in a white undershirt plays the flute in a tree. More men do a synchronized, hopping dance atop a sand dune. Now, dressed all in white, they carry a black box across the desert. The images are nonsensical, dreamlike.
“What is this?” Maia breathes; she is so agog Cass thinks she will reach out and pet the screen.

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