PAGES: 272

TRIM SIZE: 5.5 X 8.25

ISBN: 978-1-61620-666-6

LIST PRICE: $17.95


Keep your eyes open . . . your head down . . . and your love secret.

Sarah Jac Crow and James Holt have fallen in love working in the endless fields that span a near-future, bone-dry Southwest, a land that’s a little bit magical, deeply dangerous, and bursting with secrets. To protect themselves, they’ve learned to work hard and—above all—keep their love hidden from the people who might use it against them. Then, just when Sarah Jac and James have settled in and begun saving money for the home they dream of near the coast, a horrible accident sends them on the run. With no choice but to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch, the delicate balance of their lives begins to give way—and they may have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.

All the Wind in the World is a breathtaking tale of dread and danger, romance and the quest for redemption.

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
BookExpo Young Adult Editors’ Buzz Panel Pick
Fall 17 Kids’ Indie Next Pick

Read an Excerpt

          I look down the row at James. Even with the hard gusts of wind and dust blowing in his face, he’s working at twice my speed. He’s strong. His muscles have memorized this work. Mine have, too, but James is different. He has this focus. He cuts the plants like they’re his enemy, but he’s calm about it. He never stops working to wipe the sweat and dirt from his eyes. He says he doesn’t really think about the sun or discomfort when he’s cutting. He thinks about other things.

          When I ask James what “other things” he thinks about he just smiles that ragged, brilliant smile of his.

          James and I could work in these fields, doing the same thing every day, for the rest of our lives. More than half the continent is desert now, from the Mississippi River to the Pacific. Much of the South has started to dry up, too, or so I’ve heard. Maguey grows quickly in the dry climate, and water is scarce and not to be trusted. Much of what’s left is salty, unfiltered, and full of the dust-remains of dead fish and birds. Alcohol, like mescal or pulque, on the other hand, is clean and safe; it burns away impurities.

          Ranches like this one, just outside Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, are the new lifeblood of the country. Here there are hundreds of hectares of fields reaching past the train tracks and toward the mountains. These fields provide the raw material that will lead to millions of gallons of alcohol. James and I could hop trains, moving from ranch to ranch, following the harvest, always smelling like dried sweat and feeling sticky from maguey sap, for years, decades even, until our bodies give out. We’ve seen it happen: older men or women, their muscles cramped into angles, their skin baked to their bones, stop cutting and just . . . sit. No amount of shouting from the foremen or pleading from the other jimadors will make them move. Eventually, they’re hauled up by their armpits and tossed in the back of a truck with the maguey hearts. We don’t see them again. The foremen tell us they are taken, along with the milk-white hearts that have piled up like severed heads, to the factories, and that they work there, in relative comfort, indoors and out of the sun. I don’t know if this is true. There’s no telling where those people go. The desert is a big place.

          This is not our plan—to be old bones in the desert. Our plan involves saving up enough money so that we can catch a train that takes us far away from these fields, all the way to the East Coast, where James and I can open our own ranch, not for cutting maguey but for breaking horses. We’ll go and dip our feet into cold ocean water whenever we want. We’re young; we still have time. We work smart. We work fast.

          I hear the man beside me grunt, so I turn to face him. He’s stopped cutting again and now has his foot braced against the side of a maguey plant. His coa blade is stuck in the heart, and he’s attempting to dislodge it by wiggling the handle side to side as if trying to free a loose tooth. A combination of the wind and shifting his weight to his bad leg causes him to fall to the earth and let out a muffled curse.

          I set down my tool and go over to grip his. With a cut this deep, the plant is ruined, so I work to save the tool. The wood starts to strain as I push on the handle, and I think for a moment it’ll snap. I throw all my weigh into it anyway, and the blade pops free, accompanied by a sucking sound. A fist-sized hunk of the maguey heart soars through the air in a short arc and lands at my feet.

          I help the man to stand and hand him back his coa.

          “If you cut too deep like that,” I say, “you’ll destroy the heart. You want to use your blade like it’s a paring knife, and you’re trying to slice the orange part off an orange. No more.”

           “I know how to cut maguey,” he mutters.

          I don’t get the chance to reply because some jimadors farther down the row have started shouting.

          “Down!” I hear them cry out. “Get down!”

          I turn slowly, my stomach dropping, and see the storm: a hazy, rust-colored curtain extending from the ground to the sky. Its roar is a dull moan now, but it’s building fast. Within seconds, it’ll crash down on all of us.


“Impossible to forget . . .  A gripping, fablelike story of a love ferocious enough to destroy and a world prepared to burn with it.”—Booklist, starred review

“A fierce new world with high stakes, where complicated romantic relationships linger beyond the end of the book.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“The grit and dust can almost be felt on the pages through Mabry’s evocative, searing prose.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“A gracefully written, mysterious, sometime painful romance that will draw readers into the unique setting immediately. It is a slow burn, carefully building a beautiful, dangerous world that the characters and readers strive to understand.”—VOYA, starred review

"Mabry's lyrical writing sizzles with the same heat as the relentless desert sun. The setting of All the Wind in the World is refreshingly unique, but the main character's feelings of love and longing are universal. Remarkable."
-April Genevieve Tucholke, author of Wink Poppy Midnight

"I inhaled All the Wind in the World in one sitting. Mabry's language and imagery are just beautiful.Teen readers are going to be turning pages at the speed of light to see if and how these young lovers survive the danger and mystery of the Real Marvelous Ranch."
-Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books

"A wild, dangerous and beautifully atmospheric book."
-Nancy Banks, City Stacks Books and Coffee

"Readers who pick up Samantha Mabry's All the Wind in the World for a good romance will be astounded (and thrilled) at the complexity and suspense of this page turning wonder. I couldn't put it down, and marveled as I was pulled deeper and deeper into the ever more twisted and dangerous plot! James and Sarah Jac create amazing tension and you will hold your breath all the way to the surprising, yet satisfying conclusion!!"
-Laura Donohoe, Spellbound Children's Bookshop

"All the Wind in the World has a heat and violence not common in a young adult novel. Mabry combines magical realism, barren post-apocalyptic landscapes, and romance to create a story truly unique and memorable. She's taken what she did so well in A Fierce and Subtle Poison and topped herself with characters and prose that are so very alive."
-Consuelo Hacker, BookPeople (Austin)

"Samantha Mabry's sophomore novel is as richly imagined as her first. Readers will feel the grit of the desert sand and the heat of the unforgiving sun as distinctly as Sarah Jac's undeniable longing and regret. Haunting and intensely moving, this story lingers."
-Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books

"All the Wind in the World is truly a book unlike anything I've read. This book is a Southwestern romance that is rocked by both nature and by others surrounding it. Mabry takes a look at how whisperings become legends, and how love and necessity can sometimes cancel each other out. LOVED IT."
-Rachel Strolle, Anderson's Bookshop

Meet the Author

Photo Credit: Laura Burlton Photography


Samantha Mabry grew up in Texas playing bass guitar along to vinyl records, writing fan letters to rock stars, and reading big, big books, and credits her tendency toward magical thinking to her Grandmother Garcia, who would wash money in the kitchen sink to rinse off any bad spirits. She teaches writing and Latino literature at a community college in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband, a historian, and her pets, including a cat named Mouse. She is the author of the novels A Fierce and Subtle Poison and All the Wind in the World. Visit her online at samanthamabry.com or on Twitter: @samanthamabry.