Hello, hello! Since I’ve been struggling to come up with ideas for blog post topics, I’ve been thinking about doing a monthly book review to ease my blog load a bit (I’d still be my usual random self the rest of the time). Maybe the last Wednesday of every month starting in September. Would that be something people are interested in? Of course, I would review more recent books or even ARCs (advanced reader copies of things soon to be released) when I can get my hands on them, because I realize that I’m totally reading older stuff right now. Anyway, feel free to let me know if it’s a completely stupid idea or if a different day would be better or whatever. You can do that here or on my social media pages! Let’s get on with today’s actual topic.
On Sunday, I finished reading The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, which came out in 2011, so I’m late to the party. Anyway, my initial reaction, posted on my personal Facebook, consisted of: Might’ve spent three hours finishing reading a book today. There were probably tears. Strong, manly tears. Definitely not an ugly cry. Okay, maybe a little ugly. To which a friend inquired about what book could inspire such a “glowing recommendation.” I’m so glad I have friends who understand me, even when I ramble about things making me cry. Because I loved this book. Yeah, there were things left loose at the end and stuff I wasn’t entirely sure about, but it’s still one of the best books I’ve read lately.
It’s a YA fantasy, so there’s a lot going on in the background from romance (okay, that’s technically one of the major plot points) to family drama to life on a small island. But the whole reason we get introduced to this world is because Puck’s (the female protagonist’s) brother says “I’m going to do this thing!” and Puck responds with “Well, you can’t because I’m doing this other thing!” without thinking about the consequences. And everyone one the island tries to talk her out of it because she’ll probably wind up dead or they try to intimidate her into not doing it because it’s a man’s sport, but she keeps insisting that she has to do the thing even before it becomes a necessary thing for her to do. Meanwhile, in her head, she’s thinking “Why did I say I was doing the thing? How stupid can I be?” which is really relateable and endearing, especially when the majority of YA protagonists refuse to admit they’re being stubborn idiots. Puck acknowledges it and does the thing anyway.
At the end, I admit that I was left with a lot of questions. What was the point of the subplot between George Holly and Annie? Who was dressed as Epona? What happened to Brian? Because it was looking like there was going to be a little love triangle for a minute there, and then he just disappears. But all of my questions were little things that didn’t really matter in the grand scheme, so I can get past them. Otherwise, the ending was satisfying. You get the feeling that life on the island still goes on, even though it’s a standalone novel, which has kept my thoughts traveling back to Thisby the past few days. But there’s still this sense of closure, like this part of their lives is done and they’re moving forward.
Also, I wanted to mention the writing style. The Scorpio Races was one of those books that feels poetic without using a bunch of words no one knows and without using an excessive amount of words in general. It flows, kind of like the sea. Sometimes, it’s smooth and relaxing while other times it’s short and choppy. In other words, not only was the story itself fun and engaging, but it was easy to read.
Ultimately, I’d rate it a 4.5 out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who likes YA or love stories or horses or good books in general.
Until next time!