Samstag, 28. Juni 2014

BOOK REVIEW: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Okay, okay, I know what you're thinking... She finally updates her blog after 3 months with a book review??!?
I can't believe it either, HA. But here I am, talking about this freaking book because it is just so. good.
Let's get started, shall we?

First of all, the cover:
It looks gorgeous, doesn't it? Way better than Maggie's other covers.

To be honest, I didn't really read the book; I stumbled upon the audiobook version in my local library while I had a free period and after hearing so many good things about Maggie Stiefvater's writing I thought why the heck not. Usually I don't really listen to audio books (mainly because I only heard one and the narration was awful) but I thought I would give it a try. My friend (who was also at the library then) always tells me to listen to audiobooks, since it's a good method to catch up on books while being busy (which I admit, I am often lately... finals and stuff D:).
Surprisingly the narration wasn't as bad as I expected. The book was narrated by two narrators from two POVs: our heroes Sean Kendrick and Kate "Puck" Connolly.

The Scorpio Races is based on the eich uisce (I had to google that, apparently they are Celtic water horses), who live in the ocean near the fictional little island Thisby. Every year the localscapture these horses to participate at the Scorpio Races, basically horse races at the beach. The story revolves around Sean Kendrick, a fourth time winner, and Kate "Puck" Connolly, a rookie. Both having their own reasons to participate in this race, they eventually get to know each other... 
Basically, it's a story about man-eating horses and some human drama :)

Can I just get a HELL YEAH for no insta-love? It just gets so rare in the YA-wonderland, I'm going to cry. The relationship between the main characters is well-developed; there is no instant love at first sight, which I really appreciate. Slowly developed relationships are just a guilty pleasure of mine, mainly because I can't get around the idea of being romantically attracted at first glance - it's just impossible for me to imagine. For me, to love someone is to know him/her first, and you can't do that in 0.2 seconds.

Kate is not your typical YA heroine: She's not "badass" in the traditional sense, meaning she doesn't actively kicks ass or is stronger than our male hero. But instead she's just really fun and snarky without being labelled as "dumb". Since her parents were murdered by the capaill uisce, she's also incredibly loyal to her two brothers: her older brother wanting to escape their home island while she's left, caring for her younger brother. So in order to get him to stay a bit longer in Thrisby, she decides to participate in the Scorpio Races - but with a normal .... 
Through the whole story she gets so much sexist crap from the locals, since she's the first woman to ever participate in the race, that I can't help but admire her positive attitude. She's just so lovable. 
Why she decides to be called Puck instead of her real name Kate is beyond me, but that's another story.

Meanwhile Sean Kendrick seems like your typical YA angsty hero with a dark past, but WAIT! He also has a warm side towards his capaill uisce and actually treats Puck with respect... what?! Yes, that's right, our main hero is not abusive, sexist or degrading towards his girl! Can I just get a round of applause for Maggie? I just love how she handles his character and how he gets to know and be in love with Puck. There's nothing special that binds them, just your average real life!couple development without some soulmates bullshit - maybe that's why I appreciate it. He just seems like your average 19-year-old in love. 
While being subtly sweet towards Puck, Sean also has a rather blunt, but closed-up personality. Some may not really like it, but I think it works really well in this little world Maggie created; after deaths and deaths by those killer water horses, there's really nothing to sugarcoat.

Speaking of little world, Maggie manages to pull off the atmosphere of Thrisby without overcaking it. She just really has a constant descriptive writing style, in which I personally can imagine it existing somewhere in the world. 
The whole book comes to me more like a coming of age story, rather than a YA book. The characters exist with a reason: For example the American whose name I forgot who seems to be always around Sean. His existence, I believe, was to remind the reader of the huge difference between Thrisby and the mainland (which is not mentioned directly, I just assumed he was American). Same goes with other characters, whose existence always serve a purpose... when would you see that in a modern YA book? The way Maggie handles her characters reminds me of coming of age books from the 19th century (like Great Expectations). The book in general has a rather timeless feel to it; If I would read the book again in 10-20 years and I definitely would've still enjoyed it.

I give this book 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Actually I plan to get a physical copy, since it's a YA book that I really enjoyed, but sadly my wallet doesn't always agree with my plans... There are so many books I plan to buy, but do I shit money? 
Sadly, no. 

On the side note, how did you enjoy my little book review? I know it's nothing professional, since I am neither a writer myself nor do I have great experience in reviewing books, but it was really fun putting all my thoughts of this book into words. The review was actually long overdue, I finished The Scorpio Races almost two weeks ago. I may or may not continue with these reviews/talks, depending on my mood and whether I read any books or not, since my I should be studying for my finals right now instead of procastinating as always.
Until then you can follow me on my goodreads account, which is my latest daily addiction for avoiding boredom or work haha.

For the next days there should be a blogpost about the World Cup coming up, also possibly about my korean boygroups other guilty pleasures.

Until then, Nana out!

1 Kommentar:

  1. I'm super glad that you enjoyed this one, Nana! I LOVE Stiefvater but am so put of from trying this one because...horses. I just don't think I have the capacity to read about animals (weird, right?) I'm so jealous of your amazing audiobook experience. I've audiobooked about 3 times now and each has been a DNF. It's horrible. I can't keep with the narrators because they either bore me, or annoy me. A healthy relationship WITHOUT insta!love? Holy moly, count me in. This sounds EXACTLY what I need to be reading (minus the horses). One day, I tell you....Fantastic review! x