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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
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The Scorpio Races (edition 2011)

by Maggie Stiefvater

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1,6481774,374 (4.21)144
Member:bookwren
Title:The Scorpio Races
Authors:Maggie Stiefvater
Info:Scholastic Press (2011), Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Children's Literature, Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:Celtic

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The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

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Showing 1-5 of 174 (next | show all)
Rarely do I find myself checking the page number near the end of a book and getting sad. I saved the final 20 pages of Scorpio Races to read the next day so the book wouldn’t be over too quickly. This was the kind of book that grew on me. I didn’t know I loved it until I was about a third of the way through. By then, the two characters whose points of view the novel alternates between had become completely real. 6th grade and up. ( )
  KristinAkerHowell | Aug 15, 2015 |
Rarely do I find myself checking the page number near the end of a book and getting sad. I saved the final 20 pages of Scorpio Races to read the next day so the book wouldn’t be over too quickly. This was the kind of book that grew on me. I didn’t know I loved it until I was about a third of the way through. By then, the two characters whose points of view the novel alternates between had become completely real. 6th grade and up. ( )
  KristinAkerHowell | Aug 15, 2015 |
An unexpected delight. Avoid the audiobook.

My battered copy of Scorpio Races originated as a free pick out of Scholastic's classroom book orders, and it seemed to be perfect for my 7th & 8th grade students. It looks exciting, and Scholastic claims it will appeal to the new Maze Runner & Hunger Game fanatics. Unfortunately, not one of the 4 students who attempted to read it could remain interested within the first 30 pages. I gave up recommending/suggesting it, and let it remain on display atop of my bookshelf for the remainder of the year.

A sporadic road trip lead me to the public library to choose from the audiobooks available. I really didn't intend to read this as my to-read list has no allowances for it, but there was almost nothing else from which to choose and there was no time to order something I actually had wanted. It was a rough start. I really dislike the audiobook. Sean's voice was dramatic and intentionally grim sounding at all times. Puck's British accent was delightful at first, but I started to get intensely bored. Had I not had 8 more hours of driving ahead of me, I'd have quit a dozen times. Too much description of the island, the water, the horses (and I am NOT a horse lover!)...I kept thinking....is anything going to HAPPEN IN THIS BOOK? Also, I didn't understand why Puck was racing...I didn't care. I more often than not just kept counting down the minutes, the cds left, the tracks left.... The novel kept me busy for about 6 hours and before I knew it, I was hooked.

When I returned home, I got my paperback copy and finished feverishly. I began to love the characters and probably would have sooner if I had read instead of listened to the actors' interpretations of them. I especially appreciate a developing romance in which both characters are just sincere, honest and willing to participate. So many YA novels have the female or male fighting off, denying, or hiding their feelings, and bravo to Puck and Sean for just going with the flow. There was none of the usual trying to impress the other, employing coy tactics, game-playing, worrying what the other thinks, etc, and it was still believable. It was more adult in that way than a juvenile first love. Puck never acted or felt in a way that was predictable, and almost every character had complex and fascinating motivations for their actions. In the end, I LOVED this book and cried my eyes out.

I can't give it 5 stars because it took as long as it did to get going and because it was more escape than something that is going to affect my perspective for the rest of my life, but I think anyone who lives horses will particularly fall in love with this book. All of the detailed descriptions of taking care of the horses, feeling the horses underneath one's body, etc. were lost on me. Also, I do not recommend this novel to middle school students, as they have shown me already. It requires excellent reading comprehension & vocabulary, and I expect it's more suited for maturer readers. I would've been bored with the lack of action both between characters and in general when I was in middle school as well.

So there you have it. I cannot believe the author also wrote Shiver (which I despised). Had I known ahead of time, and had my road trip been any less daunting, I'd have missed out on this gem entirely.

( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
Oh, how I LOVED this book! Let me count the ways:

1. It was written by Maggie freakin' Stiefvater!

2. It's about horses.

3. Also evil, flesh-eating, faerie water horses. That race.

4. Sean Kendrick.

5. Puck is a fabulously fierce female lead.

6. Maggie Stiefvater gets what it's like to be a true horse person and portrays it oh so accurately. I've read books before that are all like, "This is a story about a girl and her horse" that just don't get it right. At all. This book gets it very, VERY right.

7. Sean Kendrick.

8. Puck's relationship with her brother Finn.

9. Puck and Dove (her horse).

10. Sean and Corr (his evil, flesh-eating, faerie water horse).

11. Corr and Sean (yes, there is a difference between this and the aforementioned relationship. If you're a horse person you'll completely understand this).

12. The island of Thisby and its traditions, culture, and horse loving people.

13. Sean Kendrick.

14. This: "I say, 'I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.' Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, 'It's late for that, Puck.' "

15. The fact that Corr is a big, red, racing machine. He reminds me of my all time favorite horse that was also a big, red, racing machine. Although I'm pretty sure Secretariat wasn't drawn to the sea. Nor did he have a penchant for eating people.

16. Sean Kendrick.

17. November cakes.

18. Horses.

19. Sean Kendrick.

20. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. ( )
  dkgarner95 | Jul 29, 2015 |
This novel was far more than I was expecting based on the title and blurb. While the story does build up towards the race, it is by no means the focus of the story (the race itself only takes up 14 of the 410 pages). Instead, the novel is more of a snapshot, allowing the reader to experience what life is like on Thisby. Stiefvater's attention to detail is nothing sort of staggering, helping add to the panoramic experience and allowing me to feel as though I was actually there.

The novel does a really good job of balancing the supernatural and mundane aspects of the story in a way that allows the story to feel believable. Although the capaill uisce are magical creatures, they don't feel tacked on and are a completely believable part of the world. The vicious and unpredictable nature of the horses help add a level of tension to the story, which in turn made it impossible for me to guess how the novel would end. In the final act of the novel, I just devoured the story. I had no idea who would win (or even survive) the race and therefore I just couldn't put the book down.

Yet it's the characters that really make the story for me. Both Puck and Sean feel like real characters, flawed but ultimately very likable. They could act selfishly (Puck) or insensitively (Sean). Yet they still had noble thoughts at heart. Sean sought his freedom – the chance to live the life of his choice with the capaill uisce that he loves. Puck’s issues are more grounded in the physical, a strong desire to hold her family together and remain on the island that she calls home. Both of the characters are very strong and capable, able to hold their own against people who wish them ill and not afraid to speak their mind. Because of this, I found it difficult to choose who I wanted to win the race and for me, this made the story more effective. While I would be glad for either one to be the victor, it also meant that one of them would have to sacrifice their dreams.

All in all, it's just a stunning novel - even better than Shiver. I can't wait to read more from this author. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Jun 10, 2015 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Marian, who sees horses in her dreams
First words
It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die. (Prologue: Nine Years Earlier: Sean)
People say my brothers would be lost without me, but really, I'd be lost without them. (Chapter One: Puck)
Quotations
You only have to be the fastest of those who are left.
It's easy to convince men to love you, Puck. All you have to do is be a mountain they have to climb or a poem they don't understand. Something that makes them feel strong or clever. It's why they love the ocean.
My mother always said that I was born out of a bottle of vinegar instead of born from a womb and that she and my father bathed me in sugar for three days to wash it off. I try to behave, but I always go back to the vinegar.
The evening sun loves her throat and her cheekbones. (p. 359)
I feel the island underneath me and Sean's mouth on my lips, and I wonder if luck will be on our side today. (p. 373)
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Haiku summary
Capaill uisce are
Race horses with a difference:
Fast and furious.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 054522490X, Hardcover)

Product Description
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Shiver and Linger comes a brand new, heart-stopping novel.

With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world, where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff--with more than just their lives at stake should they lose.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Nineteen-year-old returning champion Sean Kendrick competes against Puck Connolly, the first girl ever to ride in the annual Scorpio Races, both trying to keep hold of their dangerous water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

(summary from another edition)

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