The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Every November is when the Scorpio Races take place. Every November someone dies.

The island of Thisby is kept running from the sheer spectacle of the Scorpio Races. These races occur every November and riders fight for control of their dangerous water horse and the win a gigantic prize. Sean Kendrick is the returning companion and this time he’s determined to win what he most wants: his water horse. Puck Connolly was never meant to ride in the races. But with her home life situation up in the air, she doesn’t have any other choice. However, Puck is the first girl to ever enter the races and no one is prepared for what will happen.

I really enjoyed this story, but there were two things that kept me from giving it five stars. One was all the hate Puck got for being a girl in the Races. Okay fine I get it, first girl to enter. Still doesn’t give people the right to be assholes like that or try to actively cause Puck to be murdered by the water horses. Ugh they were awful (the people, not the horses they were just being murderous). And the second thing was so random and weird:

Puck and her younger brother Finn are talking. And he says “what if I was gay” or something along those lines. How they got on this topic I don’t remember. But Puck told him “If you were gay I would slap you.” So I sit there and made several choice facial expressions, especially a giant WTF one. Cause like??? This coming from the author of The Raven Boys, which is hella gay. I was shook. I am still shook.

Besides those two things, I really loved this story. Puck was ferocious and constantly fighting against gender stereotypes. I admire her so much for sticking up for what she wanted and refusing to cave into her older brother’s ideal for them. Sean was such a soft boy. agh. He presents himself as this aloof loner, but after he and Puck becomes friends I knew he was a goner.

The training and actual race was so much fun! Serious thrills and chills. Also a very bittersweet ending but in the happiest way possible. This book was full of the weirdness and whimsy that is so Stiefvater and for that it will always be a favorite.

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