logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: The-Scorpio-Races
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
review 2017-01-11 00:00
The Scorpio Races
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater
"Tell me what it's like. The Race."
"What it's like is a battle. A mess of horses and men and blood."


Too bad that's not actually what the book is about, at least not 95% of it.

Before reading this book I didn't understand why those I follow gave this book low ratings when it has such a good premise. How can anyone, especially an author that is respected in this genre, ruin it? Surely people were being extra harsh. I just didn't get it.

Now I do.

You can totally fuck up a fantastic idea by not actually bringing it into the book until the very last few pages of it. Which is what MS did. You thought this would be an exciting read? HA. Joke's on you, readers.

This is the story of a girl who decides to join a deadly race of horses with rabbies for a crap reason (which becomes a slightly more okay reason by mere coincidence once she had already joined) and then proceeds to WASTE her time away before the races, moping, going around describing streets, rooms and clothing and the incredibly dull island she lives in, wondering about other people's lives, wondering about Sean Kendrik, november cakes, houses and farms...oh, and being angry at her brother.

You thought you'd see some exciting moments as she *prepares* for the races. HA, WHO NEEDS PREPARING WHEN YOU'RE A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE WITH A FIERY PERSONALITY.

HARD WORK IS FOR LOSERS.

Okay, deep breaths.

This book promises so much and delivers so little, if at all.

I don't understand the high ratings from other readers, I truly don't. The writing is nothing special, the characters are bland and uninteresting, the plot moves painfully, oh God, excruciatingly slow, and the Scorpio races don't even happen until the last couple of chapters of the book (which, on its own, is not a bad thing, except that the races took a backseat to other irrelevant scenes and minor plots for 90% of the book, that's insane), and the romance is absurd, ABSURD. There's no chemistry between *Puck* (btw, shit nickname that she says she doesn't care for but then insists other people call her that) and Sean, there's nothing there but the author forcing them to have something when she didn't bother to build anything solid for these two characters to base their "relationship" on. Listen, I usually don't mind insta-love, a lot of YA has it and I've made my peace with it because it can be good, even great if handled properly. But Puck and Sean don't even have that insta-love spark other book couples do, they meet, they seem indifferent to each other, they speak a couple of times (not even profound talks, at that) and then they're kissing and Sean is risking Corr and his future for this girl who didn't even bother to actually train before the races?

This book was a HUGE let down. It felt like a waste of time and I kept hoping it would get better because I had the same feel of boredom and nothing happening when I was reading "The Raven Boys" but then it picked up and things got so good I forgot about the painfully slow first couple of chapters. Sadly, nothing of the sort happened in the Scorpio Races, it just got worse, picked up the pace a lil bit at the end and then it was over and I was furious.

The ending, which was kind of okay (and the sole reason I added a star to my original rating) was cut off abruptly, as if the author couldn't be bothered to give you an interesting moment for all your effort of sticking with this mess of a plotless story.

Now, I know it makes sense that the races would take place toward the end of the book as it is what the whole story is supposedly building up to, the problem is... that wasn't really the case? You can't say there was any build up as Puck didn't even bother to actually get ready for the races.

We spend over 300 hundred pages of the book reading about Puck doing everything BUT prepare, if she even TRIED training a couple of times, that's a couple of times too many. Instead, we have to read 300+ pages of Puck complaining about her brother's imminent departure, how poor and hungry she is, having random/irrelevant flashbacks, and describing her surroundings in painful detail even if NOTHING was happening. Wait, but she was watching other people actually train, which the author makes a point of mentioning is just as important, probably because she was too lazy to actually write an action scene.

Puck's negligence towards the races was infuriating. Then a day or two before the races, and ONLY through Sean's advise, is she like "Oh, yeah, I should probably train on the beach and get used to the other horses around me" .... TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE, moron... and it was just that, because conviniently (God forbid we get some exciting moments before the actual races) something happens and she's robbed of that last training day. UGH.

Maybe my anger is too fresh for me to be writing this review but I just know if I leave it for another time I won't bother at all, because part of me thinks this book doesn't even deserve the effort.

I'll just list off the problems I had with this book.

1- Puck Connolly and how different and special she thought she was with her nickname, and her abusing that damn trope that makes a girl in tune with what boys think just because she grew up with brothers *rolls eyes*, her crap initial reason to join the races (and btw, why did she want her brother to stay longer if they talked a grand total of two times before the races anyway, what was the damn point?) and the fact that she didn't bother to prepare for them and still won . Screw that so much. Also, what was with that ominous first bit of the book when she makes a big deal about being a Connolly. Her family was no more special than any other on that island so why the big speech about Connolly's coming first and how they were different. Oh right, Special Snowflake syndrome, I almost forgot.

"I'd always thought I was above being fascinated by anyone but myself"


Puck in a nutshell.

2. Gabe Connolly and his weak reason for wanting to leave, and just being a crap brother and excuse for the MC to do something stupid.

3. Finn is just there to fill up space. Actually, several characters are there for the sake of being there and probably just helping the author fill the book with more about nothing. Perhaps his sole purpose was doing that one thing at the end of the book that made him slightly relevant. I liked him but I don't see why he was absolutely needed.

4. Puck is the only girl her age we ever see around. Every other woman is older. What's up with that? Maybe she should've been given another sister if we absolutely had to have the extra characters, right? Or maybe a best friend. Oh but that would make her too normal and girly. Who needs more girl characters standing up for themselves and changing the rules when Puck is more than enough for the entire island? My bad.

5. The races. The races make no damn sense, they're just there for the sake of of deadly entertainment, which is what any dull island needs, and probably for bringing tourism and money to the dull people of the dull island (which the characters address and try to make the races sound like they're so much more than that, yet the story doesn't really provide anything substantial to think otherwise). The rules around the horses and the whole spitting deal and drawing lines on the sand seemed more like the author dumping random ideas that had no real reason behind them. They were weak, uninteresting and ridiculous (especially the spitting bit).

6. The romance. Or rather the fact that there was actually none and they didn't really interact until halfway through the book, spoke a couple of times, had a couple of dull moments together and then suddenly, because fuck logic, they will do anything for each other and Sean would RISK his beloved horse so that the idiot girl would have a chance in the races.

7. The ending. The fact that a lot of those people put time and effort into taming their horses, actually preparing and risking their lives, just so Puck could win on the author's whim. If anything, at least Sean should have won. But who cares about hard work and consistency when you're the main character and a GIRL against stupid men who treat you as an inferior. Winning through sheer dumb luck and fiery righteousness will show them.

I don't recommend this book to anyone. Not unless you have the patience of a saint, and don't mind only a few pages of action.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2016-10-16 00:34
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater I just finished this. I like the plot alright. I really like Sean and George and Puck (in that order) and the relationship between Sean and Puck, and Sean and George (in that order). Sometimes i liked the writing, but more often i thought it was confusing. I don't think i like how it ended. It didn't seem right to me, but i don't want to spoil it, so i won't say any more. Mostly, i'm angry with Maggie Stiefvater because she can't make up her mind on how to pronounce "capaill uisce". I'm reading the book and i keep coming across this phrase and i don't know how to pronounce it, but i'm patient, so i keep reading. And i keep reading. And i keep reading. And i keep reading. (Surely, she's going to enlighten me any page now...) Finally, i ask Forvo how the heck to pronounce this phrase because, up 'til this point, i'd been pronouncing it my own way (which was wrong). And then i reach page 83 and she finally tells us that it's pronounced "copple ooshka". Page eighty-three, though? Really? It'd be better for her to not tell readers how to pronounce it at all if she's going to wait that long to tell us. By page 83, i imagine most readers will have already chosen their own way to pronounce it. So, i was ticked off with her about that and then i read some of the extra stuff in the back. On page 406, she tells us it's pronounced "CAPple ISHka" which is definitely different than "copple ooshka". Then, on page 418, she writes "As Sean tells George Holly, 'copple ishka'". No, Maggie, Sean told George "copple OOshka". Make up your mind. (And, technically, Sean didn't "tell" George that; that's just how we're told that George pronounced it.) Also, she waited a heck of a long time to tell us in what way "fate hasn't given [Puck] much of a choice". For quite a while, i didn't understand what on Earth Puck expected to gain from joining this race. She did eventually reveal that (on page 105 and later, when she gained another reason), but i had a hard time connecting with her or rooting for her because i didn't understand why she would risk her life the way she did. Okay, my rant's over now. Basically, the characters were what i liked most about "The Scorpio Races" and Maggie Stiefvater is what i liked least. Haha. *Review written on July 11, 2014.*
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2016-08-26 16:36
JOINT POST: MR and OB Talk "Fall" Into a Good Book
September - Rosamunde Pilcher
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater
Angelfall - Susan Ee
A Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness

So I absolutely cracked up during some of the brainstorming sessions I had with Moonlight Reader regarding the squares.

Believe me, we wanted to put a ton more in and we swapped some out. I am glad that we stuck with "Fall" into a good book though.

As we have discussed on the discussion boards for Book Bingos, "Fall" into a good book can mean the book takes place during the Fall, that the word "Fall" is in the title. I even went so far as saying that a character could take a great fall (a la Alice in Wonderland) but I am still waiting on a ruling from my partner on that one.

 

Here are some suggestions for you!

 

Moonlight Murder

 

Moonlight MurderMoonlight MurderSo, "Fall" into a good book is full of possibilities! Here are 3 suggestions for everyone:

1. September by Rosamunde Pilcher: This is for the romance/women's fic readers among us. Pilcher writes sprawling family sagas set in England/Scotland, and this book is entirely non-scary. However, the entire book is built around a family in Scotland that is getting ready for a big party in September, so in my opinion, it definitely qualifies for the square!

2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: This is one of my favorite YA books of all time. It begins in mid-October, when Puck, the main character, decides to race her Island pony Dove in the Scorpio Races, which happen on the first of November, when the blood-thirsty water horses make landfall and the bravest men ride them to victory. If they survive. Puck is the first girl to claim the right to race in the Scorpio Races. This book is remarkable and lyrical, and the relationship between Puck and her pony is tender and lovely. The entire book takes place in the fall, which is why it qualifies for this square.

3. The Fall by Bethany Griffin: I have to admit I have not read this book, so take the recommendation with a grain of salt. It is a YA re-imagining of The Fall of the House of Usher. The reviews are all over the place. Some readers love it, others complain that it is boring.

My planned read, however, is Night in Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny. I was recommended this book by my friend Frank Tuttle (who writes rather lovely books himself, as an aside), and I bought it last year when I found that it had been reissued in print by the Chicago Review Press. The format is interesting - each chapter represents a day in October, and it is my plan to read it as written - one chapter per day, concluding on Halloween.

 

Obsidian Black Death

 

My suggestions for those that are still having some problems.

1. Angelfall (Penryn & The End of Days #1) by Susan E. I noticed that a lot of fellow Booklikers have read and reviewed this book and I was tempted to read this one too for my square, but ended up going with something else instead. It is YA fantasy and paranormal so it definitely fits the overall theme of our bingo.

2. A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness. This first book takes place during the Fall term at Oxford. The rest of the book takes place during Fall and particular scenes take place during Halloween for those of you still looking for a book for the Halloween square. Since this book is about vampires and witches (oh my) this will also fit the supernatural square as well. I really loved the first book in the series so I always recommend it to other people.

3. Darkness Falls (Darkness Falls #1) by Jessica Sorensen. I ended up choosing this book for this square. I see that it had some good reviews on Goodreads, and I wanted to read something I had not read before as much as possible for the Halloween Bingo.

 

Prior joint posts:

 

Magical Realism

Supernatural

Locked Room Mystery

Mystery

Diverse Authors

 

And tomorrow's post is scheduled to be "It was a dark and stormy night". Stay tuned!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-05-06 12:56
I LOVED This Book!!!
The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater

What a breath taking story. This lyrical work of art (Yes i said it!!) touched my soul, like no other book has before. The Scorpio Races is heartbreaking, bittersweet, cruel and yet, tender and beautiful.

The waterhorses were magical in there ferocity. I grew up on horses so it wasn't hard for me to imagine this incredible world, even if normal horses aren't man-eaters! lol. Though I imagine someone who doesn't know horse-jargon might be a little confused, to me it just made this story so much more.

My words are truly inadequate to explain how wonderful this book story was and how thankful I am to Stiefvater for writing it.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
url 2016-03-31 13:16
Young Adult Adaptations That Will Become Successful

As the release dates for the adaptations of the final books in The Maze Runner series and the Divergent trilogy approach, people are hungry for the successor to the young adult franchise throne. After The 5th Wave movie adaptation yielded less than expected in the box office, some film analysts have written that no YA adaptation could truly follow in the footsteps of The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter and that the young adult adaptation market was dead.

It's not.

(Will future films ever reach the level of success that those "Big 3" did? I don't know that anyone can make a prediction of that magnitude, but films like Divergent, Maze Runner, The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay, Paper Towns, etc. were still considered successful even without becoming a "Big 3." And I do think that future films have, at least, the potential to reach that level of success.)

Most of the aforementioned articles, though intended to analyze the future success of the YA adaptation market, fail to take into account the perspective of its target audience, avid fans of young adult books. While they may not live up to the massive success of Harry Potter, these adaptations have the potential to do well and have even caught the attention of Hollywood studios.

Here's to hoping that they're greenlit soon.

 

 

1. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater: Every November on the fictional island of Thisby, its inhabitants compete in a dangerous race riding legendary, deadly water horses.

Movies like War Horse (also an adaptation) and Seabiscuit prove that there are plenty of filmgoers who find stories focusing on horses compelling. Like Stiefvater's writing, the story premise has a cinematic quality, and may appeal to fans of The Hunger Games who don't necessarily want another dystopian tale but appreciate the danger inherent to The Scorpio Races. Stiefvater would appeal to Hollywood backers looking for an already established fandom; she has sold millions of copies of her books and maintains an active online presence. As for merchandise, which has typically been associated with several YA films, I can picture water horse stuffed animals and the ribbons that riders wear sold alongside the t-shirts and artwork that would accompany any film. Stiefvater has also posted a recipe for November cakes, a treat written into the culture of Thisby.

Status: In September 2015, Focus Features announced that Matt Sobel would direct The Scorpio Races based off the screenplay written by Jack Thorne.

2. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani: Two best friends are kidnapped to attend the legendary School for Good and Evil, which trains its ordinary students to become fairy tale heroes and villains.

Technically, The School for Good and Evil is middle grade, not young adult, but it should still appeal to YA fans, especially given its premise. The success of series like Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles and Sarah Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses prove that the young adult market remains interested in fresh spins on fairy tales while popular TV shows like ABC's Once Upon a Time (now in its sixth season) highlight the interest of a mainstream adult audience. The School for Good and Evil also has its own legion of fans: in a promotional article for the trilogy's conclusion, which was published in July 2015, Publisher's Weekly reported that over 500,000 copies had been sold worldwide. Soman Chainani hosts an online Youtube show, Ever Never TV, to promote the books and interact with his fans.

Status: Universal Studios optioned The School for Good and Evil, but as Chainani wrote on his website this past January, the script is currently being rewritten.

3. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson: A girl follows travel instructions written in envelopes from her dead aunt, which she must open one by one, and backpacks through Europe without a cell phone or guidebook.

I was in eighth grade when the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants adaptation was released, and I can still remember my excitement. Capturing a similar adventurous summer feel, 13 Little Blue Envelopes is in the unique position as a YA contemporary novel of appealing to fans who don't want another teary If I Stay or The Fault in Our Stars but who liked the recent journey-focused story in Paper Towns. Fans of 13 Little Blue Envelopes will love watching the characters come to life onscreen while a wider audience, unfamiliar with the novel's contents, will be caught in the suspense of not knowing what instructions the next envelope would contain. All moviegoers can imagine what adventure they would plan or take with their own set of envelopes. As one of the early YA writers and a close friend of YA author celebrity John Green, Maureen Johnson has a significant fanbase that should also draw Hollywood's attention.

Status: In conjunction with New Line Cinema, Alloy Entertainment purchased the rights to develop 13 Little Blue Envelopes as a feature film in April 2015.

4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: A girl no longer remembers the tragedy that happened at her family's summer home but seeks to discover the truth behind all the lies.

The rich setting -- a private island off the coast of Massachusetts -- calls to mind the previously successful adaptation of Gossip Girl and the notoriety of the Hamptons and Martha's Vineyard. Slipping into the lives of the wealthy Sinclairs enables a kind of escapist fantasy even as the truth and the main character's confusion lend a heartbreaking edge to the suspense of what happened two summers ago. Random House came up with a catchy slogan to encompass the fanbase: if anyone asks you how the book ends, just LIE. Like Maureen Johnson, E. Lockhart is a well-established YA author and friends with John Green, whose blurb on the first edition proclaims that We Were Liars is "utterly unforgettable."

Status: Imperative Entertainment hired Stephanie Shannon to write the screenplay in April 2015.

Bonus: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, The Fever by Megan Abbott, This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, The Young Elites by Marie Lu, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle, and Just One Day/Year by Gayle Forman are also movie and tv adaptations widely held as promising.

(Ask me more about these, and I'll tell you why ;)).

Bonus (X2): Set for 2016 releases, the tearjerker A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, fan-favorite Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling, and star-studded Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs look like promising adaptations as well. And this year we can prove to all the naysayers of YA and YA films that no, they are not dead even if they don't reach the "Big 3" level of success.

Ah, but now you're asking, "So, Christina, what are you trying to do? Is this a call to action? Is this a letter to studios? Are you updating all of us on the status of these films?"

It sort of is a call to action. I wish studios were listening. Sometimes I think that what gets made into a film, or what's optioned, are things that I can't ever actually imagine playing out on the big screen - like whoever optioned the book wasn't actually envisioning the movie but just keeps hoping for the success of the Big 3.

But I'd like to hope that's not what all the options mean; I'd like to hope that the YA market stays alive and well. I'd like to hope that the movies above will eventually get greenlit, as I think that they particularly would be successful. And I am updating y'all on the status of those adaptations, so that we can all discuss the awesome potential of those adaptations and maybe our collective enthusiasm will push for those books to be made into their respective adaptations. Maybe a studio representative will see this post (ha ha ha), and push for those adaptations as well. Who knows? But above all, I do love to discuss YA books, so let's chat!

Do you think that those adaptations will be successful? What books would you add to the list?

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?