Daily Archives: March 3, 2012

The Scorpio Races

I’m not going to be shy about this, The Scorpio Races is the best YA book I’ve read in a long time. I love it. It made me want to pat a pony and visit a bakery for a pastry oozing with honey and go after something that seems impossible. It also made Maggie Stiefvater one of my favourite writers for teens (and smart grown ups).

We should start with the pretty trailer. (Made by Maggie. I told you she was something).

So you get it right? Boy. Girl. Horses. Ocean. Celtic Vibe.

What the trailer cannot reveal is that Maggie Stiefvater is a story wizard. Last month I heard Nancy Pearl speak about how best to recommend books to library patrons. She shared how her system is based on considering books in terms of four elements: story, character, setting and language. Nancy says that all books have these four elements in different proportions and that every reader often enjoys books that have a particular ratio of the four elements. I think that I’m someone who loves a book that is equally strong on character, setting, and plot, but that doesn’t skimp on language either. That is Scorpio Races. The island of Thisby will feel as real as any place you’ve ever loved, and the two main characters will stay with you long after reading. At its core this book is an adventure, with twists and dramatic chapter endings and a finish that is absolutely right in every way. I think it’s true that when you read some books, you can tell that the author loved writing the story, and cared deeply about every part of it. You can feel this with Scorpio Races. It seems like every other new YA book these days is the first in a trilogy. I only wish this were true for Scorpio Races.

I’m going to wrap this up by paraphrasing a comment I read for the trailer on youtube. Someone over there wrote that Maggie is probably going to find a way to be “even more awesome” with whatever she does next. I think we can count on that. I should be happy reading The Scorpio Races over and over again until then.

The Scorpio Races is published by Scholastic.