Forgotten Fridays: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Posted February 28, 2014 by Kara in forgotten fridays, Kara, Lyn / 9 Comments

forgotten fridays
Welcome to Forgotten Fridays. This mission of this feature is, twice a month, to review books that are more than a year old. And we review them TOGETHER! Most reviews have minor spoilers because it is hard to block them out in a back and forth dialogue about a book. So keep that in mind when reading, though we do try to not mention anything that would ruin a book for anyone.
It’s Lyn’s turn to pick again. She chose The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, and though I tried hard, I really did, this was another stinker for me. This is Kara talking, by the way. Haha. Bekka joins us again, and well…just read on.
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Lyn: I feel that this is going to go down the same way the last discussion went down. I get the notion that this one was a bomb for us.


Kara: Well…yeah. I DNFed it. I loved the writing, and I certainly think the author excels at that. But there was just way too much graphic violence in this book for me. I guess that’s probably the reason I never chose this one on my own, but I tried to be as open-minded as I could going into it. I was just not able to get past the animal violence. It REALLY left me nauseated and unsettled.


Bekka:  I DNFed it, too. But for different reasons.  The violence didn’t really bother me that much, I just thought the book as a whole was pretty boring. Especially Sean.


Lyn: I loved Sean. However, I usually like the silent boy types. Kara, I rubbed off a few stars due to the violence. It didn’t have to be so graphic. It was very disturbing. I also thought this one would have had a lot of action due to the word “Races” in the title. The writing was lovely, and I did end up liking the character-driven pieces. I think I liked this one the most out of all of us.


Bekka:  The violence was disturbing, because it was so in-your-face.  A lot of the animal deaths were done by Sean, and since it was first person, it was hard to escape.  But I do agree about the writing. Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is beautiful, in all of her books that I’ve read so far.


Kara: I should note that I DNFed this one at 25%, which is before any of you did, so I didn’t get as far as you guys and I probably will have a lot less to say here. I did like Sean’s character, but I DNFed the book during one of his chapters, when one of the horses he is training dies underwater due to one of the water horses. I just could not go on after that. I think maybe I will like The Raven Boys better?


Lyn: I think what made me stick with the book was the romance. I wasn’t even sure if the romance was going to happen, and I LOVED that part of the story. I am so tired of knowing the possible boyfriend when reading the description. I like the sense of tension. It really allows me to enjoy the story when I am wondering about the chemistry of the characters. That is what made the book stand out in my mind. The strong yet natural budding romance of the story.


However, there was just so many unlikeable people in the novel. That was a very big issue to me.


Bekka:  I wish I had gotten to the romance, or that it started earlier, because that probably would have kept me reading.  But at 40%, where I DNFed, hardly anything had happened yet.  And YES to the horrible people.  Basically everyone who lived on that island was horrible with few exceptions, like Finn or Brian.


Kara: Are you guys surprised or not surprised that this was a Printz honor book?


Lyn: Yes and no. The awards usually go for dark, often controversial issues and novels.  
However, I think it was just so dark and depressing. On the other hand, it was a strong voice for women’s suffrage, and I think a young girl could relate to the subject after reading this novel. How women are treated as secondary citizens all for the sake of “tradition”.


I am very sad that this book had some great qualities, but there were so many unlikeable things. It is me, or does that combination usually spell out award?


Bekka:  I’m not surprised it’s an award winner.  The writing is absolute quality. And like you said, Lyn, the more controversial, the more likely a book is to win that award.  And also? I don’t typically LIKE award winning books as a rule.  I’m always the black sheep.


Kara: This is off-topic, but I actually really loved two books that were nominated for awards this year. Sex & Violence and Navigating Early. I would love to get your opinions on those. Ha. But as for this one, yeah it was incredibly depressing and I think that was also another issue I had with it. Books that bring me down…I just have to be in the right frame of mind to read those. I don’t rarely go there.


Lyn: Keeping with the off-topic, one of my favorite books ever, Midwinterblood, won the Printz this year. It is so good, yet it leaves you hurting. I find myself steering away from award books because I know they’re going to be painful to read.


Bekka:  I don’t seek out books because I know they’re award winners.  If a book interests me, and it happens to be an award winner, that’s great.  But my tastes are so weird, that the Printz sticker doesn’t really do anything for me.


Lyn: Yes, the Printz winners are often very tough to swallow, Bekka. I felt like the black sheep with Please Ignore Vera Dietz, a nominated novel.


Kara: I don’t know if I’ve actually READ a Printz book. Hahaha.


Lyn: They’re usually in the “Make You So Damned Depressed” section. I am, to this day, still shocked that The Knife of Never Letting Go didn’t make the cut.


Kara: And I still haven’t read that either. Or Unwind by Schusterman. LOL.




Bekka:  Okay, back to The Scorpio Races lol!  


Kara: Do we have to?? Dead horses, man-eating horses, horrible people, zzzzzzzzz. There.


Bekka:  Lyn, since you were the only one that finished, what did you think of the ending? Do you think the snoozeville start is worth pushing through?

Lyn: Surprisingly, the ending was anti-climatic. I was a bit shocked that the ending was almost mild in comparison to the rest of the book.


Bekka:  That’s a surprise.  For a book with such a violent start, you’d think the ending would be nearly unbearable.


Lyn: If I was honest, I wanted a bittersweet tragic ending. In a way, it is but not in the way I thought it would end. I hope that makes sense.


Kara: It does, sort of. You know, even though I didn’t like this book, I’m still not sad I gave it a shot. That’s the thing about this feature. I am reading books I would never pick on my own otherwise. It’s not a complete suckfest. 😀


Bekka:  Same here.  I’ve had this book on my TBR for-freaking-ever, so I’m glad I finally got to it, even if I didn’t like it.


Lyn: I was happy for something very dark. It was a nice change. However, I’m still a frilly girly book lover in my heart and I do have a line I do not like crossed. Three stars for me.


Kara: I’m not rating because I DNFed but I think it would have ended up a two star book for me if I had finished.


Bekka:  Something drastic would have had to happen for me to rate it higher than two stars, too.  But as it stands, no rating, since I DNFed.


Lyn: Kara is going to beat me out. I think I am going to owe her a book at the end of the year.


Kara: LOL is that what the bet is? I didn’t know we had to get books. Hahaha.


Lyn: I think I mentioned it in passing as a joke. I am going to L-O-S-E this bet.


Kara: *coughs* You are so far behind right now there is NO catching up. :D:D


Lyn: I invite you to place your lips upon my buttocks, lady.




Lyn: When the unladylike behavior comes out, we have usually reached the conclusion.


Kara: PFFFFFFTTTTTT. *sticks tongue out* We are reading The Aviary next and since it is my pick, I expect 5 stars from all of you since I am so brilliant and awesome.


Lyn: I rate The Aviary as one star. Next.


Bekka:  DNF.


Kara: Hahahahaha. Okay, FINE.


Lyn: Fine. Rated, done. We’re out. 🙁


Kara: Until next time…DUN DUN DUNNN.

Lyn: 3 stars
Kara, Bekka: DNF


9 responses to “Forgotten Fridays: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

  1. Hah this was great. So I guess I am in the minority here because I loved this book. But it is kind of slow, and dark. But Stiefvater’s writing just does something to me.

    Kara I still think you should give The Raven Boys a try. It is very different. Still on the descriptive, somewhat slow side but such an interesting, well-developed story, with awesome characters. Then again, not sure my opinion has much strength at the moment hah.

    I also loved Unwind but that is another one that probably isn’t for everyone. And there was a scene in it that literally made me nauseous.

    Great feature, ladies!
    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert

    • I think I know what scene you are referring to. It is so disturbing.

      I did love the writing and I thought the romance was touching. I do love me some low action books from time to time.

  2. I love love love SHIVER and the Raven Cycle books, but I couldn’t get into THE SCORPIO RACES either. I thought the two narrative POVs sounded too similar (I had to flip back and forth to figure out who was talking several times) and the climax happened too late in the story for me.

    It’s so funny, because this definitely seems to be the author’s most popular book and most lauded as well. I’m not surprised that it was a Printz honor (I’m glad you brought that up), because I’m one of the weirdos who doesn’t tend to have much luck with their winners. BUT, like Lyn said, they gave it to MIDWINTERBLOOD last year and I am SO thrilled because I loved that book.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    • The Scorpio Races is a very controversial book. It really isn’t for everyone. It did have its moments, but I can understand why everyone was not crazy for the book.

      Midwinterblood is so good. I hope we do White Crow sometime for FF.

  3. I guess I’m in the minority, too, because I absolutely loved The Scorpio Races! I agree it was very violent, but I think that’s partly why I loved it – because I never even knew if the main characters were going to actually be around for the end of the book. It was impossible to guess in advance where things would go, and I loved both Sean and Puck. They both knew they had to fight for everything, and they were willing to really run the distance. Even with all the hardship they had been through, they were willing to continue to move forward.

    I love this feature! It’s so awesome that the three of you start the same book, and that you discuss it afterwards, even when you don’t agree about the story at all.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  4. It’s been ages since I’ve read this AND it was before I was blogging so I doubt I put much thought into my feelings. Kara, I remember disliking all the animal cruelty/violence but I think I just kept going despite it all being quite sad & disturbing.

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