Source: ALA 2011
I received this book for free from ALA 2011 in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Once again I am faced the guilt of being way behind reading an ARC for ALA 2011, I mean goodness people are packing for 2012. So I had read a few chapters and then the danger of the weekend… I decided I would read a little more and ended up sitting in the bathroom with the light on finishing it at 6 o’clock on a Sunday morning…
The island of Thisby is home to the most dangerous horse races in the world because these are no normal horses; they are the capaill uisce, water horses, deadly carnivores that rise from the oceans for a short period every year. Sean loves them, he participates in the races like his father before him. Puck fears them, her parents never went to the races and then the horses killed them in their boat, leaving her and her two brothers orphans. This year’s race could change their lives or end them, is it worth it?
Sometimes two narrators can be tough. You find yourself slogging through one half. That was NOT the case here. Puck aka Kate is filled with such fight. She watches out for her brothers, both the older and the younger. She is determined to keep this family together no matter what. She is driven by fiery passion and has a hard time controlling her emotions. Sean in contrast is rock. People give him a wide berth, his previous wins are the only citable reason for the way people regard him but his stalwart nature unsettles people. I loved them both so much and the way they affect each other. Puck inspires Sean to push for what he really wants instead of being stationary. He grounds her.
I think part of why this book was impossible to put down was the stakes. This isn’t a teenager worried about their prom date; here life, family, home and future are all at stake. I feel like characters are well rounded, some seem cliche at first but that is because that is how the narrator sees them, but even characters like Malvern you see glimpses of a deeper them. There is a bit of romance but I don’t think it is too much. It feels natural, as I was reading this in the wee hours I kept wanting to go peek at the sleeping man that it made me think of. I was glad this one was a stand alone because I was in need of a good stand alone but I was sad to see it end. I already have too many books but everything else she has written is about to go on the top of a wishlist!
Printz Honor 2012