The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
"Some race to win. Others race to survive.
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.
Some riders live.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen."- summary from Amazon
So I read this book in a weird way- the first half on audio, then finishing with my ARC because I had to take the audiobook back to the library. But it was a nice way. I keep meaning to listen to Stiefvater's books on audio and I heard such wonderful things about this one, I decided to give it a try. I really thought the voice actors did a great job reading the book. I seriously felt as if I were there, which in part is due to Stiefvater's atmospheric prose. Both actors did their respective parts well (I particularly enjoyed hearing the Sean narrator say "Sean" at the beginning of each of his chapters- I know, weird.) and kept the secondary characters' voices consistent throughout the book. The audio is definitely worth a look; plus, there's music by and an interview with Stiefvater included.
Reading the book was different. It was interesting seeing all the names and places that I'd heard spelled out in front of me. I did still feel the same way though, as if I were there on Thisby with these characters following their story. Stiefvater did a great job writing both Puck and Sean and I liked seeing their perspectives on the same events. I also liked their relationship- it felt natural with how slow it moved and what eventually ended up happening. It was handled really well.
I will say though that this book took me like a month to read/listen to because I just didn't feel compelled to read on. I was interested while I was reading, but it wasn't necessarily an appointment book for me. So that's a bit of a drawback.
Overall though, a good standalone effort from Stiefvater.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher (at BEA last year!); audiobook came from local library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.