All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by: Scholastic Press
Pub Date: October 10, 2017
Format: arc | Source: borrowed
Genres: young adult, historical fiction, magical realism
Here is a thing everyone wants:
Here is a thing everyone fears:
What it takes to get one.
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.
At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.
They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.
Maggie Stiefvater has been called “a master storyteller” by USA Today and “wildly imaginative” by Entertainment Weekly. Now, with All the Crooked Saints, she gives us the extraordinary story of an extraordinary family, a masterful tale of love, fear, darkness, and redemption.
It was a chore to finish this book- I was tempted to mark it DNF at a few points because it was so slow and difficult to stay engaged. The last quarter of the book was definitely more interesting at least. I only read this because Maggie Stiefvater wrote it; I have next to no interest in reading books set in the 1960s, or the desert, and I can’t say I care much about classic rock n’ roll beyond the normal amount. But I love Maggie’s writing style and that is on full display here, even if her penchant for repetition was too noticeable. I can’t speak to the rep at all (whether it’s good or bad) but I could barely muster the emotion to care for these characters which surprised me as I feel like characters are usually her strong suit. They were just so two dimensional even when they were trying to be three dimensional. I was interested in the mystery of the miracles but overall I don’t think the narrative style helped as it made me feel even more distant from the characters. I liked Pete even though he was bland as can be. I found Marisita interesting. That’s… about it. The romances are’t epic and I didn’t feel the bond between this large family either. Plus I’m not sure how well the magical realism worked for me as I was confused half the time. If you’re a fan of any of the things I mentioned, you might enjoy All The Crooked Saints but it didn’t work for me.
Tell me: has an anticipated book by a previously loved author ever disappointed you? What did you think of All The Crooked Saints? Is it on your to-read list?