Okay, I was thinking this would probably be a four star book for me, but honestly, I just loved it. I mean, I really, really
loved it. I loved it more than I expected to...I loved it more than I hoped I could. I was expecting to be disappointed because I've been disappointed by a lot of books lately, but this one was wild and beautiful and strange as the sea, and it was one of those books that had me wishing I'd written it. There were minor things that bothered me -- like how I couldn't tell any difference between Puck's narration and Sean's narration and really wished that they'd sounded just a little
bit different, or how occasionally Stiefvater breaks the narrative rules of present tense....but the prose was so lush and gorgeous, and the imagery so...alive...that in the end none of that really mattered.
The thing I think that bothered me the most was that they never once explained the water horses. I mean, yes, it's mythical, but we're talking a 20th century town and American tourists who might not know the myth.....somewhere in there, surely someone could have explained where the water horses came from and how they can breathe and swim effortlessly underwater while still looking like horses. There were a couple of moments where an explanation was almost
forthcoming.....and then not. Oh, I wanted more. But apart from a few minor details, even the horse-ness of the book was believable, and that's a (surprisingly) hard thing for writers to do right, I think. People who don't know horses seem to love to write about them, but even my hypercritical horse detector was mostly satisfied by this book. And it really made me miss the warmth and smell and movement of horses and the comfortable familiarity of horse barns and horse people.
But best of all...Sean and Puck. Oh, Sean Kendrick, you are exactly my flavor of awesome. And Puck was such a believable little spitfire, cross and stubborn and so devoted to her family and her horse and her island.... It's rare that I find myself equally enchanted by both parties in a YA romance, but this time I was. And thank you, thank you
, Ms. Stiefvater, for no love triangles or insta-love, but just two fiercely independent, half-wild creatures, the island and the sea, who can't exist apart.