Size Doesn’t Matter (65): The Scorpio Races; On the Way to the Wedding; Stars Above

Size Doesn’t Matter (65): The Scorpio Races; On the Way to the Wedding; Stars AboveThe Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Published by Scholastic on April 1, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Romance
Pages: 435
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
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two-half-stars

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.
Others die.

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.

Man, I hate being this guy. The one who doesn’t love the thing that everyone else loves. Being a black sheep is no fun. Especially when it’s a book I’ve been personally looking forward to both because of concept (MURDER HORSES) and an author who wrote some of my favorite books (The Raven Cycle). The concept of The Scorpio Races is great, but tbh I spent most of the book bored. Sorry to be that guy.

I found the storytelling very distancing. Sean and Puck are more likable than the rest of the characters, but at the end of an over four hundred page book, I hardly feel like I know them at all. The secondary characters lack any sort of depth. I read for character, so it’s no surprise that I spent almost all of the book bored. I struggled through this book, one short chapter at a time. It took me 11 days to read this book. During that time, I finished ten other books, which should give you a good indication of how fast I can read and how long 11 days really is.

The Scorpio Races did pick up a bit at the very end, when the actual races happened. Those last few chapters I did binge straight through. Though I was frustrated at the resolution. View Spoiler » The ship is underwhelming to say the least, considering that the relationship that both of them has to their horse is more passionate than what they have together.

I really wanted to love this one, but the characterization didn’t pull me in. The concept is cool, but surprisingly slowly-paced. The writing’s not the gorgeousness I’ve come to expect from Stiefvater. Also, unrelated to fiction quality but, though the paperback has the most wonderful cover, Scholastic has such incredibly shitty paperback quality; if you want a Scholastic book, buy it in hardback.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

gif horse eats paper tangled

Size Doesn’t Matter (65): The Scorpio Races; On the Way to the Wedding; Stars AboveOn the Way to the Wedding by Julia Quinn
Series: Bridgertons #8
Published by Avon on March 17, 2009
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

A funny thing happened...

Unlike most men of his acquaintance, Gregory Bridgerton believes in true love. And he is convinced that when he finds the woman of his dreams, he will know in an instant that she is the one. And that is exactly what happened. Except...

She wasn't the one. In fact, the ravishing Miss Hermione Watson is in love with another. But her best friend, the ever-practical Lady Lucinda Abernathy, wants to save Hermione from a disastrous alliance, so she offers to help Gregory win her over. But in the process, Lucy falls in love. With Gregory! Except...

Lucy is engaged. And her uncle is not inclined to let her back out of the betrothal, even once Gregory comes to his senses and realizes that it is Lucy, with her sharp wit and sunny smile, who makes his heart sing. And now, on the way to the wedding, Gregory must risk everything to ensure that when it comes time to kiss the bride, he is the only man standing at the altar...

Gregory’s not been very present in the other Bridgerton books. After Francesca, he’s the Bridgerton I knew the least before getting to his book. I wasn’t looking forward to it as much, but actually it proved to be one of the highlights of the series for me.

Quinn tackles instalove in a hilarious America’s Sweethearts style plot. Gregory falls head over heels for Hermione Watson from the moment he first sees the back of her neck, only to ultimately fall in love for her delightful best friend Lady Lucinda Abernathy. It’s all very melodramatic, of course, but in a way that’s making fun of romance cliches at the same time. On the Way to the Wedding is probably the funniest of the Bridgerton books.

Also, it doesn’t hurt that Lucy and Gregory are a really adorable ship. She doesn’t believe in love and he’s a romantic goober. They’re both trying very hard not to be drawn to one another, and hello ships like this are my favorites. I also like that Gregory, unlike most romance heroes, is very in touch with his feelings and even to admit when he’s been wrong. It’s a nice change of pace from the jaded, marriage-hating bachelors of most books.

I’m glad that the Bridgertons series ended on a high note. This has been such a fun binge. Quinn’s novels aren’t as wonderful as Tessa Dare’s more recent works, but they’re very much worth reading if you’re a historical romance fan.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 gif don't marry him gossip girl

Size Doesn’t Matter (65): The Scorpio Races; On the Way to the Wedding; Stars AboveStars Above by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4.5
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 2, 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance, Short Stories
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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four-stars

The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

Honestly, I wasn’t that excited about Stars Above. I mean, I knew that I SHOULD be because I loved this series so much, but that warred with my complete ambivalence towards novellas in general and my specific mixed feelings about Fairest. For some reason, I really feared I wouldn’t like this, but thankfully I was totally wrong.

All of the stories are good, though some stood out more than others. My favorite was obviously “Something Old, Something New,” the fan fic wedding short story at the end. I see what people meant when they said it felt like fan fic, because it’s completely unrealistic but who even cares when it’s so cute. I mean, come on, like those people could have assembled without the place being covered in guards? Yeah, right.

Another shining star was Winter’s, “The Princess and the Guard.” Getting to see her and Jacin as kids, pre-him becoming a guard, I do understand that ship a lot more than I did just from being told about how close they’d always been. It’s nice to see them playing together and their relationship evolving to what it became later. That story also shows how fucking strong Winter is. Like, seriously damn.

I’m not going to talk about them all individually, but they were all really good. Some seemed less necessary (like Kai’s POV on his first meeting with Cinder which really didn’t have new information), but nothing was actually bad. The closest was “The Littlest Android,” which had an annoying amount of jealousy-induced girl hate. I get the point about a poor android confused by emotions, and she does come right in the end, but it was not my favorite story to read.

As a whole, I think this is an excellent addition to the series, and I need to buy a copy for my shelves.

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2 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (65): The Scorpio Races; On the Way to the Wedding; Stars Above”

  1. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Scorpio Races but it doesn’t sound like it would be for me either. I care for slow paced books, I tend to lose interest if something isn’t going on. Plus, it sounds like the author was forcing a romance just for the sake of having one in there when it wasn’t in the cards for the characters. Sorry to hear you’re the black sheep on this one but thanks for the honest review.

  2. Leah says:

    I have a love/hate relationship with Maggie Stiefvaters books, and The Scorpio Races has been on my shelf, unread, for a while. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

    I felt the same way about Kai’s POV story in Stars Above, but yes, it was very enjoyable. 🙂

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