THE SCORPIO RACES, BY MAGGIE STIEFVATER
IT IS ABOUT THIS MYSTICAL ISLAND OF IRISH PEOPLE WHO RACE EVIL MAN-EATING FAERIE WATER HORSES
OBVIOUSLY IT IS THE BEST
I say man-eating because it has always been men who race the horses and also GET KILLED BY THEM until this girl, this FABULOUS BRAVE ANGRY GIRL NAMED PUCK WITH A TONGUE LIKE A SWORD, is like, I am going to race this year to win money to keep me and my brothers from losing our house! And everyone is like YOU CAN’T DO THAT, THE WOMEN ARE THE ISLAND AND THE MEN ARE THE SHORE SOMETHING SOMETHING ANYWAY YOU CAN’T. And Puck is like, no, I am, because that did not even make sense.
And then she is like but actually I’m gonna ride my normal horse because why the fuck would I want to ride a terrifying murderous water horse of the type that killed my parents???
And everyone is like hahahaha you cannot ride a normal horse, normal horses suck
And she’s like, your water horse is eating you. Right now.
And they’re like … so it is.
And then there is this boy Sean Kendrick— THE SEAN KENDRICK, FOUR TIME SCORPIO RACE CHAMPION— and he loves these water horses, like he is wild as these horses and he just wants to feed them sugar cubes and kiss their faces all day long. He is quiet and terrible at people. And for some reason he is the only person on the entire island FILLED WITH WATER HORSES who knows how to deal with the water horses? Literally maybe fifty times (okay maybe ten times) in the book someone is like
AHHHHHHH FETCH KENDRICK!!! KENDRICK!!!!!
And poor long-suffering Kendrick is like, oh, someone is being killed by a water horse right now. Again. I will go take care of it.
And he races this water horse Corr whom he does not own but whom he has been training for six years and whom he desperately loves and wishes he could trust but Corr still sometimes wants to eat his head off because water horses, dude.
BUT ANYWAY IT IS THE BEST. Puck arrrgh she is so frustrated with her brothers for not listening to her and with the town for shutting her out and laughing at her but she loves them and she loves her island, she loves it as fiercely as Sean Kendrick does, and Sean Kendrick basically tries to have sex with the island every night.
I mean I don’t want to brag about this book that I didn’t write, but she challenges him and he teaches her to appreciate the water horses and they trust each other and he changes his entire life because her courage inspires the crap out of him. He drops everything to support her in the race and she totally kisses him first.
And like, this book made me cry about fucking horses, and I don’t even care about horses.