“All the Crooked Saints” by: Maggie Stiefvater

I don’t usually include books I rate as three stars on my blog. This one I feel I want to include just to portray, paradoxically, why I don’t include them usually.

This was my first read by Maggie Stiefvater.

3 star ratings are always….strange.

I didn’t love this.

I didn’t hate it.

It was…a story…that at least kept my attention all the way through in that I didn’t need to DNF it…but…it was…strange.

I wasn’t invested in this and it felt like not a lot was happening. I guess my biggest problem was aside from some humorous moments (the chicken) and Jenny (the girl who has to repeat back what she hears) I was horror of horrors kinda bored.

I don’t *get* bored. I wasn’t excited about this. Riveted. There wasn’t an emotional pull here for me. I digress.

I toggled back and forth between listening to the audio narrated by Thom Rivera (who did an EXCELLENT job-he gets 5 stars!) and the print copy from my library.

This story takes place in the 1960s in the desert of Colorado, Bicho Raro, and follows many family elements. There are some miracles happening, some owls, some illegal radio stationness, and some love both romantic and familial.

We are mostly following Soria family. Daniel performs these miracles and people flock to them from all over the place so that they can receive a miracle from him. An interesting twist is that once Daniel performs the initial miracle on them, they have to perform a second miracle to be healed from their “darkness”. I was a bit confused by this and it never really “clicked” with me beyond just a convenient plot twist element. These people are referred to as “pilgrims”. (Cause they made a pilgrimage to get there?)

There was a lot of, in my opinion, weird images and analogies. I don’t know if that is simply the style of writing that Stiefvater does or if this was a new thing in this book. I am not personally planning to seek out any more of her works as I wasn’t impressed with this one.

I didn’t see anything bad to really point out in this hence the three stars, I just wasn’t enchanted. It’s always such a bizarre feeling for me when I finish a book I rate at a three star because reviews are hard to put into words.

This was a miss for me, but maybe some of her fans will love it? Maybe some will see this as a hit and that’s great! This simply didn’t do it for me. Can’t win them all.


Goodreads Synopsis:

Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle.
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.

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