“A miracle, you say? A miracle. This miracle makes the darkness inside you visible in amazing and peculiar ways. Now that you see what has been haunting you, you overthrow it, and then you leave this place free and easy.”
All The Crooked Saints
by Maggie Stiefvater
Page Count: 320 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Maggie Stiefvater has written a masterpiece. This book was such a pleasant surprise and has landed itself as my favorite book of the year. It was so magical and pure and just ugh I could honestly gush about this book for about thirty years. It’s just so GOOD. The cover is beautiful, so mesmerizing and there’s also an Owl engraved on the hardback, so that’s a plus!!!! I have to apologize to my dear loves from Strange the Dreamer, but my friends, the Sorias from Bicho Raro have you beat. I don’t understand why exactly I find it so hard to write reviews for books that I absolutely love, I blame it on the intense feelings that I have, but I can already say this review is going to be rough. I do know this book has a lot of controversy regarding the Latin community, so as I am apart of the community I will be addressing those later on! I also want to thank Scholastic for sending me a copy for review! But without further ado, let’s get on with this review!
All the Crooked Saints is a magical tale of darkness, saints, owls, and miracles. In Bicho Raro, Colorado there lives a Mexican family who deals with Pilgrims and Miracles. They are the Sorias, a great family who love each other but have a lot of issues with their little community. This is a story that is very very difficult to summarize, just because there are tons of different aspects to this story but they blend together into something amazing, but I’m going to try my best. But in this tale, there are Saints who bless people in need of help, in form of Miracles. And owls love miracles as well, and owls play a major part in this story. The Saints can sense darkness inside one’s soul, as well as the owls and only people with the darkness inside them, can be helped by a miracle. Bicho Raro is filled with people (Pilgrims) who came for a miracle, but they were only able to combat parts of their darkness and are stuck in a phase of miracle one. Every miracle has two parts, part one is knowing you have darkness, and part two is overcoming the darkness inside you. This sounds really complicated but it’s not and I feel like I’m just rambling!! But a man named Tony and a boy named Pete go to Bicho Raro in search of two very different things, one for a miracle and one for a box truck. They meet the Sorias family and from there, their lives are changed by owls, saints and a radio, forever.
I absolutely the Soria family. Our main cast of characters is quite large, to be honest. But the main three who stick out to me are Beatriz, Daniel, and Joaquin. These three are cousins and are the bestest of friends. Their family love meant so much to me and Beatriz and Daniel were the best because they were absolutely me and my best friend. But I really loved the strong family connection with every single character in the book, and though a lot of them were not the closest with each other, they loved each other and that’s what matters most. And honestly I don’t know what Maggie has against romantic love but she was killing me with a few certain characters!!! Seriously, Maggie has a wonderful way of crafting characters and making you feel their pain and their struggle. This book is just so so so good!!!!
Now as a few people know, I am not the biggest Raven Boys fan. I didn’t really get the hype around the plot or the characters. I honestly just disliked everyone besides two people and even they just didn’t seem to make the series great to me. I do think she crafted the characters amazingly well, but I just didn’t care for them. So I was a bit hesitant to start this book just because I hadn’t had a good run with Maggie’s books. BUT WOW this was perfect. The writing is so beautiful and wonderful and made this story ten times better. There is a sort of beautiful bluntness to Maggie’s writing that makes me love this story so much more. I honestly don’t think any other author could have pulled off this level of amazingness.
So the whole controversy regarding this book is ridiculous. Aha uhm for all of y’all that have been following me throughout this blogging journey, you will know I can’t stand the Hate that revolves around a lot of books. Because of a majority of the time, the hatred is misplaced and it’s always one person who calls a book out and tons of people jump on the hate bandwagon. But the controversy around this book is a white woman taking on a Latin storyline and taking on Magical Realism. HM. So the hate towards this book came from a ton of Latinx who felt like it was their holy latin mandate to talk crap about Maggie and this book based SOLELY ON A TITLE. A TITLE. Also getting offended by Diablo Diablo seemed a little … extra to me? Like Maggie literally, says that’s it not something anyone would approve of and that’s why Joaguin chose the name!!! Eash okay yeah I’m getting annoyed so I’m just going to finish this quick. All the hatred towards this book is ridiculous, as a Mexican from the community whom this book was written about, I can 100000% assure you that there is nothing wrong with this book. Before you make assumptions about a book and a person, read it for yourself and don’t judge an author because of the title. Maggie doesn’t deserve any of the hate that has been spewed her way, she really doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if she’s white or not, she was very respectful and wrote an amazingly truthful novel about the Mexican Community.
What Makes Me Love This Book:
Now, this is going to be a long paragraph LOL. Something that is rare is to find books based on your culture and books that you can place yourself in. I don’t get to hang out with the Mexican side of my family very much, just because we live very different types of lives but they are a side of the family that is very important to me. I love the Mexican culture, the life, I love the way Spanish sounds (even if I don’t speak it myself because I’m a failure.) It is something that I cherish, and seeing it represented in this novel is such an amazing thing. I was gushing about it to my dear friends Emma and Brittney and they had to sit through me rambling about how awesome it is to see yourself represented in a book, to see what you love about family represented in the book. Our family is a big thing for us, our cousins mean so much to us, they’re our best friends. Our aunts and uncles and our grandparents and seeing how the Sorias went through their life relying on family and seeing how I could place some of my family in their shoes means a lot to me. And Maggie got everything so so right and I loved it so much. This book also made me fall in love with Owls. I have a new found obsession with owls and I keep looking at photos of them and they are lovely.
“You can hear a miracle a long way after dark.”
“Sadness is a little like darkness. They both begin the same way. A tiny, thin pool of uneasiness settles in the bottom of the gut. Sadness simmers fast and boils hard and then billows up and out, filling first the stomach, then heart, then lungs, then legs, then arms, then up into the throat, then pressing against eardrums, then swelling against skull and eventually spilling out of eyes in a hissing release. Darkness, though, grows like a cave formation. Slow drips from the uneasiness harden over the surface of a slick knob of pain. Over time, the darkness crusts in unpredictable layers, growing at such a pace that one doesn’t notice it has filled every cavern under the skin until movement becomes difficult or even impossible. Darkness never boils over. Darkness remains inside.”
“Miracles often look like magic, but a proper miracle is also awesome, sometimes fearful, and always vaguely difficult to truly wrap your mortal head around.”
“We almost always can point to that hundredth blow, but we don’t always mark the ninety-nine other things that happen before we change.”
“But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.’If you’re missing someone tonight, know that I, Diablo Diablo, am, too. It’s an enormous sky out there with a lot of stars above it and a lot of folks underneath it, and all of us, stars and human, are missing someone in the dark. But I, Diablo Diablo, think that if we’re all out there missing someone, that means that we’re all really together on that one note, aren’t we? So none of us are really alone as long as we’re lonely.”
“He knew he was loved, and he knew how love can become a blunt and relentless weapon at death. They didn’t deserve this pain a generation later.”
“It is difficult to give up hope, particularly when you have just been filled with a lot of it, particularly when you have gone without for so long. Humans are as drawn to hope as owls are to miracles. It only takes the suggestion of it to stir them up, and the eagerness lingers for a while even when all traces of it are gone.”
“It was often so easy to identify the darkness from the outside. But from the inside, your darkness was indistinguishable from your other thoughts. It could take forever to learn yourself.”
So if you really couldn’t tell I adore this book so so much. I recommend this to anyone who loves a great magical book, and to anyone who just wants some joy in their life!
I did receive a copy of this from Scholastic for review, so thank you so very much for that! This did not persuade my thoughts on the story at all, they were all entirely my own! So again thank you Scholastic for choosing me to be apart of this Blog Tour!
If you have any thoughts or questions please feel free to ask, I am willing to answer them all! Also! Here are some pics I took of the book because I loved it so much that I had to take tons of photos LOL.
I hope y’all have a great day and Happy Reading !