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All the Crooked Saints
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All the Crooked Saints
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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,...
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,...
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  • 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. Maggie Stiefvater has been called "a master storyteller" by USA Today and "wildly imaginative" by Entertainment Weekly. Now, with All the Crooked Saints, she gives us the extraordinary story of an extraordinary family, a masterful tale of love, fear, darkness, and redemption.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 7, 2017
    In this lushly written tale set in 1962 Colorado, Stiefvater explores the complex and interconnected nature of desires, fears, and miracles via a Mexican-American family known for producing saints. Pilgrims come to the desert of Bicho Raro seeking cures to their woes, but the miracles they receive from the Soria saints are seldom what they expect. One winds up covered in moss, another only able to repeat what is said to her; these miracles are a “two-step process,” and it’s up to the pilgrims to unlock the meanings behind these transformations. When Daniel, the current saint, violates the Sorias’ greatest taboo, his family, including intellectual Beatriz and pirate radio deejay Joaquin, and the pilgrims of Bicho Raro must drive off the darkness that emerges. The language of legend and magical realism suffuse this sprawling and intimate novel; while the book’s tone is all its own and Stiefvater remains a summarily confident wordsmith, the setup, which sees a volatile family wrestling with unpredictable magic and forbidden romances, echoes her Raven Cycle books fairly closely. Dense, tricky, and thought-provoking. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2017

    Gr 8 Up-Pilgrims travel to Bicho Raro, Colorado, for a miracle from the Sorias, a Mexican American family of saints who can "cure" people of their darkness. When the pilgrims' darkness manifests, they have to overcome it on their own. If the Sorias interfere, their own inner darkness takes over. In 1962, Bicho Raro is overrun by pilgrims who haven't been able to complete the miracle, and the current saint, David, has fallen in love with one of the pilgrims. He helps her and his darkness manifests. His younger cousins, Beatriz and Joaquin, are afraid to interfere because of the curse. But two visitors, including a handsome teen who catches Beatriz's interest, might be the key to helping the Sorias. The desert setting, intricate family dynamics, and the power of love and music resonate in this lush but often overwrought tale. Subplots distract from the core story and character development is often weighed down by the convoluted language. The rules of the family curse are laid down just to be broken and remade for the convenience of the plot. The influence of Latin American storytelling is woven throughout, and the family's ranch's name can be translated in Mexican Spanish as "Strange or Rare Insect." But it also has a more explicit translation in other countries. Also, the family is saved by the machinations of the ingenious (and possibly neuro-atypical) Beatriz, but she's inspired to do so because of her white love interest. VERDICT This title will be popular with the author's fans, but for readers interested in well-crafted YA magical realism, turn to Laura Ruby and Anna-Marie McLemore instead.-Shelley M. Diaz, School Library Journal

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    August 15, 2017
    The line between truth and legend is obscured in the high desert of the San Luis Valley, a world of tall tales and miracles that draws literary pilgrims.In 1962 the teenage Soria cousins of Bicho Raro, descended from Los Santos de Abejones of Oaxaca, Mexico, continue the family legacy of miracle working. However, pilgrims seeking a miracle here find their inner darknesses brought to life, tangible metaphors for their psychic pain. When the eldest cousin and acting Saint, Daniel, interferes with a miracle in progress, the darkness falls upon him as well, and he flees into the night. Barred by their fearful parents from seeking him directly, the remaining cousins decide to reach out in the only way they know how--through their pirate radio station. Coolly intellectual Beatriz and passionate Joaquin join forces with white-bread Pete Wyatt, a salt-of-the-earth transplant from Oklahoma, using the technical marvel of AM radio to perform a practical miracle and hopefully bring Daniel home. In the process, the family rediscovers that the best way to fight the darkness is with someone you love by your side. Stiefvater weaves a rich history for this mythical homestead. Though not an own-voices narrator, she well-captures the rural, mountain West and the Latinx culture that provides the foundation for the Sorias' twilight world. True history blends with traditional and fanciful folklore as fallen saints find salvation in the lyrical power of family, community, and rock-'n'-roll. (Fabulism. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    August 1, 2017
    Grades 9-12 Bicho Raro, Colorado, is a town where the people, particularly the Mexicans and Mexican Americans, are mysterious and magical. Strangers travel far and wide in search of the town where miracles happen or, alternately, find themselves in this town not realizing that they need a miracle. Stiefvater puts the three Soria cousins at the center of the narrative. Each cousin has their own propensity for miracles, but Daniel, the oldest, is the one with the power to perform miracles for strangers and friends. His cousins Beatriz and Joaquin struggle to form their own futures. This is an intensely character-driven narrative, and Stiefvater's use of magic realism is at times too dependent on commonplace Latinx stereotypes. For example, Beatriz is the archetype Latina vixen, or, in Stiefvater's words, la chica sin sentimientos (the woman without feelings). Still, this makes for a great opportunity for YA readers and educators to discuss how people of color get represented in literature as subservient, mystical beings, and it would pair interestingly with Anna-Marie McLemore's When the Moon Was Ours (2016). HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Stiefvater is one of YA's biggest stars, and her first stand-alone since the Raven Cycle will demand lots of attention.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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