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All the Crooked Saints

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From bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater, a gripping tale of darkness, miracles, and family. Saints. Miracles. Family. Romance. Death. Redemption.

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.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published October 10, 2017

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About the author

Maggie Stiefvater

88 books168k followers
New York Times bestselling author of The Shiver Trilogy, The Raven Cycle, and The Scorpio Races. Artist. Driver of things with wheels. Avid reader.

Maggie Stiefvater plays several musical instruments (most infamously, the bagpipes) and makes art in several media (most generally, colored pencils).

She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband, their two children, many dogs, a bunch of fainting goats, and a mating pair of growly tuner cars.

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Profile Image for Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~.
347 reviews932 followers
September 30, 2017
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars

The Soria family have been courting miracles for years.

Wayward individuals find their way to the little town of Bicho Raro in search of a miracle that will change their lives, but the manifestations of these miracles are often not what they expect. Forbidden from interfering, the Sorias house these pilgrims until they can work through the curse of their darkness.

Needless to say, I had very high expectations for this novel. I am a big fan of Stiefvater's The Raven Cycle series and The Scorpio Races. Conceptually, this book caught my attention immediately. Upon finishing, I must say I'm a bit disappointed.

I liked the book, but it wasn't amazing.

First, I want to address the controversy about cultural appropriation & insensitivity. Personally, I didn't see anything particularly offensive going on in this novel, but I realize I may not have the appropriate knowledge to recognize instances of incorrect representation.

One thing that I didn't love was that one of the characters adopted the name "Diablo Diablo" for his radio personality. This seems to me like a white person's interpretation of something a Latinx person may find "badass."

Say, for example, I was writing about Japanese characters & one of them called herself "Kawaii Kawaii." Would an actual Japanese person find this sensible? I'm not sure, but something about this naming just didn't feel incredibly authentic.

Otherwise, my best advice would be to listen to Latinx reviewers who have actually read this book & see what they have to say about the controversy surrounding this novel. No, not folks who just listened to the interview Stiefvater gave. I'm talking about people who actually read the book.

Now that that's out of the way, let's talk about the book!

The divine writing we've come to expect from Stiefvater absolutely shines through here. I always love how atmospheric her stories tend to be, as that makes easy for me to sink in & get lost in her world building.

While reading, I got the distinct feeling that Stiefvater wanted this novel to be similar to The Raven Cycle in ways that don't necessarily work outside of The Raven Cycle. Even though the plot directions are not comparable, All the Crooked Saints doesn't get its own unique weirdness the way her previous novels have.

There are a ton of lovely ideas floating around all throughout this story; giants & sentient deserts that fall in love & dresses with fluttering butterflies - there's no end to Stiefvater's imagination. But I feel as though the narrative tries too hard to be quirky & philosophical, and thus ends up reading like a beautiful mess without much substance.

Certain aspects of the novel ended up feeling like unnecessary decoration instead of vital inclusions, which in turn causes the novel to lose a bit of its staying power with me.

As pointed out by my friend Melanie, the first 100 pages of this novel are a lot more interesting than the last 200. The pace slows dramatically as it edges toward the conclusion, & while I felt engaged when I was in the book, I had to convince myself I wanted to pick it back up again.

There was a lot of potential for this cast of characters to be highly individual, but unfortunately they end up feeling like distant cousins of characters we have already seen Stiefvater use in her stories. Pete read like a filler Gansey, Beatriz like a more stoic Blue.

The climax was lovely & fascinating, but very narrow in its scope. Complicated consequences for what I (and I think many readers will) consider uncomplicated solutions. Perhaps they would be considered more complicated in the 1960's, but I don't think any of the central conflicts or their resolutions really went there.

Overall, I wanted to like this a lot more than I did. It has a solid premise, and some beautiful moments here & there, but it doesn't pack the punch of the past favorites I've read from Stiefvater.

So glad I got to buddy read this with the beautiful Melanie! 💜

This review and other reviews of mine can be found on Book Nest!

Publication Date: October 10th, 2017
757 reviews2,346 followers
Want to read
December 7, 2017
Hi, my name is Sana. I am on page two. I am confused. Pray I make it through this entire book.
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,662 reviews5,143 followers
October 28, 2021
"Bicho Raro was a place of strange miracles."

I am so grateful to have been given an ARC of this by my friend Julie! Thank you again!

The synopsis for this book sounded so good, and the cover is gorgeous, and there are owls, and I had to have it. I was not disappointed in the slightest.

In the desert of Colorado, there lives a family - the Sorias, who have been blessed with a generational ability to perform miracles. These miracles are unusual, though; they draw a person's darkness out of them, so that it might form a physical entity or trait to be defeated. The only problem is this: once the miracle has been performed, it is that person's own responsibility to defeat their darkness, and no saint can help them, for fear of creating the vastly stronger and more frightening darkness of the Sorias.

When Daniel Soria is forced to face his darkness, he retreats into the wild to keep his family safe, but his family knows there is a puzzle to be solved if they are ever going to save their beloved saint.

This book is brimming with amazing, complex, lovable characters. There are the cousins - Beatriz, Daniel, and Joaquin - who are each so different, but so attached to one another they might as well be siblings. There are the adult Sorias, each of whom is cursed with their own difficulties and griefs that they must overcome. Last, there are the Pilgrims: those who have been given their first miracles, but have not yet vanquished their darkness.

I loved the way Maggie took the time to delve into the back stories of so many of the characters. I don't really feel like there was ever just one main character, because so many different individuals felt so important and crucial to the story, even among the older Sorias and the Pilgrims.

How can I review a Maggie Stiefvater book without talking about her writing? I know it isn't for everyone, but I loved it in The Raven Boys, and I loved it even more here. Every line is lyrical or metaphorical, and she constantly hides little gems in her words. You can't skim a book of Maggie's, because you'll miss half the beauty that lies simply in the way she writes. I wish I could share all of my favorite quotes with you, but half of them would be spoilers, and really, they're just words that you should read in the context of this beautiful story she created.

I know this book has been a bit controversial, and I don't want to say much on that, but I didn't feel right leaving it out altogether, because I know a lot of you guys will be curious about it. I did not personally feel as though the Hispanic culture was being represented poorly in this book. Maggie threw in tidbits here and there about historical figures in the Latinx community that had done great things, and from these tidbits, I actually learned some really cool, positive things!

HOWEVER, I am not Latinx and can not speak for an entire group of individuals that I do not belong to. I would be extremely open to hearing opinions from Latinx reviewers who have read this book, and would encourage all of you to open your minds and hear their viewpoints on this as well! Nobody can ever give you as well-formed of an opinion on a piece of "diverse" art as the marginalized groups that the author is trying to represent, especially when it is not an own-voice piece.

I loved this book. I was delighted to have the opportunity to read it ahead of its release, and I thought it painted such a beautiful story about this family and how much they loved one another. The magical aspect of it was portrayed in such a fun and unique way. Plus, owls are some of my favorite creatures on earth, and I loved the idea that they were attracted to the miracles and so massive groups of them constantly inhabited Bicho Raro.

I would highly encourage anyone who enjoys Maggie's writing - or beautiful, lyrical writing in general - to pick this up, especially if you're a fan of realistic fantasy.

You can find this review and more on my blog!
Profile Image for Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen).
423 reviews1,628 followers
June 14, 2019
2.5 Stars

"Some feelings are rooted too strongly in the body to exist without it, and this one, desire, is one of them.”

Look, no one is more disappointed by this rating than me.
Maybe I'm biased, and maybe all of Stiefvater's works will live under a Raven-Boy shaped shadow in my mind-- but this felt like a lot of wasted potential.

This odd little book starts strong, introducing the Soria family and their homes in Bicho Raro-- a place where miracles happen and you're inner darkness is personified. Once again, Stiefvater's mastery over words leads to excellent world-building and a visualized setting. Not only could I see this weird little town, but I could feel it. The hot desert sun, cracked dry earth, packs of rambunctious dogs, and the 'pilgrims' frustration-- it's all truly immersive.

Outside of the world building, Stiefvater continues to have one of the strongest narrative voices in YA fiction. Her descriptions always border somewhere between edgy and quirky, and the words blend together seamlessly.

But despite these two powerful elements--this book still fell flat for me. Largely due to characters I couldn't take seriously. Stiefvater is no stranger to quirky characters, but they've always felt real. From Sean in The Scorpio Races to Grace from Shiver to Ronan, Adam, Blue, and everyone from The Raven Boys... her characters are generally multifaceted and well-developed. ...and that was really missing here? Instead of feeling real, these characters felt like place holders for the manifestations of their miracles or their slightly-absurd backstories.

Maybe it's because there's simply so many characters. Outside of the main three protagonists, there's over 10 side-characters with plots and personalities to keep track of, and this book was far too short to delve into them all.

Or maybe it was the abrupt, silly introductions. From the first chapter, every single character is introduced with the omnipresent 3rd person stating "this is what they want" and "this is what they fear." Sometimes these would be silly-- like making the perfect pie, or being smothered by cats, and sometimes they'd be very serious ('never leaving the town' or 'not achieving perfection'). This was an interesting tactic that felt like a gimmick. By covering two main aspects of a character in the first sentence, the rest of the writing had very little to convey. I was consistently being told things I'd rather be shown and it felt abrupt.

Still, the characters were somewhat interesting, even if they never felt organic. And the setting was filled with a strong fantastical quality that pushed the plot forward, so I was okay with it. Until the haphazard, rushed ending. I'm still not certain I understand. Magical realism is supposed to be somewhat ambiguous, but this went on to explain almost everything, before twisting all the established rules and leaving almost everything unresolved.

In Conclusion:

It's a lot of pretty places and gorgeous words, but the characters and plot feel hollow.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
May 14, 2021

I was looking for a miracle, but I got a story instead, and sometimes those are the same thing.
(More like this story needed a miracle).

The Soriaa are a family of miracle-workers. People from all-around the world pilgrimage to their little spot of the desert, hoping for a catch-all cure.

But what the pilgrims don't realize is that miracles come in two-parts.
Bicho Raro was a place of strange miracles.
The first half is done by a Soria, but the second half has to be done by the pilgrim.

The Sorias bring the problem to life but most of the pilgrims learn only too late that the side effects can be devastating.
She had still been learning how to live with the hard truth that the most interesting parts of her thoughts usually got left behind when she tried to put them into words.
Someone who has trouble voicing their words may find themselves without a voice at all, someone subconscious of their size may become 10ft tall (etc).

The Sorias are forbidden from helping the pilgrims - so the family can't tell the individuals something like, "Jeez. You just need to find a way to communicate your thoughts to others without relying on your words." or "You need to learn to stop being subconscious."

And thus the number of pilgrims grow...and grow...and grow.

The younger members of the Soria family aren't quite so set in their ways, and each of them are dealing with their own problems.

Joaquin moonlights as a DJ (Diablo Diablo) where he can express his personality outside of his family's influence. Beatriz hides her feelings and Daniel is trapped performing miracles for everyone but cannot even help himself.

The young Sorias are going to have to choose sides...and soon...because soon, even miracles will not be able to save them.

I think I gosh-dang nearly had a heart attack when I rated this one. THE Maggie Stiefvater? Writing a 2-star book? Nothing could have prepared me for this moment.

The worst part was...I could have LOVED this one. The ideas, the characters. the magical realism - it was all there...but it just didn't come together.

It was nothing like what I expected.

The characters felt flat for the first two-thirds of the book and when I finally began to connect with them, I already felt so disconnected to the book that it didn't really matter.

J think my disconnection was (in part) due to the language. There was so much emphasis on the prosaic words that I would spend far too long puzzling out the meaning...before ultimately concluding that the words were just there to be pretty.
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.
In addition, the book throws you into a fully-fleshed out world with little or no scaffolding to bring the reader up to pace.

This was incredibly frustrating when the magic is incredibly intricate and has so much background to each and every aspect...that you find out pages or even chapters later....which by then, I was like, "ehhh...don't care no more."

Overall, this one was far more of a miss than I ever would have expected. Real shame too, cause I absolutely LOVED the Raven Boys series.

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Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
June 20, 2019
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.

In a small town in 1960s Colorado, a latinx family of saints performs miracles on pilgrims. But a Soria miracle can only be triggered; the second step of the miracle comes when the pilgrim learns to acknowledge their inner darkness and learn from it.

Maggie Stiefvater has a brand. If I were to define that brand, it would be in three things: 1) weird magical vibes and strange animal imagery, 2) small rural towns, 3) large casts of interesting side characters, 4) emotionally unavailable female leads. The main problem with this book is that it has all of her tropes, all of her best writing and imagery and some pretty decent character development, but it feels as if it lacks the emotion behind them just a little bit.

➽So… I generally think Maggie Stiefvater is absolutely great at crafting dynamic casts of side characters, and I think this trend really comes out here. I was a huge fan of the dynamics of the Soira family, but I especially adored the three Soria cousins:
✔Beatriz - token emotionally unavailable female lead. Okay, no, Stiefvater keeps repeating this narrative, but it’s a really interesting narrative. Beatriz is a character struggling with acknowledging her own feelings; she is a scientist, and a talented one, but she refuses to let herself be anything else. Really liked her.
✔Joaquin - an aspiring radio DJ on a pirated radio. Edgy boi who I would die for. Very amusing but also ambitious and would die for his family. I’m so proud of him.
✔Daniel - the Saint and miracle-worker. An extremely caring and sweet character and I absolutely adored him and I love him.

➽And besides the Sorias, there is a fantastic, compelling cast of side characters: the pilgrims. From a preacher with the head of a wolf to a woman who can do nothing but repeat the words of others, they are all here to cleanse themselves of their inner darkness, whether they know what it is or not.
✔Pete - meh. I’m sorry, but of every side character in this book, I found him to be the absolute blandest.
✔Tony - a former radio DJ on the run from fame and in search of a miracle. Fairly amusing.
✔Marisita - Absolutely my favorite character in the whole damn book. Arc around self hatred and so much gorgeous imagery; she is covered with butterflies and tears as a result of her first miracle.

I did really like all these characters. Marisita and Daniel’s romance was just freaking adorable, and the three Soria cousins have a really sweet bond. But it wasn’t enough. I guess I just didn’t really connect to any of the characters very much? They’re fine, but not amazing.

I also… struggled with finding the actual heart of this story. okay, I really liked the message around generational trauma, and of course books can have the same message as each other. But I honestly kept internally comparing this to books like Wild Beauty and finding it… lacking.

So let's touch on the Discourse™️. For those of you unfamiliar, a fairly serious campaign against this book occured before arcs were even released, and apparently we all just assumed it was bad because... Stiefvater wrote it? It has since come out that there were at least two lantinx sensitivity readers working on this book, and the early-on twitter claim that Stiefvater didn’t do research on latina people in the 1960s is both untrue and not backed up [especially as it was written before the books' officially release].

However, while this is not blatantly awful representation, I do think it is… flawed.

A major stereotype about latina girls is that they are cold & unemotional. The narrative in which an emotionally cold girl learns to love is a Stiefvater cliche [literally, an emotionally cold girl is the protagonist of both series I have read by her] and my guess is she literally did not consider the implications of using that trope for her latina lead. There is also another latina girl who narrates and does not fit this cliche at all. Beatriz is not oversexualized or fetishized, but as the lead latina girl protagonist, her being completely unemotional… does feel weird. It feels perhaps weirder because she’s learning to love via the blandest white boy in the world, which is uncomfortably white-saviory in nature. Yes, this is a Latinx story, but it centralizes white stories within its own narrative. On this topic, I completely second what Giselle said in this review.

I think in situations like this, we all need to find ways of discussing flawed representation with nuance and care. The systematic problem here comes not just with the desire of many non-marginalized writers to tell stories that are not their own, but with the dearth of those stories on the mainstream market. This post on magical realism and appropriation perhaps better tackles the systematic problem with white authors writing Latinx stories. And as someone is inevitably going to ask me what book does it better, this is just a friendly reminder to read Wild Beauty and Blanca Y Roja, two books by author Anna-Marie McLemore that tackle queer latinx identity and generational trauma.

There definitely are better aspects. The imagery is really great. I absolutely adored the thing she wanted / thing she feared character intros: they were the highlights of the book for me. The audiobook fucking rocks; the narrator is latino, and did a fantastic job of character voices. And in general, there’s a very magical vibe to this book, almost otherworldly but grounded by characters we relate to. I loved the wide scope of the Soria family and how positive and loving their dynamic was. Yet they still feel like a flawed, dynamic family. The trio of Soria cousins are great. There are a lot of great ideas. I do really love how Stiefvater plays with language and metaphor; it’s a lot of fun, and I’m sure you could annotate this for just her wordplay till the end of time.

But overall, I just found this to be… okay. And I definitely preferred The Scorpio Races and The Raven Cycle to this.

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Profile Image for Cesar.
355 reviews235 followers
October 16, 2017
4 stars

“It is, after all, not the tasks people do but the things they do around the edges of them that reveal who they are.”


People, it has finally happened. I have read All the Crooked Saints and I have a lot to say about it.

But before I do, I want to address something. As many of you know, I had posted a ranty review on how I think people rating a book 1-star shouldn't do it if they haven't read the book. A lot of non-Mexican/Latinx people were saying how the book is problematic even though the book wasn't released at the time. It did make me slightly mad because of how so many people were being ignorant about this and choosing to rate it 1-star without even reading it.

That was when I posted my now famous rant that has opened up a lot of eyes. I just want to say thank you all for liking and commenting on it. I never expected it to blow up. Once again, thank you all so much. And don't worry, if you are new and want to see my rant, keep scrolling until you find it.

Now that that's out of the way, let me get on with my review.

All the Crooked Saints is a weird book. Weird in the sense that it involves magical realism but still manages to keep grounded with the plot and characters. I know some people don't like magical realism so this may not be the book for them. For me on the other hand, I really did like All the Crooked Saints!

I thought it was a short but well-written story about family, faith, and learning to deal with difficult moments.

Mind you, it wasn't perfect, but overall, it was a good book. And the months I've been waiting for have been paid off!



The story is about the Soria family as well as the group of pilgrims who live in Bicho Raro. We follow three cousins, Beatriz, Joaquin, and Daniel, who are living there and to the best of their extent, trying to understand their current life. Beatriz is a girl who shows little emotions, Joaquin is an aspiring radio DJ who goes under the name Diablo Diablo, and Daniel is the Saint at Bicho Raro, performing miracles on the pilgrims. It all seems fine (and a little weird) when something happens and this causes a rift between the Sorias. A miracle is needed to heal them.

I want to start off by saying that some people may not like the plot. I know I said that some may not be on board with the magical realism aspect, but there are other parts of the book where I can see not many people will enjoy it. But for the most part, All the Crooked Saints tells the story of a family trying to comprehend the sudden rift and the pilgrims trying to find a miracle so they can feel free.

It is a story about family and having faith in yourself.

The Good

One thing I liked the most was the good rep of Mexican people. As a Mexican-American myself, I did not find one thing that was too bad. If anything, I liked how Maggie was able to mix family ties while keeping in check with how Mexican families act. So no, there wasn't anything problematic about this book despite what others may say. *cough cough* Those who haven't read the damn book *cough cough*


I have read magical realism books before (A.S. King) and it's one of my favorite type of sub-genres out there. The use of magical realism with the use of Saints made the book more interesting. Miracles are performed by Daniel and these miracles aren't just snap-your-fingers-and-make-it-all-better kind of miracle. It's a type of miracle where you have to find it in yourself in order to get better. The use of the miracles can speak volumes especially when they are being presented with characters who are unsure about themselves.

The writing is absolutely phenomenal. I am not kidding when I say that Maggie could literally write a grocery list and make it sound magical. Since I have read her Raven Cycle series, I know that Maggie is an exceptional writer. Just read this.

“Love in the high desert is a strange thing. There is something about the climate—the remoteness, the severity of the seasons, the dryness of the air, the extreme beauty—that makes people feel more deeply. Perhaps without trees or cities to dampen the enormity of the feelings, they spread out hugely. Perhaps the hard-packed dust of the San Luis Valley amplifies them, like a shout into a canyon.”

Tell me that isn't beautiful! Anything Maggie writes is purely magical.

The characters themselves are interesting, to say the least. Actually, interesting would be an understatement. The best way I would describe them is, they are rare animals that you can see but not get too close to them. Each of the cousins is piecing together their current life and coming to terms with who they are. Beatriz with her emotionless persona wanting to understand how others feel. Jauquin wants out of Bicho Raro and continue to pursue a career in radio but can't seem to understand what it is the people who are listening in want, and Daniel is dealing with the aftermath of a mistake. They may not be like the Raven Boys, but they are good characters.

The Not So Good

I'll admit, there were at least two things I wasn't too fond of. Not to say that I hated them, but they did prevent me from giving this a 5-star rating.

As much as I liked the writing, there were times when it seemed like Maggie was rambling a bit. There was literally a long paragraph talking about a salt lake. Yes, that paragraph was a euphemism for something, but I really didn't need a long paragraph describing it.

And because of the ramblings, the book is a bit slow paced despite how short it is. That, and I was busy with school so that didn't help with my reading schedule. Other than those two flaws, nothing else stood out to me.


All the Crooked Saints was met with mixed reactions from people who were too focused on their feelings and gave the book 1-star (without even reading the fucking book, I might add.) Despite this, I sat down and typed in what I felt about it. And you know what, I'm glad I did and I don't regret it. I never let my emotions get in the way of it and it paid off.

While it wasn't perfect, I did enjoy All the Crooked Saints. Maggie does it again with another great book. I'm looking forward to reading more books from her. (Especially the trilogy centered around Ronan from the Raven Boys. I NEED IT!)

Thanks for reading my review!



Me before I heard about the 1-star reviews: Oh my God! A new Maggie Stiefvater book! I'm so happy!

*Sees the 1-star reviews complaining about nothing*

*takes off glasses*

*takes a deep breath*

*puts glasses back on*

Listen. Listen, you social justice keyboard warriors. I am tired of hearing this "white authors should stick in their lane" bullshit I've been hearing about the last year. Who the hell do you think you are telling an author what they should and shouldn't write? Who are you to tell others not to read a book WHEN YOU HAVEN'T FUCKING READ IT!!!!

I'm Mexican-American. I am happy that Maggie Stiefvater is writing a book that has Mexican characters and goes into Mexican folklore and Saints! I love her writing and have been a fan since I've read the Raven Cycle. I'll read any book by her, regardless if the main characters are white, black, Mexican, male, or female. She writes amazing stories and amazing characters.

And to all the SJWs: where are your priorities?!?!?!

First, you want more diversity. Then when an author does their proper research and has sensitivity readers, you're still mad. Make up your minds! Seriously, you are the ones who are making things worse by calling everything racist. "Oh, a white author writing a character that isn't white even though they did their research? RACIST!" Fuck out of here, you keyboard warriors.

And to those who are saying it's cultural appropriation, it isn't. Maggie didn't steal anything. She didn't appropriate Mexican Culture because the people in Mexico and anyone else are STILL able to celebrate their beliefs and holidays. Maggie didn't steal Mexican/Latinx culture. Culture isn't a physical object that can be taken and locked in a drawer. That's not how it is.

And if you do a simple Google search, Saints belong to different ethnicities. You have Italian people who believe in Saints, along with others across the world. It just doesn't belong to Mexican/Latinx culture. If you look even further and search the origin of Catholicism, it originated from Judea. Last I checked, Judea isn't a Mexican or South American country. Also, I went to a bible study group last week with a friend and one of the people there was Asian. She was there of her own free will wanting to learn more about God. So don't you spout how it's cultural appropriation when religion can be practiced by millions of people.

I swear to God, I am sick and tired of these SJWs who think they know what's best when really, they don't. This is just like Ramona Blue all over again.

There is a reason why authors do their research and if they can, have access to sensitivity readers before their book is released so they can change some things. I trust that Maggie did her research well. If she managed to cram a lot of lore and myth into the Raven Cycle, I'm sure she did the research for All the Crooked Saints. She wouldn't have written the book if she didn't do her research.

What pains me the most is how some people are mad about how the town being translated to weirdo or weird. As someone who grew up in south Texas, weirdo is nothing compared to the insults my classmates (who are a majority of Mexican-Americans) say to one another. Trust me, I've been on the receiving end a couple of times. And for those who think the translation was penis, that is a slang. If you're that sensitive that the translation was meant to mean penis (again, a slang I found on Urban Dictionary), then go back to your safe space.

And another thing: Stop coddling Mexicans/Latinx people so much. It angers me that so many SJWs see Mexicans/Latinx as minorities and feel like they should speak for us and defend us from the harsh realities of life. News flash: You do not have to treat us all like we're some sort of lesser being just because we are of Mexican/Latinx culture. I see it almost all the time of how white people or any other race/ethnicity try and coddle a minority group. I do not need protection. I don't need to be coddled. Stop treating us like we have no voice, especially if you're not even Mexican/Latinx. You may think you're protecting them, but you're only speaking YOUR feelings, not everyone's. Stop being offended on behalf of all Mexican/Latinix. Sure, if someone called them derogatory names that are clearly offensive and overtly racist, then yes, call it out. But when it comes to trivial stuff like this that isn't even offensive, stop it. We have a voice. Do not treat us like we don't have one.

People are so sensitive these days. If it doesn't fit their quota, it's not a good book. Meanwhile, there are people out there (the ones with rational thinking) who want open discussions. But the SJWs will not even respond knowing their words would backfire against them and go running away with their tail between their legs.

Don't rate a book 1-star if you haven't read it yet. The book isn't even out till the fall!

Did your future self time travel back to tell you it's bad?

Did you get an ARC and read it?

Did a trustworthy friend tell you it's bad?

If all the answers were no, then there's no reason to rate it 1-star if you haven't even read it yet!

Seriously! Stop complaining about nothing!!!!

I am so fucking mad I can't even... UGH!

Oh, and a little reminder... Blue and Henry from the Raven Cycle aren't white! Blue has olive skin and Henry is Korean. Let that sink in with you SJWs.

You know what's funny? A lot of the people who left 1-star reviews are white. Oh, the fucking irony. If they were Mexican/Latinx, then maybe I would listen. Maybe. But the fact that most of them are white shows they're sensitive little 5-year-olds who aren't capable of rational/cognitive thought.

I'm sick of your SJW feelings and I'm calling you out.

I'll say this: I'm Mexican-American. I love Maggie Stiefvater's books. And I will gladly read this one.
Profile Image for Emma.
59 reviews2,312 followers
June 16, 2017
I absolutely love love loved this. As per usual with Maggie's books, it was full of magic and complex characters. There were some moments in the writing that took my breath away. I had to pause a couple times and reread certain passages. It was just so beautiful.
Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 11 books75.3k followers
July 30, 2018
OH, wow.

Este libro superó completamente mis expectativas.

La puntuación es realmente de 4.5 estrellas, y solo le quito ese .5 porque fue un libro que me hacía dormir cada vez que intentaba leerlo (?)... creo que las palabras de Maggie Stiefvater me arrullaban sin que me diera cuenta, entonces me tomó mucho tiempo terminarlo, ¡pero valió la pena! (De todos modos, no creo que este sea un libro para todos, solo basta ver la diversidad en opiniones que hay sobre éste).

Y la prosa de Maggie en el libro... ¡maravillosa! Es muy purple prose, muy poética, muy diferente a los otros libros que he leído de ella (o sea, la esencia de su escritura se siente igual, pero en este libro fluye de forma diferente).

¿Y el libro en sí? Es uno de los libros más extraños que he leído... de verdad, no sé cómo explicarlo, apenas que lo lean ustedes también. Diría que es parecido al realismo mágico (Definición: Movimiento literario hispanoamericano surgido a mediados del siglo XX que se caracteriza por la inclusión de elementos fantásticos en la narración, con lo que se pretende profundizar en la realidad a través de lo mágico que hay en ella).

No sé qué más decir por ahora, sólo que me gustó mucho.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,797 followers
November 3, 2017
Full review posted

I read the book and loved it so much and yet I understood exactly zero things and if you asked me to tell you what it was about I’d just sink to the floor and stare at the ceiling with blank eyes, bc HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THIS BOOK IS


- I don’t have enough words or eloquence to describe this book and what it made me feel someone help me
- Maggie has this style of writing that’s incredibly dramatic like it doesn’t even make sense but it makes you feel things that you can’t name
- “What a shame that both miracles and radio waves are invisible, because it would be quite a sight: ribbons of marvel and sound stretching out straight and true from all over the world.”
- ^ what on earth is that and why does it make me feel like a philosopher from the year 403??
- The characters are so sweet, so precious, so pure
- As like all of Maggie’s other characters, theyre just so real and different and have so many dimensions to them honestly you could tell them apart even without a nametag at the end of the dialogue they’re THAT unique
- The plot?? What is the plot?? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO IDENTIFY THE PLOT when so many things were happening and they didn’t make sense but somehow they did at the same time
- I just, I wanna know what goes on in Maggie’s head bc im slightly concerned for her
- The setting is gorgeous, the setting is wonderful and eerie and spiritual and it’s so flipping fantastic take me back to the 1960s
- There are so many povs and so much beautiful backstories and so much tender moments and weird as hell humour I just
- Wow I love this book
- There’s family and friendship and love and pain and anguish and forgiveness and miracles and just wowowowowowowoowow
- Okay the only reason it ain’t 5 stars is bc it took me time to get into and even though it was incredible it wasn’t one of those books that SHAKES UP YOUR WORLD and CHANGES YOUR LIFE and inspires you to CHUCK reality and BUY A PLANE TICKET TO A COUNTRY OVERSEAS AT 3AM (bc that’s what 5 star ratings are reserved for)
- This book inspires you to take your car at 2 am and drive down a deserted farm road, sticking your head out of the sunroof and screaming for no reason
- That’s the vibes I got at least

“I was looking for a miracle, but I got a story instead, and sometimes those are the same thing.”

4.5 stars!!

Buddy read with the uni kid


3/21/ 2017 update




Just imagine, in 256 days, 5 hours, 1 minute, and 30 seconds from THIS MOMENT, all my dreams, (20 seconds) hopes, and desires will be fulfilled (10 seconds) by THE RELEASE OF THIS BOOK !!!!!


Profile Image for Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》.
293 reviews721 followers
Shelved as 'never-ever-ever'
June 17, 2017
It's no secret I love The Raven Boys and Scorpion Races with all my heart. That being said, I most likely will never read this book. Not because I think it's racist and offensive in any way, it just doesn't sound interesting to me. How about we all put our big girl panties on and try acting like adults?

Some dickhead flagged my prereview because It stated we shouldn't judge a book before we've actually read it? Meanwhile, GR has no problem people personally attacking each other, and rating books that aren't even complete yet? What the fuck is this shit? Goodreads, you need to get your shit together. I am so frustrated right now.

Most readers were angry because The Raven Cycle doesn't have many "nonwhite" people and now you are whining because Maggie is creating a Mexican character? What the hell is your problem? If you have an issue, don't read the book! Easy. No one is forcing you!
Profile Image for jv poore.
612 reviews207 followers
August 15, 2022
This story of the Soria family comes to you courtesy of quite the natty narrator. Conveyed in a quirky, yet compelling cadence, the tone is objective, but not unaffected. A twist on the third person point-of-view, presents a storyteller that isn’t simply reading the lines, but rather speaking with familiarity and fondness and perhaps, a hint of pride.

The small Colorado settlement of Bicho Raro is presently packed with pilgrims and the three young Soria cousins are puzzling over the predicament. On the surface, it looks like folks are seriously searching for answers; but upon closer inspection, they seem stubborn and somewhat silly not to consider the correctness of their query.

Here in the Colorado desert, radio waves reach for transistors as miracles search for saints and owls migrate towards the miracles. Previously, people would pop in for the magic, then proceed along life’s path. They still come, but now…no one leaves.

The cousins watch their kin drag themselves through the same dull, daily routines; following tired, old procedures while the pilgrims lurk about listlessly. Instead of answers though, each cousin comes up with a distinctly different (and slightly disturbing) question. Separately and secretly, they set out to seek solutions with the single goal of restoring Bicho Raro.

While the situations in All the Crooked Saints stem from fantasy and folklore, they nevertheless relate to real-life ruts. Interspersed with Spanish and Stiefvater-sly humor, the story has a subtle, sneaky effect. A pleasure to read, plenty to ponder, it is perfect for the Young Adult audience; but, I predict this story will resonate with all readers of all ages.

This review was written for Buried Under Books by jv poore.
Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
662 reviews3,890 followers
August 15, 2018
“Here's a thing everyone wanted: a miracle.
Here's a thing everyone feared: what it takes to get one.”

Nestled within the rolling desert hills of Colorado is the small town of Bicho Raro, a town that's neither here nor there but attracts visitors of the strangest kind. It's here Maggie Stiefvater sets her odd but charming, All The Crooked Saints, her first foray into fiction since The Raven Boys ended. The Raven Boys is a favourite of mine, and I wanted this one to be too. But I don't think Maggie Stiefvater managed to recapture the magic. Where I found the writing of the Raven Boys beautiful and lyrical, here I found it slightly edged on overdone. Where I found the quirkiness of the Raven Boys endearing, I found it irritating here, and felt that the realism that grounded the characters was absent. The only thing I truly loved was the setting, again Maggie Stiefvater managed to capture something magical and whimsy about a rural American setting.

“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.”

Stiefvater introduces us to our central characters within the first chapter. Joaquin Soria, introduced as someone who wants to be famous but fears dying alone in the parched dust outside Bicho Raro. Beatriz Soria, who wanted to devote time to understanding how a butterfly was similar to a galaxy and feared being asked to do anything else. And Daniel Soria, who wanted to help someone he wasn't allowed to help but feared he would ruin his entire family for his private desire. At first I found this manner of introducing the characters interesting and lyrical, but the sentence quickly became overused and cliche. This is similar to the writing throughout the book. Stiefvater has talent but the organic beauty of her writing seemed lost here, for me the writing felt forced. There are sparks of brilliance, I think Stiefvater is a great writer and an interesting writer, and the strength of her writing carried this book through the rough patches, but she couldn't carry the style as flawlessly as she has done previously.

Similarly, where The Raven Boys had characters who were incredibly compelling, the protagonists of All the Crooked Saints were not so. I liked them, but I didn't love them. Their quirkiness intrigued me, but there wasn't enough substance. Odd characters are fun, but they need some grounding in reality to seem real to me. I want something hard and truthful. For me, there wasn't enough of that. The Soria's felt almost like caricatures rather than real people. I also felt like there was an element of stereotyping and otherness in the depiction of the characters. The Soria's feel like typecasts and often the way the culture and folklore was incorporated felt like Stiefvater was fetishising the culture. Often, it felt as if Stiefvater was overusing iconography and language in order to make this book feel "ethnic" and it ended up feeling fetishised. It is very disappointing that the publishers didn't take the time to hire someone to make the Spanish included correct and grammatically coherent, that would have taken five seconds and would have made me feel less as if this is a book trying to profit off of depicting this culture of a quirky other. I will include links to ownvoices reviews at the end of this review.

“This is the way of our work: We cannot help but color it with the paint of our feelings, both good and bad.”

While Stiefvater has proven in The Raven Cycle she has talent, a lot of it fell to the wayside here. The action, character development and coherence of the plot was lost in favour of portraying beautiful writing. But beautiful writing a book does not make, and the rambling nature of this book, as well as muddled character concepts and unsatisfying character development prevented me from loving this. I enjoyed reading it, but I found myself more and more unsatisfied as I neared the end. For me there was some nuggets of brilliance, but overall All the Crooked Saints fails to live up to the high expectations many of us have set for Stiefvater, and the problems I had with The Raven Cycle were, if anything, exacerbated rather than solved here.

ownvoices reviews

Giselle, a Latinx reviewer (3 star review)

Laura Pohl on representation of in YA specifically related to ATCS

A twitter thread about this book, especially related to lack of nuance and translation issues

Fatma's goodreads review

Profile Image for Michael.
177 reviews770 followers
June 13, 2017
That was truly beautiful.

There's this constant feeling that lingers over you while reading a Maggie Stiefvater book,
and part of that feeling is the knowledge that you're never going to read anything quite as enchanting as the words you're currently devouring. Only Maggie could write a scene consisting of nothing but an old man and a rooster in a greenhouse and have me captivated by every word.

This is an odd little book. Think Maggie's previous The Raven Cycle meets Miss Peregrine's. It's not like any other YA out there right now. That is part of why it is so magical.

The story takes place entirely in the desert. It's hot, it's dry, and it's dusty. And wow did I wish I could be there with the Soria family. As is to be expected, each and every one of the characters is a fully crafted real person with their heart beating on the page. Their stories are moving, their motivations authentic.

Furthermore, knowing everything that comes with it, all the struggle and loneliness, I still found myself wrapped in a bittersweet sentiment that I couldn't face my own darkness for a miracle.

Finally, I cannot speak to the representation in this book. There are quite a few moments drawing from culture, and I'd really like to know how Latinx readers feel about the representation.
Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,985 followers
October 18, 2018
“The mare [...] was so mean that she even killed her own name, and now people just pointed to her.”


*embarrassed silence*

*crickets in the distance*


What the heck is that supposed to mean?


All the Crooked Saints is the most annoying book I have read this year and one of the most annoying I have read in my whole life. Maggie Stiefvater's books and I, after all, have always had what you call a love/hate relationship: I loved The Scorpio Races, viscerally hated Shiver, and I firmly believe The Raven Cycle has its good, even very good, moments, but is ultimately much overrated, to a degree that baffles and will never cease to baffle me. In none of this cases, however, not even in the much despised Shiver, I was confronted with what made me lose my patience with All the Crooked Saint: a writing style so irritating with its manic pixie dream girl vibes, its affectations and pretensions to poeticalness, and aiming to a whimsicality which is completely unjustified in its excess as it meets no higher goal than the achievement of a syrupy, maudlin sense of self-satisfaction.

Yes, because let's be honest: say smoke and mirrors and pretty WTFish metaphors, and you've covered a good 85% of the content of the book, the other 15% being actually interesting and compelling ideas that unfortunately end up buried under tons of insubstantial trimmings.
“Whenever she had a spare moment, she constructed elaborate paper flowers so realistic that sometimes even the flowers forgot they were not real and wilted for want of water.”

“She formed pots out of clay that were so striking that sometimes, when she went to gather clay for a new one, she discovered that the clay had eagerly already begun to shape itself for her. Her voice was so well trained that bulls would lie down when they heard her sing. [...] She could ride two horses at the same time, one leg on each horse, and still hold down her skirt to maintain her modesty, if she felt like it. Her segueza, developed from an ancient recipe, was so excellent that time itself stood still while you were eating it in order to savor the flavor along with you.”

“[W]hen he lifted his head, he could see that the breeze was carrying blue sky with it [...] he and the dog followed the breeze [...] He saw now that it was not blue sky at all, but rather a blue balloon whose string was tied around her wrist.” (Italics mine)
I swear this one had me like ???

“There were meant to be twelve of them [dogs], but these six were so bad-tempered that in the womb, they’d eaten the other six. [...] [A] tenderhearted long-haul trucker had scooped them into a box to raise them to weaning age. They were so bad-tempered that he took up drinking before leaving them in a ditch near Pagosa Springs. A pack of coyotes tried to eat them there, but the puppies learned how to walk and then run and turned on the coyotes, chasing them nearly all the way to Bicho Raro.”

This is magical realism, you say. This is supposed to be like this, you say. And I can even agree, up to a point. But if I have a certainty, it's that, when a story works, it works because all its parts share a goal (or, why not, more than one), they all point in the same direction, they all actually mean something in the context of the narrative. Now, if you asked me why in All the Crooked Saints even the minutest details are characterized with such extravagance, I would not be able to answer, or I would just shrug and consider that answer enough. Because all these and the other dozens quirky anecdotes I didn't quote meant nothing to me and meant nothing to the story, because they add nothing to it.

I do not mean to associate All the Crooked Saints to these genres, obviously (although you never know what people will decide to make of your words, so it is better to just make it clear) but I believe the distance between this book and actual magical realism is reflected in what many believe to be the determining difference between pornography and erotica. I quote from Wikipedia (see, I'm not making this up): “pornography's objective is the graphic depiction of sexually explicit scenes, while erotica seeks to tell a story that involves sexual themes that include a more plausible depiction of human sexuality than in pornography.” True magical realism uses magic elements to tell a story that couldn't be properly told without them; All the Crooked Saints uses magic elements because they are cool and people think this stuff is cute. You will forgive me if I feel I'm being led by the nose.
On a smaller scale, you can observe this “prettiness for prettiness's sake” phenomenon if you consider the phrase “hole in my/his heart” (depending on who's talking), which is the only expression ever used to refer to Pete's heart condition and occurs 13 times in the whole book, which means at least once every twenty-three pages. Proportionally, this phrase appears more frequently than Edward's infamous crooked smile in Twilight. It just sounds so pretty, so why not repeat it ad nauseam?

I notice that I digress; it will suffice you to know that, although the premises are incredibly promising, the actual plot is uninteresting, its unfolding slow, its conclusion trite and, again, a bit too sappy for me: I like my endings more on the bittersweet side. I know that my review became more of a short essay than a proper review, and I apologize. I guess the fact that I had more to say about what is conceptually wrong with the book than about the book itself speaks volumes, though.

➽ In conclusion, do I recommend All the Crooked Saints? Honestly, I don't think I can. I don't think it's a good book, and Stiefvater has surely written better things, The Raven Cycle included. As for the future, I don't know if I'll keep reading her books. I guess it will depend.
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,137 reviews8,150 followers
October 20, 2017
“I was looking for a miracle, but I got a story instead, and sometimes those are the same thing.”

I love this quote from Maggie Stiefvater's acknowledgements because it fits so well with a major idea in this novel—that often we don't know what's best for us, that we too often go looking for something that's right in front of our faces, that if we just stop and live we might uncover something greater than we ever could have anticipated.

It's no secret I love Stiefvater's storytelling. I fell in love with it while reading The Raven Cycle, a series I've now read multiple times. But I hadn't ever ventured into her other work, much less a standalone novel, so I was a bit nervous to read this one. However, I had no reason to be worried. This book is just as beautifully written and wonderfully crafted as her other stories.

I won't go into the details of what the story is about because A.) you can look that up and B.) don't do that! Just read the dang book! It's a lovely story that follows a wide variety of characters who are all undergoing their own changes. And while the story is a bit on the shorter side and possibly could've used more time to develop these characters, I adored the fairytale quality where everything was metaphorical and imaginative and unique. It reads like a fable or folktale and has the trademark Stiefvater levels of weirdness, which I loved. Not many people can convince me of such bizarre occurrences in a story as she can; in parts it reminded me of The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, but pulled off the fabulism more successfully.

I know people will have mixed reactions to this because you have to suspend your disbelief and just go with it, but if you do, you'll be greatly rewarded. I can already see myself reading this one again. 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Amy.
500 reviews77 followers
February 19, 2018
Well that was a bit of a disappointment.
I wonder if people realize you can mark a book as "not interested" or "never ever" and express your discontent without marking a star rating...

Its almost like its, I don't know, irresponsible or asinine to rate a book no one has actually read.

Profile Image for Nafeeza.
252 reviews4 followers
Want to read
June 4, 2017
As if meeting this writing goddess wasn't enough. I got a signed ARC of All the Crooked Saints! AHHHHH!!! *runs around flailing* *dies*


Profile Image for ELLIAS (elliasreads).
477 reviews38.2k followers
December 24, 2017
"You can hear a miracle a long way after dark, even when you are dying."

so fucking beautiful. I love it so much.
I especially love the characters and how this isn't just about one particular story. It's not about a story that has a beginning or an ending; it's about the little stories, the ones that nobody knows about, that really matters.

It's like the certain lingering smell a person leaves after they're gone; something that stirs up a long forgotten memory into life again.

It was so beautiful and I love everything about it.

"I was looking for a miracle, but I got a story instead, and sometimes those are the same things."

Here was a thing Brandon wanted: to find the answer to his secret. Here was a thing Brandon feared: that the answer to his secret might not ever found.


Twitter | Bookstagram | Youtube |


"creepy Colorado magic" and "dust"....


someone just hold me pls

Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
764 reviews2,359 followers
October 15, 2017
It is, after all, not the tasks people do but the things they do around the edges of them that reveal who they are.

They say miracles don’t happen, and that’s true, to an extent.
However, in Bicho Raro, that’s something you’ll never hear anyone say.
From the dawn of time, the Soria family trades in miracles. For generations, the members of this extraordinary family, the Saints as the pilgrims call them, have helped people in need of redemption on the condition that they’ll never interfere with their healing process or else, they’ll suffer from consequences, too.
What happens when one breakes this unwritten rule? All The Crooked Saints will help you find out.

Before I start this review I must admit that I might be a little biased in my judgment, since I adore this author and I appreciate everything she creates, but I'll try my best to be objective. I also promise to keep the majority of details to myself, because a)spoilers, and b)my words could never do this story justice, you have to read it by yourself to understand.

All The Crooked Saints is like nothing MS’s ever written. It has nothing in common with her other series, except for the ever-present magical aura that surrounds her works, and the quotable lines.
I reckon that it might not be for everyone, especially if you’re not up for the amount of notions and sensations the author’s going to dump on you at any given chance and without further warning. It’s not the kind of book you’d die to binge on, that’s why suggest you take it in small doses.
I highly recommend it, anyway, because it’s a book that has things to say and it craves to be heard.

I’d like to start by addressing the writing, since it’s the thing that hit me the most, and I’ve been dying to gush about it since when I picked this book up.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew Stiefvater was good (I have a whole scrapbook of quotes from The Raven Cycle and I’m not sorry), but I didn’t know she could be this good.
The style has a sweetness to it that’s different, the usually sharpened edges are rounded and presented with a handshake instead of a middle finger.
The entire book reads like a nice chat you might be having with a friend you haven’t seen in awhile, like a story whispered around a campfire.
It's an indefinite number of stories inside other stories, the matrioska effect make it so that reading this book is like opening a drawer only to find another smaller drawer inside of it, and so on.
Her writing style is at its best. Easy, colloquial, with that sense of freedom that shines through every word, both in terms of prose (which is quite musical, if you ask me) than for what concerns the sarcastic tones Maggie Stiefvater’s become famous for.
The author guides you through the world she’s created, she doesn’t leave anything to chance and takes care of every detail.
I know someone might find this a bit boring, but I like this whole thing of giving a believable and solid background to even the smallest of characters. It’s what gives this story the impression that there’s even a thinner line between the reader and the story they’re reading.
It kinda reminded me of The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, with which this book also shares a fiabesque-like narration.
I’d also give her a prize only for all those Here was a thing he wanted…Here was a thing he feared...
There’s love behind the words. You can tell the author really wanted to write this novel and, even more, that she really enjoyed doing it.

The cast is a cheerful and colorful cocktail of people that you probably only meet a handful of times in books, almost never real life.
I speak for myself when I say I don't like to say that there's a main character, because they seemed all equally interesting and important to me.
Everyone in Bicho Raro has a voice, a story and a sin that they’re not afraid to hide.
Each one of them, the Saints, the residents, people passing through, all connected and light years far away from one another at the same time.
They’re multilayered, authentic and genuinely transparent to the point you’ll never find yourself asking what 's going on in their mind, because you’ll eventually know.
By the end of the book you’ll be so engrossed in their lives that you’ll forget they’re not people you actually know and hand out with.
The family dynamic is an element that’s quite recurrent in MS’s works but I think she’s overdone herself in this one. It makes you want to be part of the Sorias, even though you know that comes with risks.
Before you ask, yes, there's a little bit of romance (a little more than usual, to be honest), but it's not there for the sake of shippy hearts. It's all about the feelings, the patience and the sacrifice.
Deep stuff, basically.

In her usual Stiefvater fashion, the writer offers you her view on magical realism almost with restraint, shyly but persistent it its intent.
The paranormal element never overtakes the plot, but it manages to float on the sides like the fancy frame of a family picture.
You have the facts –indisputable facts-, and then you have something to dream about.
I loved the way the whole miracle thing was handled. It makes you realize how, sometimes, the weight of the demons we carry around is the only thing that stops us from being completely happy and accomplished.

I liked this book, I liked the ending. I reached the last page with a sad smile on my face.
I think Stiefvater should write more standalones because her ability of creating a story that starts and ends in the same amount of pages is impressive and should be recognized.
Alas, I also can't give this book a solid 5 because, honestly speaking, and with a hand over my heart, I’ll say that I’d expected something more. Or something less, it depends on how one looks at it.
Overall, All The Crooked Saints is a story you can’t miss. I’m glad I didn’t.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,401 reviews11.7k followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
August 26, 2017
I try and I try Stiefvater's novels and I am just... incapable of liking them. They are so incredibly boring and pretentious, and it does take some special talent to make some poor kids living in a middle of a desert sound pretentious. I've read only first chapter of this novel and not one thing in it intrigued me. Objectively, there is a certain rhythm and pretty metaphors in her writing that I believe justify Stiefvater's acclaim. But I can't quite wrap my head around why when Laini Taylor writes fairly similar prose, I am captivated by each of her sentences and images, whereas for Maggie Stiefvater's prose I only have yawns and eye rolls.
Profile Image for Izzy.
605 reviews282 followers
October 24, 2017
You can hear a miracle a long way after dark.

4.5 stars, rounded up because yes i'm biased WHO CARES

this is a story about music, owls and miracles. in a teeny town in 1960s Colorado, there's a family of saints who will give you a miracle, if you ask for it. Daniel, Beatriz (my little sister's name!) and Joaquin are the three Soria cousins that we mainly follow throughout the book, accompanying them as they set up their pirate radion station and battle their inner darkness.

first off, this book, more than anything else, is quintessential Maggie Stiefvater. you can easily tell she put a lot of herself in this story, from the music, to the setting, to the cars. and because of that, this book had the feeling of a folkish fairy tale you hear after a warm summer day, and i loved it for that.

it has the characteristic atmospheric and whimsical writing that we've come to expect from Maggie, but upped to a 1000 - and i think it might end up being quite polarizing for that. truthfully speaking, this doesn't really feel like a book with a Purpose. i did think it was a bit aimless at times - like the story was so involved within itself that it wasn't sure where it should go - but i was buckled up and ready to just go along for the ride.

and it paid off.

one thing i did miss: my favorite thing in Maggie's books is how fantastic she is with her characters. because of the fairytale vibes and the use of an omniscient narrator to tell the story, following multiple characters at once (which is a writing device i typically love, and is present in many of my favorite books), i don't feel i know the cousins that well. i know their personality traits, because they were repeated multiple times to us, but i don't know them in that wonderfully familiar way Maggie manages to convey with her writing.

this is a book perfect to be picked up during break, when you can sit in the shade at someplace that's nice and pretty and get lost in a world of deserts, love and saints.

(sidenote re: problematic issues. if anything, the most """problematic""" part of the book is how Maggie tried to incorporate bilingual characters switching from one language to another and didn't really nail it, but it wasn't awful either. AND ALSO THAT'S OKAY, because none of y'all english speaking folks ever get the nuance of being bilingual completely right lmao. there are so many books out there that i keep seeing that reference to my culture in a very disrespectful or innaproppriate way - who hasn't heard of the brazilian woman's body or how great we are at soccer? also bananas! - and the internet has never. made. a fuss. about it. and some of them were pretty popular as well (( With Malice, anyone? here's where i talk about how offensive it was.)) the way Maggie talked about the religion aspects of this story, as in sainthood and altars and the like, were almost reverential, and it was beautiful. and with the exception of one sentence, there's absolutely no mention of organized religion - which i, as a bitter atheist, really appreciate lmao. so for the love of god STOP JUST GOING ALONG WITH WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE SAYING and start thinking for yourselves! there's plenty of solid, realistic reasons to criticize Maggie Stiefvater. don't start making shit up.)


march 22: someone please explain why people are already calling this problematic because i honestly dont get it? as a latin american i just dont... understand... why her talking about saints or religion would be a bad thing lmao


march 21: oh my god i need that cover on my shelf




Profile Image for Jasmine from How Useful It Is.
1,297 reviews342 followers
October 26, 2017
All the Crooked Saints *Review and Blog Tour*

About: All the Crooked Saints is a young adult fantasy written by Maggie Stiefvater. It was recently published on 10/10/17 by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Publishing, hardcover, 320 pages. The genres are young adult, fantasy, paranormal, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 14 and up, grades 9 and up.

My Experience: I started reading All the Crooked Saints on 10/13/17 and finished it on 10/25/17. This book is a miraculous read that deals with miracles. Reading this book is a nice surprise because the plot is very unique. This book also surprises me because of how much nonfiction is in a fiction book! I actually looked up tamarisk and Harry Harlow and they proved to be an actual fact! I have a belief that fiction books are all fake and only read as is and never look it up to verify. This time, from an unknown force, I look them up and find myself cringe at Harlow’s experiments and amaze at the tamarisk flowers. I guess those stories of the owls must be true? I do like that comparison to Pete’s feelings of the priest and Tony to Harlow’s experiment. Very interesting! There are so many interesting stories in this book that I try reading it as slowly as I can to absorb it all up!

In this book, readers will follow many amazing characters, each have a certain want in life and a certain thing they are afraid of. There are people with darkness lurking inside them that they want to get rid of and the place they go to is Bicho Raro, a place of strange miracles. The Sorias are born to be saints and they perform miracles for those who come seeking. After a miracle was given, a person transformed. They have to figure out how to overcome that transformation and then the darkness inside them will be gone for good. The Soria’s family has housing for the miracle seekers also known as the pilgrims. They come, receive their miracle, and stay until they overcome and then they can leave. One of the Saints in the Soria’s family is Daniel Lupe Soria. He became a Saint after the whole ordeal of trying to steal a painting. His cousin Beatriz, a girl without feelings is the strategist in the group. Daniel’s other cousin, Jaoquin wanted to be a famous DJ, hosting a radio show as Diablo Diablo, where it eventually used as a tool to communicate because there are taboos that forbid the Sorias from speaking directly to the pilgrims.

This book is very well written. I love the wild imagination the author have in this book! Beatriz’s impulse to press her thumb on the inside of Pete’s elbow is out of nowhere. I actually tested it as I read..haha.. I love the story of how the painting is light one moment and heavy the next. I like Jennie’s conversation trouble, definitely one of a kind idea. Marisita Lopez with her rain and butterfly is also really out there. I also like Pete’s father’s story when he was an infant in the womb. I like Antonia & Francisco’s story. I find each pilgrim’s story is fascinating to read, including Tony’s. I like Beatriz’s idea with the interview, another way to a banned communication. This book is most definitely unique and I highly recommend everyone to read it!

Pro: cover, one of a kind characters, fast paced, page turner, interesting facts twist together with fiction, unique

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Scholastic for the opportunity to host a blog tour. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.

Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more reviews
Profile Image for Meli.
618 reviews400 followers
May 21, 2017
Este libro es TAN HERMOSO que por momentos me cortaba la respiración.
No es perfecto, es algo lento, Maggie abusa un poco de las metáforas y por momentos sentí que emulaba grandes clásicos del realismo mágico.
Pero es poesía PURA, totalmente hermoso. Hace un gran trabajo, especialmente con el género. Yo no tengo palabras para explicarlo, la autora sí, ella crea algo precioso, hace magia. La amo más que nunca.
Ilustra la cultura latina con un respeto, un amor y una reverencia, que no se ve en el 90% de los reviews adelantados que hay en este sitio. Realmente es respetuoso, adecuado y enaltece. ¿Y si abrazamos el arte y la belleza y dejamos de esparcir el odio, las mentes cerradas y el racismo? Sería un sueño.
Un gran libro.

EDITO: Acabo de leer el hilo de tweets que inició en gran parte esta catarata de odio, y siento que voy a vomitar. TANTAS deducciones apresuradas, erróneas y malintencionadas. Esperen a que el libro salga y júzguenlo por ustedes mismos para bien o para mal, por favor. POR FAVOR.
Profile Image for  ••Camila Roy••.
161 reviews49 followers
May 29, 2018

Beautifully written, I can’t argue against Maggie Stiefvater’s skills. It has a consistent magical and mysterious vibe. The main themes are darkness, fear, family, shame and regret. Sadly, I didn’t like it as much I wanted to. There were too many characters to keep track of and the story didn’t flow at an enjoyable speed.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books353 followers
June 16, 2022
Yay! So glad this one finally came my way! I just love Maggie Steifvater’s storytelling, and this book was no exception. She has a real knack for character arcs, and for creating scenarios where you’re taken on a satisfying emotional journey. I may have moments of suspense when I read a MS book, but I always feel good things are going to turn out well in the end.

I loved the family experience of the Soria’s. Beatriz, Joaquim, and Daniel have such different takes on their family legacy of being saints and the offering of miracles, and the burdens that come with that, and the different lenses through which they view the Soria experience are thrilling to read. I loved all the miniature love stories, all the moments of redemption, and just each little sweet moment of triumph. This book is different from her Raven Cycle, but no less enjoyable.

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