I loved this book so much that upon finishing, I started to read it a second time (after making sure no one saw my crying into my yogurt in the break room, of course).
Stiefvater's writing is just so beautiful. Simply the way she puts together words makes the act of reading her books great. When I also care about all of the characters, her books are amazing. Stiefvater always writes great guys, and Sean is no exception, neither is little brother Finn for that matter. Sean is intense and brooding in a way that makes the world take a step back from his seriousness, not in a way that makes him an emo poster boy. His love for his work and his love for Corr, his water horse, is palpable in everything he does. Even in the way he watches his father die while riding Corr.
Swoon worthy, multi-faceted, deep guys are nothing new for Stiefvater. What is new, at least for me, is Puck. I've never really liked any of Stiefvater's heroines until I met Puck (okay, maybe I liked Dee in Lament, but she was so annoying in Ballad that I can't remember). Puck is fierce. She stands up to her community, stands up to tradition, even stands up to her own brother, whom she once idolized. She does what needs to be done because it needs to be done (and maybe because she's too stubborn to admit that she's not the girl to do it). Her fiery determination was a perfect counter-point to Sean's calm.
And, again, the words. The quotables. Everything Stiefvater and her characters have to say about the ocean. This book is just lush. I highly recommend it.
Book source: Philly Free Library