Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater
from Goodreads: It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
Maggie Stiefvater's latest book has been getting rave reviews for good reason - it's fantastic! I haven't read all of Stiefvater's books, but I did read the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I enjoyed the Wolves of Mercy Falls, but it's true that this is her best work to date in my opinion. The story is both simple and complex, straightforward and layered. There is nothing extraneous in the setting, plot, world-building, descriptions or characters; but that serves to enhance rather than detract. I could truly visualize Thisbe, feel the mist on my face and the bite to the air. I could smell the salty sea and taste the November cakes (which, since Ms. Stiefvater has so wonderfully created a recipe for, I could actually one day taste!). I also love that while this book is fast-aced and full of action, I settled into it like a big down comforter. I could read just a few pages and be completely submersed in it.
Bottom line: read it.