Author: Maggie Dana
Genre: Middle Grade Equestrian, Sports
Length: 113 Pages
Release: November 2013
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
I received a free copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is only the second book in this series that I've read, the other being the first. The thing that I love about this type of a series is that I don't feel like they have to be read in order to be enjoyed because so much of the story is contained within just one book.
This was a fun, fast read. Maggie Dana obviously has horse knowledge and it's always nice to see that knowledge come through in writing. It can be hard to convey certain aspects of the Equestrian life through a story. This one was done really well and I think would be enjoyed very much by the intended age range of 9-14 year olds, particularly those who are into horses.
In this novel Kate and Holly hit some road blocks in their friendship when Kate feels pressured by Holly to act differently than her relaxed nature requires. After one of the ponies colics and Angela, the leader of the brat pack, blames Kate and calls her a horse killer (because of something that happened and was a major plot point in book one), Holly pushes Kate to stand up for herself. When things go wrong and Kate fires back at Holly, the two fall apart and Kate becomes an outsider in the one place she always felt at home.
This series reminds me (almost too much, at times), of the Saddle Club books that I read so much when I was younger. It would be nice to see some differences, but it is still an enjoyable read. The only real drawback that I had with this novel was that the ending was too abrupt. I felt like there should have been a little more of a resolution between Kate and some of her friends than there was. I'm sure that more of this continues on into the next book, but it just felt like too much was left in the air.
Overall I think this was an enjoyable, well written story. I think it would appeal to young, horse crazy readers, as well as those of us who like to revisit those crazy dreams we had when we were younger.