Thursday, April 5, 2012
Review - Take the Reins
When Sasha Silver and her horse, Charm, arrive on the campus of the elite Canterwood Crest Academy, Sasha knows that she's in trouble. She's not exactly welcomed with open arms. One group of girls in particular is used to being the best, the brightest, and the prettiest on the team, and when Sasha shows her skills in the arena, the girls' claws come out. Sasha is determined to prove that she belongs at Canterwood. Will she rise to the occasion and make the advanced riding team by the end of her first semester? Or will the pressure send Sasha packing?
For the most part, I really liked this book. It was a fun, enjoyable read; sort of a cross between Pony Pals and Gossip Girl. The main character, Sasha, was very likeable as she navigated boring classes, mean girls, a first crush, not to mention crazy pressure at the super intense riding school!
Sasha and Charm had a great relationship. Charm was portrayed as a very loving horse and I enjoyed reading about the bond between the two. A couple times I noticed a mistake in Jessica's horse knowledge, but those were very small, nit-picky things I learned in a university course of horses and are not generally common knowledge (For example, as one point Sasha comments on how Charms lower legs are looking more muscular, but horses have no muscles below the knee, only tendons. Little things). Overall, I thought it was very well researched and I wouldn't be surprised in Jessica was a rider herself.
One thing that bothered me (mini-spoiler alert!) was when Sasha goes to a regional show and gets a clear round, but only ends up 2nd in the jump-off. She is so angry and upset and I just wanted to shake her. Charm was a good boy for her and 2nd is actually pretty darn good. She really acted like a spoiled brat in that instance and I don't think it sends a good message to young readers. Winning isn't nearly as important as having a good ride you can be proud of.
On the Cover:
This cover isn't mind blowing, but I like it. The only thing I would change would be to make Sasha look a little less snobby.
I loved Paige, she was the best roommate ever. I was a bit worried at first, since she wasn't a rider and at first she sounded like a neat freak, but in the end she was a perfect roommate for Sasha. I also liked Callie a lot, mostly because of her insane work ethic.
The show, of course! Competitions are always exciting!
Rating: 4 Hearts
Source: Public Library
Where to Find It: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Bonus: Book Trailer