Author: Jessica Burkhart
Published: Aladdin Mix, January 2009
Recommended to: Girls, 10-14
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Cover Score: A
Overall Grade: A-
Sasha Silver is thrilled when she is accepted into Canterwood Crest Academy, an elite boarding school in Connecticut. Known for its exceptional riding school and equestrian teams, Canterwood is the perfect match for hard-working rider Sasha and her horse, Charm. But when Sasha arrives at Canterwood, the competition is way more than she'd expected--inside the classroom, at the barn, and even in the dorms. Sasha manages to find a good group of friends and is determined to prove to the others that she truly belongs at Canterwood, but is the pressure just too much?
My thoughts: Yay, a fun, refreshing, and quick modern-day horse story! First off, I'll say that Jessica Burkhart captured the world of competitive horseback riding perfectly. As an equestrian myself, I've been disappointed many times by authors who know diddly-squat about horses. Ms. Burkhart, on the other hand, clearly knows what she's doing, which is refreshing. You could tell by the way she confidently told the story in a way that was simple to understand.
As well as being experienced in the horse world, it seems that this new author seems to be a talented writer as well. The chapters in Take the Reins flowed smoothly, and while the plot was somewhat predictable, it simply came to life with all of the wonderful descriptions and spot-on narration.
This author was greatly successful in getting into a twelve year old girl's head. I loved Sasha's character. She was relatable, funny, and honest, and the first person narration made her seem even more life-like.
Overall, I loved Take the Reins. Even for those who don't know much about horses, this book (first in a series) is a perfectly quick and light read. I know I can't wait to pick up the second book in the series and read on to see what's next for Sasha, Charm, and all the others!
Must-Read! Check it out! Don't bother