Monday 13 May 2013

One Dollar Horse by Lauren St John

Casey used the twin points of her horse’s ears to line up the jump, like a sniper lining up a target on a gun barrel. Even from a distance it looked enormous: Everest in miniature. An artistic flower display attempted to make light of it, but the blossoms and shrubs did little to disguise the reality of Badminton Horse Trials’ most notorious fence. The Wall of Fear was the nickname given to it by riders who’d fallen there. If she survived it, she’d be well on her way to winning the greatest championship in three day eventing. If not…
Published by Orion Children’s Books in March 2012
Pages – 309
Goodreads Summary
Fifteen year old Casey Blue lives in East London’s grimmest tower block and volunteers at a local riding school, but her dream is to win the world’s greatest Three Day Event: the Badminton Horse Trials. When she rescues a starving, half-wild horse, she’s convinced that the impossible can be made possible. But she has reckoned without the consequences of her father’s criminal record, or the distraction of a boy with melty, dark eyes, with whom she refuses to fall in love. Casey learns the hard way that no matter how high you jump, or how fast you gallop, you can never outrun the past.
This is one of those books I’ve been meaning to read for awhile. I’ve heard so much about Lauren St John and I was intrigued to study her writing style. Not that I managed to study it, because I got so wrapped up in the story I couldn’t put it down and raced through it to find out how it would end.
The One Dollar Horse is an emotional, yet thoroughly absorbing read. I’m not a huge fan of horses, but this book gave me urges to learn how to ride.The author must have a passion for horses too, because it spills out through the characters in the book. It took me back to books from my childhood such as Black Beauty and Flambards. It has all the signs of a classic children’s story.
I learnt so much about horse riding and the UK horse racing scene from this book. The author has obviously spent a long time researching this book because the descriptions are very detailed.
The characters draw you in immediately, as the author throws every obstacle in their way. Casey is one in a million girl, who finds the one in million horse. On the verge of being destroyed at the knackers yard, Casey and her father save Storm from destruction. You follow Casey on an emotional journey as she takes on the equestrian world to achieve the dream she has cherished all her life. Casey and Storm are the underdogs, who blast tradition and competition into smithereens. From the very beginning, you are fighting alongside them, willing them to beat the system. They are the unlikely heroes.
The story pulls at your heart strings, as Casey and Storm face one catastrophe after another. On many occasions, it looks like everything Casey dreamed of would come to a premature end.
I loved this book. I thought it was flawless. A finely crafted story with unique characters ranging in quirks and diversity displaying a rags to riches plot line to its fullest. I’ve read so many children’s books in the last couple of years but this is the closest book that has ever transported me back to my childhood. I can’t wait to read the sequel.

1 comment:

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