Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Horses, divorces and Hissy Fits is exactly what this book is about. Teenage Sahara has just moved to the countryside with her mother and divorced her father. She is bound to hate it and she truly believes it. That is until she finds an abandoned pony in the field, left by the previous owners of the house. And Sahara knows nothing about horses. At all. But with many failed attempts and trial and errors, Sahara slowly begins to fall deep down into the horse world, and finds something she well and truly loves, eventually accepting the help of others.
I was brought this for Christmas, and being someone who can have strong opinions on books, I was terrified I was going to dislike it. Every horse book seem to be the same and the clichés annoy me more than anything. While I suppose it did have the base of one of the many horse book clichés, girl knows nothing about horses and finds horse, it felt a lot milder, and more of a base line than anything. And it really does feel like Sahara knows nothing about horses. Not like these books where a girls never touched a horse before and suddenly she knows everything there is. And Sahara doesn’t turn out to be a horse whisperer which was a huge turn on for me. I was enjoying this book so much and feared this cliché was going to turn up at the end. But thankfully, it didn’t.
Out of all the horse books I’ve read, this one has been the most honest descent into horse madness, starting of small, stroking and seeing a pony nearby daily to owning every piece of riding gear possible.
The one problem that lowered this books writing for me was some of the writing. At first it was quite hard to get into and quite cringey. Eventually I did quite get into it and it was used less frequently and did fit the character well. When texting friends, Sahara and her friends all used complete text language. Where a text language word could be used, it was used, and this was just a little bit of a turn off for me. I did use little bit of text language with my friends, but usually only with close friends, and not so religiously as Sahara and her friends. I just found it a little bit irritating. And a few punctuation errors were there too, but I can’t make the book down there, it was just a case of the occasional speech marks on one side on the speech were missing, which is just something that bugs me, but I can’t exactly blame the author for this necessarily.
But that put aside, I couldn’t fault the rest of it. The plot was interesting, it didn’t have a huge plot twist or anything, but it was interesting to see where Sahara was going to next in her delve into horse madness. School was mentioned, quite a bit actually as she was moving to a new school, but never giving unnecessary information, (which some people might find help develop character) but really, in such a short book, I thought any added information about her school life would be unnecessary and her character was developed well enough without all the school information being added.The whole school situation was never made important and I liked that as otherwise it may have felt like the book was losing direction.
And I couldn’t fault the characters. While Sahara’s language got on my nerves a little bit at the start, it really fitted her character, and I actually really liked her. She was developed well and changed so much (this being a positive change) in under 200 pages. I loved the other characters, Beth particularly.
So, on a whole, I really loved this book. It didn’t feel like any other horse book to me and it felt like it portrayed a accurate representation of the horse life and people, in the UK at least, and for me, that is what did it.
Lucy 🙂 x