Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: Take the Reins

Title: Take the Reins (Canterwood Crest #1)
Author: Jessica Burkhart
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 249 pages
My Rating: 4/5 Stars


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?


When I started Take The Reins, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to think of it. I had not read any middle grade books for a while and was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it. At first the writing was a bit hard to get used to, especially since I had just finished Into the Wild, which is a fantastic read, but vocabulary and writing is so much more adult it was difficult to get into the flow at first. Once I did though, it was a very fast cute read.

I really liked how Sasha’s character unfolds throughout the book. She is a very likeable character with her own quirks and habits, who is kind and goes with her gut. She isn’t a Mary Sue though, she does make mistakes, but I thought the way she deals with them is very believable.

I really liked how well the minor characters were developed too. Even ones that did not necessarily need to be all that developed seemed to have their own personality, which was awesome.

I thought the book was very well paced as well. Given that it is a series with more than ten books out currently, it reads more like an episode in a TV series than a volume from one longer book. I am not saying that as a good thing, or a bad thing, it is just an observation.

Overall this was a very fun, quick read and I will be continuing on with the series. On the back cover it says it is recommended for ages 9-13, but I think it can be enjoyed by all ages, especially if boarding schools and horses is your thing. If you have room on your bedside stand, I would recommend at least checking it out or mentioning it to anyone you know with horse-crazy kids.


  1. I remember reading this book a looooooong time ago! I recently stopped reading the series because it was simply such an easy read to read!

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  3. Just hopping through!

    I'm a new follower!
    Happy Friday!

    - Sarah
    Sarah's Shelf


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