Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Review: Staying the Distance

Title: Staying the Distance
Author: Mara Dabrishus
Page Count: 244
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.

*Thank you to Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

July Carter’s world is perfect from the back of a horse. From the ground, everything is a complete mess: her jockey mom ran off for California years ago, her dad always seems more interested in the horses than in her, and the horse July wants for herself will never be hers.

Even though the New York racing circuit has taught her not to get attached, July can’t help connecting with Kali, a hopeless filly that refuses to run when it counts. When bankruptcy rumors start swirling around the barn, the future is murkier than ever. July can’t stand losing one more thing, and Beck, the barn owner’s son, knows more about the rumors than anyone else. July will get the truth, even if she has to pry it out of him, for Kali’s sake and her own.

It's been a long time since I read a good horse story, and Staying the Distance definitely delivers. It is a sweet, quick, read set with the backdrop of horse racing. The author obvious knows her stuff where horses are concerned, and as a fellow horsewoman myself, I really appreciated the attention to detail.

On top of the inclusion of horses, I also loved the sweet, YA love story and story of family struggle that arcs throughout the story. These elements are some of my favorite things about contemporary Young Adult fiction, and I thought that the author did a great job interweaving these different stories throughout the book. I also loved how each minor character had their own distinct personality, even the horses. I loved the extra layer this colorful cast added to the novel as a whole, and how it further illuminated what life was like for the main character, July. 

For the first half of the book I was thinking about rating this book half a point higher, and the only reason I did not end up doing this was because occasionally I found the wording of a certain phrase confusing and I would have to go back and reread it to see what was going on. Also, towards the end, while all the story was tied up neatly, it all seemed like it was a bit fast to me, and I would have liked to see the climax and resolution last a bit longer. It certainly was not enough to prevent me from thoroughly enjoying this read.

I highly recommend Staying the Distance to anyone who reads contemporary YA, especially those readers who are into horses in any way, shape, or form. This is a perfect early summer read and I really hope you will check it out!

Disclosure: this post contains links to an affiliate program (Amazon), for which I receive a few cents if you make purchases. 

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