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Silent Harmony: A Vivienne Taylor Horse Lover's Mystery (Fairmont Riding Academy) [Kindle Edition]

Michele Scott
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Small town seventeen-year-old Vivienne Taylor is a talented equestrian with Olympic dreams and a little something extra going on—she is also an “equine empath,” someone who has the ability to read horses’ minds and moods. When she receives a full scholarship to attend Fairmont Riding Academy, a prep school with a famous riding program, she struggles with homesickness, hazing by the school’s snooty drama queen, intense competition in the sport of three-day-eventing, and the not-altogether-unwelcome interest of a hot guy. On top of all of that the horse given to Vivienne via the scholarship is an animal that she cannot “read” or understand. When Vivienne learns that her new horse Harmony belonged to the school’s vet, who recently died in a freak accident, she senses that the horse’s aloof behavior may be the result of her witnessing this accident. But as a connection begins to unfold between Vivienne and Harmony, Vivienne begins to believe that the vet’s death was no accident at all--but rather murder--and she resolves, at considerable peril, to track down the killer.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up–Vivienne Taylor, 17, is an expert horseback rider and has the uncanny ability to connect mentally with the animals and read what they are thinking and feeling. She dreams of going all the way to the Olympics, but realizes that it won't happen in her small town despite her intense training regime. Then she receives a full scholarship to the prestigious Fairmont Riding Academy, a prep school that has produced many Olympians, and she knows it is the ticket to her dreams. However, being the “scholarship” girl at a school of wealthy, beautiful, and talented students isn't easy, and Vivienne has her work cut out for her. Amy Mcfadden does a brilliant job capturing all of Vivienne's insecurities and vulnerabilities. Listeners can hear the strain and turmoil in her voice as she deals with a host of issues from normal teen angst to being thrown into a complicated murder cover-up on campus. McFadden's use of volume and pitch make her male voices realistic and distinct, and she easily keeps up with the fast-moving plot. Mystery fans, romantics, and horse lovers will enjoy Scott's first title (Skyscape, 2013) in a projected series and eagerly await the next adventure.–Shari Fesko, Southfield Public Library, MIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

About the Author

Michele Scott lives in California with her family. With her days spent in the barn or at the keyboard, Ms. Scott has forged a flourishing career as mystery writer and is also deeply involved in the world of horses and equestrian riding.

Product Details

  • File Size: 685 KB
  • Print Length: 238 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477817131
  • Publisher: Skyscape (May 28, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BHIFQ3K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,166 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story for any horse lover of any age! June 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love to find new writers that excite me. This book was such an amazing story. I don't normally read young adult books but I was intrigued by the main character Vivviene's ability to communicate with horses. The mystery will draw you in from page one and I could hardly put it down. I am so happy this will be a series and I can hardly wait for the next book. This is the first by this author I have read but it won't be the last. She is a treasure.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Are you a horse lover? Raise your hands, it's almost a given for young girls at some point! Imagine being able to communicate mentally with a horse, to know what the horse is feeling, thinking. What if a horse could be the key to solving a mysterious accidental death and she communicates this to you? This is what happens to Vivienne Taylor, a talented equestrian with Olympic dreams and this knowledge could be very dangerous for her to know! What is happening around the elite equestrian academy Vivienne is a scholarship student at? There are the usual mean chic-cliques, hot, but haughty privileged boys and girls who look down at Viv, the boy who becomes her best friend who harbors a dark secret and the boy who likes her, but is cowed by his girlfriend-not-girlfriend. Will Vivienne get through both school and the mystery in one piece?

Silent Harmony is a good read. Michele Scott knows her way around the ring and blends it well with her mystery writing talents. Full of the usual teen angst and nastiness, using the equestrian angle was a nice change! I did think the characters were almost too clichéd and predictable at times, but I LOVED the horses' personalities!

This book was provided by NetGalley and Amazon Children's Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Silent Harmony October 10, 2013
Format:Paperback
3.5 Stars

Vivienne Taylor is 17 years old and is the equivalent of a teenage Horse Whisperer/Dr. Doolittle/Psychic to the Equine - she has a special connection with them and they have one with her. Her mom is also a vet. Vivienne wins a scholarship to prestigious Fairmont Riding Academy. She is really sad to leave her mom and little brother, but she has dreams of going to the Olympics some day. When she arrives, she finds that the schools vet has been murdered. She also winds up becoming becomes the target of the snooty spoiled rich girls. She does manage to make some friends, Riley and Tristan, who have secrets of their own, and her new horse, Harmony, is the only one she can't read. When Vivienne learns that Harmony belonged to the murdered vet, it adds even more mystery to drama that is now Vivienne's life.

I found Silent Harmony to be an enjoyable read for the most part, geared definitely more toward teenage readers. There is some language and sexual references, which I didn't have a problem with at all, but parents may want to consider if their young teen is going to be reading it. There is quite a bit of drama and conflict that goes on, but when you have teenagers, I think that is pretty much expected. The only thing that threw me off a little was that the story though mainly from Vivienne's POV, which is in the first person, but did have chapters that were from Riley and Tristan's POV, which were third person, and it was kind of confusing. On a positive note there is romance, mystery, suspense, and drama, which young readers are sure to enjoy and is something that again, would appeal mainly to the 14/15 to 18 age group, in my opinion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Girl meets horse July 25, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Girl goes to riding academy, girl meets hot boy, girl meets not so friendly schoolmate, girl who normally communicates well with horses has trouble talking to this one, girl suspects murder mystery, girl investigates...

It's one of the more entertaining and more unusual YA books I've stumbled upon in quite a while and the proof is in our own teen girl loving it. This is one very well written book from an obviously very talented author who, I suspect, either is not far removed from the heroine's age (seventeen) or remembers well what that stage of life used to be like.

It's a great read and a great summer read not only for horse lovers but for anyone with a test for well written, well researched books that tell a good story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ..more horse whispererer than Robert Redford... August 3, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
17-year-old Vivienne Taylor all her life has loved horses. For a while now she's been her mom's secret weapon, her mom the large-animal vet. You see, Vivienne is a horse whisperer. Specifically, she's an equine empath. For whatever reason, she can read horses' minds and moods, and this makes her indispensable in assisting her mom with horses in distress. More than anything, Vivienne wants to be an Olympian equestrian. She's about to leave her hometown of Albany, Oregon for a prestigious prep school, the Fairmont Riding Academy, in Southern California on the strength of a full scholarship. So this story, Silent Harmony, is a coming-of-age story. There's a touch of the paranormal, and who here doesn't enjoy a measure of wish fulfillment? There is a murder mystery. And there's teen romance. It's Michele Scott's first stab in the YA field and she's checking off all the boxes.

I'm quoting someone: "It's Gossip Girls meets Veronica Mars meets Heartland." Throw in a slice of Mean Girls, as well, and maybe juuust a whisper of Mr. Ed. In the Fairmont Riding Academy, Vivienne suffers homesickness and is subjected to the cruel ministrations of her priveleged peers. She rapidly makes an enemy of the snooty reigning drama queen (who, admittedly, is herself a terrific horsewoman). She's the focus of a really messed-up traditional wager amongst the boy students. School-wise, the equestrian training is arduous, the competition seriously intense.

Vivienne's scholarship allots her a horse named Harmony, previously owned by the school's recently deceased veterinarian. Vivienne is shocked to learn that she's unable to "read" Harmony. Maybe it's to do with that the horse is severely traumatized. Maybe because it saw something. Like a murder.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Some mild sexual content
This book is well written. Would like to have heard more from the empath standpoint. Was surprised by the mild sexual content, as my 11 year old daughter and I read it together.
Published 7 days ago by Andrea Bloch
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Learning Experience and A good Mystery
Interesting to find out about equestrian schools, and the mystery was a bonus. The romance was okay and not overdone.
Published 7 days ago by Rose Mary Mallos
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I enjoyed the different characters perspectives. Will look to read this author's works again.
Published 13 days ago by Nancy L Holt
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
Liked this book a lot. Like horses and this had a good story line as well as a love story.
Published 18 days ago by judy price
4.0 out of 5 stars Silent harmony
I would recommend this book,because it is a beautiful story,and because i love horses.It wasn,t one i couldn,t put down,but i loved it. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Ann Lamb
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice read
It kept my interest right to the end. It also discribed a lot about horses that teaches us that are not horse people, but love them, more.
Published 24 days ago by Nadine
3.0 out of 5 stars A story for Teenaged Girls
A quick read aimed at teenagers. Predictable and not for adults unless you are censoring what your children read. In that case let them read this. Should do no harm.
Published 25 days ago by irabby
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for young and old
I bought this for my 14 year old niece,who loved it.On her urging that I would like it also,I read it.I was pleased that I did. Read more
Published 1 month ago by mtngirl
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this book.
I enjoyed listening to this book via audio. It was interesting and held a good pace. I don't know if it is a specifically a teen book, but that seemed to be the audience of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kyrstin Lavelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book EVER!!!
I liked the happy ending and that I was on the edge of my seat the whole time throughout every page
Published 1 month ago by Mary lou Wendell
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More About the Author

I grew up knowing I wanted to be a writer. I'm very close to my family and friends and I love being around them. I also enjoy talking with and being around other writers because writing can be isolating.

The other passion in my life are my horses. They nourish the soul and in many ways keep me sane. It's a busy life. I have three kids, write full time, manage the house and sprinkle in a few more responsibilities in there and some sanity (or equine therapy) is needed.

I write books that I hope make people laugh a little, escape from the stress of day to day life and hopefully they feel a connection to my characters.

Something kind of funny and ironic about me is that I don't know how to type. I hunt and peck, so my first drafts have tons of mistakes. I really wish I'd taken typing in school.

I love to cook, but hate to clean--but love a clean house, so every Saturday I spend my day cleaning house. I'm a creative cook and can never create the same recipe twice and this makes it hard for me to get down the recipes in The Wine Lover's Mysteries just so.

Being a writer as a career is a very hard job. It takes a lot of patience, tenacity, a willingness to hear others say you suck, and a certain kind of masochistic personality because as I just pointed out--it's not easy. However, writing for me is like breathing. It's my life, like my family and my animals. It's who I am. It's my hope to connect with others through my writing. I hope I connect with you!

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