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Keeping Secrets (Timber Ridge Riders Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the Author
- File size : 1137 KB
- Publication date : November 18, 2011
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 178 pages
- Publisher : Pageworks Press (November 18, 2011)
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B0069E39NG
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #597,160 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Author: Maggie Dana
Publisher: Pageworks Press
Genre: Children's Fiction
Sub Genre: Sports; Horses
ISBN: 13: 9780985150402
Reviewed For: NetGalley
Rating: 4.75 Stars
I received a copy of "Keeping Secrets" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Description From The Publishers:
A valuable horse is dead, and it’s all her fault, which is why 14-year-old Kate McGregor has banished horses and riding from her life—forever! But her new summer job as a companion to Holly Chapman, a former riding star who’s now confined to a wheelchair, takes her back to the barn—the last place Kate wants to be.
Can Kate keep her terrible secret from Holly, who is fast becoming her best friend? And, more important, can she keep her secret from Angela Dean, a teenage bully who lives for only two things: winning ribbons and causing trouble?
Kate manages to keep her secret hidden until an accident forces it into the open ... and it's just the moment Angela has been waiting for.
My Review Of "Keeping Secrets"
A story that explores the world of equine showing and jumping. There is the requisite of mean rich girl and the poor girl with heart of gold. The characters of Kate, Holly and Angela are well developed and the writer has made them in such a way as they evoke the emotion in the reader that she desired. Now that the cliche's are out of the way lets discuss the plot. It is well planned out and believable. From the opening lines to the closing paragraph this book ensnares the reader holds them tight and allows them to join the characters as the flow from scene to scene.
My rating of this fast paced story is 4.5 out of 5 stars. I recommend "Keeping Secrets" to any horse lover,but it is also a good read for anyone who enjoys a quick read filled with friendship, hope and dreams.
WARNING! MAY CONTAIN UNHIDDEN SPOILERS! PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Kate McGregor applies for a job as companion and helper to Holly Chapman. The latter is wheel-chair bound (or is she?!), and Kate's only just turned fourteen. She has no experience, but Liz (Holly's mom) is getting desperate, and Holly and Kate take to each other immediately. Liz's mom decides it would be good for her to have someone her own age around, and so Kate is hired, she and Holly become room-mates so Kate doesn't have to commute, and the adventure begins!
You know there's a fly in the ointment - in this case, a horse-fly(!). Or more accurately, several of them. The Chapmans are only guests in their home, which is owned by the association which hired Liz to train riders. It used to be about fun, but now it’s about winning a competition at all costs, and if Liz doesn’t deliver a victory, she's out of a job and she and Holly are out of their home.
So we know up front that Kate is going to overcome her phake phobia, and that the real reason for her refusal to get back on the horse is going to be resolved and she'll be vindicated. We suspect that Holly will regain the use of her legs since it’s psychological. We know that Angela will be bested, and Kate triumphant in some competition or other. There's no mystery here. The only mystery is how the author is going to extricate her main character from the roadblocks with which she's hemmed Kate in. The answer is: it’s nicely done!
The writing, in general, was par for the course. Not brilliant but eminently readable, and the writer evidently knows her stuff when it comes to horse-riding, care, and competition (not that I'm any kind of an expert!). There were some instances of "Say, what?" however, such as towards the end of chapter eleven where in one paragraph we're told that Denise racked up thirty faults (on a "cross country") for, in part, being too slow and then immediately in the very next paragraph, we’re told that it’s "not a race"!
Kate's passive enabling of Angela's atrociously abusive behavior, by not telling on her. Bullying is not acceptable, and as long as we teach young people via stories like this that bullies should never be brought to book, should never be called out on their behavior, should never be reported, then we're no better than the bullies because we’re saying it’s OK, and we're happy to facilitate acting-out and deliberate sabotage. IT'S NOT OK! It's never OK, not even in a novel, unless you have some higher purpose in allowing a character to temporarily get away with it - and it had better be a much higher purpose!
Another issues was with the horses, which were supposedly loved but which were not treated very well. Horses don't naturally choose to make crazy jumps over high obstacles unless they're frightened or panicked, yet these purported horse-lovers were making them jump and race, and risking injury not only to the horses, but also to the riders. If you're willing to put that aside, then there's entertainment to be had here.
Top reviews from other countries
Any horsey girls 8+ are bound to fall in love with this book. I really enjoy the realistic nature of the horse care involved in the book, something that is vital. Without it, I'd have quickly lost interest. I'm too serious a horse person to not (this may be considered a flaw, but it's just the way I am). Even if some of the riding stunts are a little out there! A very enjoying read, even if it only took a couple hours. Looking forward to reading more of this series!
To me one of the great themes of this book is sportsmanship - playing for the love of the game. Not least of the books merits is the splendidly appalling villain who is distinguished by the most utter lack of it, for whom winning means so much she cheats against her own team.
Although there is more than enough horsiness to satisfy the essential story could be about any sport. It has a lot in common with the old school stories and Angela thoroughly deserves her place in the long and dishonourable line of school story villains going all the way back to Flashman in Tom Brown's Schooldays.
I was very impressed with the author for three reasons. Firstly this very traditional story manages to be utterly modern in expression. Secondly she has created a very strong and believable central core of characters and a setting which will bear the weight of a great many future events and characters which can come and go. Thirdly to be exciting to an extent you have to have events that are authentic, but a bit beyond the norm, but not too much. This is hard to pull off, but she manages to make things which are just on the bounds of credibility, completely believable.
I'll bet people who read this today as teenagers will be reading it out of nostalgia in middle age!