31st January 2013, Orion Children's
Themes: animal mistreatment, rescuing animals, horse mad, riding schools regime & members, working hard for what you believe in, family opposition, tragedy, deception, Badminton horse trials preparation, dedication to your passion, unexpected help, secrets, lots of drama, very mild romance, tissues most definitely needed
Summary from Orion
Fifteen year old Casey Blue lives in East London's grimmest tower block and volunteers at a local riding school, but her dream is to win the world's greatest Three Day Event: the Badminton Horse Trials.
When she rescues a starving, half-wild horse, she's convinced that the impossible can be made possible. But she has reckoned without the consequences of her father's criminal record, or the distraction of a boy with melty, dark eyes, with whom she refuses to fall in love.
Despite not enjoying riding I adore horse books. Rescuing a horse is an amazing thing to do - but as Casey discovers keeping horses requires a lot of money and hard work. Whenever an obstacle appeared she did all she could to jump straight over it. She'd never have got so far without the help and dedication of her friends, most of who she meets where she originally learnt to ride. Coming from a not all that wealthy background at first I admit it felt insane for Casey to try and keep Storm Warning - I don't know the exact cost of horses but I know it's a lot.
Thankfully she has people watching out for her and willing to help her out for reduced rates (sometimes free) with no strings attached. The friendships she forges make a huge difference in her life, providing support when times are tough and she feels she has nowhere to turn. Casey learns the importance of keeping ties with her friends, and learning to let go. Her father's criminal goings ons add that extra spark to this 10/10 read, I kept hoping that events would keep turning downhill because I knew the ending had to be a happy one.
You can find out more on Lauren's website.
For more horse adventure try The Swallow Tales by K M Peyton