July 2014, Perfect Bound Marketing, 214 pages, Ebook, Review copy
Summary from Natalie's website
Rules For Riders is a fast and furiously paced coming of age novel, about the escalating competition between two young girls. It’s set in the competitive world of equestrian riding. After a near fatal riding accident, Bebe Barkley is banned from riding and sent off to boarding school. There, she re-invents herself as Bebe with the help of her roommate and partner in crime, Finn Foxley. In order to return to the world of equestrian riding, the girls devise a scheme to get themselves expelled from school. Once back on the circuit, former friends become deadly rivals. Bebe’s trainer, Billy O’Reilly, reinforces seven rules for riders in order for her to successfully compete. Bebe ventures down a dark road of self-destruction as she breaks every rule Billy taught her, only to be forced to relearn them in order to reclaim her life. Finally, she faces a life- altering choice. Should she return to Billy and the world of riding, or leave everything she has ever known to begin a new life? Rules For Riders is a tale of lost dreams and the struggle to create new ones.
I haven't yet turned down a horse related read, so I was heavily intrigued by Bebe's story. It was mostly fun to read, as I adore boarding school stories, really felt for Bebe having to give up what she loves because I've had to do the same for some of my hobbies for medical reasons, which made it easier to relate to Bebe. Well, some of the time - we have quite different views on life which is why I didn't always share her frustrations.
I was a bit taken aback by how mean some of those who Bebe meets are - why can't people just be nice because at the end of the day its the horses who should matter, not status in rankings and competitions. There is some romance which as usual I don't care for much, lots of friendship and page time for the horses. I can't put my finger on the parts I wasn't keen on, it just wasn't a 10E/10E read for me. However, I will be rereading this at some point which means it's rather good and I recommend it!
Find out more on Natalie's website.
Dive into the horse worlds of Lauren St John with The Glory (Young Adult, 10E/10E), being reviewed here on NRC soon!