young adult book reviews & more

Catch Rider by Jennifer H. Lyne

Tough-as-nails fourteen-year-old Sid may not have expensive boots like the privileged teen riders in Virginia, but she knows her way around horses. Working with her Uncle Wayne since childhood, she’s learned to evaluate horses, break and train them, care for them . . . and ride like a professional. Amid turmoil at home, she dreams of becoming a catch rider—a show rider who can ride anything with hooves. In this salty, suspenseful teen novel, an unexpected opportunity to ride a top-notch horse in an equitation show takes the small-town girl all the way to Madison Square Garden.

You could call Catch Rider a horse book, but it's really so much more than that—it's about one girl's determination to make something out of her life despite her tough circumstances. Lyne has done a wonderful job in crafting Sid's voice; I could so easily feel Sid's spunk, her near fearlessness, and her love for working with and riding horses. That, more than anything, is what made me enjoy this book so much. Everyone loves a good rags-to-riches story, to be a little reductive, but the deep emotional connection I made with Sid made me root for her all the way and makes her story stand out.

Rating: 4.25

Review copy from Jennifer H. Lyne

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