Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The One Dollar Horse by Lauren St. John (****)

I have suddenly realised that what with my perpetual and intense love of reading, so far with the four book reviews I have done I have not rated a single one under four stars. Now tell me if this is normal, but I think that I have never actually read a book that I have actually disliked. When I read reviews in newspapers or magazines there is usually a wide range of good and bad reviews, which ultimately makes reading reviews less boring. Therefore, on reflection, there are two things which I must profusely apologise for, if they relate to you: making reading my reviews intensely boring, or not varying the books I am reviewing enough. If you have any ideas for books that you have hated or think I would hate, please, please comment below. Save my guilty conscience.

Anyway. Back to the review (which regretfully, is four stars). When I was younger, about every second weekend I would visit the beautiful children's Lion and the Unicorn Bookshop in Richmond (which, sadly, has only recently closed) and one of my favourite choices would always be Lauren St. John's The White Giraffe series, which I devoured. Therefore when I saw not one, but two new Lauren St. John books on the Indigo Bloggers News I couldn't resist. Keeping with the animal theme like in her other books, St. John doesn't fail to enrapture and enchant readers with her classic yet fiercely different tale of a horsey cinderella on her journey to become a full-blown princess (or winner of Badminton, in this case!)

I found the overall appearance of the book totally endearing, and yes, I am talking about the beautiful bright pink-edged pages! There is nothing else that attracts a girl to anything more than pink, and if I am ever lucky enough to have my own book published I will definitely have colourfully-edged pages. However, aside from the pink, I found the book itself completely not what I was expecting. When I was younger, I would read animal books a lot, though as I grew into a terrible teenager they didn't interest me as much. At a first glance, after reading the first chapter actually, I thought this would be the typical story of a girl who has nothing finds a horse (completely out of the blue, of course!) then becomes a champion horse rider at the end. However I was delighted whilst reading that I was very wrong; there were many twists and turns that were completely unexpected and page-turner moments that were unique yet comfortably familiar that comes with reading a feel-good novel. I found the protagonist Casey an extremely loveable and strong character who had an interesting and complex relationship with all the other characters, and I enjoyed following her journey.

Overall, I think that the most important aspect of the book was the cliched sense that 'nothing is impossible', yet this was paired with the sense that if you want something, you can't just wait for it to come to you, you need to put everything into it to get what you want out of it. I think that this is a very important message to everyone in the world today: work hard, and achieve your dreams.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading St. John again, and I hope that she writes more books for teenagers. My review of the next book in the trilogy, Race the Wind, will be up soon as well!

Thank you for reading, as always!