Merritt Wenner has been selfdestructing ever since the tragic deaths of her grandmother and her horse. Read more...
Merritt Wenner has been selfdestructing ever since the tragic deaths of her grandmother and her horse. After an epic all-night bender, she walks out of the SAT and disappears. Her parents, looking for a quick fix, ship her off to a residential equine-assisted therapy program.
At Good Fences, Merritt meets Red: a failed racehorse and a terror in the barn. Red has never bonded with anyone, but Merritt is not afraid of him, which makes all the difference. Soon they re sneaking rides after curfew. Red s owner, recognizing their potential, funds their launch into the hunter/jumper circuit.
Against the cutthroat backdrop of competitive riding, Merritt finds herself unexpectedly attracted to Red s groom, Beatrice, and at the same time drawn to Carvin, a rival rider. But in Red s mind, Merritt belongs to him alone. Anyone else poses a threat. And Merritt can t imagine the lengths Red will go to keep her to himself."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Gossip Girl author Von Ziegesar turns her attention to the competitive horse show circuit. Seventeen-year-old loner Merritt Wenner, still mourning her grandmother’s unexpected death a year ago, resorts to destructive behavior that gets her self-absorbed parents to seek help for her at an equine therapy program in Connecticut. There Merritt meets Red, an unruly former racehorse. Riding together cements their bond and leads Merritt to train and compete with Red alongside an attractive Californian named Carvin, with Beatrice, an unstable teen, as Red’s groom. Alternating narratives switch between the viewpoints of Merritt and Red, the latter an unusual choice that doesn’t entirely pay off: while it foreshadows the dangerous extent of Red’s intense feelings for Merritt, his frequent invoking of misheard song lyrics (“We were an island in the stream. Sweet dreams were made of bliss”) and other anthropomorphized commentary tends to grate as the plot intensifies. Still, Von Ziegesar’s knowledge of equestrian competition and the compelling pairing of a troubled horse with an equally scarred teenager make this an engaging, if somewhat predictable read. Ages 14–up. Agent: Eric Brown, Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo. (Sept.)