Somebody’s Horse by Dorothy Nafus Morrison
Troll, 1st printing, 1987
Genre: YA, horses
Synopsis & Review: When her parents go on an unexpected and sudden business trip to Korea, Jenny Alexander is upset, but when she realizes that they mean to send her to stay with a great-aunt for the summer, she is devastated. Jenny has spent the entire year saving money for this summer, the summer she’ll be allowed to spend taking jumping lessons on the beautiful Cinnabar at her local stables. But the Aunt Evelyn comes up with a plan: her daughter Lorelei’s just bought property in the tiny town of Pine Valley, Wyoming, and the previous owners have left her with a horse. So Jenny travels from her California home to stay with her cousin Lorelei and her two children for the summer. At least this way she’ll still have a horse to work with–but oh, what a horse!
The horse in question is decrepit and sick, and filthy to boot. But once Jenny gets him cleaned up and cared for, she makes a surprising discovery: not only is the horse far younger than she thought, he’s a fine piece of horseflesh, and has been trained by someone. Jenny learns first barrel racing, then jumping on the horse, but all the while she wonders who could have abandoned such an animal, and whether they’ll come looking for him.
Though it’s not universal, a lot of girls go through a horse phase when they’re young. Many grow out of it, but for some it remains a lifelong passion. Even I suffered through a horse phase, mostly in elementary school. Living in Honolulu and not being wealthy made it difficult for me to actually indulge my passion with real, live horses, so instead I read about them voraciously. Read the rest of this entry »
Spellbound by Christopher Pike
Archway Paperback, 4th printing, 1988
Genre: YA, horror
Synopsis & Review: Weeks after Karen Holly’s gruesome death in the park outside Timber, Wyoming, Cindy Jones is dating Karen’s boyfriend Jason Whitfield. He’s everything a high school girl could want: handsome, popular, rich, and a football star. But he’s also got a temper and is too used to getting his own way; those traits, combined with Karen’s mysterious and brutal death, have led some people to wonder just how much Jason had to do with her death. Meanwhile, two new kids in town, English girl Joni Harper and African exchange student Bala Retala are also attracting attention. Cindy’s brother and his friend and rival Ray Bower jockey for Joni’s attention, while Cindy and her best friend Pam find themselves attracted to Bala. When Jason pulls an outrageous stunt endangering Cndy’s life, Bala is there to save her, and it seems inevitable that he caused Karen’s death, too. But a ghastly and terrible creature stalks Timber, one that no one can imagine.
This was the first Christopher Pike book I ever read back in intermediate school, and it remains a favorite. Read the rest of this entry »
Exciting news for this week: As of last night, I read my fifty book mark, the halfway point in the 100 Books Challenge! Considering that I didn’t start until April, I’m not making bad time. Finally, some progress in a challenge! Now it’s time for me to buckle down and work on the others. (You can see my progress by clicking on the challenges in the sidebar.)
In other news, I got one prediction correct: I finished The Eyre Affair the evening after I started it. Unfortunately, Margaret Campbell Barnes’ Within the Hollow Crown is just not holding my attention the way Brief Gaudy Hour did. Perhaps simply because Richard II interests me less than Anne Boleyn? I’m only a few chapters in, but I have enjoyed comparing Barnes’ treatment of certain historical personages to Anya Seton’s in Katherine.
When I put down Within the Hollow Crown, I instead picked up some YA and children’s lit: Lacy Makes a Match, Spellbound, and Somebody’s Horse. The former is another Patricia Beatty book (like Melinda Takes a Hand), the second of the trio I remember, and one I purchased for my own collection. Her books can be difficult to find in print, so when I link to them, they may be from another online store besides Powells, my bookstore of choice. Spellbound was my first Christopher Pike book, and I thought a fitting start to revisiting those YA favorites. I don’t intend to recap them heavily, as those can be found elsewhere, like at the highly entertaining Like Pike. Somebody’s Horse was written by an Oregon author my stepmother worked with, Dorothy Nafus Morrison, so my copies of her books are all inscribed. They’re excellent for the horsey set, and all set in a very authentic modern West. I picked up another Morrison, her first novel Whisper Goodbye, but it’s enormously depressing, so I put it back down.
After all those slim YA books, I picked up a heftier novel, one I’d toyed with reading for a while, Robin Maxwell’s Mademoiselle Boleyn. Unlike many AB novels, Mademoiselle Boleyn is entirely confined to her early life, particularly at the French court before her return to England. I wasn’t entirely thrilled by it.
Between readings, I managed to get posted entries for The Bearkeeper’s Daughter and Dark Angels, the last two leftover from last week’s reading. I also got The Eyre Affair and Lacy Makes a Match up, and have two more ready to go, leaving me only one behind at the moment. I might actually be caught up in entries by tomorrow! Famous last words … .
As of today, I am still reading Within the Hollow Crown, and have a fresh stack of library books to work on. The first I picked is Everything is Illuminated, from my 1% Well-Read Challenge. Because it takes my full attention, though, I also picked up a newer Rosalind Laker to read before bed, To Dream of Snow. I think I might be unable to resist Sharon K. Penman’s When Christ and His Saints Slept when I finish the Laker, and after that, who knows?