July Carter’s world is perfect from the back of a horse. From the ground, everything is a complete mess: her jockey mom ran off for California years ago, her dad always seems more interested in the horses than in her, and the horse July wants for herself will never be hers.
Even though the New York racing circuit has taught her not to get attached, July can’t help connecting with Kali, a hopeless filly that refuses to run when it counts. When bankruptcy rumors start swirling around the barn, the future is murkier than ever. July can’t stand losing one more thing, and Beck, the barn owner’s son, knows more about the rumors than anyone else. July will get the truth, even if she has to pry it out of him, for Kali’s sake and her own.
If you're a horse lover, then you need to pick this book up. You won't regret it.
From the beginning, I was hooked. I loved the descriptions about the horses' personalities, looks and performances, as well as all the actions taking place near horses. As a horse lover, being around horses makes me relax, which is why I was happy and calm while reading this novel. It just made me feel like I was truly around horses, which is always a good feeling.
I didn't know much about this novel before I started reading, except that it's about horses. I wasn't expecting it to be about races, but I'm happy it is, because I learned a lot about them and I've always been interested in horse related things, especially races. It's a whole new universe for me, because there aren't any where I live. I didn't expect it to be so serious and demanding, but it showed me how different it can be when you're on the inside. The only thing I wish had been different is the fact that there are many words I didn't know the meaning to, partly because I don't know much about horse races, partly because all I've heard about them was in French. It would make it harder for a reader that doesn't know much about horses to understand the story, because there aren't definitions or explanations. I understood more or less what the words meant when I continued reading, but the beginning was tiring for me.
Since I was just expecting a horse book, I was surprised to find that it's also a lot about family. July's mother has left them a couple of years ago to be a jockey on the west coat, which her daughters are still not over. July's obsessed with her at the beginning of the novel, but she starts to let go of her, deciding to care about her life instead of her mother's. I was happy to see everything change during the story, because I was angry at her mother, too. Also, I liked how much I got to understand her father's character, because I feel like a lot of the story is based around him, even if he doesn't appear that frequently in the novel.
I liked the romance in this novel, because I think it was necessary to the storyline. Yes, it's adorable and it made me swoon, but it also changed July's thoughs about Lighter, which she couldn't help but dislike, and it made her more courageous and open. I enjoyed seeing her grow like that and I definitely think the story couldn't have been so good without such a good romance. Also, it didn't feel rushed or fake, it just felt natural and romantic. It was perfectly done.
Finally, I think the way it's written made the book perfect. Everything is fluent, well described and perfectly said, which made me enjoy my time reading. The only thing I didn't enjoy as much was how little the races were described, because since I was passionate about them, I would've wanted them to be described from the first second to the last. I understand that they don't take such a long time and that some readers would dislike long descriptions, but I wish they had been at least a bit longer, because then I could've really felt the anxiety and passion.
I highly recommend this to all my horse lover friends. It's a great book and I'm not surprised to see all the high ratings it gets.
(Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)