Publisher's Note:  

Against the backdrop of the high-moneyed and sometimes unscrupulous equestrian sport of show jumping, Finny, a fifteen-year-old girl in California, adopts an emaciated, untrained horse without her parents’ knowledge. Soon after adopting Sky, Finny meets Joe, a sixteen-year-old, who has run away from his cruel uncle in Montana. His love for horses and desire to be a trainer match Finny’s dream of competing in the show jumping arena—against rich girls on fancier horses—and together, they train Sky to become a first-rate show jumper.

But the path is fraught with danger. Sky is not like other horses and is so destructive and difficult he gets them kicked out of the barn where Finny has been working and training. Helped by a kind woman who owns a horse rescue, Joe is able to prove both his and Sky’s incredible talents. When Joe is kidnapped by his violent uncle, Finny and Sky are the only ones who can save him. In a breathtaking finale, Sky and Finny must enter the underworld of the rodeo circuit, an after-hours, illegal race, where they will risk their lives to save the boy they love. Young demonstrates a masterful ability to set a breakneck pace and keep it up until the end of the novel. Finny and Joe are enduring characters who are sure to appear in upcoming sequels.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Sky Pony Press

Finny and the Boy from Horse Mountain

by Andrea Young

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Overall Review:  

Finny is one of those people who is sweet and kind and loved by many. Unfortunately, because she's pretty and "cool" without even trying it also earns her jealous enemies who try desperately to make her life miserable. Then there's Joe, the boy from Horse Mountain, who stumbles into Finny's world. Despite all the difficult things he's been through, he's good to the core and just needs someone to give him a break--in steps Finny. What first appears to be a friendship with only Finny able to help, Joe quickly finds a way to re-pay Finny for all she's done for him; however, that doesn't come without many obstacles along the way.

At first glance Finny and the Boy from Horse Mountain might seem like it would only interest those who love horses, but anyone who enjoys a coming-of-age love story will enjoy this sweet tale. It is a perfect book to read while lounging at the pool; it is engaging but relaxing. That said, it also has a few nail-biting scenes that will get those pages flying. Young creates some excellent characters, especially the antagonists of the story. She paints a seriously great "mean girl". The details included show that Young really knows what she's talking about when it comes to horses. Audiences both young and old will enjoy this fun, heart-warming love story.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  11 religious exclamations.

Violence/Gore:  Several (20) brief incidents including character jokes about punching someone; character lightly punches another in jest; secondhand report of a horse dying in an accident; secondhand reports of death; references to a teenage character getting beat up by adults; character jumps off of a train, receiving little injury; character lightly hurts another's neck; character receives small injury after falling off of a horse; character punched; character is trampled by horse and injured; two incidents of a character getting bucked off of a horse and injured; character is beat up and knocked unconscious; horse crashes and dies and injures rider. 

Sex/Nudity:  Many (24) brief incidents including holding hands and arm; flirting; hugging; kissing; touching hair; dancing; cuddling; holding face; reference to animals breeding; female character touching male character's chest; touching leg; massaging shoulder.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Death, abuse, gambling, fighting, "mean girls".

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Reference to adult character drinking.

Reviewed By Jenny
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