Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The A Circuit ~ Georgina Bloomberg & Catherine Hapka ARC review

The A Circuit
Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
May 24, 2011
288 pages



The A Circuit is the top tier when it comes to horse shows. And Tommi, Kate, and Zara are all trying to prove they have what it takes to be--and compete--there.

Tommi is the daughter of one of New York's richest men. With an older sister everyone compares her to and a father who hangs out with New York's mayor, people expect a lot form Tommi. But what she expects from herself and what they expect might not be the same things.

Kate works with the horses that cost possibly as much as her house for the opportunity at riding them, knowing her parents could never afford it otherwise. She might not have the money of everyone else in the barn, but she's going to work hard--bordering on too hard--to prove she deserves to be there--and make the most of her chance.

Zara's the daughter of a rock star and a movie star. Used to being stalked by paparazzi in LA she's looking for a change of pace in this New York barn . . . she just didn't expect quite how different it was going to be. Can the party girl really buckle down and take showing seriously?

Three girls, each with something to prove to someone--maybe even themselves--about their commitment to horses and showing all come together in The A Circuit.


If you already know about horses and shows (and especially if you also love Gossip Girl or similar series) then this is the book for you. However, if you don't, you'll miss a little in The A Circuit.

There's a fair amount of terminology used--for everything from preparing the horses to what the horses actually do to what happens to the horses, etc--that never gets explained. I don't mean that there needs to be a paragraph by any means but there are places where a comma and a few words would have helped me.

As I said, though, if you do know all of what they're talking about then you get more enjoyment out of the story because you get all of it (and a fair amount of people will know it from reading previous books and it's being marketed to horse show enthusiasts/that world).

I did actually like that the horse care, talk was so much a part of the book (if not better explained) because it made the book not just another Gossip Girl-esque story. It really set the story in its own world and the characters had something they were passionate about and truly cared about.

Since the characters were so different (each of the three main female characters was very unique), I would have liked to see more of them individually. It felt like the book started to get into them, but then either backed off or ran out of time ... There were a lot of secondary characters (it actually got a little confusing in the beginning with the horse terminology and the lots of characters introduced right off), if there's more in this world I hope it focuses more on the central characters.

This is a fun read but definitely much, much more fun if you know about horses and showing so you can understand everything that's said.

(And Amazon currently says this is reading level 9-12 years---content wise, I'm not sure that's appropriate? Not sex, but drinking and some light drugs and a line like 'making out like porn stars' [can't find it to quote exactly].)


7/10



big thank you to Kate at Bloomsbury for my review copy of this book

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