Monday, 30 June 2014

Review: Turning on a Dime

Title: Turning On A Dime
Author: Maggie Dana
Published by: Pageworks Press on May 14th 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy it from Amazon or Book Depository
Check it out on Goodreads

*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher via Netgalley for review consideration, this in no way affects my opinion of the book.*

Goodreads Synopsis: Two girls from two different centuries and the horse that brings them together.

Teenage equestrian Samantha DeVries wants to be the first African American to ride in the Olympics. Her father, a successful trainer, pushes Sam to excel, while Sam’s academic mother tries to instill a sense of heritage in her headstrong daughter who’d rather be riding horses than studying history. But Sam’s beliefs and her carefully constructed world shatter like a jelly jar when she travels through a time portal and lands in the canopy bed of an 1860s Southern belle.

Even more surprised by Sam’s unexpected arrival is Caroline Chandler. She’s a tomboy who wears breeches beneath her crinoline and rides horses bareback, much to the dismay of her critical mother.

But neither girl has time to fret over petticoats and prejudice. The Civil War is raging, and soldiers from both sides are stealing horses. At risk is Pandora, Caroline’s beloved mare. Without her, Sam’s future Olympic horse, Nugget, might not exist in the present.

Neither will Sam if the slave catchers grab her.

My Thoughts: A fun read for young horse lovers (and the not so young), with two feisty heroines worth rooting for. Like most teenagers (and almost anyone else really), Sam relies on modern technology to make it through the day. So when she ends up 150 years in the past, things take a little getting used too. For Caroline, a girl born in the wrong time, having a girl from the future appear in her room, is like a wish come true.

Sam is hoping to be the first black girl on the US equestrian Team and her dad is her demading trainer who wants his daughter on that team probably more than she does. When they go to an old southern ranch to look at some horses, Sam finds a dirty old dime in one of the house's many rooms. She rubs it clean, takes a nap and wakes up to find that everything is not the same as when she fell asleep.

Caroline likes to wear boys riding breeches and to ride horses like a man, both things that exaperate her parents. After doing these things repeatedly, she is grounded, this punishment takes place at her parent's friends house. She takes her new, out of time friend with her, as her maid. While both girls are there, they bond over their love of horses, but as they are enjoying their new friendship, the realities of the time and the civil war gets ever closer.

There were a few tense moments where I had to stop reading, each instance to do with old fasioned prejudice and cruelty. These instances are not so bad that they would really scare a child, but they do bring to light the hard lifes of black people of the time.

I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it to not only horse lovers, but to anyone who enjoys books with unlikely friendships and those about the civil war era.

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