Small town 17-year-old Vivienne Taylor is a talented equestrian with Olympic dreams and a little something extra going on - she is also an "equine empath", someone who has the ability to read horses' minds and moods. When she receives a full scholarship to attend Fairmont Riding Academy, a prep school with a famous riding program, she struggles with homesickness, hazing by the school's snooty drama queen, intense competition in the sport of three-day-eventing, and the not-altogether-unwelcome interest of a hot guy. On top of all of that the horse given to Vivienne via the scholarship is an animal that she cannot "read" or understand. When Vivienne learns that her new horse, Harmony, belonged to the school's vet, who recently died in a freak accident, she senses that the horse's aloof behavior may be the result of her witnessing this accident. But as a connection begins to unfold between Vivienne and Harmony, Vivienne begins to believe that the vet's death was no accident at all - but rather murder - and she resolves, at considerable peril, to track down the killer.
Michele Scott lives in California with her family. With her days spent in the barn or at the keyboard, Ms. Scott has forged a flourishing career as mystery writer and is also deeply involved in the world of horses and equestrian riding.
©2013 Michele Scott (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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"Equestrian riding academy mystery"
I got this book because it was about horses. I did not realize until I started to listen to the story it was written for young people or teens. I went ahead listening as the plot was interesting. Who killed the vet? The story takes place in Fairmont Riding Academy, our hero Vivienne Taylor is a scholarship winner to the school, she is a junior in high school with hopes of going to the Olympics. She is the daughter of a horse vet (her mother) from a small Oregon town off to the southern California academy to compete with rich kids. She is provided a horse, Harmony, and Vivienne, a equine empath can not get a reading from the horse. She finds out the horse belonged to the dead vet and the horse was present when the vet died. Vivienne is sure the vet was murdered and set out to prove it. Over all the book was quite good, my only complaint was the continues remarks about boys. Do teenage girl really act like that? Lots of good information about horses, jumping, dressage, and cross country competition. This was my sport when I was young so I was most interested in how it was approached by Michele Scott. The narrator, Amy McFadden does a good job sounding like a teenage girl.
"Could have been better"
If you want a mindless listen, this is a good one. The story line was alright and the horse information was accurate.
As an avid eventer, we don't get many stories about our sport. It was nice to read a book with eventing as the main focus. That being said, this book was the epitome of horse cliches. The mean rich girls, the sweet down home rider, the fiery horse that only one girl can "get through" to....blah blah blah. If only the horse world was actually that black and white. There was also no real twist to this mystery. The "bad guys" are exactly who you think they are going to be.
It also would have been nice if the sport was actually the main focus of this book. It seemed much more centered around Vivian's love life, which made me want to stab myself in the eye. In my experience, really driven riders could give a crap about having a love life.
If it is on sale.
This book is DEFINITELY meant for young teenagers. Maybe its just the Narrator but the main character is supposed to be driven and strong...but the narration portrays a young-ditsy-over-emotional-kinda dumb girl who I often want to punch. I will say Amy McFadden does an excellent Southern accent though.
Something Narrated by Becca Battoe
She mutilated it...the whole Murder mystery, Telepathic Horse communicator, Drama filled book is enough to take in without Amy treating it like an overacted high school play
It could have been sooooooo good. I was SO excited...Now I am sad..
Sad Sad sad
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