My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
I had been eying Catch Rider since it came out mid-2013, however I never went to the effort of buying it whenever I was at a book store or book shopping online. Then a few months back I happened upon a copy of it at the dollar store, which reminded me that I still haven’t bought or read it, and figured now was as good of time as any. Then it inevitably ended up sitting on my shelf collecting dust for a while. I decided not long ago that I would finally read it.
The book started off pretty good, a little slow, but it was more of a setting up everything and introducing characters kind of slow. After the first chapter things picked up. It’s not often you find a young adult novel that focuses on horses and so this was a nice change of pace.
I liked Sidney’s character. She had a hard life, and while she sometimes let it get to her, she also never truly lost sight of her dream, she was just simply forced to take a different path to achieve it. Wayne was another good character, though I didn’t see as much character development in him as I did Sidney. I did find it strange that Sidney called her mother by her first name, even though it was explained that she had done so since she was a young child. Every time her mother was mentioned, I just couldn’t accept it fully.
I found the pace of the book was fairly decent. There were times when things seemed to slow down and I feel that was more the writing ebbing than anything else. The writing in this book went from well done to feeling very amateur several times throughout the story. I also found that there were moments when the author went off on a tangent that only distracted from the main story and never really truly added anything. Outside of these moments, I felt the book was pretty good.
Another thing that stood out to me was the lack of romance. There was a hint of something, but it wasn’t the main element of the story, which also makes this book stand from all the romance laden young adult novels out there. It is refreshing to get something so atypical and yet enjoyable from the genre.
Overall, I am glad that I read this book. I feel like this author has good potential if she decides to write more books like this and I would gladly read them if she did. If you want something from the young adult genre that doesn’t fit into it’s usual mold then Catch Rider is for you. This is also a great book for young horse lovers.