Mini Reviews: The Duff & Lucy’s Chance

25076514The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. GOODREADS.

My Thoughts:  This book impressed me. I was expecting the overused and abused trope of the ugly nobody gets the hot jerk etc. And OK it was there, but there were some truly beautiful girl power, love thy self, don’t judge others moments in this book.
The main character of Bianca was easily likable as were her two besties. Experiencing them navigate boys, high school hierarchy and family drama was actually quite entertaining and heart warming.
Keplinger’s writing flowed smoothly and I can actually see myself re-reading this book again if i’m ever in need of a quick fun feel good pick me up. I gave it FOUR what a pleasant surprise STARS.

Also: I watched the movie adaptation straight after the finishing the book, in which they changed so much the story was barely recognizable. Sadly I felt that they left out all the girl power friendship moments that actually made the book worthwhile! 😦

21969488Lucy’s Chance (Red Rock Ranch #1) by Brittney Joy

Sixteen year old Lucy Rose is spending her first summer away from home and she has two things on her mind: an abandoned, violent horse and a blue-eyed cowboy. Only neither is hers. Lucy has never attracted much attention from boys, but she can’t seem to ignore her blue-eyed co-worker, Casey Parker. A true cowboy, Lucy is fascinated by his gentle way with the horses at Red Rock Ranch. However, she is very aware that Taylor Johnson, rodeo queen extraordinaire, already has her spurs in him. And, there’s no crossing Taylor. . . . Not until a mysterious horse appears on the ranch and pushes Lucy and Casey together. The two are willing to do anything to save the black gelding that doesn’t want a thing to do with them or the human race. But, every step forward with the broken animal makes Lucy fall harder – for him and for Casey. GOODREADS.
 
My Thoughts: An enjoyable read filled with wonderful horsey goodness 🙂 Perfect for any young horse lover. The writing was sweet and easy to read. The story had a nice balance of action riding scenes, a young girl out to prove herself, developing young love and an adorable horse getting a second chance at a better life. I gave it FOUR warm and fuzzy STARS.

Sky Rider by Nancy Springer

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Sky Rider by Nancy Springer

First published in 1999. Re-released in 2014 by Open Road Integrated Media Inc.

I received a copy to read and review through Net Galley, so thank you the Author and Publisher for allowing me this opportunity.

Synopsis mk3

Everything changes when a handsome stranger rides off into the night on Dusty’s horse

There’s no way around it: Dusty’s horse Tazz needs to be put down. Once a champion jumper, Tazz can barely walk now due to hoof pain. And that’s not the only thing that’s wrong in Dusty’s life. Since her mother’s death, Dusty’s dad hasn’t stopped drinking—even after his drunk driving put Dusty in the hospital with a now-chronic back injury. Why don’t they just put me down too? she wonders.

While Dusty is giving Tazz one last grooming, his ears suddenly prick up as a stranger approaches: a young boy with an otherworldly beauty. He offers to take Tazz with him, and the two race off into the distance as though Tazz were in perfect health, with the boy perched on his back. Who could this person be? And what is he doing here?

It’s only when Dusty returns to school the next day that she hears about the boy who was killed. When she sees his photo in the newspaper, she knows that he’s the mysterious guy who rode off on Tazz. What she doesn’t know is that he will soon return.

My Thoughts mk3

This was a short and sweet story with a beautiful horse and a happy ending (well as happy as a story with a 16 year old that’s killed by an unjustifiable and inexcusable crime can be).

So we have two young characters that have both suffered grave injustices – 16 year old Skye Rider and 14 year old Destiny “Dusty” Grove – you can tell pretty early on that Skye and Dusty need each other, that they need to heal each other. The story is written in multiple points of view; log reports from an Angel supervising Skye’s transition, diary entries from Dusty and a narrator that I couldn’t quite figure out.

This is a fast paced story about love, justice and finding peace. There was a bit of insta love, but I just ignored that.  I liked Dusty; she’s only fourteen and she’s already lost her mother to the grave and her father to alcohol. Even after the car accident that results in her being in constraint pain she doesn’t give up and doesn’t complain.

I liked this book; sure I wasn’t tearing through the pages or staying up all night to find out what was going to happen next and yes the ending was predictable, but still satisfying. It was nice.

This is the second ‘horsey’ book I’ve read and I’ve got a few more on my TBR list. I think I’m finally starting to understand why so many little girls want a Pony (I wanted a T-Rex). I think I’m finally understanding that Horse and Human bond (I still want a T-Rex – but horses I must admit are awesome). I found it interesting that in this book the Horses can see spirits, is that a thing? I know horses are supposed to be brilliant at interpreting people and “reading their souls” (I heard that on some documentary where they use horses in therapy) and I was wondering is this something people believe? – anyway back to the book – So I didn’t fall in love with it, but it was short and sweet and well worth the read. I will definitely be looking into Some of Nancy’s other works.

Three Stars.

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Goodreads

Author’s Links mk3

Website – http://www.nancyspringer.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/NancySpringer

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NancySpringerNovelist

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22547.Nancy_Springer

#JumpGirl by @LeighHutton RELEASED TODAY

Show jumping is an extreme sport with a dress code, one this girl doesn’t follow… Imagine being dumped by your mother as a newborn and shifted between foster homes your entire childhood. Imagine being taken in and offered hope for your future by a kind, loving show jumping socialite. Imagine falling in love with some of the most gorgeous horses in the world, and making a life in the thrilling and glamorous sport of international show jumping.
Now imagine it all being taken away.  Ebony Scott Harris is painfully close to making her dreams a reality when the only mother she has ever known mysteriously dies. She’s forced from their home to live with the gold-digging aunt, who takes her in only to ride the prized show jumpers she claims are now hers.
Teetering on the edge of a hopeless depression, Ebony is saved by the discovery of a forgotten horse nearly starved to death, and an unlikely partnership with a handsome stranger, whom she must learn to trust if she is to uncover the truth about her mother’s death and reclaim her home.
But with the evil aunt selling her best and beloved horse, a maniacal ex-coach out for revenge and more savage competitors than she can count, Ebony has a lot more at stake than proving the truth, saving her horses and jumping for gold at the World Equestrian Games…
The highly anticipated second book in The Go Girls Chronicles – stories of gutsy girls in action sports, by Leigh Hutton.
“I am excited for the Jump Girl book because it will be something that riders can actually relate too. It’s nice that there is a book that reveals the excitement of the sport while showing there can still be problems and a lot of times things won’t go as planned!”
Shelby Edwards
Real Life Jump Girl
“Leigh has a talent for making the reader be captured in their imagination. I was able to imagine scenes, accents, and how people looked. It was different and refreshing.”
[review of Rev Girl]
Angel Reads
Book Blogger
“[Jump Girl] gives us a look into the fierce yet glamorous world that is Show Jumping, as well as; Love & Romance, Action & Adventure, Murder & Mystery, Redemption & Self Discovery, all woven together beautifully in this fast paced coming of age novel. I have been lucky enough to read Jump Girl before its release and let me say it is brilliant. Awesome job Leigh. It made me yearn to have a Monster or Gallant of my own. I immediately fell for Ebony. Her life felt so real and I was drawn into it heart first. I could not put the book down. I practically read it in one sitting… Five of five stars for Jump Girl.”
Sarah Fairbairn
Author and Goodreads Reviewer
Also available on iBooks and Nook from Barnes and NoblePaperback available from The Book Depository The paperback edition will be available via Amazon, and check out Leigh’s Blog for more
information where to purchase Jump Girl.  

A portion of every JUMP GIRL book sold goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Leigh Hutton is a former News Ltd journalist and champion dirt bike racer and horse show jumper. She was born and raised in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and now lives with her husband and three young children in southeast Queensland, Australia. When she isn’t wrangling the kids, swilling coffee, or writing, she loves to read, watch good TV and movies, shop, hit the beach, ride her motorbike and daydream about gorgeous horses.