Silent Harmony (Anglais) MP3 CD – 28 mai 2013
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Vivienne Taylor is 17 years old and is the equivalent of a teenage Horse Whisperer/Dr. Doolittle/Psychic to the Equine - she has a special connection with them and they have one with her. Her mom is also a vet. Vivienne wins a scholarship to prestigious Fairmont Riding Academy. She is really sad to leave her mom and little brother, but she has dreams of going to the Olympics some day. When she arrives, she finds that the schools vet has been murdered. She also winds up becoming becomes the target of the snooty spoiled rich girls. She does manage to make some friends, Riley and Tristan, who have secrets of their own, and her new horse, Harmony, is the only one she can't read. When Vivienne learns that Harmony belonged to the murdered vet, it adds even more mystery to drama that is now Vivienne's life.
I found Silent Harmony to be an enjoyable read for the most part, geared definitely more toward teenage readers. There is some language and sexual references, which I didn't have a problem with at all, but parents may want to consider if their young teen is going to be reading it. There is quite a bit of drama and conflict that goes on, but when you have teenagers, I think that is pretty much expected. The only thing that threw me off a little was that the story though mainly from Vivienne's POV, which is in the first person, but did have chapters that were from Riley and Tristan's POV, which were third person, and it was kind of confusing. On a positive note there is romance, mystery, suspense, and drama, which young readers are sure to enjoy and is something that again, would appeal mainly to the 14/15 to 18 age group, in my opinion.
Silent Harmony is a good read. Michele Scott knows her way around the ring and blends it well with her mystery writing talents. Full of the usual teen angst and nastiness, using the equestrian angle was a nice change! I did think the characters were almost too clichéd and predictable at times, but I LOVED the horses' personalities!
This book was provided by NetGalley and Amazon Children's Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
It's one of the more entertaining and more unusual YA books I've stumbled upon in quite a while and the proof is in our own teen girl loving it. This is one very well written book from an obviously very talented author who, I suspect, either is not far removed from the heroine's age (seventeen) or remembers well what that stage of life used to be like.
It's a great read and a great summer read not only for horse lovers but for anyone with a test for well written, well researched books that tell a good story.
I'm quoting someone: "It's Gossip Girls meets Veronica Mars meets Heartland." Throw in a slice of Mean Girls, as well, and maybe juuust a whisper of Mr. Ed. In the Fairmont Riding Academy, Vivienne suffers homesickness and is subjected to the cruel ministrations of her priveleged peers. She rapidly makes an enemy of the snooty reigning drama queen (who, admittedly, is herself a terrific horsewoman). She's the focus of a really messed-up traditional wager amongst the boy students. School-wise, the equestrian training is arduous, the competition seriously intense.
Vivienne's scholarship allots her a horse named Harmony, previously owned by the school's recently deceased veterinarian. Vivienne is shocked to learn that she's unable to "read" Harmony. Maybe it's to do with that the horse is severely traumatized. Maybe because it saw something. Like a murder.
The author intends this to be the first in a series, and why not? It's a good read that kept me turning pages, mostly. The teen romance stuff got old for me quick, but I understand I'm not the target demographic. Me, I just didn't think the projected romantic interest was all that interesting, never mind that he's harboring some deep, dark secret. I felt that the mystery beats also get short shrift. In fact, the whodunit element plays a significant role in how the book ends. Except that there's a very rushed, whirlwindy vibe to the closing chapters. Still, Vivienne is a great character, plucky and not one to back down and truly passionate about her love for horses. My second favorite character is her sweet roommate, Martina, whose parents are steeped in the film industry. I wish I could say that the best part of the book for me is Vivienne and Harmony's relationship, but I don't feel that the story covered that much of their interactions, not when compared to other aspects of Vivienne's time in Fairmont (cough***cuteboys,meangirls***cough).
I enjoyed Vivienne's first person narration. Didn't care so much for the third person POVs of those two guys, Riley and Tristan, again probably because I didn't think those two guys progressed much beyond the stereotypical YA depictions of boy hotties. Okay, I take that back some. Riley's character arc does take an interesting turn down left field. I don't know much about horses, so I soaked in all those passages in which I learned something about them; I really liked the opening chapter in which Vivienne and her mom cared for those poisoned horses. It's when I got a good feeling about the book. By the end, I knew I was down for any upcoming sequels. Enough cliffhangers are presented that it's gonna bother me if I don't get the answers or resolutions to them. Maybe in the sequel there'll be even more focus on the three-day-eventing stuff.