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- Publié sur Amazon.com
17-year-old Vivienne Taylor all her life has loved horses. For a while now she's been her mom's secret weapon, her mom the large-animal vet. You see, Vivienne is a horse whisperer. Specifically, she's an equine empath. For whatever reason, she can read horses' minds and moods, and this makes her indispensable in assisting her mom with horses in distress. More than anything, Vivienne wants to be an Olympian equestrian. She's about to leave her hometown of Albany, Oregon for a prestigious prep school, the Fairmont Riding Academy, in Southern California on the strength of a full scholarship. So this story, Silent Harmony, is a coming-of-age story. There's a touch of the paranormal, and who here doesn't enjoy a measure of wish fulfillment? There is a murder mystery. And there's teen romance. It's Michele Scott's first stab in the YA field and she's checking off all the boxes.
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.