Cover Image: On a Good Horse

On a Good Horse

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Member Reviews

This is a well written book that horse lover's of all ages will love. Alex and Rio's story will touch your heart. I loved it! Thank you Owl Hollow Press via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Oh my horse loving heart loved this book so much! While this book may be geared towards a middle grade audience, any age will love this story of a boy and his horse learning to heal.  While I loved the chapters from Alex's point of view, I absolutely adored the chapters from Rio's point of view.  

Death of a parent is a main theme in this book but is done in such an amazing way.  After the death of his mom, Alex is sent to spend the summer with his estranged dad in Colorado.  Alex's path to healing is carried out from the back of his new horse Rio.  

I highly recommend this book and will be pressing it into the hands of everyone I can find.  " Easier to carry the bad when you're mounted on a good horse" 

Thank you Netgalley and Owl Hollow Press for the advanced copy in exchange for a honest review.
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There aren't any words for how much I enjoyed this book. It's really funny, which is good because it also deals with a boy who's lost his mom and who is basically building a relationship with his dad from scratch. It's not like they'd never met, but the divorce was acrimonious and they didn't see each other very often. 

This is Darby's contemporary middlegrade debut, and it's amazing. As anyone who reads her books can attest, one of her very real strengths is writing great father-son relationships, but this one is on a whole other level. Alex and his dad (Rob) have no foundation at all (seriously, Rob is the parent who sees his kid maybe once a year and shows up with a picture book for a seven year old. And it's not entirely his fault--again, VERY acrimonious divorce and he lives far away) so seeing the two of them learn to connect is absolutely beyond touching. It doesn't hurt that Rob, bless his heart, is not above bribery (he buys Alex a horse).

Also, a few chapters are from the horse's perspective. This is a dangerous choice, because it could become sappy or weird or break the book's pacing. It's actually fantastic though; Rio is a total smartass and his chapters are wonderful and I laughed through all of them. (He's also a bit of a marshmallow but don't repeat that; he would bite me for it.)

I absolutely adore this book. Highly recommended.
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