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4.7 out of 5 stars
The One Dollar Horse
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Living in a high-rise in Hackney, with a convicted thief for a father, Casey Blue knows she's lucky to live so close to Hope Lane Riding School, but it isn't known as Hopeless for nothing. Horse mad Casey has big dreams - to win Badminton Horse Trials - but without enough money to even pay for riding lessons, she knows there's no place for her in such an expensive sport.

Until she rescues a half-starved, half-crazed horse from the brink of death. Bought with a chance found US dollar bill and saved with love, almost everyone is ready to write Storm off. And even if he does survive, without money, she still can't compete. Except Casey has a dream and Storm Warning is far from average. Surely if they both work hard - and get a little help from their friends - there's no knowing what they can achieve.

Horse lovers everywhere will adore this. Casey is a gutsy girl, hard working and determined, and filled with love for her misfit horse. Storm too had a lot of charm. He may have been mistreated, but he's still smart and capable of defying the odds. Reading about their journey was great - and brought back plenty of memories of my own horse mad summers and misfit horse.

There are plenty of other characters to like and loathe too, from the Hopeless crew to Mrs Smith, Casey's dad and Peter the farrier's son, not to mention the young eventing superstar Anna Sparks, her too rich father and Raoul the sinister groom.

Full of grit, determination, triumphs, defeats, love, loss and betrayal this was a great involving read. A love of horses will definitely help with the terminology, but it's also a book about dreams and working to achieve them. I just wish we'd learned a little more about Mrs Smith. Sure, it may no be the most original plot, nor the least predictable, but it's still a great delightful read. I'd love to read more about all of them.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 15 February 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really did enjoy this book immensely, and I heartily believe this is a book that ANY horse-mad person will enjoy - regardless of age.

It is the tale of Casey Blue, a girl of fifteen, who lives in Hackney with her ex-convict father. She works all the hours she can spare at the local stables, so that she can be near to the animals she loves so much, but she dreams of greater things for herself. When she becomes the owner of a neglected, and very sick, horse, she must somehow find a way to fund her obsession or lose that which she holds most dear.

Her father has made mistakes but he dearly loves his daughter, and encourages her in her dreams of equestrian achievements. Even those we love can make mistakes though, and Casey finds herself in an horrendous situation whereby she must risk losing one, or possibly even both, of the things that make her up life as she knows it.

I really loved that this book mentions the snobbery and bitchiness which can be apparent at horse events. I love the idea of a teenager from deprived beginnings having the guts to rise above the pathetic reactions of those not worthy of her time. I also think that the idea of someone working that hard to achieve their very best in their chosen sphere is excellent. More authors could take note of this when writing books aimed at young adults. They need to be inspired to follow their dreams and to not fear the hard work that it takes to do that.

I hope that Lauren St John sees fit to write more horsey novels, as there are lots of teenagers and adults alike who would dearly love to read horsey stories that have more of a touch of realism to them.

I highly recommend this to all horse-mad people! Enjoy!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 January 2013
i love horses and find it hard to find good books that are not too young (i am 13)This book just takes you into a world of your own ,you cannot put it down. My friend went into hospital for a life changing operation and i lent it to her and she read it within two days. We loved it and would recomend it to anyone .Cant wait for the next one to come out in March!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 29 January 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a review by an adult who still enjoys reading horse and pony stories (and wishes there were more written for adults)

15 year old Casey lives in a tower block in London and when she's not at school or working part-time she helps out at a local riding school and dreams of swapping rides on school ponies for competing at Badminton Horse Trials. When by chance she rescues a downtrodden and half starved horse destined for slaughter, her life transforms as she struggles against the odds to train him to be an eventer.

I read this book in a weekend and although the overall story is fairly predictable there was more depth than I expected and this kept the story grounded in reality. This is a good piece of well written, feel good fiction and I recommend it to horse lovers of all ages.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My 9 year old, horse mad daughter could not put this book down, in fact she didn't even want to go outside when the ice cream van came because she was at 'the best bit' which was finding out if Casey.....the girl who came up from nothing, struggling against adversity to get into the horse world actually makes it to the Badminton Horse Trials!!

Any book that gets a child to forgo their trip to the ice cream van is worth reading in my opinion!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Originally posted on Serendipity Reviews.
This is one of those books I've been meaning to read for awhile. I've heard so much about Lauren St John and I was intrigued to study her writing style. Not that I managed to study it, because I got so wrapped up in the story I couldn't put it down and raced through it to find out how it would end.

The One Dollar Horse is an emotional, yet thoroughly absorbing read. I'm not a huge fan of horses, but this book gave me urges to learn how to ride.The author must have a passion for horses too, because it spills out through the characters in the book. It took me back to books from my childhood such as Black Beauty and Flambards. It has all the signs of a classic children's story.

I learnt so much about horse riding and the UK horse racing scene from this book. The author has obviously spent a long time researching this book because the descriptions are very detailed.

The characters draw you in immediately, as the author throws every obstacle in their way. Casey is one in a million girl, who finds the one in million horse. On the verge of being destroyed at the knackers yard, Casey and her father save Storm from destruction. You follow Casey on an emotional journey as she takes on the equestrian world to achieve the dream she has cherished all her life. Casey and Storm are the underdogs, who blast tradition and competition into smithereens. From the very beginning, you are fighting alongside them, willing them to beat the system. They are the unlikely heroes.

The story pulls at your heart strings, as Casey and Storm face one catastrophe after another. On many occasions, it looks like everything Casey dreamed of would come to a premature end.

I loved this book. I thought it was flawless. A finely crafted story with unique characters ranging in quirks and diversity displaying a rags to riches plot line to its fullest. I've read so many children's books in the last couple of years but this is the closest book that has ever transported me back to my childhood. I can't wait to read the sequel
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
My daughter read this book and then handed it to me on a train journey to London - big mistake! She didn't get it back!! It's gripping and totally absorbing, takes you to into the eventing world and has a storyline which sits in your head until you can stand it no longer and need to pick it up to read on! Would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves horses, and if you don't love horses you may just be inspired after reading this!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2012
This book is really exciting and builds up suspense all the way through to the last page. When I read it I could not stop reading it! This is an excellent novel and if you're a horse lover it is even better!
This book is abut a girl called Casey and she rescues a half wild horse in the middle of Hackney. Will this horse and Casey be able to star in the badminton horse trials and come first?
E.E.B
Age 10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2012
THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING, I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!!!!

Casey blue, fifteen year old daughter of a criminal, lost her mother years ago. One of the only things she enjoys are horses. When Casey finds a beautiful grey, about to be slaughtered, she has to step in. Luckily her and her father have one US dollar, which was enough to bribe the knackers to let the horse go.

Casey devotes all her time to rehabilitate this poor, traumatised horse but she has run out of money. Just when things are about to collapse, something comes up, which may change every thing.

Throughout out the book casey develops her relationship with Storm Warning and with the help of her coach, Mrs Smith, her dreams of going to the Badminton horse trials begin to look up.

I loved Casey's determination and the strength of love between her and storm.

I would recommend this book for ANYONE, especially if they love horses, just as much as I do! It is a heart warming story, with a very gripping plot, in which several turns occur and make you think, 'Oh my gosh, what will happen now?' You just wont be able to put it down!

Over all, I think it was excellent!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2013
I bought this book as many of the reviews shared my view that there are not enough horsey books for adults.
This book is an extremely quick, easy read and the plot is simple.
However, this is not an adult book.
There is limited description and the characters are one-dimensional and under-developed.
It's not a bad book, it's fairly reasonably priced and I don't mind reading children's books from time to time, but I've read better children's horsey books growing up.
I would recommend downloading the sample if buying on kindle and having a quick look inside before buying here to check if the level of writing is acceptable to you as the sample does reflect the level of writing.
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