dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Book Review: Share and Share Alike by Hannah Hooton

On June 26th I received an email from Hannah hooton. She asked if I would consider reading and reviewing her novel. I was taken aback. No one had ever asked me to do such a thing before. I love to read and I have a fairly eclectic approach to reading. I love the classics but also enjoy mysteries, humour and even a fun romance. I will read almost anything with a few exception. MY worry wasn't about reading Hannah's novel. My worry was what to do if I hated it? I couldn't say I liked a book that I didn't. And I didn't want to hurt her feelings. I've never written a book but I can imagine how vulnerable it would feel to send it out there. In the end I decided to give it a shot.  So I responded that I was honoured and she sent me the link to download.

This was her description of the book:
Share and Share Alike is the third instalment of the Aspen Valley series, which centres on a National Hunt racing yard in rural England. Although part of a series, the books can also be read as stand-alones. They are written to appeal to equine enthusiasts like myself who have outgrown pony books but not outgrown ponies. Share and Share Alike would therefore be suitable for readers aged 16+.
I've never written a book review before so I'm probably going to make a hash of it, but here goes:

My reading 'mood' varies depending on what is going on in the rest of my life. At times I love a book that makes me think and other times I want a book that's an escape. I would put Share & Share Alike in the 'escape' column. It is fast paced and engaging. The central premise was of a diverse group of people who join a racing Syndicate for a Steeplechaser called Ta'Qali. The syndicate is also being filmed for a reality TV show. It is considered an 'equestrian romance' (a new term for me).   I would probably liked a bit more  information about the racing side of things but it wasn't a deal breaker. There are some wonderful heart pounding race scenes and I actually felt like I was there.

 To enjoy a book I need to care about the people. Any book that I've stopped reading it was because the characters annoyed me too much and I didn't want to spend time with them. However, in Share & Share Alike the characters are likeable, even lovable. I enjoyed the authors development of characters, particularly the main character Tessa.

Tessa is a young woman at a cross-roads of her life. Born into the upper crust she struggles with accepting her heritage and maintaining her independence. Both she and Ta'Qali have been hurt by people they trusted and both are reluctant to build close relationships with others. I enjoyed the sublet parallels between Tessa and Ta'Qali and how they grew to trust others and understand their own strengths. The male protagonist, FD Sinclair starts off as a bit of a caricature.  However, he develops over time and becomes less 'brooding' and more interesting. Fortunately, the book is not all about the romance- there is a mystery component and a side plot between Tessa's brother and her friend that was cute. At times I laughed out loud with some scenes and actually found myself in tears at one point (no spoilers, sorry).  It's a romance so the ending is not a complete surprise but Hannah put a bit of unique twist on it so that the reader stays engaged.

If you are looking for a nice summer read that is engaging then you will enjoy this book. I don't think that you even have to be a 'horse person' to enjoy it. Hannah was correct- you can read this book and not feel that you missed anything. However, I am thinking that I would like to read the other two novels.

If you are looking for this book here are some links:

Barnes and Noble

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for not adding spoilers!! I'm going to read and review it too. I was worried about the same thing as you about what do I do if I hate it, but it sounds like we have a lot in common with our reading style so I bet I will like it! I've been too busy to read it, but I really need to soon. Thanks for the reminder! :D


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