Review: The Girl Who Remembered Horses — by Linda Benson

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Cover image and summary from goodreads.com

Title: The Girl Who Remembered Horses

Author: Linda Benson 

Rating:  ★★★★★ (4.5 of 5)

Genre/Pages: Dystopian / 214

Summary: “In a world that has forgotten the ancient bond between horses and humans, can one girl’s dreams make people remember?

Sahara travels with her clan in a future, barren environment where recyclables are bartered for sustenance, and few remember horses or their connection to humans. But Sahara has recurring dreams of riding astride on magnificent animals that run like the wind. At the Gardener’s Camp, she discovers a valuable book and learns that her visions are real. But how can she persuade others of the ancient bond between horses and humans, when she is labeled just a foolish girl?

When Sahara discovers a helpless young horse, she must use both her courage and inborn knowledge to keep the animal safe, convince others of the true worth of horses, and learn the secret of her real identity.”

Cover Review: It’s pretty, but I wish it was artwork. It’s a very nice picture, though. I dislike the fact that it’s so completely unrelated to the book. The horse doesn’t look like the horse in the book (if I’m remembering right) and overall, the cover gives a contemporary feel to the novel. I really think this book could benefit from having a cover that actually portrayed the dystopian nature of this book.

My Review: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If memory serves, I actually requested this book from the author, because the premise fascinated me so much. I’ve read plenty of equestrian fiction over the years, but equestrian dystopian? That’s completely new to me. It was a really fun book!

Characters: The characters were possibly my favorite thing about this story. The main cast of characters was good-sized, but they were all very well-developed and fascinating. They were flawed and independent and believable. I especially loved the character’s dynamics and interactions with each other — that, I think, is really where Linda Benson’s skill in writing shines the brightest. I loved each and every one of these characters, even the not-so-lovable ones, and that can be a very difficult thing for a lot of books to achieve. But The Girl Who Remembered Horses had a cast of characters that makes me desperately wish to return to the world in a sequel to learn more about them. I especially loved Sahara, who was worthy of an entire set of American Girl Doll books and merch.

Plot: The plot was really moving and emotional. It kinda felt like a Dystopian Little House on the Prairie, if that makes any sense. Thinking back on what I said about Sahara being like an AG doll, my feelings towards this book make a lot more sense. That’s exactly what this book felt like! It was a story of heart, of love, and of determination. Sahara is the American Girl Doll of the dystopian future, and her action-packed and heartwarming story illustrates that beautifully.

Content Advisory: Talk of death and butchering animals. An elderly person dies in sleep.

To Sum It Up: This is the perfect book to read with your pre-teen and teenage daughters. Who am I kidding? It’s perfect for all ages — middle grade to adult! This was a really fun and worthwhile book. It’s one of those books that I want to read to my own children one day. I highly recommend this book for readers ages 7 and up.

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