I give you the review of Distance Runner, in which Jennifer Chu introduces some pointless characters and Chris and Star escape the pressures of Mel's bitchiness and get to do some touring on the side.
I really hate this phase of covers from book 43-57... Star's mouth looks like his lips have been fused together and Christina is wearing Steve Urkel glasses. Her silks are also the wrong colours! Well, at least the saddle has a girth and stirrups and Christina is not wearing cowboy boots or a scarf...
Christina and Star need a change of pace.A competitive bug is sweeping through Whitebrook Farm. Image, Star, and Gratis are all contenders for the Triple Crown races, which begins with the Kentucky Derby, a little over a month away.
Christina can't stand the pressure. So, when she is given the chance to leave Kentucky for a little while and ride for another farm in California, where Derby fever isn't quite as intense, she packs her bags and takes Star with her. There, Chris focuses on making the most of Star's running style. He's always been a come–from behind–horse, but he sometimes misses his chance to beat the leaders. Christina is going to try to change that in time for the Derby. But it may not be as easy as she thinks.
So, Christina is getting excited for the Kentucky Derby, but she is having problems as per usual with Star. Star isn't running flat out in his workouts, which is apparently a bad thing as that's what super-talented race horses have to do all the time. They are at Keeneland, prepping for the Blue Grass.
While Chris is wandering around the backside, she sees this insane horse fighting against one of those hotwalker machines. The horse is all tangled in his lead and Chris sets him free, a selfless act which will surely be the start of some miracle bond with this new nutjob. The horse's owners, the Johnstons, rush up, apprently remembering that they have left their expensive racehorse alone with a piece of machinery. Chris lands with her bum in the butter and get's to ride this new horse, Callie, in a race that afternoon.
Mel just happens to be riding Raven in the same race. Chris does, as per usual, a good job with Callie and wins the race but Mel lodges a protest against her in a bitchy attempt to change the results. The protest does not stand and Chris poses with Callie and the Johnstons are so thrilled that they want Chris to retrain Callie-poo in... gasp... California!
Ashleigh and Mike of course are against the idea.
Chris and Mel go to Katie's eighteenth birthday party. Normally, they would be indulging in some more adult activities at such a thing, but this is Thoroughbred. So it does not get any more interesting than gossiping in a hot tub and watching Indiana Jones. During the party, things are tense between our favorite cousins. It seems Mel can only be a nice person in her own books.
When the girls arrive back, Parker clearly had fuck-all to do but mope around the mare's paddock in the middle of the night. He and Chris break up, to save themselves more hurt, or whatever. I personally think Parker is sleeping with Kaitlin at this point, as she is not a main character and can be engaged in sexual activities. It actually has nothing to do with him going to England to train for Burghley. Parker is a man! He needs more than chaste kisses on the cheek!
Blah blah blah... Star is still not running full-out and Chris refuses to use a whip to beat some speed into him. She decides that a change of scenery is the way to go! Not that she and Star didn't go to Montana and then New Orleans or whatever... but help comes in the form of Cindy, who is in an unusually chipper mood due to her enlivened sex life with Ben. Cindy reminds Ashleigh that competition can be nasty between family and they all agree that Chris and Star can jetset off to Cali and run in the Santa Anita Derby! Yay!
Chris arrives in Cali and swoons over Dreamflight and their pretty facilities. Oh, and Aaron. Who just happens to be uber cute and focused on horses! Aaron gets chucked off this colt, Blue Streak Christina just leaps on the colt in her nice jeans and without a helmet rides him well.... as per freaking usual!
More drama over Star and his shitty fractions... Chris still refuses to use a crop, giving her horse far too much credit in the smarts department. Aaron offers to take Chris to Universal Studios, where he will have to chance to grope her in one of the dark rides. Chris is so upset over Star, she refuses, not at all aware of Aaron's intentions.
Callie and Star would make the perfect horse if they were moulded together. All Callie wants to do is run and could show Star a thing or two, or so Chris thinks. But she has to prove that she made the right choice (sound familiar?)
After much discontent with both Star and Callie sucking, Chris cries like a baby and Aaron comforts her and she basks in his warm manliness. They go touring around LA and Christina has the miraculous epiphany that she just needs to let Star and Callie do their thing without trying to change their style of running. Wow.
So Chris and Aaron ride Star and Callie together that evening without permission and both horses seem all fine and dandy now. The next day, Chris breezes Callie and the Johnstons and the horse's owner are happy.
Callie runs his race, the San Philipe stakes and wins it wire to wire and then Chris wins again with Star. All is well again and we leave California with promises of dinner dates and more work that never really get met as these people don't exist outside of Jennifer Chu's books.
Points of Interest
- Yeah, I bet people just randomly offer strangers to ride their horses in races that take place... like hours after they first meet them!
- Mel is such a bitch. She should be fucking grateful that she even has Image to race and that her body is still intact.
- Storm's Ransom gets an honorable mention. It seems the mere mention of his name still reduces Cindy into a blubbering wreck.
- At least Jennifer has some knowledge of TB history. Unlike, oh, any of the other NewGen authors.
- I find myself wishing that Aaron was in more books than just Jennifer Chu's. For the simple reason that he might have been less boring than Parker.
- Chris asks Aaron which horses are going to Santa Antia and his reply is "pretty much anyone who is sound." Ding ding ding! Warning bells, anyone?
- Does a theme park called California Adventure really exist?
- What is is with TB characters riding their horses without permission?
- Boy oh boy, I thought seventeen year olds were beyond crying when they do not get their way.
- Jennifer Chu likes name dropping brands, famous actors and all that, doesn't she?
Well, this book was pointless... but not as pointless as the next one on my list... the aptly named Perfect Challenge!