May 20, 2009

Heartland: More moral lessons and some bile for me...

Every New Day
Heartland #9
by Lauren Brooke

Firstly, I actually fucking hate this series. I would say it's the worst horse series ever created, but sadly Chestnut Hill takes that title going away.

So in this book, Every New Day, our dear Amy Fleming is a busy girl. She's grappling with a relationship with Ty, the stable boy. Who dropped out of school to become a Super Horse Helper. There's a winner for you, right there! People in this book actually have the audacity to say that Amy and Ty are perfect for each other. Yeah... I'd take that one as an insult, Amy.

Anyway, Amy is all shy about telling people 'cause she thinks this will place pressure on her. Besides, she's all determined to go to this Okanumba place that's run by this Native American horse whisperer, Huten. Apparently, her mother made a promise that she would go back there one day. And that didn't happen... cause... well... you know. Bad stuff happened.

Amy starts working with Mercury, the featured troubled equine of this book. Mercury is owned by two guys and I just get the impression that they're gay. Two guys who ride? Who joint own a horse? Pardon me for stereotyping here, but years of reading these type of books have ingrained that tendency into me.

Back to Mercury. Ok, so this horse is a showstopper. But he's been badly treated in the past (big shocker there) and had his legs rapped to make him jump higher. Amy tries to fix him, and she and Ty disagree over some crap. Things don't go well. Mercury takes off with Amy, freaks out when he's even near fences.

Amy gets a brainwave! Maybe Huten can help! Then she can fulfill her mother's promise too! Yay! It doesn't take much to convince her grampa and big sister, Lou. Ty gets all sulky because his opinion doesn't matter. Boo-hoo.

So, she ends up going there for a week. Skipping school and everything. But we all know school isn't a big deal in horse books, so moving along here.

Huten is all blase and shit. How dare he ignore her needs! He makes Amy just sit in the paddock with Mercury! And goes for a walk ON FOOT to some tourist village where people are weaving baskets... is it the reed or the basket that the people are thinking about? This is the powerful question he poses Amy. She's all like 'duh... the basket!' and Huten is 'yeah... no. Wrong answer.'

Then Amy goes for a hack with Mercury and gets lost and then Mercury finds the way back and she's freaked that no one cares...

Only, it turns out it's all been part of her training. She has to let Mercury just decide things for himself! Wow!

After that revelation, Amy is able to jump Mercury. And then she makes up with Ty, who concedes that she was right all along.


You know, I find it bloody hard to believe that a horse can be fixed just like that. I have been working with an Arab mare now for two weeks just doing ground work. Yes, I admit that I am trying out Parelli. And that it's surprisingly getting results. However, fixing broken horses takes time! I haven't even attempted to get on Shakeelah yet! Heartland, you are messing up the perceptions of young readers worldwide that natural horsemanship is a quick fix! It's not. Parelli himself states that it is a lengthy process. And I don't buy the Monty Roberts way of doing stuff, either. I'm just saying...


Molly said...

So the moral is "let your horse do what it wants and it'll totally love and respect you," or what?

Chris said...

Ouch, talk about harsh review! What about a book that opens up young reader's eyes to other possibilities like natural horsemanship - a lot of younger reader demographic horse books are a bit fanciful - such as I would hope from a Saddle Club book that people wouldn't entertain the idea of their 12 year old daughter riding a Thoroughbred stallion...

Are your reviews written to help others depict if they should read a book or not? If so, consider the demographic of the book and maybe pulling back a touch on your language? After all, it is a book for young readers.

Anonymous said...

In a sort-of-response to the comment criticizing this review - these reviews are not exactly pointed at a child demographic. We're not exactly 10 and 12 year old girls here either.

'Are your reviews written to help others depict if they should read a book or not?' - I don't see how hard this one is - they're obviously not. They're humorous and entertaining. I find these humorous and entertaining, even though I love these books and some of the situations in them are completely insane and out-of-this-world.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes. Everyone with non-traditional career choices or the desire to do something that doesn't require school-type education must be morons.

Anonymous said...

"School-type education"? Amy's a high school girl, for God's sake. She should be going to school because it's mandatory.