Apr 4, 2010

A Star Discovered Is Totally Being Cliche Put Him Back

Lucky Foot Stable #3: A Star Discovered

JoAnn S. Dawson


LIFE AT LUCKY Foot Stable has settled into a comfortable routine for epic friends Mary and Jody and all their horses, especially as they are working hard to train Star for his very first horse show.

But a menacing threat from a mysterious stranger may destroy their perfect world, unless Willie can save the day.

Hey folks. Apparently my last book review was back in July of 2008. I’ve either been slacking off here, or my life has been crazy insane. I’m working full time (gotta pay for that pony after all!) and riding every day that I can to get the golden boy in shape for this summer’s trail riding. Also, I’m hoping to try a Competitive Trail Ride this year, if I can. So it’s understandable that I haven’t written a review in a dog’s age.

But I picked up this book at the library – I needed a quick read or I was gonna go nuts on the bus. Postal, people, postal! And it’s singularly horrifying, and really deserves a good lambasting. So here it is, my first review in a dog’s age.

This is book 3 in a series, so I’m probably starting off on the wrong foot by totally skipping the first two books, which were not on the juvenile fiction paperback shelf, but honestly, given how this book seems willing to rehash everything that happened previously. So it’s not much of a loss.

Anyway, there’s this dairy farm, and there’s this old farmhand guy named Willie who is apparently really really pissed off that his boss is hiring someone else to do all the heavy work because Willie should be able to work himself into an early grave, damn it. But to make matters worse, there’s these two girls who board their horses at the farm, and they’re being whiny little babies about how this yearling colt named Star won’t square up for some halter show that’s 2 months down the road. So Old Willie growls at them, and stomps off to leave Mary and Jody flabbergasted before they see a dog and their yearling playing with a riding crop and see a beat-up old pickup truck with like junk and shit on it (just think Great Depression Era, folks) pull up, and Willie yells at them some more.

So Mary and Jody go see the dairy farmer’s wife, and she gives them HOT tea (gee, this lady doesn’t know weather, huh?) and starts talking about how Willie is old and stuff so he’s getting some help, and why don’t they ask Willie to help them with Star. And blah blah blah.

And there’s this other girl named Annie, and she’s sort of migrant-worker-trailer-trash, but she charms Mary’s horse, Gypsy and walks out of the stable which sort of puts a damper on Jody and Mary’s mood so they work with Star, and get into a tugging war with him when Willie shows up and lectures them.

And then fast forward like 2 months here, because they’re trying to load Star, and Willie helps them load him into the back of a pickup truck (I know of a guy who hauls a horse in a pickup) and they feed Star some grain because horses are happy eating and know they get good things in trailers. But Jody is a dumbass and the two girls take the back off the pickup without, you know, putting the freaking lead rope on and the colt gets away and runs off, and Annie catches him and walks him around with a dog leash of all things. Jody and Mary think Star needs grass, so they tie him up to a fucking harrow (I nearly shat my pants at this point … who the fuck are these moron girls?) and Mary thinks they can leave him there overnight. So is it any surprise that the poor pony gets himself wrapped up in the stupid rope and falls down? NO SHIT SHERLOCK! God, and to think they left him eating grass. Like Willie said, they were damn lucky he didn’t founder. So luckily, Star is ok and stuff, and then Willie says they need to pull his mane. And from Jody’s reaction you’d think he was telling her to kick a puppy dog. Stupid girl.

So the colt gets a bath, and they take him to this show and Jody has to mention that the colt’s name is Star of Wonder and he’s foaled on Christmas Eve (Of course he issss) and how they don’t know his sire. And he gets third place. But oh look, there’s a glaring man looking mysterious. And he comes over and starts playing 20 Questions with Willie. And Star wins his next class. Bully for him. And the mysterious man is even more angry and mysterious.

As it turns out, the mysterious man has every right to be angry. We’re told that the two girls, Mary and Jody, took Lady, one of their ponies, to a show and she got knocked up by this stallion and they decided to keep super hush-hush about it. And it’s an expensive champion stallion, and Mr. Mysterious wants his freaking stud fee. Of course, naturally, to two crying little tweenie girls like Jody and Mary, he’s a “horrible” man, but Willie does set their parents straight that he’s not horrible; he just wants to like, be paid for the fact that his stallion’s sperm made Star. But at least Mr. Mysterious is decent enough to let them maybe pay for the stud fee.

But this story’s starting to bore me at this point, because the next day the girls all feel sorry for themselves and Mrs. McMurry, the dairy farmer’s wife says they can earn money by helping prep dead chickens (Only these girls are like city slickers because they think they’re putting clothes on the birds) and Jimmy, Annie’s brother basically calls their shit so now Jody and Mary both grow a pair and pluck feathers off dead birds even though they were going to be sick. And then the next day some guy from a movie set shows up, and there’s going to be a movie, and it turns out Willie was this head wrangler-stunt-guy and they want him to be in charge and somehow Mary and Jody get to be extras in the movie. And Willie is a generous guy and says he’ll pay the stud fee, and everyone lives happily ever after, the end.

This book made me see red, really. It’s so damn cliché and shit. And the stupidity of Jody and Mary made me want to throttle them. But I guess it’s like a review or something. Maybe a review that people ought to stay away. For something that claims to be part of an award-winning series, it’s pretty lame. Maybe 2008 was a shitty year in publishing.


coulrophobic agnostic said...

Oh my god, how dare the guy want his stud fee. *eyeroll* I really hate the attitude that children shouldn't be held accountable for their actions or made to face the consequences just because they're young. It annoys me even more when kids hold that viewpoint.

Kelsey said...

Is this real life?