Sunday, 1 May 2016

Book Review - Dare to Dream by Kate Lattey

I had the very great pleasure of reviewing Dare To Dream, by YA author, Kate Lattey.

Let's take a look at the book... 

Saying goodbye to the horses they love has become a way of life for Marley and her sisters, who train and sell show jumpers to make their living. Marley has grand ambitions to jump in Pony of the Year, but every good pony she’s ever had has been sold out from under her to pay the bills.

Then a half-wild pinto pony comes into her life, and Marley finds that this most unlikely of champions could be the superstar she has always dreamed of. As Marley and Cruise rise quickly to the top of their sport, it seems as though her dreams of winning the Pony of the Year might come true after all.

But her family is struggling to make ends meet, and as the countdown to Pony of the Year begins, Marley is forced to face the possibility of losing the pony she has come to love more than anything else in the world.

Can Marley save the farm she loves, without sacrificing the pony she can’t live without?

What did I think of the book?

How can you dare to dream when…

Your parents are dead,

Your eldest sister is your guardian and she has to contend with thinly veiled threats from the social worker because you, can’t concentrate at school,

The bank is calling in the mortgage and the debts are spiralling out of control,

The best hope of wining Pony of the Year has got caught up in a barbed-wire fence and his future is now uncertain,

and... you may be falling in love with your best-friends brother?

But amid all the uncertainly and worry, Marley finds herself drawn to an unbroken pinto pony called Cruise and the two of them form a bond stronger than anything Marley has ever experienced with a pony before. But, Marley knows the score, their farm trains horses and sales them on for a profit – it is that or eviction. Marley vows to fight tooth and nail to keep this one pony forever.

Set in the beautiful backdrop of New Zealand, and based on a true story, Dare to Dream is a riveting and beautiful page-turner. I commend Lattey for writing so exceptionally well and about such a diverse range of emotions - she really does describe them all - making her characters not only very well fleshed, but real in the telling. They had my sympathy, but also they inspired me – they never gave up, not once, even when everything seemed so hopeless.

The story itself was incredibly well crafted, with enough twist and turns to keep me engaged. This isn’t just another pony book – believe me, you haven’t read this one before. I really, really liked it and I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone. I shall certainly be looking out for more from this author. Highly Recommend.


Where can I purchases a copy of Dare To Dream?

About the author
Kate Lattey lives in Waikanae, New Zealand and started riding at the age of 10. She was lucky enough to get her first pony two years later, and went on to compete regularly as a teenager before heading to university.

In the years since, Kate has never been far from horses, and has worked in various jobs including as a livery yard groom in England, a trekking guide in Ireland, and riding school instructor in New Zealand, and has spent five wonderful summers in the USA as a camp counsellor at Road's End Farm, NH. During her time there Kate wrote several short stories about the farm's horses, which were a huge hit with the campers.

Kate is the Head Coach at her local Pony Club, judges at shows in the local area, and enjoys training her horse JJ for show hunter (hunter jumper) competitions. She has been reading and writing pony stories ever since she can remember, and loves being able to share them with readers from all over the world.
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