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3.0 1
Young Adult Fiction 31
What will Francie's ride be like?
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The Perfect Distance is not your average girl-loves-horses book. In fact, horses are really secondary here in this story of a girl growing up and finding herself. Francie has been around horses pretty much her entire life. Her father, who is Mexican, works as a stable manager for West Hills&which happens to be run by one of the best equestrian trainers in the business.

Francie works as a groom to help pay for her lessons with Rob, the rather ill-tempered trainer. That separates her from the other students, who are mostly rich kids, as does the fact that she is half-Mexican (though this makes more of a difference in Francies mind than to most of the other riders). Francie is a good, solid rider, but Rob pays her little attention, instead concentrating on the spoiled Tara.

When Colby, a new rich but not-at-all-spoiled kid comes to train, Francie is confused. She wavers between being ashamed of her heritage and being proud of all her father has accomplished. She doesnt tell Colby at first that shes also a groom and not just another student, until Tara (i.e. the spoiled rotten) outs her.

In the meantime, they are all on edge as the finals approach. Who will make it? Who wont? Will Katie, Francies good friend and fellow student, snatch up Colby or will Francie make a move, even though her father doesnt approve?

Add in some family conflict as well, as Francies dad is determined that she go to college, even though shed rather just ride and youve got a lot cooking in this plot. And then theres Rob&will he stoop to new lows to get what he wants?

This is a good, solid story from a writer that seems to specialize in conflicted girls growing up (Whitney also wrote See You Down the Road). Francies troubles are real and heartfelt and the reader will root for her, even when they can see that shes making mistakes. Recommended for readers aged 12 and up.
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