Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls review

My first blogged book review - I had other intentions for my first book blog but I finished this, wrote my Goodreads review and though why not just jump in with a review!    If you need a good vacation read this summer I recommend......
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls 
Anton Disclafani

Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Riverhead Hardcover (first published January 1st 2013)
1594486409 (ISBN13: 9781594486401)
edition language

Thea Atwell is a naive, sheltered, spoiled 15 year old girl sent away from her Florida home after a scandal that shakes up her family. You figure out pretty quickly what the scandal is even though the full details do not emerge until the very end of the book.  The story bounces back and forth between the present and the past and we get the background of the scandal slowly through out the book.  Thea spends one year at Yonahlossee, however nothing much happens and the passage of time can be difficult to understand. One paragraph they are at a dance the next its two months later and Christmas.  The scene near the end of the book where she is preparing to leave and is up looking at a photo and flashing back to home really threw me, even after rereading several times I just didn't get what was happening when and why some of it was important.
Thea's flippant attitude about what happened to her what continues to happen to her was the most irritating thing about the book - she was there and bad stuff happened and she moved on.  She never learned or grew from any of these experiences.  I sort of struggled with what was Thea's role in the scandal - was she a victim or did she know the consequences of her actions and was a willing participant?  I think she knew on some level, but a teenage mind could not understand the far reaching consequences and she was sort of a victim, her cousin understood more than she did and I thought a bit manipulative.  However, Thea learns nothing and repeats her errors while at camp. Up until the end she could never see her part in anything that happened, bad stuff just happened around her.
The riding part of the story was interesting, however, it was unbelievable that she was as an advanced a rider as she was considering she had just been riding around her property in Florida on her pony - she had never had formal lessons etc.  Hard to believe she was the best rider there.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  The story stuck with me, the descriptions were lush and beautiful and I couldn't put it down.  I can understand why it is on many must read lists. 

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