Thursday, July 12, 2012
My Favorite Mistake by Georgina Bloomberg and Catherine Hapka
Release Date: February 28, 2012, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Tommi, Zara, and Kate are all elite riders on the A Circuit. Tommi, the billionaire heiress, is training a young horse to prove she can make horses a real career. But when her new beau, Alex, convinces her to skip a horse show to party in the Hamptons, the results could be disastrous. Zara, the celebutante wild child, is finally taking her riding seriously. Until the new "nanny" her dad hires threatens to upstage Zara's party girl status. Then there's Kate. She doesn't have money to burn like the others, but she does have Fitz, the barn's resident hot guy. But when the pressure of being a working student builds, Kate's perfectionist tendencies threaten to get in the way of her relationship and her riding.
Readers who are growing out of the Canterwood Crest series or searching for an A-list fix have found just what they're looking for in the A Circuit series.(courtesy of Goodreads)
The A Circuit series is one of those guilty pleasure type of books. It's formulaic and features superficial, not always likable, somewhat amoral characters. And yet, I eagerly suck up these books for the world of horses and privileged teenagers.
My Favorite Mistake is aptly titled. Tommi, Kate, and Zara, the three stars of this series, seem to be in an unofficial competition over who can do the dumbest things. Tommi - the uber rich, ambitious horsewoman - is facing common teen woes. She wants to take her commitments seriously, but she also wants to have fun like any other kid her age. But fun comes at a consequences when you're trying to prove to your skeptical father than horses will lead to a viable career. I was frustrated with Tommi's actions in this book, but I can see where she's coming from. In many ways, she is the most realistic character in the series. I'm guessing her life experiences and personality are based heavily off of Georgina.
Kate was my favorite character from the first book. The only rider who is not wealthy. Kate feels like she has to be the perfect rider, the perfect employee, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect friend, the perfect daughter... And as often happens when you try to be 100% in everything, Kate is 100% in nothing. She loses it in this book. She's so worried about living up to her impossible standards that she refuses to eat, she worries constantly, and jeopardizes her future. It seemed over the top to me. I'm sure there are people who are really like this, but not many. I felt like the authors were trying too hard to show us that Kate was over-stressed.
Zara is the hardest character to like in the series. But it's hard not to. She is mean. Zara has so many walls up, that the nicer people try to be to her, the meaner she is to them. However, because we read her thoughts when she's saying these awful things, we understand her. I want to shake her much of the time, but I can't help feeling sorry for the girl who in many ways has a very difficult life. I like the juxtaposition of meanness and vulnerability. We see this even more in the second book when Zara is trying to be better, but keeps getting trapped by her own demons and her new "nanny."
The tone of this book is light and breezy. The writing is nothing memorable, but neither is it bad. For awhile I rolled my eyes at the overuse of the word "definitely" and "totally" in the characters' speech. Unrealistic teen-speak, I thought. Until I started listening to myself and re-read a few of my reviews and realized that "definitely" and "totally" are two of my favorite words. My bad. (On the slang front, this is the first time I have ever used that phrase, but it fits quite well here).
If you want Gossip Girl with horses, you should definitely read My Favorite Mistake. It isn't as wild and crazy with sex and drinking as the first book was, but those are still present. I would like a little more references to clothing brands and other accouterments of wealth - I love name dropping - but the horse terminology is enough of an adventure. A decent read.