Growing up, I loved horses. I didn’t have any opportunity to ride where I lived, so I fueled my obsession with books – The Saddle Club, Black Beauty, you name it, I probably read it more than once (I think I read Black Beauty at least ten times). When I finally got to ride, I realised that there was one flaw to my dream… I am incredibly scared of heights, and horses are HUGE. Nevertheless, I kept reading horse books, even though my actual interest in horse riding waned. There is just something about these majestic creatures that is so fascinating.
Dare to Dream, by Kate Lattey is definitely written for horse enthusiasts, whether they actually ride or not. It follows Marley and her two sisters as they struggle to keep their farm, and win Pony of the Year. It is the relationships in this book that make Dare to Dream special. Lattey has done a wonderful job at crafting a unique relationship between the three sisters – they each have defined personalities, and often clash with one another, but the love they have for each another shines through. The relationship between Marley and her horse is incredible – Lattey gives the horses as much personality as the humans of the story, and Marley and Cruise have a relationship that anyone would be envious of.
Dare to Dream is quite a dense book, which would be my only complaint. That has more to do with the formatting (such tiny font!) than the actual content. The characters drive the plot forward, and there is never a dull moment. Marley is a very determined character, and you can’t help but root for her through all her setbacks. The book is tinged with a sense of tragedy, and I have to admit to shedding a tear or two. Again, it is the excellent relationships that Lattey has cultivated that made the book so emotionally poignant.
Young adults with a love of horses will enjoy Dare to Dream, but so too will anyone who appreciates the bond between sisters, and the bond between owner and animal.
Find out more at nzponywriter.com.