Musa Monday: The Girl Who Remembered Horses
I won this young adult post-apocalyptic novel by Linda Benson in the Musa Memorial Day Blog Hop and just now got to read it. It only took me 2 days. I LOVED this book! Before I get into the review, here’s the synopsis. Remember you can click on the cover art to buy the book from Musa.
In a world that has forgotten the ancient bond between horses and humans, can one girl’s dreams make people remember?
Several generations into the future, Sahara travels with her clan in a barren environment where recyclables are bartered for sustenance, and few remember horses or their connection to humans. But Sahara has recurring visions of riding astride on magnificent animals that run like the wind.
With the help of Evan, a young herder from the Gardener’s Camp, Sahara discovers a crumbling book containing pictures of humans riding horses and learns her visions are real. Confronting a group of hunters led by hot-headed Dojo, Sahara rescues a wounded horse, but the animal escapes before it can be tamed.
Sahara is labeled a foolish dreamer and almost gives up her quest. Following horse tracks into a remote ravine, she finds wild dogs attacking a dying mare, and must drive them off in order to save the foal. Now she must attempt to raise the young animal, finally convince her clan of the ancient bond between horses and humans, and learn the secret of her true identity.
Linda Benson is definitely a talented writer. The way she crafts words together draws the reader in, creating an intriguing atmosphere the lulls the reader soothingly into the post-apocolyptic world she’s created. A simpler world than the one we live in now. A world of barren wilderness and tribal-like customs where the main character, a young girl named Sahara, uses her unique bond with animals to prove to everyone they were wrong about horses.
In all honesty, I’m kind of surprised I loved the book so much. The types of books I generally gravitate towards are ones with older teen female protagonists, with lots of mystery, twisted romance, fantastical elements, and suspense. The Girl Who Remembered Horses did have suspense, but the plot itself didn’t scream to the reader, “You must keep reading to find out what’s going to happen!” Instead, the author’s writing style and the way you found yourself getting attached to the protagonist and her plight were what made you keep turning page after page, devouring chapter after chapter. It wasn’t a drive to get to the end or find out what was going to happen. It was a desire to linger in the pages and live in the story.
Despite it being geared toward a younger audience with a protagonist the age of 12 and 13, I didn’t seem to mind one bit. It wasn’t dumbed down at all, and although Linda didn’t use very big vocabulary (as to not scare off or confuse her target audience), her use of words and the flow of her writing doesn’t make adult readers feel they are reading a kid’s book.
I loved the pace as well. Not too fast, not too slow. Although, my only complaint, without giving anything away, is that I didn’t want to end. Especially where it did. It had a great ending, but I wanted much more! I wanted to stay there longer and see what else was going to come of Sahara and her horse.
If you’re an animal-lover or especially a horse-lover, you must read this book! You would absolutely love it! But even if not, you should definitely check out this book! With all of the other choices out there, especially for older teens and adults, you may look at this heartwarming young adult book the same way I often look at family-oriented, heartwarming movies like We Bough a Zoo, Facing the Giants, The Blind Side, etc. They look good, but I’m not really sure I’m in the mood to watch them. Then when I do, I’m so glad I did! The Girl Who Remembered Horses is a refreshing and heart-warming story, one that leaves you smiling and ready to go about the rest of your day with a renewed spirit and fresh look at the world. We all need that from time to time. Thanks Linda Benson for such a great story!
By the way, Linda Benson also has another, newer young adult book out, Six Degrees of Lost. Check it out by clicking on the cover art. I haven’t read it, but if it’s anything like the other one, I’m sure it would be worth reading!