(From the Paddocks to Paris): Jump Girl by Leigh Hutton

(From the Paddocks to Paris): Jump Girl by Leigh HuttonJump Girl by Leigh Hutton
Series: The Go Girl Chronicles #2
Also in this series: Rev Girl
on 22nd November 2014
Goodreads
three-stars
SHOW JUMPING IS AN EXTREME SPORT WITH A DRESS CODE, ONE THIS GIRL DOESN'T FOLLOW . . .

Imagine being dumped by your mother as a newborn and shifted between foster homes your entire childhood. Imagine being taken in and offered hope for your future by a kind, loving show jumping socialite.

Imagine falling in love with some of the most gorgeous horses in the world, and making a life in the thrilling and glamorous sport of international show jumping.

Now imagine it all being taken away.

Ebony Scott Harris is painfully close to making her dreams a reality when the only mother she has ever known mysteriously dies. She’s forced from their home to live with the gold-digging aunt, who takes her in only to ride the prized show jumpers she claims are now hers.

Teetering on the edge of a hopeless depression, Ebony is saved by the discovery of a forgotten horse nearly starved to death, and an unlikely partnership with a handsome stranger, whom she must learn to trust if she is to uncover the truth about her mother’s death and reclaim her home.

But with the evil aunt selling her best and beloved horse, a maniacal ex-coach out for revenge and more savage competitors than she can count, Ebony has a lot more at stake than proving the truth, saving her horses and jumping for gold at the World Equestrian Games . . .

The highly anticipated second book in The Go Girls Chronicles - stories of gutsy girls in action sports.

After reading Rev Girl earlier this year, I had high hopes for Jump Girl (and if you haven’t read Rev Girl yet, I recommend it. It’s loosely based on Leigh’s own real life Rev Girl story!). When it comes to horses, I may not have always wanted a pony. In fact my few encounters with horses may have left me petrified but I was very excited to see what Leigh had up her sleeve for the second book in the Go Girls Chronicles.

Jump Girl features Ebony an eighteen year old girl with aspirations of becoming an elite level show jumper. With her foster-mother dying recently and everything horse related now being handled by Ebony’s money-hungry adoptive aunt, Ebony’s future is uncertain. Ebony wants to make her late mother proud and is unwilling to let their dreams disappear. She decides to do whatever it to achieve her goal – the Olympics. But life never goes quite according to plan. The horse she chooses to work with goes by the nickname Monster, a nickname most deserved! Her guardian is causing havoc financially and mean girls at the ranch constantly make Ebony’s life difficult.  The road to the professional level athleticism is never easy but for Ebony there are times when it seems impossible. But with some friends by her side and a boy not willing to let her give up on her dream, Ebony has a chance.

The first thing I want to say is that Leigh Hutton is amazing at delivering authentic action scenes which feel unbelievably real. The way she described Ebony’s show jumping runs and the energy of the events was fantastic! I’ve never experienced this sport in any way kind of shape or form but the way Leigh puts the reader right in the middle of the action – I felt like I could have been there in the crowd cheering Ebony on. I also love what Leigh is doing with this series. Highlighting females in sport is amazing and I think it is fantastically cool that whilst the heroines in her stories are fictional, she is educating people out there about real life Go Girls.

Jump Girl takes the reader on an adventure which not only covers competitive show jumping but also involves family secrets and hidden motives. It is one of those books which is enjoyable even if sports are not at all your thing. For the most part I liked the plot and enjoyed watching how everything unfolded.

But I am someone who reads firstly for characters and I didn’t connect with Ebony at all. I found her to be a little difficult to relate – not in terms of her circumstances but more with regards to her attitude. She’s prickly, judgemental and I found myself failing to warm to her across the novel. That said had she not had these characteristics, the novel wouldn’t have worked as well as it did.

Jump Girl can be read as a standalone novel but it does tie in nicely with Rev Girl. I liked how Sage’s sister from the first book features in Ebony’s story and it feels perfectly natural for her to be there. But I has a few problems when it came to the leading man in Jump Girl. Whilst I liked the redemption aspect of his story, I did feel a little cheated out of a new love interest. And whilst Jump Girl isn’t a romance per say, it did feel a little odd at the male romance lead didn’t appear until almost a third of the way into the book.

Overall, I found Jump Girl to be an entertaining read which adds something different to the young adult fiction scene. Leigh Hutton’s passion for horses and experience in the field is evident throughout the story and it adds something special to the story. But be warned – reading Jump Girl may leave you wishing you had a horse of your very own!

 

Thanks to the author who provided me with a copy of the book for review. 


You can buy Jump Girl from the following websites:

eBook

Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Amazon Canada | iBooks | B&N Nook

Paperback

Book Depository

 

A portion of every JUMP GIRL book sold goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation

to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.

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