Happy Friday, friends! I’m back again with a bullet-point review today of a lovely summer read.
Kristen Chandler, Thief of Happy Endings, Published by Viking Books For Young Readers, June 19th, 2018.
Ever since her father moved out, Cassidy feels like her life has been falling apart. So a summer of riding horses at a ranch camp in Wyoming sounds like just what she needs–never mind the fact that she has a paralyzing fear of horses. She’s determined to move past her fear, even if that means taking lessons from the insufferable (yet irresistible) junior wrangler Justin and embarrassing herself in front of the other campers. What follows is a summer of rodeos, complicated friendships, and a wild mustang thief on the loose.
- I really enjoyed the setting of this book: a ranch camp in Wyoming. We are getting beautiful scenery and I appreciated that different setting we too rarely see in books, where it’s usually all big cities or places we already know a whole lot.
- I appreciated how the main character, Cassidy grew in the story, from a judgmental main character I had a hard time appreciating, to someone trying to work things out, her fear, being more accepting of everyone, and so on.
- The romance was not obvious, at first and definitely not an insta-love kind of situation. It slowly grew as the characters got to know each other and was not shadowing the main character’s growth, which I appreciated so much.
- The friendships were great – they were not obvious either, took time to build up, but I loved that they were a big part of this story.
I HAD A HARD TIME WITH…
- I had a bit of a hard time really getting into the book – maybe it’s because I was more invested in my holiday and life at the moment I have read it, but I also found it a bit hard to get captivated by the story, at first. Thankfully, that changed around the halfway-mark, where I found myself a bit more invested in it all.
- I found the main character a bit judgmental and too quick to label everyone, and that for a big part of the book, which prevented me from completely liking her at first. By the end though, she gets better (see in my positive points!)
- Some other characters were too poorly explored, for me. I would have appreciated to know Alice a bit more, especially, given that she was a character I appreciated a lot – and that seemed to deal with anxiety that was not properly mentioned.
- Some moments in the story and use of the language bothered me. There is one part where Cassidy basically uses cancer as an excuse to call her dad and a bit of ableist language.
If you’re looking for a fun summer read with an interesting setting, I would recommend Thief of Happy Endings, even if personally, I didn’t manage to get totally on board with the story, because I didn’t feel the characters and story as much as I would have liked,
Final rating: 3 drops!
The biggest thanks to the publisher / NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book. This did not, in any way, affect my opinion and this review.
Trigger warnings: alcoholism, domestic violence, some ableist language.
Do you want to read Thief of Happy Endings? Why, or why not?
Do you know other stories with different settings like this one? Let me know in comments!