Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell

By: Joanna Campbell
Genre: Chapter Book
First Published: 1991
Publisher: Harper Entertainment
POV: Third Person
Kat's Rating: 4 out of 5

Ashleigh Griffen swore she'd never give her heart to another horse - not after a terrible disease wiped out her family's breeding farm, along with Ashleigh's favorite mare, Stardust.
Main Character: Ashleigh (this is how I found out that there was more than one way to spell Ashley). She starts out as an eleven-year-old girl who is recovering from the loss of her family's farm. They had to move to a big racing farm, Townsend Acres, as the new head of the breeding operation. However, going from owning your own place to working for someone else (i.e. all of the horses belong to them) is very hard for Ashleigh. And she also is still devastated from losing her favorite horse. However, she gains her confidence again when she becomes determined to save a sickly foal who everyone else has given up on (hint: the foal obvi lives and becomes a champion).

Love Connection: Mike, he doesn't show up until later (when Ashleigh is more teenaged). He comes from the horse world too so they mesh very well. Also, he's a sweet first love for Ashleigh.

Allies and Enemies: Charlie, the grizzled old trainer who is kind of underappreciated. However, he takes Ashleigh and Wonder under his wing.

Brad Townsend. He is the ultimate snobby, nose-in-the-air, antagonist jerk. He is the son of the owner of Townsend Acres so he thinks he owns/knows everything. But he doesn't! He's the worst and he often gets in Ashleigh and Charlie's way, trying to push Wonder down.

Setting: Kentucky (horse racing country)

Review: These are books that are catered towards any little girl who loved horses (so all of us). It has family, friendship, the regular pre- and teen angst that all good MG/YA has, AND horses. Lots of horses. So yea, this series was one of my all-time favorites ever. (When I wrote my first book it was an "adult" version of these books. Except mine involved murder because I was a dark and twisted child). It follows Ashleigh from being 11 to being all grown-up and having a child of her own (the later books follow Christina, Ashleigh's daughter, since the audience was obvi still teen girls).

These books were great though,you got to see how your characters grew up and changed and went through all of the normal milestones in their adolescent lives. It gave you a heroine to root for. Ashleigh was loyal and strong and she knew what was right and didn't let anyone tell her that it couldn't be done. The beginning of the series was the ultimate underdog story and then it evolved into just a great life story about the people who live on this farm.

Recommendations: The Saddle Club by Bonnie Bryant


  1. These Throwback Thursdays are legit. Love that 90's cover. And now I know what inspired your love of writing....Horse Book fanfiction! (To be fair, mine was Robin Hood fanfiction...)

    1. Stay tuned for my Babysitter's Club Review. it will be epic. #90sAreTheBest