Recently Genevieve Mckay provided me with a copy of her latest release, Defining Gravity. I really enjoyed reading this horse novel for young adults and believe others will, too.
Young Astrid is an extremely talented archer. It seems that she lives for the sport that she excels at. It’s the one thing that makes sense to her as a teenager. She struggles with her self image and her weight. Her father is a stranger that seems to view her as an annoyance. She has a crush on a boy who barely recognises her and even her closest friend is brutally blunt.
Attending a party at the Ling’s home, Astrid feels things might finally be falling into place. Thomas Ling is actually talking to her and it seems that he may like her. Or perhaps that’s the punch talking. With a little too much in her system, Astrid feels bold and finds herself behaving in a way that she wouldn’t have the courage to otherwise. And this is her downfall. Her boldness leads to an accident that puts her archery career on hold and could even end it.
Missing the sport that feels as necessary as breathing to her, Astrid feels she’s been punished enough. Her father disagrees and Astrid finds herself suddenly with a job at a stable, surrounded by large, imposing horses. A fill in job to pass the time – and develop discipline – suddenly opens a door of possibilities.
Defining Gravity is a great look at the horse performance world with a focus on dressage. The characters are varied but all human with different flaws and insecurities. As Astrid works through the disappointment of not being able to play her favourite sport – and of having let down her father – she learns what true friends look like at the stables. She also discovers the need to stand up for herself. Defining Gravity is a great coming of age story with horse information that rings true and is educational. It’s a great look at the horse world from a beginner’s point of view as they get consumed by the industry and take in all that they can.
The story moves along at a good pace and has some characters you’ll love to hate. Astrid’s character is believable, likeable and grows into a young woman as the story develops. The horse events work well to build the reader’s knowledge about the industry and Astrid’s riding lessons are really interesting to read about. Do yourself a favour and get a copy of Defining Gravity.