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The Perfect Distance

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  264 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Seventeen-year-old Francie Martinez rides with one of the best equitation trainers in the country, and works as a groom to pay her way. She’s dreamed of winning the Maclay finals, and now that it’s her last year to compete the pressure is really on. But just when Francie needs to focus more than ever, everything turns upside down, and soon she’s not so sure if winning is r ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Laurel Leaf (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 570)
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Hannah
Jul 14, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OH MY GOD!!! One of my favorite book EVER!!! I loved it so much, I think I've read it like five times!!! Some parts made me laugh out loud, others made me cry like no tomorrow. I think the reason I liked it so much was because it was about the road to the USPCA Maclay Finals (the super-bowl for horseback riders under 17 for all you non-horseiful people out there), which is what I want to do sometime in the near future. It wasn't like a little kid book, either. It didn't put me to sleep, and it ...more
Miranda Akins
Jul 22, 2014 Miranda Akins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a really great book. It was well written and very accurate. I'll read anything pretty much that has to do with riding, being an equestrian myself. And they are always some sappy story about a girl who learns all about training horses and meets this damaged horse as they overcome obstacles bla bla bla. This book gets straight down to what goes on in the horse world. That it's not all rainbows and blue ribbons. But sweat, tears and determination will get you where u want to go.
Christine Meunier
Oct 22, 2014 Christine Meunier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Francie Martinez is one of the lucky students of renowned trainer Rob Renaud. The only difference is, she’s the hired help and works in return for the lessons others pay a packet for. Francie is hard working and determined – her dream is to go professional on the equestrian circuit. This is often overshadowed by another of Rob’s riders, Tara.

Although talented, Francie struggles to find the perfect distance whilst jumping, at times moving ahead of her horse before she should be preparing to jump.
...more
eva steele-saccio
Apr 25, 2008 eva steele-saccio rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was very dissapointing, especially compared to See You Down the Road--her exquisite first novel. Definitely do not recommend...very forced and a pretty boring read.
joshua welch
Feb 05, 2015 joshua welch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

I really loved this book but there wasn't enough "horse" in it. Like Francie didn't say how much she loved Tobey or anything.
Anna
May 31, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
yeah maybe it's a little cheesy at parts but whatever. there aren't a lot of horse books like this out there. i liked it!
Sophia
In this book you really get a feel for what its like to compete on the equitation circuit and pushing to go to finals. The main character Franice is not like the other students a West Hills. Her dad is the Mexican stable manger and she is part groom. She wants to win finals as much as anyone else does, but she wants it just a little bit more. The whole book is leading up to finals and many crazy things happen such as Tara leaving and Stretch dying. This made a lot of stress for Francie, but she ...more
Claire
Jul 23, 2015 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, horses
Honestly, it's books like this that make me remember why I put myself through all this torture. I've read far too many bad horse books and just when I get to the point where reading another children's novel about horses is equivalent to shooting myself in the foot, I come across something like this. This book is thoroughly refreshing with its believable plot, accurate details, lovely writing, and well-developed characters. Thank you, Kim Ablon Whitney. You are why I keep reading. I can only hand ...more
Arminzerella
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C
Apr 23, 2013 C rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in one day, while home sick from work. Thus, it was an easy read, but that doesn't detract from its charm. A coming-of-age story that is not to saccharine or sappy, it's actually told from the perspective of a believable and likable character. I'm sure some readers may have some trouble relating to Francie's goody-two-shoes-ness. But I WAS Francie in high school, focused on grades, horse shows, and other activities outside of school. I struggled to find my place in the microcosm of t ...more
Emily Lovering
Jan 14, 2014 Emily Lovering rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was definitely an accurate depiction of the horse show world. It had all the stereotypes and truths about the Maclay Finals which is like the Superbowl for horseback riders under 18. It's about Francie Martinez whose goal is to get there. She rides in big shows but doesn't have enough money for her own horse so she is a working student at a top barn where her dad is the barn manager/ a groom. Riding has always been her passion and now it's the last year she can ride in the ...more
Kerith
Mar 13, 2012 Kerith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rachel Waldon
Shelves: ya, horses
What a treat to find a horse book like this -- I would have loved this when I was 12 or 13 and taking riding lessons. Francie is the daughter of the stable manager at a high-class riding stable, and she works as a groom to be able to ride and train there. The story begins as she heads into her last chance to ride as a junior at Madison Square Garden. Training brings her conflict at school, a very cool love interest, a fairly abusive trainer and the usual "mean girl" who is also an excellent ride ...more
Ellyn
Apr 07, 2016 Ellyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cute book. It was about what I would have expected. As a horse lover, it was well written and excellent details were included. I would recommend this.
Lynn Holston
Oct 19, 2014 Lynn Holston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

always something going on! kinda wish the ending was a little different and that the whole thing with stretch had been better explained.
Joshua
Jan 07, 2015 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book
Noa Leibson
Sep 23, 2011 Noa Leibson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just LOVED this book!!!!! It is the story about a girl named Francie who shows in the AA's, but doesnt have enough money for her own horse so she is a working students at one of the top barns. It is her story about her last year being eligible in the big eq, and takes you through the last big finals. I found it to be JUST like the real circuit and captured every single element. It showed all of the stereotypes, all of the truth, everything to make it a great book. Amazing. But only a rider wou ...more
Stephanie A.
Always love a good contemporary YA horse novel that has sufficient focus on horses; they're a rare breed. Got a little bogged down in superficial romance at the midpoint, but Colby was likeable either way, and for the most part it focused on the showjumping competition and the horses like it should. (still devastated by the tragic element, though)
Sam
Nov 09, 2007 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horse/animal people
The book The Perfect Distance was a good book with adventure and a little romance. The book is not only about a high school girl trying to win her horse show compititions in New York City and around the United States, but is also about her life and her new crush at the barn. I recomnd this book to anyone horse fans or animal fans.
Rebecca Pierzchala
Teen fiction with a horsey twist. Usual friendship/school/extracurricular drama with a little extra familial drama thrown in for good measure. The horse parts were accurate. Well-written, well-conceived, but nothing spectacular or thrilling.
Susan
Feb 08, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realize this book was a young adult novel when I started it but I loved it! It's probably a book that only horseback riders can enjoy though...
Susan
May 10, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horses
Really good! Great ensemble of characters and a theme that all young girls need to learn.
Haley
Aug 20, 2013 Haley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book for horse lovers! It's a great read. I'd recommend it for anyone.
Kim
Mar 05, 2013 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
YA book. Lots of "issues" are dealt with. It's a horse book.
Ashley Crowell
Jan 05, 2012 Ashley Crowell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Duh a surprise to find a good, realistic horse book!
Bellarush
Jan 01, 2009 Bellarush rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a refreshingly well-written YA novel!
Sarah Westvold
Aug 04, 2008 Sarah Westvold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BEST BOOK EVER
Taylor
Oct 09, 2013 Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love This!
jenn
Aug 11, 2013 jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horse lovers/riderse
Good horse book :)
Anna Adams
Anna Adams rated it it was amazing
Jul 16, 2016
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Kim moved back to her hometown of Newton, Mass. where she lives with her husband, two young sons, and greyhound. She is a graduate of Tufts University, and has an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College. She is a member of the PEN New England Children’s Book Caucus and is the coordinator of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award. A lifelong horse lover and rider, she is a natio ...more
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