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The Perfect Distance

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  218 ratings  ·  26 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

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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
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
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.
eva steele-saccio
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
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.
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!
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
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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
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
Mar 13, 2012 Kerith rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Lynn Holston
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.
Noa Leibson
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)
Nov 09, 2007 Sam rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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...
Really good! Great ensemble of characters and a theme that all young girls need to learn.
A great book for horse lovers! It's a great read. I'd recommend it for anyone.
YA book. Lots of "issues" are dealt with. It's a horse book.
Ashley Crowell
Duh a surprise to find a good, realistic horse book!
What a refreshingly well-written YA novel!
Aug 11, 2013 jenn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Horse lovers/riderse
Good horse book :)
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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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