141st out of 157 books — 177 voters
The Perfect Distance
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. For as long as she can remember, she's dreamed of winning the Maclay finals in Madison Square Garden—the most prestigious horse event in the country for this age group—and now that it's her last year to compete, the pressure is really on....more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Laurel Leaf
(first published 2005)
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
(showing 1-30 of 217)
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
Jun 16, 2011 Karin rated it 3 of 5 stars
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Francie Martinez is a groom at West Hills, one of the best places to train in the country. She's also a rider, but the distinction is her father is the West Hills barn manager, with absolutely no money to pay for the kind of training one needs to make it to the Maclay Finals and onward to Grand Prix. Francie is good, but she's not as good as Tara, the great West Hills hope for their trainer, Rob. Rob is the equestrian version of God, and Francie spends most of her lessons scrambling for his atte...more
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
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
Mar 13, 2012 Kerith rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition Recommends it for: Rachel Waldon
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
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. For as long as she can remember, she's dreamed of winning the Maclay finals in Madison Square Garden—the most prestigious horse event in the country for this age group—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, the arrival of a new student at the barn upsets the careful balance she'...more
Nov 01, 2012 Stephanie A. rated it 4 of 5 stars
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.
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...moreMore about Kim Ablon Whitney...