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Take the Reins

(Canterwood Crest #1)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  3,815 ratings  ·  297 reviews
When Sasha Silver and her horse, Charm, arrive on the campus of the elite Canterwood Crest Academy, Sasha knows that she's in trouble. She's not exactly welcomed with open arms. One group of girls in particular is used to being the best, the brightest, and the prettiest on the team, and when Sasha shows her skills in the arena, the girls' claws come out.

Sasha is determi
Paperback, 249 pages
Published January 27th 2009 by Aladdin
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Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,815 ratings  ·  297 reviews

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Cristina Monica
I had wanted to read a book about horses for so long. Let me tell you that I was sceptical going into this one, because long series can either be a hit or a miss. If each book doesn't contain enough substance, then the series as a whole suffers. But that wasn't the case here. There was no lack of anything. This first book is packed with horse riding, boarding school experiences, new friendships & flames as well intense rivalries, why of course. Sasha Silver, while a little shallow in the beginni ...more
Yusra  ✨
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, horses
oh my loooorrrdddd these were my shits in grade school but like no no no these are NOT FOR CHILDREN like I was scandalized by these and hiding them from my mom
so @ parents out there, don’t buy these books for ur kids cause it’ll spark rebellion folks
I’m just kidding , but this was pre entertaining 😉
Lara Eltze
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love the book Canterwood Crest; Take the reins. This is book is about star horseback rider Sasha Silver and her horse Charm and how they enter an elite boarding school with an excellent riding program. Only the best of the best can handle it, especially with all the pressure of mean girl Heather Fox and her superior horse Aristocrat. Heather and her "Trio" which consists of Julia Meyers with Trix and Alison Robb with Sunstruck, try to make her life as miserable as possible in order to send he ...more
Carlye Krul
Dec 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was just a bunch of petty teenagers getting mad at each other and smearing lip gloss on their faces.
Jun 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
i loved this book and found a new series to read! this book seems so real if you know what i mean i some books our thinking that would never happen in real life it was very good and i'm looking fowerd to the next book chasing blue
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horse-books
Canterwood Crest’s first novel opens with a nervous Sasha’s internal debate on lip gloss.

I paused in my reading.

I was looking for a horse book, here, after all. There was a picture on the front of a girl (admittedly, a little sloe-eyed for a tween) wearing a hard-hat and holding the reins of a horse. I wasn’t particularly interested in the emotional dilemmas of a middle school boarding school student, at least, not the ones that didn’t pertain to horses. And in my experience, horse girls just d
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I started Take The Reins, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to think of it. I had not read any middle grade books for a while and was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it. At first the writing was a bit hard to get used to, especially since I had just finished Into the Wild, which is a fantastic read, but vocabulary and writing is so much more adult it was difficult to get into the flow at first. Once I did though, it was a very fast cute read.

I really liked how Sasha’s character unfolds th
Sep 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Sasha's starting 7th grade at Canterwood Crest, a boarding school known for its equestrian program. Almost immediately she gets off on the wrong foot with Heather, a snooty rider gunning for the advanced team who isn't above a little sabotage to get her way. Between school and riding, it's surprising to find that Sasha has enough time for a little romance...

Ah, to be in seventh grade again. I was fully expecting this to be very much about snooty rich girls with Sasha being some kind of poor scho
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Basic story- lacked imagination. Used the Lord's name in vain too often for me to let my 9 year old read this book. There was no value at all - I was hoping for a good message and it didn't have anything of value for young readers- as well it says aimed for 9-12 year olds. I wouldn't let a 9 or 10 year old read this. :(. As an adult who loves and owns horses this mostly put me to sleep!
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horses
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: People who don't mind shallow, crappy characters and being bored to death.
Recommended to Donna by: My sister and the Horse Lovers Only group.
This book was not as good as I expected it to be. With my sister being obsessed with the series, and people in the Horse Lovers Only group reccommending it to me, I really expected it to be better. I was really disapointed with it. There are heaps of better horse books out there that follow a similiar storyline.

Firstly, there was hardly any plot. I didn't really feel like enough happened. It was just a bunch of kids standing around doing stuff. It was horribly boring, and the characters weren't
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure if the fact that I don't usually read equestrian novels affects my judgement, but I found this a quite typical series. The same girl goes to an academy and it's not all that cracked up to be, makes a few enemies, makes a few friends, fall in love, and lose a few friends that we see in most indie series. Testament to this is how it barely made an impact on me because I don't even remember the details or even much of the story and characters save the general idea and plot. I probably ...more
Cecelia S.
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading Take the Reins. It shows you what it's like to own a horse and all the responsibilities that come with it. It doesn't just show what it likes to be an equestrian, but what it's like to be a normal teenager. It shows you how hard it can be to fit in with others. It also shows how hard it is to make new friends and enemies. My favorite part is when Sasha tries out for her school's equestrian team. I think this a good book for all teens, especially those who love horses.
i loved it it was sooooo great i finished it in like 2 days max. it is a great read for anyone that like horses drama and a great read
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Canterwood Crest: Take The Reins, was a really fun book. It was funny, real, and very enjoyable.I'm excited to read the rest of the series!!
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
My friend Ashley told me about this book and I read it! It is a fun book for girls.
Jill Smith
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely young adults book I bought to give to my granddaughter. She has read the whole of the Starlight Stables series by Soraya Nicholas, and is mad about horses so this combination fits well.

I think in comparison, the Starlight Stables covers are very similar although the glamour model version of the heroine in Canterwood Crest is a little less natural than the Starlight versions.

The story is set in a very upmarket school Canterwood Crest Academy, with strict rules and training regi
Emma Rose Ribbons
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horse-and-ponies
I truly loved this.

Sasha attends Canterwood Academy to improve her horse-riding skills and makes friends in the process.

I loved that, while a horse book, this novel had a lot of other things going for it - I enjoyed the friendships, the romance, the fact that one of the heroine's best friends is here to take classes to become a chef, that Sasha herself is a film buff, that not every single thing is about horses, even if those scenes are wonderful. It created a rich, a believable world and I real
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this book is amazing. Canterwood crest is now my favourite series!!!
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Personal response:
I liked this book because it always kept you in suspense. I also liked it because it was about horses. This was a book that I could not put down once I started it. I think this was a good book to start off the year with.

Plot summary:
In the beginning of this book Sasha moved on a new campus called canterwood. On the first day she had to bring her horse Charm to the canterwood stables, when Sasha was walking Charm he spooked and took off. He ran right into another horse causing h
Angel Kleist
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Personal response: I think the author did a good job of having drama, but also not looking the main purpose of the book.

Plot: In the beginning of this book Sasha moved on a new campus called Canterwood. On the first day she had to bring her horse Charm to the Canterwood stables, when Sasha was walking Charm he spooked and took off. He ran right into another horse causing him to spook also. After Sasha calmed down Charm she went over to Heather. She snaps at Sasha and calls for Callie for her to
Gretchen S.
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jessica Burkhart
Realistic Fiction
249 pages

CANTERWOOD CREST TAKE THE REINS by Jessica Burkhart is about a girl named Sasha Silver who is accepted into a new school. Canterwood is very different from Sasha’s old school, Briar Creek. She was only there one day and she already had made an enemy. She doesn’t know it, but Sasha is in for a big surprise. Heather, Sasha’s enemy, has it in for Sasha. After that accident Heather seeks revenge. On testing day Sasha is put in
Rylee Bartel
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Response: I thought Take The Reins was a great book. There were many conflicts between the characters, but many lessons were learned. There were also a few suspenseful parts in the book. For being book one of the series I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Plot Summary: Sasha and Charm just moved to Canterwood Crest because Sasha passed all of the levels at her old boarding school. When she got to Canterwood Crest Charm got spooked and made a girl fall off of her horse which star
Kiran Galsinh
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Being the new kid is not always the best thing, especially when your first impression doesn’t go that well. This statement applied to a seventh grade girl named Sasha Silver and right now things for her were bad. Sasha came from Union and now was in Canterwood Crest Academy. It’s like comparing a school concert to a Grammy concert. Trust me, Canterwood is a big deal. Normally, Sasha was an A+ student but ever since coming to Canterwood she has been doing poorly in biology. Since showing her ski ...more
Mar 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who likes adventure,horses, and a fast paced book
Recommended to Jenny by: Abby K
When Sasha Silver first set eyes on her acceptance letter to Canterwood Crest, she realized that her previous riding performances and good grades would not be as easily achieved in this high academic school. She has to prove that she is up to the challenges that Canterwood Crest provides.
Making a good first impression immediately disappears when her horse, Charm, goes on a wild rampage within the first ten minutes after arriving. Charm’s run makes Sasha a new arch enemy and rival that thwarts
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reality
Take the Reins is an exciting, upbeat novel about Sasha Silver. Sasha comes from a small town in Union Connecticut. She gets invited to top notch Canterwood Crest Academy. This academy has excellent education, and a strong superior riding program. Sasha and her horse Charm attend the school. As soon as she sets foot on campus, everything went wrong. Charm got nervous and bolted, making Queen Bee Heather Fox's horse buck, and throw her off. Soon after that, Heather and her clique, Alison and Juli ...more
Carrie Rolph
This is exactly what the cover implies. The Saddle Club meets The Clique/Gossip Girl. Sasha starts at the prestigious Canterwood Academy, hoping to qualify for their advanced riding team. She spends most of the book fighting off the back-stabbing Heather, who's worried Sasha will steal her place on the advanced team.

Oh, and there's a very vanilla romance with a Zac Efron lookalike boy, of course.

Personally, I could have done with less backstabbing and catfighting (and maybe the riding instruct
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Love the series. It takes me less than 45 minutes to read them. They are what I love to read, horses/riding, friendships and romance. Surely the first page was all about lip gloss but after that I was hooked. I always will re-read them, I never do that with other books. When Sasha comes to a new school, she and her horse, Charm are the "new ones". That means the trio of mean girls can mess up her first week in front of everyone. But Sasha takes the reins and steps up her game, no more faults on ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love how the much suspense is in this book. I'm not a reader and this book turned me in to a book worm with in 24 hours. It got a little nurve raking when Hesther( the mean girl) keeped on trying to make Sasha leave. This book keeped me highly intresrested on what was going to happen next. Burkhart did a great job using words to play a movie in your head. This is the first series I'll completly finish, I hope.
I love her room mate. I love how Burkharts makes this book relatable to others. She
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Take the Reins 1 1 Nov 22, 2015 01:01AM  
is this book good? 9 20 Mar 07, 2013 08:52AM  
Who thinks this book wasn't as good as the other Canterwoods 2 10 Nov 03, 2012 10:58AM  
canter wood crest 37 54 Sep 29, 2012 02:38PM  

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Twenty-two year old Jessica Burkhart is a writer from New York City. She’s crazy about horses, lip gloss and all things pink and sparkly. Jess was an equestrian before she started writing. Now, she writes the bi-monthly Canterwood Crest series for Aladdin MIX.

Other books in the series

Canterwood Crest (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Chasing Blue
  • Behind the Bit
  • Triple Fault
  • Best Enemies
  • Little White Lies
  • Rival Revenge
  • Home Sweet Drama
  • City Secrets
  • Elite Ambition
  • Scandals, Rumors, Lies

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