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In many ways, Allison Anderson is like most girls. In others, she's very different. The differences aren't immediately obvious but have caused misunderstandings and avoidance from others in the past. Starting high school in a new town, she expects the same experiences—until she meets the Calderas.

David Caldera, charismatic son of a local rancher, adopts Allison into his social circle. He and other new friends introduce her to their world of horses and extreme sports. Along with a lost horse she befriends, they help her to trust, gain confidence, and venture beyond her previously isolated world. She also falls helplessly but hopefully in love.

Navigating through confusing emotions, over-protective parents, and jealous classmates is difficult, but Allison's overriding fear is losing the people she's grown to love. To prove her determination to keep up, she enters a race—a dangerous decision that could cost her everything.

604 pages, Paperback

First published February 14, 2011

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About the author

B.B. Shepherd

2 books163 followers
B B (Beni) Shepherd was born in England, grew up in Los Angeles, spent her teen years in England, and returned to California at eighteen. Her eclectic background and work history includes art, horses, and music. She has an AA and BA in Music Performance and teaches voice and instrumental music. Favorite things are writing, horses, making music with others, and rainy days curled up with a book and a cup of tea.

She can be contacted here on Goodreads, at @bbshepherd on Instagram, or on her blog at http://glisteringbsblog.blogspot.com/

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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for N.N. Heaven.
Author 6 books1,827 followers
April 17, 2018
Bronze (The Glister Journals #1) by B. B. Shepherd is a moving story about life as a teenager and trying to fit in. But it's much more than that as it is a touching story about the love a young woman feels for her horse. Shepherd weaves emotion and conflict throughout the story while not being heavy-handed. I found myself forgetting it was a book and being so emotionally in-tuned to the characters. The ending and the parents pulled me out of the story. Didn't care for either.

My Rating: 4 stars
Profile Image for Fanna.
992 reviews502 followers
December 31, 2017
Okay, I like big books and I won't lie, but excessive word count isn't my cup of tea. This book is legit almost 1000 pages and I knew I might finish it in maximum three hours during my 24-hour-reading spree. However, these three hours became so tiring and unfortunately tedious, and not because I'd been reading for the past twelve hours but because the story was going somewhere but it actually wasn't. First of all, Bronze is about a coming of age fourteen year old girl, Allison, who doesn't seem to fit anywhere, finds herself awkward in situations and goes through many of her firsts. While the premise attracted me because I always crave a good teenage-centric story, I was a bit disappointed with the pacing, overindulgent writing, and how despite of reading this huge book, so many questions were left unanswered. Now, in some other cases, I wouldn't have mind being left with doubts, especially if a sequel is on its way (which in this case, it is) but this book made me more frustrated than curious. I wasn't expecting closure on each and every character's story but at least a few of those mysteries should've been solved. It's almost like I read it to only wait for the sequel if I want to know everything that's left open. Having said that, I do think the characters made up for the overall 'okay' experience of reading this book. There are quite a number of them through the vast pages of the book and all of them are distinctively interesting, something that keeps you going even if the plot isn't moving forward much. I might've DNF-ed this if I wouldn't have wanted to know how it will all end.

Not particularly recommending it to many but you can read this if you've got some time on your hands and slow drifting is one of your preferences.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book via Netgalley but that in no wy influences my opinions and/or rating about it. Thank you China Blue Publishing and B.B. Shepherd!

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Profile Image for B.B. Shepherd.
Author 2 books163 followers
November 12, 2017
Allison experiences life and thinks differently from most people. In the past it has caused her to be thought a little weird at best and to be bullied at worst. Some readers may find her very young in some ways.

After her family moves, she becomes involved with a group of teens that open new worlds to her. The series is equally about her friends who have their own problems and fears and things they'd rather keep to themselves. There is action - predominantly in the form of equestrian and extreme sports - and a love story which will become more prominent as the series progresses. Themes include relationships, assumptions, acceptance and horses.
Profile Image for Hazel West.
Author 25 books129 followers
June 17, 2013
I received a free copy of this book from the author, but that in no way affects this review and my opinion

Thoughts on the Overall Book: This is not my normal read, in fact, I really don't remember the last time I read a straight contemporary (not counting Urban Fantasy) without it being a suspense/thriller or mystery novel, but I'm really glad I read this book because I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. It's a good story about growing up, and the hardships that come with that but also about true friendship and family. And horses, because that's always a plus!

Cover--Yea or Nay: It has a lovely horse on it, what's not to like? I also love the font, and the rustic, deserty colour of the picture.

Characters: While I wasn't sure if I would like Allison when I first started the book, I really did end up liking her character, probably more so in an affectionate way than anything. Some of her characteristics might have annoyed me in other characters, but since, for one, she's often annoyed at herself for the same reasons, and number two, she's only fourteen. If she had been older, and not "Allison" she might have annoyed me, but I mostly just ended up feeling bad for her and wishing I could give her advice. I did form quite an attachment to her throughout the book. Robin was another character that I wasn't sure I'd like to begin with, but like Allison I grew to really like her. She was very down-to-earth and one of those girls I could easily picture as being a friend of my own. Melanie, seemed really sweet, though we don't get to know her a lot in this book and I really hope we get to learn more about her in later volumes. The only girl in this I disliked was Brenda. She was just annoying, and I've known girls like her too, but you're not supposed to like her, so it's okay. Allison's parents kind of fluctuated with being what I felt was too protective to being pretty cool. I really wasn't sure how I felt about it, because I was never like Allison and my parents were never overly protective, so I don't really know if I have much of an opinion on that. Their fluctuation kind of annoyed me on occasion, but at the same time, I saw their point to it as well.

Okay, now on to the guys! I loved Dave. He's the kind of character I like to see in contemporary novels. He was sweet, but at the same time could be really mischievous, though never in a bad way. I also liked Cris because I have a thing for quiet characters, especially when their attitude is obviously the result of some trauma or other. It pretty much goes without saying (for those who read my reviews) that I loved the dynamics between Dave and Cris in their brotherly relationship. I liked it because it was quiet, but you knew that they cared so much for each other, and that Cris would do whatever he had to to keep Dave safe And their little brothers, especially Stevey, were so adorable! I also liked the supporting character guys too like Matthew who seemed really sweet. Oh, and of course, there were the horses, who I loved and were so cute as well =)

The Romance: I can't really call it a 'romance' but the reader can kind of figure that the crush Allie has on Dave will most likely turn into something more in later books. At the moment, in this book, I actually kind of support a brother/sister relationship between them, but I don't think I'd mind their relationship turning romantic as they grow older.

Writing Style: It's narrated from Allison's point of view in first person (past tense, yay!) And while Allison's not my favorite narrator ever, I wasn't annoyed with being in her head like I can be on occasion with first person narratives from a girl's POV. Sometimes her internalizing got a little bit redundant (more on that below) but apart from that, I didn't have any problems with her narrative. And yes, this is a big book, but it covers about a year of Allison's life, and no, there's really not a lot of unnecessary stuff in it. It's an easy narration, and, while not, 'action-packed' there were definitely questions and things that happened that make you want to continue reading. Appropriately (and somewhat annoyingly from a reader's perspective, though as I writer, I approve!) not all the questions a reader will have are answered by the end of the book, in fact, in several ways, it left me with more questions, but I'm pretty sure they'll be answered later on in the series.

Problems/What bothered me: The only time Allison bothered me (and the only real problem I had with the story) was that she kept second guessing herself and Dave's feelings for her. However, this is really just Allison's character, because she's shy, and kind of socially awkward, especially in the beginning of the book. I can't really fault her for it, but at the same time, I wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her to stop hurrying to conclusions that obviously aren't true. Again, though, her age kept this from being really annoying.

Conclusion: 3.75 stars. Despite the fact that this isn't my normal kind of read, I ended up enjoying this book a lot, and for the most part because I loved the characters. I'm glad I took the time to read this book. Also, just as a warning, you'll probably have to have a tissue on occasion when reading this book.

Recommended Audience: Girl read 14 and up. This is a great read for self-conscious or shy girls like Allison just starting high school. I think it could help girls gain confidence in themselves.
5,447 reviews
August 4, 2018
Bronze, the first book from B B Shepherd's series, The Glister Journals. It was quite long that left me confused at times. I would give it three stars.
Profile Image for Heavensent1.
253 reviews23 followers
October 12, 2011
Bronze is Book One in The Glister Journals, a YA Fiction series.

Allison is a 15 year old teenager who has just been uprooted from everything she has ever known. Her parents moved from Los Angeles to a quiet little horse town near Sacramento. Allison believes she isn't the prettiest, nor the brightest and she is way too tall for her age. She has always gone to a private school and she is nervous about fitting in with the rest of the kids in the area.

Allison's parents are Heli-copter parents, barely giving her room to breathe in and controlling every aspect of her life. When Allison sees something shimmering in the forest that surrounds her house, her interest is intrigue and what she finds is about to change her life forever.

Allison has met some really good friends, Robin, who quickly becomes her best friend and confidante, the Calderas brothers, Cris, quiet and sullen and Dave, who Allison is quite smitten over, Matthew, who would love to date Allison, Melanie, her cafeteria lunch partner and Brenda, her best friend in LA. Each of these people open Allie's heart to other possibilities by giving her love, trust and friendship when she expected nothing.

As Allie goes through her metamorphasis, her father is worried that she is hanging with the wrong crowd and tries to come between them all. Allie finds the maturity to show her father that she isn't a little girl any longer and she is capable of making the right choices in her life. When Allison wishes to learn how to ride horses, her father gives in reluctantly and allows his daughter to find herself.

Over the course of the year, we watch how Allison becomes a strong, mature and capable young lady, who sometimes makes incorrect choices, but is human for it all the more. When the end of the school year comes Allison is devastated to learn she will be spending the summer in LA with her family while her parents go abroad for her father's job. How will she survive without her friends, her horse and those she has come to love?

I thought this was an extremely well-written book about growth. The characters were remarkable in their depth and the plot encouraged the reading to continue with the story set before them. I cannot say why I thought this book was wonderful, except for the honesty of the situations and the character attributes; the mystery that continues to surround the people involved; the absence of pretentiousness and the abject understanding that the emotions shared are real and not forced.

I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the back stories and frankly, that is part of the magic, the reader is never really given a lot on certain aspects in the plot and you yearn to continue to find out the outcome. The book is an exploration of human expression and raw emotions. I enjoyed the expressiveness found within the pages, they made the characters real for me.

The antagonism in the story comes more from the situations than from human interactions, though there are a few instances where the one side of town has a clash with the other. The teenagers have divided themselves into them and us mentality and when the two combine, the outcomes are always fraught with intensity and drama.

I would give this book a five out of five stars for the mystery that it incurs, for the need to find out what is going to happen to these young people as life throws its curves at them. I cannot wait to read the next book and I've already told the author this...LOL Okay, I got hooked and wanted more and was pleased to learn that I only have to wait a few more months before the next segment is ready to read. If you enjoy a well written YA reader with a bit of romance, some horses and some great characters, then you will definitely enjoy this book by B.B. Shepherd.
Profile Image for books are love.
3,131 reviews24 followers
October 20, 2013
this was a wonderful book. When I started it I was hesitant especially with its length but I couldn't put it down. The feelings described are so accurate for all teens not just Allison who has a social ineptness. Allison will have you cheering for her to succeed. She is so stubborn, scared, insecure but also smart and funny when she wants to be. Her insecurities though play out especially with Dave.

Dave is the most precious guy. He is caring and patient. Kindhearted to a tee. You know he likes Allison and she definitely likes him but for some reason they just don't let each other know. Let me rephrase I think he definitely knows Allison does like him but she questions how he feels. Although she is happy just to have him as a friend. Dave is the all around sports popular guy that everyone loves. Girls go mad for and he is just happy. Well happy on the outside, Dave has issues and ghosts as well he just hides them better. Except to his brother Cris.

Cris is the brooding type but has all the same qualities as Dave. Cris brings Allison into his confidence way before Dave does and I think this is because he sees Allison for what she is- a trustworthy, kind, caring young woman who really likes his brother. Cris needs a confidant and in Allison he found one. I think she has something to do with his decision in the end although I do hope we see more of him in the next 3 books.

Robin is abbrasive and honest but also kind. She becomes a close friend to Allison and helps her navigate through the tough patches at school. So does Dave but not as much as Robin.

A book that shows the bonds of friendship can help one blossom and grown into their own. One that shows how a socially inept young woman can gain strength and self confidence with a little kindness and success in other areas of life. A beautifully and accurate portrayal of how one goes through high school and their emotions. Again I hope we see Cris more and Stevey too. He is just too too cute. But most of all I love the development of feelings being seen with Allison and Dave (feelings her parents see but not Allison).
Profile Image for Peta Benjamin.
728 reviews16 followers
January 3, 2018
I did enjoy this book, the writing is very good and the storyline enjoyable. Allie moves to Colorado from L.A. and there she meets new friends when she starts at her new school. Two are the Calderas brothers, Cris who is 17 and Dave who is 15. She also meets Robin who isn’t very friendly to start with but after they team up for an assignment together, they become firm friends. Allie has a crush on Dave and whenever she sees him, her thoughts and reactions are all over the place. She constantly shakes in his presence, rarely eats anything and is unfortunately very immature. She is always questioning herself and everyone’s motives and has absolutely no confidence. Her father is always away on business and when he arrives home for the first time in their new home, he is confronted by the two boys and becomes very suspicious as to why they are at his home.

From this point on the story revolves around Allie finding a beautiful horse, the brothers help with it and her fathers determination to keep the boys away from Allie.

I found the attitude of the parents hard to understand as Allie had never given or been in trouble in the past and was certainly not doing so now, I also couldn’t follow why the parents grounded her for six weeks without her phone or contact with the boys, even though she saw them at school most days.

This was a very long book and even though I enjoyed reading it, Allie was very annoying with her constant self doubt. Dave seemed like a very nice boy but even at the end of the book, I just couldn’t figure him out and what his real feelings were towards Allie. I still can’t figure what happened when Allie met Dave and he took her glasses off, called his brother Cris over and asked him “What do you think?” and when their eyes met, what she saw in them unnerved her, a strange sensation washed over her and she saw strange emotions in his eyes. Then he called Dave an idiot and turned his back on him.

Even at the end of the book, I am no closer to finding out what actually happened or why Cris has such a strange attitude towards Allie. Both brothers are very protective of her and she is included in most things the Calderas family arrange especially to do with horses and the horse “Gold” that is now being housed on her family’s property, even though her father is against it.

I find the parents attitudes very conflicting at times and if Allie were my daughter I would be doing everything I could to form a better relationship with her seeing that she has been uprooted from her home, school and friends and thrown in at the deep end of a completely new life.

Thanks to Netgalley and China Blue Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.
1,764 reviews24 followers
June 22, 2018
Allison is a high-school freshman. She has moved with her parents to a small town. Life seems strange to her in this place. When Allison goes to school, she is afraid of being different and friendless. Allison does find friends, some that are approved by both her parents. Her dad doesn’t like the boys she is hanging out with. Will her dad change his mind. Meanwhile unknown to everyone, Allison has found a horse that appears to belong to anyone. She befriends it slowly. Keeping the horse a secret from her parents, she does tell the boys she hangs out with about the horse. When she brings them to the horse, he becomes upset. The boys leave, however one returns with hay for the horse as he is skinny. Finally, she tells her mom which upsets mom. Her mom tells her that she has been in a sense lying to her and her dad by not telling them. Allison admits to her mom that she knows dad doesn’t like horses and doesn’t want her around horses in any way. Will she be able to keep taking care of the horse until the rightful owner is found? Will she be able to get her dad to change his mind about horses?

The novel is a lovely slow and long read. It is not an action story. It is about a teen finding out who she is, what she wants, etc. it is more an internal discovery of herself and learning the value of true friendship. Its subplot is the horse story. The characters in the book are very realistic — coming to life in the novel. It’s a great novel for the first volume as there are unanswered questions that will perhaps be address in the next volume of this series.

Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book free from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I was not obliged to write a favorable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
Profile Image for Angela C.
203 reviews17 followers
October 19, 2014
(Actual rating: 2.5 stars)

Bronze has left me a little befuddled. It’s a peculiar book on many fronts, and for close to two years I’ve been putting off writing a review of it. It’s taken me all this time to try to get my thoughts together, and even now I find myself at something of a loss as to how to explain what I feel about this book.

Looking back, I realize that Bronze was probably not a good fit for me. Even though Young Adult fiction is my genre of choice, Bronze strikes me as being particularly young. If most of the fiction I enjoy is Splash Mountain, then Bronze is Lazy River, pleasant but not particularly exciting. Rather than encountering thrills and adventures, you merely drift calmly along, maybe bumping into someone interesting now and then but mostly just floating peacefully.

This wasn’t what I expected, and I think it has something to do with the way Bronze has been marketed. There’s a quote that almost always accompanies information about this novel: “We all make assumptions every day. Some more important than others. Some more damaging than others. And things, very often, are not at all what they seem.” This quote led me to believe that Bronze might be about the danger of making hasty judgments, or about how nasty rumors or false accusations can ruin one’s reputation. I couldn’t have been further off.

Bronze is a gentle, languidly paced story about a 14-year-old named Allison who makes new friends, develops her first crush, and discovers a love for horses. There is very little conflict, and what conflict there is tends to be pretty mild and based around questions such as, “Why is the guy I like too busy to hang out with me?�� and “How can I convince my dad to let me have my own horse?” Despite the author’s statement that assumptions figure strongly in the story, I didn’t see any evidence of this. Try as I might, the only assumption from the book that I can think of is Allison’s dad’s belief that every single boy who spends time with his daughter has dishonorable intentions.

Another reason I feel the book’s marketing is off base is because of the frequent disclaimer I’ve seen about the age of Bronze’s intended audience. This disclaimer states that The Glister Journals series, of which Bronze is the first book, is most suitable for readers age 15 and up due to mature themes. This baffles me, as I can’t imagine what mature themes this disclaimer is referring to.

Allison lives a sheltered life with her overprotective parents, and as a result there is little in the book that could be considered inappropriate. With the exception of the very rare use of “hell” or “damn,” there’s no foul language. Nor is there any underage drinking, drug use, crazy parties, or hanky-panky of any kind – there isn’t even any hand holding. The most rebellious thing a character does is ride a motorcycle on country roads without a license, which hardly justifies a mature rating.

Despite being confused by the marketing and put off by Allison’s youngness, I was strangely incapable of putting Bronze down. This is surprising, as Shepherd’s novel isn’t a fast-paced book by any means. The action tends to be pretty low-key, focusing mostly on horseback rides and group hangouts, and much of the story is introspective. Regardless, I determinedly kept reading, and this was due entirely to the characters.

As mentioned in the synopsis, Allison meets some memorable people when she starts high school at her new home in southern California. Chief among them are Dave and Chris Caldera, the two most sought-after guys in school. They are popular, athletic, confident, and capable – basically, the complete opposite of Allison. Given this information, you might expect the Calderas to be arrogant and snobby, but this is far from the case. The brothers turn out to be extremely generous and caring, and Dave, at least, goes out of his way to make Allison feel included in his and Chris’ group of friends.

The Calderas are the type of people to whom others naturally gravitate. Their lunch table is always the center of activity, and hundreds of people congregate at their family’s sprawling horse and cattle ranch each year for rodeos and picnics. Allison is quickly enthralled by the family, particularly Dave, on whom she develops an enormous crush.

As Allison spends more time with the Calderas and their posse, she become more curious about what makes them tick. Why does everyone avoid mention of Dave and Chris’ mother? Are the guys’ daredevil tendencies – they’re crazy about dirt bikes, skateboards, horses, snowmobiles, and just about anything else you can ride – just boys being boys, or is there a deeper reason for their recklessness? Does Dave consider Allison just a friend, or could a different sort of relationship evolve? Why does Chris, who is usually so aloof and withdrawn, occasionally show flashes of great depth and inner turmoil?

There are other “mysteries” in Bronze as well, such as why Allison’s sweet friend Melanie is so secretive and why Allison’s father is so antagonistic toward the idea of Allison spending time around horses. You get the feeling that there is a lot more going on in Bronze than meets the eye, and by the end I was dying to figure out what was hiding beneath the surface.

Unfortunately, only a couple of the above questions are actually answered by the conclusion of the book. This left me feeling a little cheated; I was annoyed to find that after reading what seemed like a thousand pages of often slow-moving text, I still didn’t get to learn the answers to all of my questions.

I suppose that’s wise on Shepherd’s part, though. The fact that I don’t have the answers for which I was so desperate means that I’ll be reading the next book in the series, no matter how frustrated I occasionally was by Bronze. I’m too invested in the characters and their secrets to walk away from The Glister Journals series now, and I eagerly await the next book’s release. I just hope I don’t have to wade through too many more pages before Shepherd finally introduces something juicy.

This review can also be found on my blog, Angela's Library.
Profile Image for Georgina Howlett.
6 reviews25 followers
January 7, 2023
DISCLAIMER: I received a review copy of Bronze from the publisher via NetGalley UK in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author B. B. Shepherd, the publisher China Blue Publishing and to NetGalley UK for the opportunity to review this title.

Bronze is the first instalment in B. B. Shepherd's Glister Journals series, following 14-year-old Allison Anderson as she makes the move from bustling Los Angeles to the rural town of Douglas in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Starting at her new school, Allison expects to be as unpopular and undesirable as she seemingly was at her previous one, however she quickly finds new friends in Melanie, an older girl in her Art and P.E. classes; Robin, a strong-willed but loyal girl in her Algebra and Health classes; and the charismatic Caldera brothers Dave and Cris, who are local celebrities due to their good looks and well-known family ranch. Allison finds herself enamoured by Dave, and it is through her friendship with him and the others that she is introduced to many new things including horse riding, snowboarding and extreme sports. Over the course of the book, we see Allison's freshman year of high school unfold, bear witness to her discovering more about her true self and her newfound love of horse riding, and also her discovery of Gold - a seemingly wild young horse living in the wilderness surrounding her new home.

As described above, the plot of Bronze encompasses a lot of different aspects of Allison's life. The book not only focuses on her school life, but also her family life, social life, romantic interests and personal development. We watch her experience true friendship for the first time, learn the importance of unapologetically being herself and standing up for her beliefs, and ultimately begin the tough process of growing into a young woman. Despite this wide focus, the plot of Bronze never feels overwhelming or confusing - though at times it did feel somewhat slow-paced. It was genuinely thrilling to read such a relatable narrative, with a protagonist that is so down-to-earth and realistic. I shared many of Allison's emotions as they were expressed - in particular her frustration at the presumptuousness of her overbearing and overprotective father, and her longing for Dave to look at her as more than just a friend or sisterly figure. The subplot with Gold and his own journey to rehabilitation was beautifully done, as were the various moral / ethical teachings concerning Allison's avoidant and secretive actions.

The ending of Bronze was bittersweet, rounding off Allison's first year of high school in a satisfying way, though it was perhaps slightly predictable. Despite this, the ending leaves the reader wanting to know where Allison's journey will take her next. I find myself slightly disappointed that a romance between Allison and Dave did not quite make it to fruition in this instalment, but am fully expecting things to heat up in the future between them. I also hope that several "mysteries" - such as the truth about the Calderas' mother, and the whereabouts of Robin's parents - will be addressed in a future instalment. Though the book was quite long at 604 pages, it never felt dull, and I am eager to see where the story is taken next in the first sequel.

Each of the main characters in Bronze has their own unique personality; Cris stands out for his sullen, quiet disposition in complete contrast to his sociable, extroverted brother, as does Robin for her determined and self-assured attitude. There are some integral shared traits for the main members of the friendship group Allison finds herself part of - such as loyalty, generosity, and protectiveness - and it was genuinely heart-warming to see Allison accepted by so many of her peers despite being labelled as a dork and not always fitting in with social norms due to her autism. All of the characters are well-developed and engaging, though not all are made to be likeable (looking at you, Brenda), and I found myself particularly intrigued by the controversial aspects of each character, such as Dave's immediate desire to defend Allison against her bullies in a physical encounter. No character was portrayed as perfect, or without their flaws and faults, and this really resonated with me. I liked that I could relate to each one of them in some way, and could really see myself as wanting to fit into such a dynamic in my own life.

Shepherd's writing was easy to lose myself in throughout, and I never found myself tiring of the narrative. Although as mentioned previously the book is quite lengthy, I did not feel fatigued while reading, and found that the words flowed well on the page. There are perhaps parts of the story that could have been more concise, or else shorter chapters that perhaps did not add as much to the overall plot, but I valued these all the same for the additional context and detail that they offered in order to bring Allison's story to life. I can easily see myself re-reading Bronze in the future, most likely before the release of the second instalment "Copper", and hope that other readers would not be intimidated by the page count when considering whether to pick the book up.

Overall, Bronze is a refreshingly authentic coming-of-age story, with a neurodiverse protagonist and a strong focus on the difficulties any atypical young person faces when standing out from the crowd. If you are a fan of YA, love horses, and enjoy reading about relatable protagonists and slice-of-life stories, then you should definitely give Bronze a try. Look out for the upcoming sequel "Copper" as well, which promises to continue Allison's story in a meaningful way.

Review on my blog:
Review on NetGalley:
Profile Image for Fee Roberts.
264 reviews21 followers
January 22, 2018
Bronze by B.B. Shepherd is the first book in The Glister Journals. Allison is a high school student that has endured avoidance among her peers.

When I read the blurb, I had a different story in my mind. It turns out that I was wrong. This story revolves around the feelings Allison has for a local boy, David. I was hoping for more interactions with horses and a bit of excitement. The story is written beautifully, and the characters are well fleshed out, but with over 600 pages, this story became rather hard for me to finish as Allison's feelings were overdone and repetitive. I think this story would be better suited for a younger audience than myself.

I received a copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Carol Keen.
Author 6 books117 followers
August 20, 2018
I loved this book! It almost could wind up on my favorite's list. Allison has parents who are looking out for her, keeping her away from boys too much until she's old enough to understand more. After all, her reactions are all over the place, much like many of us experienced when we were young. Meanwhile, the horse stole my heart. I feel like I went back to my youth, reading Black Stallion books over and over again.

What I didn't like quite as much, is that it's a narrative. All told in a past tense, so we have far less understanding of what's going on in each person's head. Even so, it is lengthy, so you're in for a good long read. I'd read the next book in the series.

My copy came from Net Galley. My thoughts and opinions are my own. This review is left of my own free volition.
Profile Image for Dai✨.
35 reviews27 followers
December 29, 2020
Bronze's character-driven story is amazing. I already consider the main characters my friends and I can't wait to see them again in Copper, the book that follows in these series called The Glister Journals. The characters are well portrayed, some of them are intriguing and mysterious and there are many secrets and unpredictable events that kept me hooked.
I like how Allison's life changes. She makes real friends and discovers her life won't be the same anymore. She becomes more mature, searching for challenges and becoming less dependent on her overprotective parents, as she becomes fond of her new friends. As a reader, I don't even imagine Allie going back to her former life! Not only does love and friendship shape her mindset but also a fondness for horses will teach her bittersweet lessons. Bronze also shows the psychological effects of bullying, how it can ruin a person's mind, self-perception and trust. It definitely kept me thinking. I highly recommend it!
11 reviews
June 27, 2018
I really thought I would enjoy this book, and yet overall I found myself mildly interested but supremely bored. The story was somewhat longer than it should have been, and the main character Allison’s thoughts and problems seemed deeply repetitive. Lots of filler and very little plot. I also thought, based on the cover and description, that there would be more equestrian action than there actually were. When I was younger, I thoroughly enjoyed books about a teen girl’s problems and her bond with a horse. But that’s the thing, maybe I’m just too old for those stories now.

It did have its moments, but overall Bronze simply isn’t a favourite of mine.
Profile Image for Serena.
143 reviews23 followers
November 6, 2017
Bronze is an engaging story with well-written descriptions. Though a bit cliché, I also thought it was very realistic, and overall found it to be an addicting, light (though long—604 pages!) read. I had a really hard time putting it down . . . and leaving it down.

It’s obvious that B. B. Shepherd knows horses, as all of the horse scenes are very well written. I also appreciated that the prevalent riding style is Western, as many YA horse books center around English riding. My only complaint in this area is that the horses lacked much individual personality.

As for the human characters, well, let’s make a list!

--Allison is a likable, very relatable protagonist. I loved reading her mental processes, emotions, and interactions—I felt like I was walking around in her skin. Her social awkwardness is palpable and very realistic. Bonus: she wears glasses.

--Allison’s parents are, happily, neither absent nor villains.

--Robin is a good friend and a likable character. She accepts Allison for who she is, and I love that. I hope we get more of her story in the sequels.

--Dave is kind, outgoing, adorable, and impossible not to like, but with somewhat mysterious intentions. He’s also very protective of those he loves.

--Chris is a more mature, reserved version of Dave—almost a Mr. Darcy to his Mr. Bingley.

--Melanie is a complete mystery, a potentially very good friend, and unfortunately extremely flat.

--Matthew threatens to create an annoying love triangle, though is otherwise seemingly benign and a good friend.

Despite the fact that the blurb says Allison’s new friends “help her to trust, gain confidence, and venture beyond her previously isolated world,” this is not a fix-the-shy-person story so much as a narrative of Allison’s journey. She develops throughout the novel, but her personality remains essentially the same, and I love that.

A huge thank you to B. B. Shepherd for sending me a free copy of Bronze in exchange for my honest review!

*This review was originally posted on poetree.
Profile Image for Julie.
214 reviews2 followers
December 8, 2020
5 stars

I enjoyed this book and getting to know the main character, Allison. I read thru Kindle Unlimited. I had been waiting to read until there was a release date for next book but couldn't pass the opportunity when it was listed on KU. I look forward to book 2 and seeing how Allison continues to deal with teenage life.
Profile Image for Ruth B.
676 reviews39 followers
March 22, 2013
Bronze is a book about discovering the person you want to be, about friendship and growing up, but above all is a story about changes within ourselves. This is the story of Allison, a young girl who recently moved to Douglas, Nevada. New in school and town she is ready to be the outcast she used to be. But after being paired with Robin for a school task, her life won’t be the same. Allison is soon dragged into a world where horses and extreme sports are everyday topics. She will become part of a bigger group of kids in which Dave and Chris are included.

Allison is a teenager (she turns fifteen in this book) and as any other teenager she goes through a lot. The changes that come with growing up are present and she has a fantastic internal world. One of the most important things that occur in her life is the introduction of Horses. A former L.A girl with no experience riding or taking care of these animals, she is now surrounded by green spaces and ranches she is face to face with a new world. She falls in love immediately with everything horse-related.

This is a story full of ups and downs, a ride of feelings and emotions. A book that picks up speed as it moves on. A narration that allows us to see the evolution and transformation of a character that seems so simple at first but ends up being a strong, solid and likeable girl.

Bronze has great characters, which includes a set of young people who are fun and very different one from another. It also presents a fantastic and real group of adults that make the story more real and believable.

Since this book is told from Allison’s point of view she is the character we get to know best. We only find out about the rest of the characters from her interaction with them. This is one of the weak points of the book, is not a bad thing but hard to know some of them. For example Melanie, who seems like a nice girl but there is a lot of mystery around her. Also, there are characters that will steal your heart like Stevey.

Being the first of a series it leaves many doors open and a lot of unsolved things. There is a lot of material to continue the next installment.

We can appreciate the author's passion through beautiful descriptions of diverse landscaping, the accurate explanation of equestrian activities and the vocabulary related to it.

Overall, Bronze is a book that feels shorter than its 500 pages (or more), a story with an engaging writing style and likeable characters. There is so much to tell about the book but I will let you make your own decision about it.

*** I received a copy from the author in exchange of an honest review. ***
Profile Image for Christy.
854 reviews35 followers
October 27, 2013
Bronze is one of my new favorite books! And it's so funny because it is a not a book I would have chosen to read had I not been invited to be part of this blog tour. It is about a girl who is 14 years old, so it's not really even one I would have picked up for my daughter who is 18 despite the fact that my daughter loved(s) horses, especially at that age. And now that I am finished with the book, I am sad. I want the next book to be written and published, and it's not. That leaves me feeling so lost!

I really fell completely in love with these characters. Allison could be my daughter. Molly never felt like she fit in with her peers. She was homeschooled but had interactions with other homeschooled girls her age. They were snots to put it nicely. They never made her feel excluded, but they weren't the type of girls Molly could connect with. Molly was a writer and a horse lover and loved drawing. These girls were more into clothes and gossip and making other girls feel bad about themselves. Then, like Allison, Molly found a best friend, and the rest is history.

Allison's best friend is Robin, a girl who lives with her grandmother and does not have much materially. But she's got a deep and lasting bond with the Caldera family who "adopted" her into their family years ago. Dave and Chris are the Caldera brothers at Allison's high school. They are extremely good-looking and have all of the girls fawning over them. They aren't affected by it like some boys would be. Dave is easy going and takes to Allison the way Robin does. They become amazing friends and maybe more :) Chris is moody and quiet due to some things that happened in the past. But he is just as protective of Allison as Dave is.

This is a very long book, but it is so worth reading. I finished it in less than a week because it drew me in completely. It doesn't feel like it is long because there is always something interesting happening. Allison develops a deep love of horses since all of her friends are horsey people. She starts finding herself and finds what true, lasting friendships are about.

I feel like I could go on and on about this book and not say enough good! I'm not even sure any of this makes sense because it is really impossible to convey the feeling of this book in a little review :) You need to experience it yourself. Maybe it affected me more because of how much Allison was like Molly. But even if I didn't have a daughter like Allison, the story is a wonderful coming of age tale of a girl, her friends, and a horse.

This review first appeared on my blog Christy's Cozy Corners.
Profile Image for E..
172 reviews67 followers
January 18, 2013
6/10. It was Ok and all things equestrian were original. The reading was entertaining but I found some things that I didnt like. First of all, Allison was extremely childish and immature maybe this was because her parents were extremely overprotecting, especialy her father. Also Dave, Allison´s love interest, was very sterotype, the typical pretty boy that all girls love and is extremly good at sports. On the other hand Robin, Allison´s new best friend was interesting and by far my favorite character. I would have like to know a little bit more about Melany.
I don't think this novel can be considered Young Adult, more for age 11 to 15.
Profile Image for Francine.
452 reviews5 followers
January 3, 2012
Bronze is the first in a (hopefully) long series of novels in The Glister Journals written by B.B. Shepherd. It's a coming of age novel about a young girl coming to terms with over protective parents, a new set of friends and the yearning to learn to ride horses. The characters are wonderfully described in such a way that they become friends of the reader's and we end up totally wrapped up in their storylines.
I can't wait for the sequel, to find out what happens to Allison and her friends, as their adventure continues!
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