About the book:
Title: Taking the Reins
Author: Katrina Abbott
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult, middle grade
Brooklyn Prescott (if that’s even her real name) is the new girl at The Rosewood Academy for Academic Excellence, now that she’s moved back to the States after two years living in London. Rosewood, a boarding school for children of the rich and famous and known for its celebutantes, is missing just one element important to any junior’s education: boys. But luckily for Brooklyn, and the rest of the Rosewood girls, there’s a boys’ boarding school, The Westwood Academy, just a few miles away.
On her very first day, Brooklyn meets Will, a gorgeous and flirty boy on campus to help with move in. But is he who she thinks he is? And what about Brady, the cute stable boy? Or Jared, the former child actor with his grown-up good looks who can always make her laugh? As Brooklyn settles in at Rosewood, she’s faced with new friends, new challenges and new opportunities to make herself into the girl she always wanted to be. Whoever that might be.
Taking The Reins is the first installment of The Rosewoods, an exciting new Young Adult series for readers who love fun, flirty love stories.
Source: Thanks so much to Over The Cliff Publishing for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley!
How I Found Out About It: Netgalley
Taking the Reins was a pretty cute and simple story, and is the perfect contemporary to pick up during the summer. It’s fast, light, and short, and it checked all the boxes for a good novel!
This is basically about a teenage girl named Brooklyn, who moves back to USA after living in England for a couple years. She begins to attend a new all girls boarding school called Rosewood Academy, which boasts many celebrities’ children and kids from wealthy families. The school may be missing boys, but just around a corner is the school where they are housed, which is called Westwood Academy. Will Brooklyn be able to face the challenge of being the new girl at a boarding school, and also find a boy (or three) with whom she bonds?
I found that Brooklyn was a very open-minded and sweet girl. Many characters I read about would probably be very whiny and close-minded about going to the boarding school, but not her! She always seemed to be able to go with the flow and be relaxed, and she was basically just really agreeable. Brooklyn was also very wise; and weighed the pros and cons of all the boys she could potentially invest her time in. I’d definitely want to read more about her and follow her adventures!
Emmie, her roommate, was AWESOME. Brooklyn almost got stuck with a mean, nasty girl as her roommate, but luckily Emmie came and saved the day! When Brooklyn wanted to give up her hard task of doing huge loads of laundry every morning, Emmie was the first to stand up and say she wanted to do it instead, just so Brooklyn could be part of the horseback riding team. Is that not the nicest thing ever? Overall, she was just a super nice girl, and I definitely ship her and Brooklyn’s loyal friendship. I believe that they will stay friends without conflicts for a long time, but I guess I’ll see for sure once I read the next book(s).
Now for the boys! First, there was Will, who helped Brooklyn move in, Brady, who works at the horse stables, and Jared, who was a famous actor as a kid. I honestly liked Brady the best, as he seemed pretty loyal and charming. I think Will just seemed a little bit mysterious and iffy, and I basically got to read absolutely zilch about Jared until maybe the last 10-20 pages of the book. So, with that being said, I can’t really comment about him.😬I guess that’s being left for the next book?
The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the ending (yeah, yeah, I know I say this a lot!). I feel like it was super rushed and not really wrapped up enough, and it made me question a lot of things.
Let me just tell you that even though this book is classified as young adult, I believe that middle graders can also read it. The writing style is appealing and easy to read, and everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) is super light-hearted.
Overall, this was a pretty sweet and relatable story about being the new girl at school. It was a little bit unoriginal and cliche, but I still really liked it. Anyone wanting a fast (in both senses) and light-hearted story with great characters about a boarding school is welcome to dive right in!
Rating: 4/5 Stars
*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*