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Book Review: "Ride On" by Gwen Cole

"Ride On" by Gwen Cole. Please ignore Oliver's chew marks in the upper right corner. He is still learning that his human's books aren't chew toys!

As someone who grew up on a cattle ranch riding horses and watching John Wayne movies, I couldn't resist this YA dystopian novel with a cowboy riding a horse on the cover. Yes, I judged a book by its cover. However, I also follow Gwen Cole (@wildgreenskittle) on Wattpad, and I always enjoyed her stories. There are some sample chapters of this story available on Wattpad, I would recommend reading the whole story, of course. Seph is a classic Western hero: resolute, jaw set, squinting into the sunset, lost in his own thoughts. All he needs is horse and the open sky, and has a general mistrust of people, though in the world he grew up in, I can hardly blame him. He has a high moral compass that he follows as best he can, even when it seems everyone is trying to rip it away from him. I admire him for taking the high road more often than he should. He's a good kid, that one. Avery reminded me of Echo Sackett from Louis L'Amour's "Ride the River": a determined girl unwilling to be pushed around by a bunch of curmudgeons in a dusty world. Despite being a "Townie" she's got a strong survival instinct and is a fast learner. She is the best kind of sister to have. Like many women in Western lore, she is my hero. Also, there's Cade and Jack, the trusty horses who give their whole hearts to Seph and Avery. Of course, I'm partial, because while I ride a handful of horses, I also have one named Jack and another called Jackie (original names, I know) that I ride out on the ranch from time to time. They are a joy, and so were these two horses in the story. All in all, I highly recommend if you like both Western and dystopian fiction.

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