Burkhart, Jessica. Wild Hearts
May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Brie's family moves to Wyoming, where her land developer father is going to build a hotel. Brie is homeschooled, and misses her older sister, Kate, who is a reporter in California. On their way in to town, traffic is stopped by a bison herd, and a local boy yells at her. This turns out to be Logan, who works several jobs around town to help out his family farm, which is experiencing rough times. Brie loves her new house and is excited about being in a new place, but is worried about local opposition to her father's project, which will wipe out land that wild mustangs have used for years. Logan and his father support the mustangs as well, but the attraction between Brie and Logan is unmistakable, and the two date even though Brie's parents forbid it. The two even manage to spend the night herding steers into the mountains, with the help of one of Brie's new girlfriends. Eventually, Brie and Logan are found out, but they mange to find an unusual way around the problem so that the mustangs are okay and the hotel is able to be built.
Strengths: Brie and Logan are in luuuuuurve, and there's lots of kissing and hand holding, but nothing objectionable. The descriptions of the horses and the scenery are great, and this had a twist to it that I didn't see coming. Other nice touched include Brie and her sister having their mother's name, and their mother having a career as a photojournalist.
Weaknesses: The solution to the mustangs didn't seem quite right to me-- the herd is basically dismantled, gentled, and ready to be sold. But I know nothing about raising horses in the west, so maybe this is okay.
What I really think: This series reads like Harlequin Romances for very young high schoolers, but that's why they are so great-- nothing instructional, and I have a lot of students asking for romances.