Tag Archives: Maggie Dana

Double Feature

Title: Double Feature
Series: Timber Ridge Riders #9
Author: Maggie Dana
Genre: Teen fiction, Sports
Publisher: Pageworks Press
Publishing date: April 13th, 2014
ISBN: 9780985150488
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Kate McGregor’s movie-star boyfriend has been making headlines, and when Kate attends the Moonlight premiere in New York, she ends up making a headline of her own.
Then comes the Festival of Horses with an even bigger surprise. A girl from Kate’s past is tangled up with Angela’s present, and the fallout affects all of them… including Mrs. Dean who’ll stop at nothing to shove her daughter into the limelight.

My Review:

In many ways “Double Feature” was both extremely satisfying and disappointing at the same time. Old storylines are finally wrapped up, after four more than four books, we finally get a resolution to Kate’s boyproblems and we finally get to the festival of horses.
The say the boytrouble was wrapped up, was a relief but also very quickly done. Over the last five books the relationship between Kate and her moviestar boyfriend has been hyped up, as well as a relationship between Kate and Brad has been built. The need for a conclusion was raised, at least, one book ago, and it was a huge relief that this problem is sorted. The way it was sorted though was very swift and dissatisfying.
The Festival of horses is another thing which has been constantly mentioned during all the books I’ve read in the series. It was good to finally have it happening, and it was nice to see that Angela, Kate & Holly’s rival and enemy, finally starts to become more a person and less just a tool to make trouble. Angela’s humanity started to shine through in the previous book, it started to grow more during Double Feature.
Double Feature is a bit longer than the previous books in the series, probably due to more things happening, but it could have been even longer. To give the story more depth and more room to evolve it should have been about fifty pages longer, because it felt like a lot of things were thrown in on too few pages.
All in all the story was enjoyable, and it was good to see the story finally move forward (even though it felt more like a leap than a step) after a few “filler books.”


Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies/Tv Shows

top ten 2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there’s anew topic to answer. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I’d Love To See As Movies/Tv Shows

1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson. 
This is a book I kind of desperately would like to see as a movie. It would be a really hard book to translate to the screen, but not impossible. Though an adaption for the big screen would be an absolute success movie or a terrible failure, there would be no in between for this book.

2. The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan. 
This book would make an excellent movie. It’s story-lines are clear and it wouldn’t need much change in order to be adapted to screen. Also It’s one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors, so of course I would like to see this as an adaption. though I would like to see it as a proper adaption, and a joke like “The Vampire’s assistant.”

3. The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan. 
This is a perfect contemporary fiction novel to translate for the big screen. The story is a “coming-of-age”-story which is easy to connect to. The story has a clear beginning and end, which makes it perfect for one stand-alone movie without the danger of bad sequels.

4. Alex Rider-series by Anthony Horowitz. 
This book-series would make an excellent PG-13 action mini TV-series. Sort of a James Bond for teenagers. The first book was adapted into a movie with Alex Pettyfer but wasn’t very successful. Somehow I think it would adapt better for TV. I could imagine it being a one.season show with one or two episodes for each book.

5. The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman.
This book is just lovely and I think it would be equally adorable on-screen. A few years back there were talk of a movie adaption, but I haven’t seen any news on it in years. Hopefully the talks will pick up at some point, as I really want to see this book adapted into a movie I can enjoy at the cinema.

6. Cirque Du Freak-series by Darren Shan.
This is kind of cheating as the three first books were adapted into the movie “The Vampires Assistant.” What I would like to see, however, is the series translated into a TV-series. It is a vampire story that wouldn’t require too much CGI, and it could easily be PG rated without taking away from the story. In fact I would even accept a Cirque Du Freak-cartoon series.

7. Bittersweet by Kimberly Loth
This book is a nice contemporary YA-novel. It deals with despair, sorrow and hope, and I would very much like to see this as a movie. It wouldn’t be an expensive movie to make so it could easily be an indie movie as well, and I think a small budget movie adaption would make it look more the part rather than if it was a big company production.

8. Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
This book takes an interesting perspective on what’s going on with the youth of rich parents today. It sheds light on some horrible camps where parents send their teenagers for various reasons (being too fat, too lazy, gay or other reasons). I would really like to see this book translated to the big screen.

9. Timber Ridge Riders-series by Maggie Dana
This series could make an interesting live-action TV-series. It could be sort of a new “The Saddle Club,” and might even just as successful. Even though the Saddle club was only on for three season I think there is a market for a horse-based series (as I believe the decline of the Saddle Club lies in the huge change in the cast for season 3).

10. The Land of Dragor by Julia Suzuki
I think this would make an excellent cartoon series. It would be both educational and entertaining. The book deals with friendship, bullies and opposing old fears. It would make an excellent series.


Honorable mention:
Boys don’t cry by Malorie Blackman. This is a very interesting YA-book, written entirely from the guy’s perspective as a previous fling drops his baby at his doorstep. I would really like to see this book as a movie.

What books would you like to see adapted into movies/TV-series? Are any of your favorite books currently in the production process? Which?

After the Storm

Title: After The Storm
Series: Timber Ridge Riders #8
Author: Maggie Dana
Publisher: Pageworks Press
Publishing date: November 20th, 2013
ISBN: 9780985150471
Purchase Link:

Synopsis: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and the Timber Ridge girls are excited about getting dates and new outfits for the school dance. But a blizzard plunges them into reality when the barn’s power goes out. If Kate and Holly don’t act fast, a pony may die. But Angela Dean doesn’t care. She spreads false rumors that Kate can’t be trusted around horses.  If Angela succeeds in her latest vendetta, Kate might lose all she’s worked hard to attain-her place on the team and the respect of her two closest friends.

My Review:

After the Storm felt much like a filler book. The one incident with the pony happens in the beginning of the book, and not much happen after that. Teenage girls do have fights, but as Holly’ boyfriend told her: their argument sounded stupid.

“For once Adam was speechless. He opened his mouth, then shut it again as Holly blurted out her problems with Kate. But the more she talked about them, the dumber they sounded.”

This pretty much sums up the book. The arguments and the reasons for the arguments seem contrived. But what Adam thinks about it kind of makes up for some of it. Also because Holly and Kate are apart for much of the book every second chapter is devoted to each of their POV. The change of the POVs in it self is rather wasted, firstly because there is little to no distinction between the two voices, secondly because from the synopsis it seems like Kate is the main character while Holly is her sidekick.
Kate’s “long distance-relationship” with the famous actor should come to an end at some point. It doesn’t fit in with the story, and is more of a nauseant than entertaining.
I have been reading a lot of the books in this series, but this is the first one which is majorly disappointing. As for now I’m content with continuing reading the series.

Taking Chances

Title: Taking Chances
Series: Timber Ridge Riders #7
Author: Maggie Dana
Publisher: Pageworks Press
Publishing date: April 7th, 2015
ISBN: 9780985150464
Purchase Link: Amazon.co.uk

Synopsis: Kate McGregor and her best friend, Holly Chapman, are swapping horses until Kate qualifies for the big show in April. But just as Kate is getting to really know Holly’s gelding, Magician, a flashy new horse shows up at the barn. He captures the heart of everyone except his owner and sends Kate’s plans tumbling into free fall. So does Brad Piretti, the local snowboarding star. He invites Kate to go skiing, and Kate takes yet another unexpected tumble.

My Review:
This is the third book in the series I review, and they have all been rather enjoyable. All the small adventures Kate and her friend Holly get up to are varied and realistic. They are both love horses and the storyline is neatly tied up to the barn Timber Ridge. Up until this book the story has mostly been focused on the girls and their horses, as well as trouble cast in by the antagonist Angela. In Taking Chances, it started to be more about Kate and boys. In earlier books the “normal teenage life with school and boys and drama has been featured but in “Taking Chances” it seemed to be more prolific than the horses and the story going on there.
The story was again lighthearted and easy to follow. It was a short story and a very quick read, but a good length for a Middle Grade novel. The girls again was faced with some horse related trouble when Kate hurt her knee skiing, which might result in her being unable to qualify for a big horse show. Due to the injury, Kate has been banned for riding until the February, but the horse show she need to compete in is in late January. Holly is convinced that Kate will be well enough to ride by the time the horse show takes place, and together the two girls tries to find out how Kate can compete without Holly’s mother finding out. Also the antagonist, Angela shows a more three-dimensional character in this book when Kate helps her with a problem with her new horse.

Almost Perfect

Timber Ridge Riders (6)
Author: Maggie Dana
Pageworks Press
Published: 07.09.2013

Amazon.co.uk || Waterstones.com

This is the sixth installment in the Timber Ridge Riders series, and it is still enjoyable. This installment had more “boytrouble” in it, and the characters acted like teenagers. Holly got suspicious of her best-friend Kate, while Kate conspired with Holly’s boyfriend Adam to prepare a surprise party. Not to mention that Kate is dragging herself into a premature love-triangle with Nathan and Brad. The aspect of “boytrouble” does not interest me much, but it gives another aspect to Kate’s and Holly’s life.

The story is fast-paced and easy to read, but there is a lack of change in the narrative every time the author changes between Holly’s and Kate’s point of view. Which makes it confusing to follow at times. Though the story in itself is quite simple and easy to catch up on again. It is interesting to see how the “everyday” teenager problems are handled and solved, though I still wish to see a more rounded antagonist in Angela.

Almost Perfect is not the book I have enjoyed most in the series, but it was entertaining and I look forward to the next installment in the series.

Chasing Dreams

Timber Ridge Riders (5)
Author: Maggie Dana
Pageworks Press
Published: 27.04.2013

Amazon.co.uk || Waterstones.com

Chasing Dreams is a facepaced story where we continue to follow Kate in her live at Timber Ridge. Occasionally the narrative is a little confusing, as it is not always clear that the action is told from Kate’s point of view, which makes it hard to follow the story. Though as soon as the narrative gets straight again it is easy to fit the confusing parts in.
The story is engaging and gives everyday challenges that a fourteen-year-old is likely to challenge. The antagonist (Angela) tend to be two-dimensional and not very well-rounded. I would have liked to see some deeper development of Angela, and maybe see why she behaves the way she does. Angela’s nice little sister casts some light on how the life is in that family, but Angela still lack depth.
Again the issue with Skywalker (Angela’s horse) never being ridden is an issue, as a horse that is not trained can not perform. Though this is shed a light on in this book as it is mentioned that Liz (the stable’s owner/trainer) is the only one, apart from Angela, allowed to riding him.
This book also shed some more light on Kate’s father, as in previous installments he has more or less been absent. He was painted as a strict and eccentric father figure, but he soon changed into a good a caring father. Which was very nice to see.

My only persistent issue with the book series is that the cover continue to have a brown horse, while Kate’s horse is palomino (Golden fur with white mane and tail).

Overall I did very much enjoy reading this book, and as an older child/young teenager I would have enjoyed it even more.

Wish Upon a Horse

Timber Ridge Riders (4)
Author: Maggie Dana
Pageworks Press
Published: 11.01.2013

The book is easy to read and will be a joy for younger readers. It is a lovely little story about two best friends and their lives at the stable. For Some reason it did remind me of the Saddle Club. I’ve been a rider for several years, and I did enjoy this book. It was sweet and funny and it had some suspense. It kept me reading. Though there are some issues in the book I have problems with: why would Liz not see that Tapestry was a great horse just because she was a little dirty? I understand she was underweight and such, but she proves to be a strong young horse, and a experienced horse-person would see that despite the dirt. Also I thin the romance is a bit malplaced, it was cute and all, but in the end the “superstar” was not really needed in the book at all, he did not affect the action in any way.. Third, if Skywalker was only ridden occasionally, his physic would falter and he would be in no shape to compete, and even though Angela came to the stable and rode him a few weeks before each show, he would not be able to become a top horse in that time. Also there is no such thing as a “Grand Prix” outfit for dressage riders. On a side note I did also have an issue with how the shows ran and how they were set up, but I figure that they were A) made that way to benefit the story, or B) that kind of shows are normal in the author’s district/country.

Other than that I found the book very enjoyable, it was a fast read and it was easy to follow the action.