Tuesday, 10 March 2015

[Book Review] Making the Running by Hannah Hooton

You may remember last year I wrote a review of a racing novel by Hannah Hooton (Share & Share Alike) which I really enjoyed despite being slightly skeptical at first as I'm not always a big fan of equestrian novels! I can be really hit and miss with books and it can take me ages to find a really good one that I enjoy - when I do, I'm normally finished within a few days!

When Hannah recently sent me another email to ask if I would like to review her new book, Making the Running, I jumped at the chance. As mentioned, I really enjoyed the last one and I actually went and downloaded another of her novels for my kindle (though I haven't actually read it yet...oops!). Making the Running follows the story of work rider Kate and her love for D'Artagan as well as choosing between two brothers. I got into the book straight away and must say that I absolutely loved the character of Kate! I slightly believe that if she were real, we could potentially be friends! Hannah portrayed her character so well, making it that she comes across as such a strong individual looking out for everyone yet has been through so much and you can't help but feel for her - especially when her sister seems to give her such a hard time! I will admit, that I rather disliked Kate's sister from the word go but at the end of the book, snippets came out that made her not seem too bad! This brings me on to one of the reasons I love Hannah's books is the fact that she writes the characters so well you can't help but get drawn in and half imagine that they're real...

Making the Running also followed Kate's relationship with two brothers - Nicholas and Ben. At first, I preferred Nicholas but that was short-lived! Soon I was definitely rooting more for Ben as he just had so much more depth so him and was by far the better brother! It was really nice to hear more of his story and, again, Hannah portrayed his character so well! 

It appears that Hannah features a different aspect of racing with each novel and as mentioned, this one focuses on a work rider/groom which I really enjoyed! It was so good the way she wrote about the struggles Kate has with affording somewhere to live/car expenses/etc but she also contrasts it with Nicholas who's a rich kid and Ben who comes across as that but really isn't! It's also nice that it gives work riders a bit more credit as so often when you hear about racing it's about the jockeys/trainers/owners and very rarely about the people behind the scenes that actually play a pretty big part! I also related so much to all the times she 'rode' along with the horses when they were racing by turning when the jockeys needed to turn and pushing forward. I'm pretty sure there's a quite a few of us who could relate to that! I know I have often found myself leaning forward slightly when watching someone showjump! 

There were one or two parts of the book which were a bit slow (& very slightly boring) but they were very few and far between and it's something that happens in all books so it's not really a criticism at all! However, there was one point in the book where Kate visits Ben's rehoming/reschooling farm and they go cross-country after schooling and instead of putting her stirrups up, Kate is told to lengthen them.. Slightly reversed to what I've always known but other than that I didn't pick up on any criticisms or other confusing points. 

Overall I absolutely adored this book and had a massive grin on my face at the end - particularly with the last paragraph (I won't give any spoilers away apart from saying - very clever Hannah!!). This is by far my favourite equestrian novel I've read and will definitely pick it up to read time and time again! 

If you want to give Making the Running a go then you can purchase it from Amazon here. Or, why not check out Hannah's website to read more about her other stories? (Psstt, I've been informed that the first book in the series, Keeping the Peace, is available to download for free!). 

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx

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