Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review: The Rules for Riders by Natalie Scott

Fellow Page-Turners,

Today I am thrilled to be feature The Rules for Riders by Natalie Scott on my blog. I received an e-galley of this novel for review. As a reviewer, I did not receive any compensation for reviewing this novel nor was I obligated to write a good review.

For an excerpt of this novel,go here. Here's some information about the author and book before I get into my review. 

Author Info:  

Natalie Scott grew up in Melbourne, often referred as the cultural capital of Australia because of its great restaurants, trendy cafes and great shopping! Natalie developed a love of books when her fourth grade teacher read the book Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis.

In high school Natalie devoured the classics, her favorite being Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger. At University she studied English Literature and Communications, though she will openly admit to spending a lot of time at the college pub where she liked to make up outrageous stories before traveling extensively through Europe and the United States.

Throughout her travels, she fell in love with sunny California where she attended classes at UCLA Writer’s Program. Natalie also attended numerous writers’ conferences including Santa Barbara, San Diego State and Grubstreet. She was the recipient of the Outstanding Fiction award given at the Southern California Writers Conference. In her spare time, Scott worked as a spokes model for companies including the AMC Network,, We Entertainment, Hasbro, Adobe and Sony.

The Aussie gal is a foodie who loves Vegemite and currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona where she enjoys sharing her passion for food, enjoys exploring new restaurants, happy hour, traveling, and a passion for books and fashion.

Natalie Scott’s debut novel Rules for Riders was published in August 2014.

Connect with Natalie on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to

The Synopsis: 

After a near fatal riding accident, Bebe Barkley is banned from riding and sent off to boarding school. Finn Foxley, her roommate and partner in crime, devise a plan to get themselves kicked out of school, in order to return to the world they love. 

Once back on the Equestrian circuit, best friends will become deadly rivals! Enter Billy O'Reilly, Bebe's handsome trainer, who will enforce 7 Rules that will turn Bebe's world up upside down forever.

You can buy it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or you can add it on Goodreads shelf

And now without further ado, here are my thoughts on the novel: 

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

An Overview of the Novel: I went into this novel thinking I was going to get a book about a girl who liked horses, but other than that I didn't know anything about the book.

Yes, this book is about horses, but at the same time it's really about so much more. It was more like a dramatic coming-of-age story set to the backdrop of horse riding. 

The novel spans several different stages in Bebe's life. Her discovering a love for riding, her time at Boarding school, her time riding, and several other things that I will not mention here because I don't want to spoil the book.

In my opinion, the plot jumped around a lot. I thought that there was enough going on in this story to last at least 3 books. Basically, anything and everything you can think of happens in this book. 

The Characters: I had a hard time connecting to the characters. I thought Bebe was a great combination of naiive and a little bit of a jerk. She treated Billy and several other characters quite awfully and just did some really stupid things. She kept seeing the best in people who didn't deserve it and then pushed away characters who didn't deserve it.

I thought Billy should have stood up to Bebe more. He just kind of let Bebe walk all over him. He was a character I did like, but I thought he was an idiot for putting up with Bebe. 

I felt like a lot of the characters weren't really developed all that well. They were one-faceted, there to serve a purpose and then they disappeared without us really getting to know them.

I love novels that focus a lot on character development and so that was a disappointment for me. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This story had a lot going on and a lot of potential. I felt that the author should have broken this up into three novels and developed parts of the story more. It would have made the novel feel less jumpy and more realistic.

I also thought that the writing could have used a more thorough edit.

However, having said all of these things, I did enjoy the novel. It was a quick read and I thought that on the whole it was interesting. When I look at Goodreads, I see that most people seem to love this novel. If you love novels with a lot of action/drama and don't mind a story that jumps around a lot, I think you would really like this one.

For me, I would have liked to see a slower pace, more developed characters, and less jumping around.

However, the overall story was intriguing. Check out some other reviews and see if you think this one is for you. 

So why 3 stars? For all of the reasons listed above. It felt jumpy and I couldn't connect to the characters on the level I wanted. For me, it's 3 stars. It wasn't terrible and I definitely think many people would enjoy it. It just didn't quite stand out for me. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This novel included sexual references and drug references. It was done in a young adult fashion (not detailed). 

The Wrap-up: A novel that had great potential but one that just didn't stand out in my mind. However, it was an intriguing debut and I would read something by the author again. 


Danica Page

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