A Hickville High Companion, #4

My favorite part of reading is when something happens during the story that completely changes my liking (for better, of course) of the story. That is what exactly happened to me with “Horseplay”.

The story starts as a typical YA novel, set in high school full of cliques that have to coexist together. There is “popular” and there is everybody else (skateboard people, rodeo team, etc.). In the middle of this high school drama there is the popular queen bee, Ty Jackson (rodeo team member), and Penny Wilson. Because there is a lot of teen angst and high school drama going on I thought that this would be just another YA romantic story. But then Penny starts to change and she starts to realize some things and she starts to grow and move away from her old self. Her metamorphosis was heartbreaking; her pain was palpable, so much that it made me cry, literary.

Furthermore, I liked the characters. Well there was a time when I found Penny immature and silly. But on the other hand I liked Ty very much. Although he has feelings for Penny he does not allow her to play with him. Their relationship develops slowly albeit the sparks fly when they are together.

There is another important relationship in “Horseplay”. That is the one between Penny and her father and as the story progress they manage to work on their differences and to repair their relationship for the best.

“Horseplay” is big on realizations, as an integral part of growing up and changing. I enjoyed reading this story and I warmly recommend it.


Penny Wilson is a high school senior and the most popular girl among the popular clique. She finds herself in the middle of the drama because she has to socialize with Ty Jackson, who is (according to her) out of her league. Will she follow her heart or the strict rules imposed by the “popular”?

Book Blurb for Horseplay

Three weeks after her longtime boyfriend dumps her, high school senior and queen bee Penny Wilson declares she is over him and finished with dating. But life without her ex is more difficult than simply repeating a few affirmations. A queen bee needs a king, or she wobbles dangerously close to the edge of the popularity ladder. To make matters worse, her dad announces he’s hired Wrangler-wearing calf roper Ty Jackson to work on their English horse farm. Never mind his curly blond hair and six-pack abs—he’s a rodeo team bottom-runger and no way is Penny going to admit she knows him, let alone allow him into her social circle. As if having cowboy Ty around is not bad enough, he nabs her father’s attention on the first day—something she has been unable to do since she lost her mother to cancer two years before. The Annie, a charity horse show named after her mom, is mere weeks away. To Penny, it’s the most important show on the circuit, and the one she’s bombed in the stadium jumping portion every year. Ty convinces her he can teach her to connect more deeply with her horse and settle her nerves in the show arena. But as they work together, Penny discovers that while she might be riding better, being around Ty does nothing to settle her nerves. Will a hush-hush relationship with Ty make matters worse with her dad? And what if her friends at school discover Ty is more than just a farm hand? Because between her show ambitions and her social status, she’s walking a fine line—and the price is everything that matters to her most.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2016 4.00