November 22, 2011

Blaze of Glory by M. Garzon

Have you ever read a book you want to love but just can't? Blaze of Glory is one of those books for me.

Tea is seventeen and on her way to a promising career in horse jumping (not sure that's the right term). Her life revolves around her family, friends, and horses until one day she gets into an accident and her career is put on hold as she struggles to find her way back. While she's struggling, her hot, 23-year old, polo playing cousin Jaden steps in to play her protector from the bad choices she makes in her life. And through their experiences together, they develop a very strong bond, platonic at first and then more than platonic in Tea's mind. The first half of the book is centered around Tea's love for horses and the second is centered around Tea's love for Jaden.

This review is hard to write because I really liked the story and I loved the characters, but throughout the book I was pretending and creating a plot of my own to get over some fundamental flaws I had with the book, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. But there are a few things that I just can't get over personally, which also means I can't recommend this book to anyone.

First, this book is written for a young adult audience. The main character is a 17-year old girl, meaning the ideal audience for this would probably be teenage girls. The last quarter of the book is about Tea and her sexual relationship with a 23-year old man. The author, through Tea, treated sex like it wasn't a big deal and was just something that other people were doing so she should too. I completely disagree with this and wouldn't want my teenage daughter to read it. If this book were written for an adult audience and dealt with an adult relationship, I would be much more lenient on the author. And I know sex is everywhere right now and teens are out there having sex, but it doesn't mean that we need to write or read more books where it's just something that you do.

And second, I had a huge problem with the Tea and Jaden having a relationship when they are actual first cousins. I tried over and over again to convince myself that it didn't matter because they weren't related by blood, but they were related by adoption making them legal 1st cousins. It does matter and completely jaded my opinion of the storyline. I'm not sure why Jaden couldn't have been just like a cousin or just like a brother (someone's best friend, etc.), not an actual relative.

If you can get over those two fundamental flaws, this book may for you. Like I said, when I imagined Tea and Jaden as just a man and a woman (not a teenage girl and her cousin), I loved this story and found it hard to put down. I also loved the characters and the way they were so well-developed. But for me, the two things above ruined the book for me and I really can't recommend it. I will probably read something by M. Garzon in the future because I enjoyed the writing, but only if the storyline is one I can get behind.3 stars

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  1. Ugh. I know what you mean about the cousin thing--I dislike Charlaine Harris's series Harper Connelly because of her relationship with her stepbrother. The five year age difference (at that young of an age) sounds a little off too.

  2. Blaze of Glory is an entertaining and touching story. The narrator, Tea is a 17 year old horse aficionado who falls in love with her step-cousin, Jaden. The author did a wonderful job of conveying the feelings of young people in love especially when it is forbidden love. Her descriptions are spot on. While there are continuing references to horses and horse related sporting events, I do not consider this book to be exclusively a horse book. It is a love story at it's heart. It appears the author really researched horses and the sporting events they participate in. My only criticism about the writing is that there were a few instances where I felt that the narration did not match up with the voice of a typical seventeen year old girl. However, this book left me wanting to know more about what happens to the characters. I could not put it down, but I didn't want it to end either. I look forward to reading more from this author.

  3. Thanks for the comment Sverige. I'm glad you enjoyed the book as well and I agree that the author did a great job with conveying the feelings of Tea and Jaden.


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