Book Review of All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1)

All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1)
countrylane avatar reviewed Great Book For Discussion W/Teen on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10

This is good reading! A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER and NATIONAL CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD and after a few pages you will begin to see why this is such an acclaimed novel. This is a modern work of fiction set in the Texas badlands and Northern Mexico. Today it is still cattle ranching country and the region clings to the romance of the "Wild West". The story begins when a sixteen year old boy, devastated by the death of his grandfather and the inevitable sale of the family ranch, decides to run away to Mexico. He convinces his best friend to accompany him. They take only their saddle horses, light provisions and their cowboy skills. The boys discover that life isn't as kind or idyllic as they envisioned. There is a lot of conversation in this novel, lots of it in basic Spanish, which is not clearly translated. I think this was a clever ploy by the author to let the reader feel the confusion the two boys experience. It will not interrupt the flow of the story, it fact, it makes it come alive. There is factual description of ranching life and the desert regions with great attention to detail. At times funny, other times gut wrenching, this is the story about these two boys coming to grip with the reality of life, which is often cruel and unfair. The adventure is full of horses, gun play, bad guys and romance. Somewhere along the way, the boys become men. I really liked this book. I would highly recommend it for young adults. It is a great book about the rites of passage from childhood to adult hood.