Thursday, March 24, 2016

Review: Titans

TITANS
Victoria Scott
Young Adult/Fantasy-ish?
Scholastic
320 pages
Available Now
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.


MY THOUGHTS
Titans is a fascinating reimagining of horse racing, one where flesh and blood are replaced by wires and steel, and the simple dirt track replaced by spectacularly dangerous obstacle courses.

Ms. Scott has a gift for writing character-driven stories, particularly those involving animals who steal our hearts over the course of hundreds of pages and cause our anxiety to kick up several notches as we worry for their well-being in the end. Padlock is just the latest of Ms. Scott's animals to leave his mark as we read, a horse who should be fully robotic and personality-free instead exhibiting a fighting spirit on the track and a capacity for love and affection off it. His relationship with jockey Astrid is both heartwarming and heartbreaking as their bond grows race after race, their success inspiring cruelty in others who feel an early model Titan and a lower class rider have no business in a sport driven by money and prestige.

While Astrid's relationship with Padlock is a highlight, her friendship with fellow factory worker's daughter Magnolia is also a show-stealer, the two of them there for one another every step of the way without any petty jealousy or unnecessary drama to dim their shine. Though the fact that this story is romance-free might be ever-so-slightly disappointing for those who live for it in their books (like myself), the fact that Ms. Scott decides to take what at first appears as though it's going to be a predictable enemies to lovers setup and shift it into something else entirely is a refreshing change.

Overall, Titans is a story full of heart, the bond between horse and rider beautifully sharing the spotlight with smile-inducing friendships as well as family dynamics to give us a well-rounded read with a little bit of everything for every reader.

Rating: 4/5

Find Victoria:


This book was sent to me by the publisher  free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

22 comments:

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    1. Me too, and I somehow lucked out and was able to have one all through high school:) Loved him more than life!

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  2. I love that this one features the bond between the horse and the rider and is done well. I'll admit I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of romance, but I think I can make do. I've been reading quite a few books without any romance lately and surprisingly, I've been enjoying them!
    I have this on my TBR but I only need to get myself a copy!
    Wonderful review, Jenny! :)

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    1. I wouldn't have minded a little romance Nick since I live for it like you do, but the story worked really well without it:)

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  3. Horses are such beautiful creatures...I don't know about these metal beasts, though. Lol. Friendship between animals and humans is such a poignant thing. Sigh.

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    1. That they are Joy! You will love Padlock though, metal or not, he's a beautiful soul:)

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  4. I've heard nothing but good things about this one so far Jenny, and if I wasn't already wanting to read it, I'd have been convinced by lovely reviews like yours :) I have yet to read anything by Scott but I'm pretty sure ALL of her books are on my tbr shelf LOL!

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    1. I hope you have the chance to read it soon Micheline! I really enjoyed it:)

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  5. I'm particularly intrigued and excited about the lack of romance in this one!
    Thank you for the awesome review Jenny!

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  6. Sounds like the horses steal the show in this book! It sort of gives me vibes of the Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater (which I still have to read!). The book must be good for you to continue it without any romance. I'll have to check it out.

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    1. YES! It did have a Scorpio Races feel with the horses, I so loved the bond between Astrid and Padlock:)

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  7. I recently got a copy of this one and I really want to get after it. I love the sound of the horses. So glad you loved it. Have a wonderful weekend, Jenny.

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    1. Can't wait to see what you think Heidi!

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  8. Lovely review, Jenny! I do love romance in my books, so it’s a little disappointing to hear there isn’t one here. But you beautifully pointed all good stuff that I’m intrigued. PS. This cover is so eye-catching.

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    1. I love romance in my books too Ksenia, but I liked that this didn't follow the normal YA romance path:)

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  9. I debated trying to fit this one in but wasn't feeling a lot of excitement for it. Now that reviews are coming in I want to read it! I love books with animals, where they are important to the story.

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  10. I do love a story between an animal and its handler!

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  11. Ooh, this sounds so interesting! I'm all for horses and racing ever since The Scorpio Races so while this seems extremely different I love the common thread of a relationship between animal and human. I haven't read any of Scott's work before--but I remember seeing her debut series around quite a bit--so I'm curious to give her work a try. Wonderful review, Jenny, and thanks for putting this one on my radar!

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    1. I hope you give this a try Keertana! I loved the very unusual take on horse racing:)

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