Blind Beauty is a book with a rather suitable name: It can mean several things: Tessa, the girl who pushes the entire book with her, being a total pain in the neck but can actually become a goddess. Tessa has a beloved horse, Buffoon, whom she meets when her horrid but rich stepfather Maurice forces her into a job at Sparrows Wyck, who aren't very happy with her coming over and she doesn't care either. She likes to play hard anyway, being kicked out of schools left and right, one for bringing a knife to school and not being afraid to show it off. When Tessa was a kid, she had a horse named Shiner and a father named Darien Blackthorn. Now she's living it up but has to avoid her stepfather, which, as I just said, is horrible but worse: the boss of several farms, though he doesn't know the first thing about farming or horse riding, so every horse, he sees as disposable, and he doesn't see the blind beauty of steeds, nor the innocence of his scared wife Myra, whom Tessa tries every day to get her to ditch Maurice. Against all odds, Tessa knows she must ride Buffoon in the grand championship. Qualify. Win first place. Something no girl or horse over fourteen has ever done, and she just may get help with the people she once hated.
Something I should let you in on is that this book doesn't stay in a particular timeline, it brings years upon years to Tessa growing up and the farms getting new races and new race hooves. That isn't a bad thing on it's own; it's just that I thought the months rushed by a little too quickly, with not much insight on themselves, such as when Tessa is forced to work at Sparrows Wyck, not much detail is put into working there every day. I really loved the horse relationship Tessa has with Buffoon, who nicknames him "Buffy." This horse is something quite extraordinary; not just beautiful, but decides to put it into high gear when he is most comfortable, and when he does, he can outrun the Bugatti Veyron. The main reason for Tessa's humungous love for this horse though, is - spoilers - because he's the son of Shiner, Tessa's old horse, quite similar circumstances to Sara Gruen's Riding Lessons (To be fair, Blind Beauty came out before this one, and I'm not accusing the book of plagiarism.) And I could admire Tessa's bravery and persistence to her goals even if they seemed impossible. Because of all this, I'm sure you'll love this book if you love horse books.
The problem I personally had with the book was Tessa herself, though. Even though she is under a heavy and foolish stepfather, Tessa is a prime example of someone precious. She doesn't care at all about all the gourmet meals or house pleasures, including a television in her room. She keeps getting herself expelled from schools and though four years ago, I'd be cheering her on and I almost still was today, I don't think she really understood the path ahead. She was like the next Veruca Salt, with a violence problem that I think is resolved in a way that doesn't make sense in today's society. There's a conflict between Tessa and her real father that I think doesn't get enough detail put into it, and a lot of the goals that occur take a while to arrive, resorting to several family problems that weren't really relevant to the real deal. There are also several new horses and several that are shot, (which helped teach me something about riding accidents), but was it necessary to introduce new horses on the second last chapter?
To be fair, with Tessa's attitude, I was hoping for a big climax that resorted to something illegal, like distracting guards so Tessa could race or something. The finale is still appropriate (even with a car battle that I think ends too abruptly and disappointingly misses it's mark), and Tessa earned her chance, but we earn it too. Cause we had to read over three-hundred pages to get to it.
In all honesty, maybe I'm being too hate-y on this book, because it's not a terrible book in the slightest. And if the time comes up, I might flip through it again. I just thought the relationships between the humans and horses were too forced, (even if they had similarities to my favourite horse book, Riding Lessons) and Tessa was too precious to keep me rooting for her. But those are some things that a lot of readers will see past. If you like horse books, you'll love this. All others need not apply.