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The iconic author of Gossip Girl brings a dark and heart-wrenching addition to the girl-meets-horse canon. In the lens of addiction and the long road to recovery, this is a contemporary update to Black Beauty.
Merritt Wenner has been adrift ever since the untimely death of her grandmother. After skipping out on the SATs to go on a bender, she wakes up to discover that her absentee parents have committed her to Good Fences, a residential equine-assisted therapy program.
Red, a thoroughbred racing reject, is a terror in the barn. He’s never felt an attachment to anyone . . . until he meets Merritt. They belong together. Soon they’re sneaking off for late-night rides, which is strictly against the rules. Their talent does not go unnoticed. Sprung from Good Fences by the facility’s mysterious benefactor, Merritt and Red plunge into the competitive equestrian circuit—with all its seductive glamour and twisted jealousies. After a tragic incident, Merritt must choose between the boy she’s fallen for and the horse she loves.
About the Author
Cecily von Ziegesar is the author of the worldwide bestselling Gossip Girl book series. Her notorious satires of life on the Upper East Side were adapted for TV and aired for six seasons. Cecily grew up in Manhattan, kept horses in Connecticut, and has lived in Italy, Maine, Arizona, Budapest, and London. In each of those places, she found a horse to ride. She now lives in Brooklyn with her family and other animals.
Praise for Dark Horses
"A compelling story of love and fixation . . . The twisted tale of Merritt and Red has the power and mystery of myth."
—Eliot Schrefer, New York Times bestselling author and two-time National Book Award finalist
“Move over, Black Beauty. Cecily von Ziegesar has brought the classic horse novel into the twenty-first century with an alluring, heart-wrenching, and nail-biting look at an elite and tumultuous world. The relationship between Merritt and Red is haunting and powerful. I devoured this book to its very end.”
—Sara Shepard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars
“Told in dual perspectives of a troubled teen and the difficult horse she’s paired with, Dark Horses is an exciting new addition to YA you will not want to miss! Von Ziegesar has created a world so utterly unique, compelling, and at times heartwrenching, it stayed with me long after I turned the last page.”
—Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Immortals series and Unrivaled
"Dark Horses is a slightly bizarre spin on Black Beauty, about characters who go to desperate lengths to find control, purpose and love in their lives. In an unusual viewpoint, Red shines as a tragic victim of human whim."
"This page-turner will draw in a whole new audience with just the right blend of glamor, scandal, and horses."
—School Library Journal
"The competitive riding world is always a draw, and this is an intriguing look into its dark side. If that weren't enough, von Ziegesar's (the Gossip Girl series) name alone will spur readers."
"Von Ziegesar, known for her Gossip Girl series, nails teen dialogue and horse-show society."
Praise for Cecily von Ziegesar
“The heartlessness of youth is von Ziegesar’s double-edged theme . . . Her designated reader is an adolescent girl, but the reader she seems to have firmly in mind as she writes is a literate, even literary, adult.”
—The New Yorker
“Sophisticated. Von Ziegesar takes seriously the inner lives of characters who in any other teen narrative would be stock villains.”
—New York Magazine