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Chosen: Super Special

Chosen: Super Special

4.2 164
by Jessica Burkhart

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Lauren Towers has always had one dream: to be a professional equestrian, competing with the best of the best. Natch, she's applied for a highly coveted spot at Canterwood Crest Academy.

But while she waits to see if she gets in, Lauren is left contemplating her life in Union, Connecticut and the horrible accident that brought her there. Suddenly, Lauren is


Lauren Towers has always had one dream: to be a professional equestrian, competing with the best of the best. Natch, she's applied for a highly coveted spot at Canterwood Crest Academy.

But while she waits to see if she gets in, Lauren is left contemplating her life in Union, Connecticut and the horrible accident that brought her there. Suddenly, Lauren is left wondering: even if she does get into Canterwood, will her past make her stronger or will it stand in the way of her future as an equestrian for good?

Product Details

Publication date:
Canterwood Crest
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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ON SUNNY MONDAY MORNING, DAD DROVE ME the half hour it took to get to school like he did every morning. He always ended the ride with a funny, “hip” saying. This May morning hadn’t been any different.

“G2G, Laur,” Dad said. I could see him focus on the acronyms. “Holler back if you need a ride.”

Grinning, I got out of the car. “Don’t talk to anyone. Please.”

Dad headed for work and I went into the school’s main building.

I walked down the hallway of Yates Preparatory School to my locker. I dropped my heavy backpack on the floor and spun the combination into my lock until it clicked open. Yates was my fave school so far of all the schools I’d attended. I’d moved around a lot to compete on the show circuit and Yates was my third school.

Doing well academically had always been important to me, and I’d worked hard to keep up my grades while riding. I’d even taken extra courses online last summer. It had paid off when I’d been accepted to Yates.

“Hey, LT.”

I peered around the metal door and saw Taylor grinning at me.

“Hi,” I said, hugging him. He was a few inches taller than me and his cropped blond hair had been bleached by the sun from spending so many hours practicing in the pool. His tanned skin contrasted with my own pale coloring. I took in the sprinkle of freckles across his nose that I loved.

“Missed you this weekend,” I said.

“Me too.” Taylor held my hand, leaning up against the lockers. “I hate it when things get so crazy. But Dad insisted that I shadow him at his office, even though it was a weekend.”

I rolled my eyes. Taylor and I had been together for five months, and his dad, an investment banker, seemed to want Taylor to decide to follow in the family footsteps and take over the business. Like, yesterday.

“I’m sorry he’s pressuring you so much,” I said. “We’re twelve. Aren’t we supposed to be able to change whatever we want to be every day if we want?”

Taylor squeezed my hand, letting it go so he could shove his hands into his pockets. “I’m used to it.” He smiled. “Anyway, Mondays are gross enough. Let’s talk about something waaay better.”

“Like?” The enthusiasm in his hazel eyes was infectious.

“Want to go out on Saturday night? We can do something fun—whatever you want.”

“Whatever I want? I like the sound of that.” We smiled at each other. “I’d love to.”

The warning bell rang, startling us both. I hadn’t even gathered my books for class. Yates had a zero-tolerance policy for lateness and I didn’t want to spend my afternoon in detention.

“Perfect,” Taylor said. “Text you later.”


My excitement about going out with Taylor on Friday made me grab my math book instead of the one I needed for history class. I realized it just before I closed my locker. I switched out the books then hurried to the class I shared with Brielle and Ana.

Yates was so small I got to share a lot of classes with my two best friends. Everyone knew everyone here. At first, I’d been worried about fitting in. The size of the school made it seem cliquey. But Brielle and Ana had become instant besties.

I snagged a seat in the center of the classroom.

“Hey, Lauren,” Amber said, walking inside with her group of friends.

I said hi to her and a few other people as they sat down, furiously opening their textbooks and notebooks. We all wanted to look as if we’d been in class way early to win points with Mr. Newton—one of the toughest teachers at Yates.

“Laur, omigodwehavetotalkrightnow!”

I laughed, looking up at Brielle as she plopped down next to me. Ana sat on my other side, a smile turning up her lips. They were both fun friends to hang out with at school and at the stable.

“What’s up?” I asked.

Brielle’s cool black hair was pulled into a high, shiny ponytail. The gloss treatment we’d all gotten at the salon a couple of weeks ago made her hair look extra gorge. Her fair, freckle-free, never-left-the-house-without-SPF-fifty complexion showed just enough makeup to not get her in trouble with her parents. She had a light coat of mascara, blush, and pale pink-tinted gloss. Brielle was the epitome of a girly-girl.

She looked seasonably adorable today in a Marc Jacobs light pink dress with capped sleeves and a cream-colored cardigan. She had strappy, white wedges to match that I noted (since we were the same shoe size) I’d probably be asking to borrow next week.

“I heard from Kendra, who heard from Madison, who heard from Portia, that Will is going to ask me to the end-of-the-year dance!” Brielle’s tone had reached a near shriek.

“That’s awesome!” I said, beaming for her.

Ana leaned over toward my desk. “Now we just have to get Will to ask Brielle already, so she can start dress shopping. Even though the dance isn’t for a couple of weeks, she’s already freaking out about her dress and shoes and accessories.”

“We’ll get all of that,” I said, glancing between both of my friends. “Taylor’s taking me and I haven’t picked out anything yet either.”

I grinned at Ana in a teasing way. “And are we getting you into a dress?”

“No!” Ana groaned. “Isn’t it enough that I’m going? I’m happy you both have dates, and I’m going to be there from the hair blow-out to the fastening of your strappy shoes, but I’m going solo. You know I’m only focused on two things—”

Brielle and I finished the sentence along with her. “Writing and illustrating.”

Ana pulled out her notebook that she’d covered in gorgeous pen sketches of people, animals, buildings, and anything else that had caught her attention.

“I’m an artiste,” Ana said, her tone playful. “I refuse to be distracted by boys. Or anything else.”

Brielle and I didn’t argue with her. Ana was one of the most talented artists at our entire school. She dressed the part, too. Today, she was trÈs (French for “very”) chic in an ivory beret that was slightly back behind her hairline, black leggings, and ballet flats. She’d curled her light brown hair into waves and the highlights made her skin tone glow.

She pushed the makeup rule a little more than Brielle. She’d been doing it for months and had never gotten in trouble. This morning she had a thin line of black liquid eyeliner with the slightest cat-eye curve that looked amazing and brought out her wide, brown eyes.

“Speaking of which, is your creative writing group today?” I asked Ana.

“Yeah, I’m meeting up with art class friends to critique one another’s sketches. It’s one of our last meetings before school’s out for summer. You guys?”

“I’m doing nothing for finals,” Brielle said. “Boring.”

“I’ve got glee club,” I said. “Then homework for me.”

“Glee will be distracting,” Ana said. “Hopefully it’ll keep you from thinking about Canterwood.”

Canterwood Crest Academy—those three words made my skin prickle. Canterwood was one of the best, most prestigious boarding schools in the country with an extremely well-known riding program. From what I’d heard, the extracurriculars there—in particular the equestrian team—were as tough as the academics.

Ever since I’d heard about it, I’d been obsessed with Canterwood. I loved everything about the school—from its green and gold school colors to the photos on the Web site to the descriptions of the student dorms.

I’d applied months ago and once I started thinking about it, I couldn’t stop. I was already close to camping out in front of my mailbox.

“Definitely,” I said, smiling. “I’m just ready to get through classes and go to glee.”

Glee club was one of the only things that made me look forward to Mondays. I wasn’t even close to being the best singer in the club, but I loved singing and performing. Last week our club had performed a new song from Sierra, a hot new hip-hop artist, and it had been so much fun. Our club just formed this year and we were already prepping to start competing next year.

Next year.

Next year I’d likely be at Yates competing in glee. Or maybe, just maybe, I’d be competing somewhere different altogether. Somewhere like Canterwood Crest Academy.

© 2011 Jessica Burkhart


Meet the Author

Jessica Burkhart (aka Jessica Ashley) is the author of the Unicorn Magic and Canterwood Crest series, which you can learn more about at CanterwoodCrest.com. She is a former equestrian who writes from her apartment in Brooklyn, New York. (It’s not the size of Crystal Castle, but Jess tries to decorate like a princess!) Jess’s aura would be hot pink and she loves glittery things. If she had a unicorn, it would be named Sparkle. Visit Jess at JessicaBurkhart.com.

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Chosen (Canterwood Crest Series) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 164 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of these book many times and once you start you can't stop!! These are by far my favorite books ever!!! I can't wait to finish the new book but I will miss Sasha and all her friends!
Dong Wook Kim More than 1 year ago
I cannot believe this is the end of Sasha! I like her better than Lauren. This book itself was kind of a little slow at times, so I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 I would give to the Sasha books. I am considering dropping the series if the next book, "Initiation", is written like this. I wish Jessica Burkhart would swith to Sasha already!
Grace Kleind More than 1 year ago
Thought everyone was way too spoiled in this book. It makes me sad giving a canterwood book only 3 stars but sasha was soooooo much better than this:(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I WILL MISS YOU SASHA!!! And so will everbody!!! Well, welcome Lauren Towers and all the new characters! Even though Sasha and co. is gone this is the new and exciting Canterwood. Has Jessica ever thought of Canterwood Crest becoming a television show? I DO! ( Although it HAS to be with Sasha and co.!!!) READ THIS BOOK AND ALL THE OTHERS IN THE SERIES!! ITS GREAT!!!
canterwoodcrestlover More than 1 year ago
This book was good but Lauren sounded a little spoiled actually. Sasha was a better narrator and to me this book just went on and on...when I read a book about Sasha I am more interested and I just want to read it again and again...this book I would read again but not like I read Sashas.
GenuineQT More than 1 year ago
*****CONTAINS SPOILERS: READ AT OWN RISK****** &quot;Sasha Silver and Co. have moved onward and upward from Canterwood Crest, and it's time for a new crew to take the reins at the elite riding academy. Enter Lauren, an old friend of Sasha's, who leaves behind everything she knows to try to make hr mark at Canterwood. New experiences, new friends, and new drama are waiting for her through he gates- and life as she knows it will never be the same.&quot; So begins the &quot;super special&quot; edition of the Canterwood Crest series. This book overall brought in the new cast of characters. If you thought the old cast had drama, well let's just say you haven't met these guys yet.  First, I'll tell you that I was a die-hard Canterwood Crest fan when the series started. Well up until about book 6. As a current 15 year old who shows on the hunter/jumper circuit...these books were right up my alley, when I was like, 12. Which is the same age as Lauren Towers, the new protagonist. But not only is Lauren obsessed with horses, but oh yeah, she was a &quot;national ranked junior dressage champion&quot;, and as you'll learn from the first chapter, that was eighteen months ago, because she experienced an accident which has kept her from competing since. Which puts her in about 5th grade, aka age 10 or 11. Now wait, for anybody who is in the horse world, how many 10 or 11 year olds are competing seriously let alone a &quot;dressage champion&quot;? Not many. Why? Because it doesn't work like that. I don't know about the dressage circuit, but in hunter/jumpers, &quot;junior&quot; generally refers to someone between the ages of 13-18. And so, we reach my first problem with this series. For those of you that read books 1-12 with Sasha, you know that the author doesn't always get her equestrian facts straight. Which is understandable, unless you're reading a book written by an equestrian (like the A-Circuit books by Georgina Bloomberg) you're going to get some mistakes. But seriously? At the end of the book, Lauren tries two four-year-old horses that she's looking to buy. The owner tells her that they've both competed and are only &quot;a little&quot; green. Um hello? Horses don't start showing until age 6, maybe 5. You know where my horse was when he was four? In Ireland, being trained, by a P-R-O-F-E-S-S-I-O-N-A-L. Not being offered for sale to some 12 year old with confidence issues when it comes to riding. Yet as horribly overlooked as these details are, they aren't my biggest problem with this book. And for readers who don't read this book because of the equestrian element, it don't really effect the overall quality of the book. But. We come to the main problem of the story, and it's one that occurred in the first set of the Canterwood series too, starting at about book 7. Jessica Burkhart's concept of wealthy, dramatic equestrian girls at a boarding school is sellable to say the least. The problem is the way she writes the characters doesn't fit with their age. Lauren's friends wear Marc Jacob's clothing. Lauren has the <i>perfect</i> boyfriend. Brielle &quot;was always on dates with different guys&quot;. Lauren's dad tells her to make a list of anything and everything she wants from PBTeen so he can get it for her new dorm. Brielle, Lauren, and Ana spend hours at the mall finding perfect dresses to match their perfect dates to the end-of-the-year dance. Lauren wears clothes from VS (Victoria's Secret). Lauren uses tons of makeup from Sephora. The list goes on. Um, reality check anyone? These girls are in SIXTH GRADE. Since when do sixth grade girls fit into Marc Jacobs or J. Crew. I'm fifteen and barely fit into J.Crew. These girls date, dress, and create drama like they're in high school. The fact that girls in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade are carrying on the way they do in this series is entirely and completely unrealistic. And unrelatable to those girls reading it. Yeah, we learn straight from the beginning that these girls come from money. And Canterwood Crest is an East Coast boarding school so what do you expect? But this is way too over the top. These girls aren't even teenagers.  The overall writing and the plot of the book is for sure nothing to rave about. This book is an easy read for sure. Jessica can be relied on to use words like &quot;fave&quot;, &quot;perf&quot;, &quot;tres&quot;, and &quot;ohmigod&quot; throughout. The dialogue is pretty weak, with the characters mostly having extremely superficial conversations about their absurdly superficial lives. Whoop whoop. The plot is weak also. The main purpose of the book is to introduce Lauren, and give us some background into her life before Canterwood Crest, which we didn't get with Sasha. I guess the central plot line in the book is Lauren waiting in agony (ahem, sarcasm) to see if she got into Canterwood. Um? Like she's not going to...sorry to spoil it for you, but there isn't any suspense considering it tells you on the back that she gets in.  I read other reviews and found that many readers said they found Lauren more relatable than Sasha. I can't even begin to comprehend how this is possible. Lauren has everything; money, popularity, romance (I cringe at saying that), perfect grades, perfect family, dream horse blah blah blah. She says it herself, she's <i>Lauren Towers</i> . Her biggest challenges in life include her best friends conspiring to replace her when she's gone to keep their current social status, and overcoming a ridiculous fear of jumping that disappears and reappears so many times it will make you dizzy. Oh yeah, and lets not forget the horrible breakup that happens because Lauren and Taylor don't want a long distance relationship. It's heartbreaking. Yeah freaking right.  I guess maybe I've outgrown this series. After book 12, I passed them on to my little sister and swore I wouldn't spend any more money on them. She continues to get them, and so I read them when I'm in between other books. I only continue to read them because I get some amusement out of their ridiculousness. Jessica Burkhart clearly means for this to be a guilty pleasure series, much like the show Gossip Girl. But the mis-aging of characters and weak writing in general really ruins it. Creating cliche drama and dropping brand names doesn't make it a pleasure at all. I don't know. I guess maybe I just can't enjoy the shallowness of it all anymore. I don't know if there are girls really like these ones, but I highly doubt it. This series needs a major reality check and a serious overhaul for it to get any better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very good book that is very helpful to read before reading Cantereood Crest Initiatin and Popular. But I totally agree with the other reviewer that Lauren is way to young to have a boyfriend. Even my brother who is going to be a senior of high school this year doesn't have a girlfriend. So that is why I am giving this book four stars. Like I said before I would totally, no, absolutely, suggest reading this before CCA Initiation and Popular. Enjoy reading this book!! I certainly did!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have almost every book in this series on my nook and they are wonderful! Like everyone else im sooo going to miss sasha and the crew but i have my fingers crossed that they will make a suprise visit to see lauren the new character that we welcome with open arms! Also like many i really would love it if the books were a tv show! Great idea! So if you ever need an awesome book to read these are the ones!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chosen, gave me a chance to be introduced to Lauren Towers. She has a nice personality and great friends, family, and boyfriend. It was a well written book by Jessica Burkhart. Although I miss Sasha Silver and the formal crew of Canterwood Creast I am happy to give Lauren and her new friends a chance. I am already halfway done with the next one so I won't want to spoil it for anyone but I just want to say that you will like it. And for hint I will say at first you will be tricked so watch out! Also I highly recomend this book for middle school tween girls about 10-14. Because it has well thought vocabulary and all the regular tween drama that will make you want to read more. ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I sooooo wish sasha would continue in the series!!!!!!!!! Ignore the rating :( :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still like the Canterwood Crest series even though I like Sasha much better than Lauren. I mean, come on. What thirteen year old girl has the perfect love life (I'm thirteen and I don't even have a boyfriend. Neither do any of my friends.) the perfect dad who buys her anything she wants, tons of money, and the perfect horse? And a three year old, at that! Most three year old horses are still being saddle trained and aren' t shown. At least Sasha seemed like a real girl with real feelings and emotions. And Charm was a great horse, but he could still be naughty at times. Whisper seems like a fake horse- she's too perfect for a three year old. My gelding, Pete is 18, and he's still naughty. And almost every young horse I know is still jumpy and insecure. Anyway, the point is that I like Lauren but wish Sasha and Co. would come back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok 1st who ever said that jessica was "messed up" u r messed up jessica changed the characters because she didnt want her reads to get bord and stop reading her books... dont get me wrong i love sasha byt change is good somtimes. I for 1like the new characters. To me it is a fresh start. So any way i realy liked this book tots awsome!!!!!!!!!7
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really!! Sasha cant be gone! I got so used to sasha and evryone else .......jessica cant just change the people all of a sudden ...........no matter how good this other girl is .................................. lauren towers.......i know i am not the only one mad!!! Jessica u messed up! I dont know if i want to read the books with the chick anymore! Jessica should have left sasha alone! Uuuuuuuuugggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am hooked on Canterwood Crest! It all started out that my friend came to school one day with the very first book. She was talking non stop about how good this book was. Then after she finished it she let me borrow it and then i was the one who was non stop talking about it. We have read all the books and we have also pre ordered the 13th and 14th book. And now i am getting withdrawls without Canterwood Crest!!! I am so excited!!!! Me and my BFF both hope that there will be like 20 books all together! But when the books are all done i am just going to read them all over again!!" BEST BOOKS EVER!!! CCW forever!!"!
Brianna Lamorticella More than 1 year ago
Although i find the first version better. This book showed the same good writing but it was very diffrent. I would recomend this book to anyone who found it difficult to relate to sasha. Other than that the only problem i found with it was that i had gotten so attatched to sasha it almosg made me cry to not read about her. Wasnt a good change unless you had a problem w sasha
Laura Dick More than 1 year ago
I love canterwood but lauren towers is not who i want to read about i want sasha silver gosip stylish drama girl NOT lauren towers
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OK you know what I thought OK this is going to b awesome, but guess what!?! IT'S NOT!!! ok ok for whoever still likes these books... GREAT 4 U! but count me out like she just changed characters in the middle of the series! ( ok I guess it's really not the middle of the series) but STILL! uuuuuugggggghh Sorry bout my little rant right there..... I just get upset easily and right after I went to my stinking media center everyday to get the books!!!! :( I'm not going to continue in the series. Good for you if you do though!! :P Even though i'm made at Jessica it's tots ok I understand change and everything but really in such a good book to!!! ( I named my horse Charm ) LOL ok I didn't but when I get a horse I def. will! ;) P.s the rating is for the overall like of the books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ok this book is kind of slow compared to the ones before and after it, but it gives background. Everyone is saying how Jess Burkhart messed up getting rid of Sasha, but even though Sasha and Co. were fabulouis, there is only so much drama you give give to one girl! The thing about how the ages are jacked up is stupid! Im in MS and my friends have boyfriends, we would shop at Shephora but its not cheap enough. The books were my favorites in 5th grade and i still love them, even though Mortal Instruments and Princess Diaries are more me now. If you dont like the books, shut up about it and dont read them. If you have nothing nice to say then shut up and mind your own beeswax!! To all the REAL CCA fans, we love Jessica Burkhart and her books. She should know that! :) <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I TOTALLY agree with the person who said that Lauren seems really fake. Sasha seemed like a real person with real friends and friend troubles. I felt that I could sometimes identify with her. But Lauren? She seems so perfect and everyone liked her. That's SO FAKE. She seems like a model. Even her horse is perfect. I loved CCA when it was with Sasha. The books were well written and always exciting. With Lauren, it's usually pretty much the same. Bring Sasha back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eww. I hate this series. It used to be cool but now its just lame.do u see12 year old girls with BF's? NO u dont. AND Y did u get rid of sasha!!!!!?. SHE WAS THE ONLY REASON I READ THESE STUPID BOOKS
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Canterwood Crest Super Special was very helpful. It told you a lot about Lauren's life before Canterwood. It felt like you were there at the Red Oak Horse Trials. You were with Lauren through thick and thin. I have read Popular and Iniation. They have a lot in them going back to this book. If you like horses and drama this is a great read for you. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this book is very good. It is great if you like horses!
Lily Camp More than 1 year ago
This book was good but Sasaha is just sooo better the canterewood creast series never bad but Lauren's life is boring compared to sasaha's please keep writing about sasaha and her awesome friends please
Baylee Nester More than 1 year ago
Personally I love this book! Sure Im sad Sasha isnt the main person but this book is still just as good as the rest! I cannot wait for the next one! :)
horseluver05 More than 1 year ago
Best book eva......miss sash though Aaaaannnd the nxt book is called initiation!!=D