Four months shy of turning sixteen, Lexi Montoya was still trying to come to terms with her parents' divorce and her mom's marriage to a man she met online, relocating to Maui, Hawaii.
Choosing to remain with her dad in Seattle, Lexi had planned to spend her first summer since the divorce hanging out with her boyfriend, Matt, and her best friend, Robin. But her dad had other plans, insisting she spend the summer visiting her mom and stepdad at his ranch called Paradise Ranch in Wailuku, in west Maui.
Lexi went there with an attitude. Then she meets a cute Hawaiian guy named Mitsuo, is thrown into a love triangle, becomes friends with a teen girl named April who lives on a ranch next door; rides her first horse--an Arabian mare named Poppy--learns to hula dance and surf, and finds herself embroiled in a dangerous rescue mission when Poppy and another horse named Casper are stolen from her stepfather's ranch.
By the time her tropical summer adventure comes to an end, Lexi hates to leave Maui and say goodbye to Mitsuo. But can she stay when Matt is waiting for her back at home to pick up where they left off? Or will he lose her to a summer romance?
Summer at Paradise Ranch is a great coming of age adventure with young romance and mystery in paradise. Now available in eBook, print, and audio.
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.46(d)|
About the Author
The author has also written a number of bestselling teen and young adult related nonfiction books as well, including Runaway Kids and Teenage Prostitution, Kids Who Commit Adult Crimes, and Children and Criminality.
Follow R. Barri Flowers on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest Goodreads, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, LibraryThing, and www.rbarriflowers.net. And learn more about the author in Wikipedia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Disclaimer I was provided a copy of this book by Young Adult Reads in exchange for an honest review. Told from four different points of view, Summer at Paradise Ranch has a lot going on, but the author manages to hold it all tightly together. The past-tense, third person point of view is definitely a departure from most young adult fiction I’ve read lately and took a little getting used to, but once I did, I got into the story. R. Barrie Flowers’ style is also a little different from other YA authors. It feels more detached, like I wasn’t necessarily feeling all the angst I normally do when reading about teens. But in this case, it kept the story flowing without bogging me reader down in unnecessary, although quite often typical, adolescent drama. Plot The plot is busy, from Lexi’s relationship with the mother who abandoned her and her father to run off to Hawaii with a guy she met online, to her conflicted feelings for two very different, but equally hot, boys, her adventures on Maui, and the horsenapping mystery. The story flows well enough, but we never get too deeply involved in any of the plot points because they all seem to be rather easily resolved. Not without conflict, but without the sort of escalating conflict that leaves you breathless. But sometimes a good story doesn’t need to be over-the-top and out of control. This is one of those times. What I liked most is the relationship between Lexi and Mitsuo. At not quite 16, she realizes a summer romance doesn’t have to mean anything more than that and doesn't have anything to do with her feelings for her boyfriend, Matt, back home in Seattle. This was so authentic to the way teen romances are at that age. So many books and television shows aimed at teens try to make these early relationships seem more like adult relationships, and they’re not. In this case, it plays out naturally, in a way a lot teens will be able to identify with. Characters The teen characters come across as credible. They're self-absorbed, superficial, but contemplative -- everything young adults are. But I found the adults more two-dimensional. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, adults often seem that way to teens, and we do see the world of Paradise Ranch through their young eyes. Still, I would have liked a little more, particularly from Lexi’s mom. Speaking of Lexi's mom, Lexi is way too quick to forgive her mother and I found that subplot difficult to believe. Most girls her age battle with their mothers in the best situations. Given her mother's abandonment at very a pivotal time in her life, I thought this was wrapped up too cleanly. It's in keeping with the overall tone of the book though, so in that sense it works. Bottom Line The story is enjoyable and the characters authentic, but the writing style took a little getting used to. Once I got into it though, the story moved along to a satisfying conclusion and if there is a second book in the series, I'd definitely be interested in reading it.
Summer at Paradise Ranch is a great teen travel and adventure novel -- especially for those who have been to Maui, Hawaii, or plan to someday. Lexi Montoya, 15, who lives in Seattle, is forced to visit her mom on the island, who divorced her dad after meeting another man online. As Lexi tries to adjust to the new reality, including a stepfather, she finds herself in a summer romance, rides horses, surfs, and hula dances, and gets involved in the mystery of two valuable horses stolen. Can she leave this all behind and return to her boyfriend and dad? A great summer read!