Trina Ryan’s challenging summer starts off with a puppy-fueled energy burst as she takes on another service dog for training—an eight-week-old black Labrador named Colton. And to help explore another dream, she’s taken a job at the barn next door in exchange for riding lessons with the barn’s schooling horse. Before long, Trina butts heads with Morgan Hart, an ill-tempered but skilled rider with a gorgeous thoroughbred named Knight.
Adding to the list of frustrations is the difficulty in maintaining a long-distance relationship with Chase, her first boyfriend from last summer, while trying to deal with unwanted attention from a new boy in her puppy training class. At least best friend Sarah still has her back, but as Trina wearies of Morgan’s constant insults and her heartless treatment of Knight, she decides to use her dog training skills to look underneath Morgan’s hostile attitude and develop a sense of trust.
Slowly, Morgan’s angry shield cracks enough to where she’s able to share a troubling family secret. Can Trina help Morgan confront her family problems and make a fresh start?
“Levy is on sure ground in this enjoyable page-turner for young adults. Readers see the world through the eyes of Trina Ryan, a freckle-faced redhead with a big heart for horses, service dogs, and people in need. Trina learns some of life’s most important lessons: that people are not always what they seem, growing up involves tough choices, and a first crush can be more exciting than she ever dreamed. Poignant, fun, and adventuresome.” — Peggy Jo Shaw, award-winning journalist, PR specialist, and book author/editor
“Starting Over is a book you’ll want to give your daughter. A story about best friends, boyfriends, enemies, and how to handle them all. Throw in horses and puppies, and you have the perfect mix for an entertaining, self-evolving read.” — C. Hope Clark, author, Carolina Slade Mysteries and Edisto Island Mysteries
“How do you help a friend and stay true to yourself? Trina Ryan’s struggles to cope and regroup should ring true for teens. Most people probably never dream so much is involved. Teens who love to read about animals should truly enjoy Starting Over.” — Lisa Williams Kline, author, Eleanor Hill, Princesses of Atlantis, Write Before Your Eyes, and the Sisters in All Seasons series
“There’s a lot going on in Trina’s life, but Levy weaves each thread seamlessly. I especially enjoyed the detail about how to train a service dog, as well as her experience in the barn mucking out stalls, caring for the horses, and learning to ride. A must-read YA novel for anyone who loves dogs and horses.” — Judy Sheluk, author, The Hanged Man’s Noose and Skeletons in the Attic
“Dogs! Horses! Boys! What could be better? An energetic puppy learning to be a service dog, a sweet-tempered horse, an absentee boyfriend, and Trina, the girl who has to make some difficult decisions about all of them. A lovely, thoughtful coming-of-age novel.” — Ellyn Bache, author, Kaleidoscope, The Art of Saying Goodbye, and Safe Passage