(5 star review)
Bronze, the first in The Glister Journals series by B.B. Shepherd, follows Allison as she develops her first crush on Dave…learns to ride horses, and gains confidence from her new friends, both human and equine…Shepherd writes with intelligent humor…This is a strong first book, both for Shepherd and for the series. The friendships the characters build are realistic and lifelike, strong, and durable, just like bronze.
— Beth VanHouten – ForeWord Reviews
(4.5 star review and winner of the Literature category of the 2013 Discovery Awards)
The story is well-written and sweetly told. Allison’s anxieties and insecurities are true-to-life, and so affectionately and clearly portrayed as to make anyone who’s ever been through adolescence wince in sympathy. Dave, Robin and Chris are complicated, intelligent, three-dimensional characters whom the reader enjoys getting to know, and all of the minor characters are vividly drawn and believably real…The author is adept at setting a scene, both external and internal, bringing Allison’s mind and world to vivid life…
— Catherine Langrehr – IndieReader
From Booklist Online
As high-school freshman Allison adjusts to a new home and school, she finds not one but two new loves: a beautiful boy and a golden horse, only one of whom will still be in her life come summer. This first entry in a proposed quartet, the Glister Journals, evokes the simplicity of Maureen Daly’s Seventeenth Summer (2010), where the worst trauma is returning a beloved companion to its rightful owner, and sexual tension is suggested but never consummated. Allison narrates a gentle coming-of-age story that has a strong equine subplot and will work best for patient readers.* There are undeveloped plot points—such as the nature of Allison’s relationship with her crush’s older brother and the idea that Allison has some sort of mystical connection or history with horses—that hint at future complications and will likely keep readers looking for the next entry.”
— Cindy Welch Booklist Online
(* AN: Booklist has indicated a middle school reading age which may come from the main characters’ ages, and the lack of sex, drugs, and gore, and may or may not have to do with the reviewer’s “patient reader” warning. Bronze is a long book, delves deeply into character, and has some advanced vocabulary. It may be appropriate but was not written specifically for middle school readers.)
From Readers’ Favorite
(5 star review)
Allison Anderson and her mother move from urban Los Angeles to the California countryside. Both of them must grow accustomed to a different style of living while Allison’s father travels extensively for business. Allison has always seen herself as a bit of a nerd as she must wear glasses to see and is skinny with long arms and legs. She is a freshman at the local high school where she makes friends with pretty Melanie and red-haired Robin who is an experienced horse person. Then Allison encounters, and is attracted to, fellow freshman Dave Caldera whose older brother Chris is a junior and whose wealthy father owns a huge nearby ranch. And then there is Gold, the undernourished stray horse, who Allison finds at the back of her property. Bit by bit, Allison draws close to Gold with offerings of carrots and apples and to her new friends who encourage her love of horses. But when Allison’s father returns from his travels, he is not happy with Allison or with her choice of friends. Will Allison be able to adapt to parental control while keeping her new friendships, including her love of Gold, going?
“Bronze: The Glister Journals” is a well-written novel of teenagers and their world. It is also a story of horses and teenage horsemanship. The main character Allison is a totally delightful fourteen year old girl whose innocence and awkwardness is refreshing. Dave and Chris(Cris) Caldera, Robin and Melanie are good as supporting characters, and Allison’s parents are believable in their initial strictness that eases as they get to know their neighbors and Allison’s friends. The plight of Allison when she has to give gold back after knowing his identity will bring tears to most readers’ eyes. “Bronze: The Glister Journals” is a good story that will be adored by teenagers who love horses and those teens who’ve never been near a horse.”
— Alice DiNizo Readers’ Favorite
The following are independent reviews pulled from book blogs, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Goodreads, and LibraryThing. It is a work in progress. If you know of more, please let me know!
(Reviewers posted here were not acquainted with the author prior to reviewing Bronze)
This book is fantastic. The characters are all well-rounded and fully developed. . . I can’t wait for the next book in the series. While most things are resolved at the end of the first book, there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered. Plus, I am finding that, since I finished reading it, I am missing the characters and want to know what they are up to. . . .
There are very strong themes about friendship, loyalty and integrity that should be universal for everybody. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a good read.” (more) Jacqui on My Tower of Shame
Captivating and highly recommended!!. . . I absolutely loved this book! It had me riveted from the first page. I can’t really put my finger on what it was that I found so interesting, but I am hooked!
The characters are beautifully developed and multi-dimensional. I especially love the Calderas, I am fascinated by their family dynamics and was left wanting more. Besides creating characters that are ‘real’, B.B. Shepherd also created characters that are truly likable! I found myself really becoming invested in their lives . . .” (more) Amy on bookwormamy
Great Read! Bronze is an entertaining story that draws you in from the first chapter. It is a wonderful combination of a coming of age story, mixed with adventure and mystery. I loved the main character Allison, her portrayal by the author was so genuine I felt I knew her. This was a GREAT read; I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.” BookwormBlake on barnesandnoble.com
Bronze is Book One in The Glister Journals, a YA Fiction series.
I thought this was an extremely well-written book about growth. The characters were remarkable in their depth and the plot encouraged the (reader) to continue with the story set before them. . .
I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the back stories and frankly, that is part of the magic, the reader is never really given a lot on certain aspects in the plot and you yearn to continue to find out the outcome. The book is an exploration of human expression and raw emotions. I enjoyed the expressiveness found within the pages, they made the characters real for me.
The antagonism in the story comes more from the situations than from human interactions . . . I would give this book a five out of five stars for the mystery that it incurs, for the need to find out what is going to happen to these young people as life throws its curves at them. . . If you enjoy a well written YA reader with a bit of romance, some horses and some great characters, then you will definitely enjoy this book by B.B. Shepherd.” (more) Jennifer on Goodreads
Great for Young (and old!) Adults! The Glister Journals “Bronze” is a wonderful book! It kept me reading from the first page! B.B. Shepard is a great storyteller, and makes the reader want to know more and more about Allison and her friends. I like to read the new books for young adults so that I can recommend them to my students when they are looking for something to read. . . This story about friendship and growing up is one that will hold the readers attention. I can’t wait for the next book!” Susan on Amazon.com
Bronze is the first in a (hopefully) long series of novels in The Glister Journals written by B.B. Shepherd. It’s a coming of age novel about a young girl coming to terms with over protective parents, a new set of friends and the yearning to learn to ride horses. The characters are wonderfully described in such a way that they become friends of the reader’s and we end up totally wrapped up in their storylines.
I can’t wait for the sequel, to find out what happens to Allison and her friends, as their adventure continues!” Francine on LibraryThing
The Glister Journals: Bronze by B.B. Shepherd is a fantastic read for any book lover. From page one you are drawn into the life of Allison. As a new freshman in high school, she feels awkward and out of place. She meets new friends and begins new adventures. Life changes for her as she faces new things in her life and begins to become a woman. I loved this book because it is relatable to everyone. We were all Allison once in our life. This book is great for any teenager or adult.” vkhowell on LibraryThing