Blood is thicker than water.
I didn't understand that expression when I was a kid. I only knew that I was closer to my brother Seth than to anyone else in the world. He was the calm to my storm, the light to my dark. We were tied to the rest of our complicated family by bonds beyond blood-love, loyalty, convenience-but as it turns out, the pull of blood is strong. Maybe even strong enough to tear me away from the person with whom I shared my very first breath.
"I get attached easily. Yes, even to characters in books. So when I got the chance to finally pick up Look Twice, M. Garzon's second novel in the Blaze of Glory series, part of the pleasure in reading was the chance to spend more time with Tea, Seth, Jaden, and Dec (I never thought I'd say this, but Dec is really growing on me). Look Twice picks up exactly where Blaze of Glory ended, with Tea and Jaden having to negotiate their family's reaction to their relationship (which is complicated when you're step-cousins. Or is it adopted cousins?). It's not all trouble though since Tea does get to join Jaden on the Florida polo circuit for a few weeks. But the focus of Look Twice is not romantic love, and it isn't horses either. And those are good things. Really. And this is coming from someone who loves a good romance and horses (obviously).
That's not to say that those looking for romance and/or a horse story will be disappointed, as there is still plenty of Jaden's hotness and stolen kisses in the hay loft. Nor will those after a horse story feel let down, as there's still way more riding, training (including a fun scene with a clicker), mucking, and general horsey-ness (including a tack shopping spree [can Jaden be any more perfect?]) than you can find in the average novel. It's just that Look Twice focuses on growing up and finding one's own path, mixed in with sorting out the meaning of family and loyalty. It's weighty stuff, but that should come as no surprise since Blaze too dealt with heavy themes. And just like in Blaze, the themes are addressed with complexity and sensitivity. Tea, or Sparky as her twin Seth likes to call her, can still be an impulsive, passionate, stubborn hothead, but in Look Twice she matures, which is a bit of a relief. As she navigates her conflicting emotions over her relationships with the important men in her life-Jaden, her adopted father Dec, Seth, and her biological father-we see her growing and dealing with love, hurt, jealousy, disappointment in more productive ways than she does in Blaze. It's satisfying stuff, even when she doesn't always get it right.
The book can probably stand alone, but especially the first few chapters will make a lot more sense (and you'll have a better idea who all the characters are) if you read Blaze of Glory first. As with Blaze, the writing is fast paced and plot driven. I had a hard time putting it down, and the language is simple and straightforward, so you can easily gobble through in big gulps. But don't let the simplicity fool you-I dare you not to get teary over the ending. If a book can make me cry, well, it's got to be doing something right. Really, I don't think reading can get more magical than words on a page becoming visceral emotions (kind of like a thought in my head translating into a transition from my horse). Don't say I didn't warn you though. Unless you like crying in public, don't read the last chapter away from home. Oh, and the ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger, but have no fear-book three (Renaissance Man) is due out in late 2013. And if you read the whole series now, you can say you loved the series way before it became a popular TV show (which is, hopefully, in the works)."
- Erin McCabe, Horse Nation
"Look Twice by M. Garzon starts right where Blaze of Glory leaves off. Jaden and Tea must deal with the aftermath of their inadvertent outing of their relationship to their disapproving family. Look Twice, however, focuses less on the relationship between Jaden and Tea and more on the family dynamics and consequences surrounding not only the relationship but also growing into a mature adult. Tea is now 18, legal, and in love for the first time. She must deal with not only the disapproval of her family, but also outside forces that want put a strain on herself, her relationship, and her family ties. We get to watch Tea mature both in her relationship with Jaden as well as those with her brother and step-father. We get to watch as she learns the power of jealousy, loyalty, duty, family, and love.
No Sophomore slump for Ms. Garzon. Look Twice is a sweet story that is mostly free of the controversy and angst that Blaze had, but it does have its own heart wrenching moments. It progresses the universe well and leaves the reader wanting more. I am once again eagerly awaiting the next offering from Garzon. She is currently hard at work on Renaissance Man - Book 3 in the Blaze of Glory series. I, for one, cannot wait."
- Brandilyn Carpenter, BuildingCarpenters.com
"I think I have discovered the meaning of "guilty pleasure." This is the second M. Garzon book I totally devoured, read from cover to cover in one sitting, not because I wanted to hide from Holiday Company, but I was just unable to put the book down.
Look Twice, a well written sequel to Blaze of Glory, takes our familiar characters, Tea an aspiring show jumper and her twin brother Seth who work together running their stepfather's family equestrian business, on a journey from adolescence to the threshold of adulthood. Neither in real life, nor in this book is this journey ever a smooth trip.
Although the story line of finding self, by fighting through the pain, hurt and scar tissue that an unhealthy, unhappy childhood has on a person, has been told a million times, M. Garzon has a unique and amazing gift with her ability to draw the reader into the story with her use of words and literary talent. Through her writing, the reader is connected to each and every character.
The writer's use of the horse world as the back drop for the story is done with such a perfect balance to not compete with the true value of the story which is characters struggles and makes this book appealing to even the non-horsey reader.
There is a lot going on in this book and I suspect that is because Blaze of Glory is becoming a TV Series, which I am looking forward to as well as book 3."
- Cheryl Figures, Horse Junkies United
"What is it with these books? I picked up Blaze of Glory on a whim, and fell in love with it. I've waited very impatiently for the next book, and got it as soon as M.Garzon posted about it on Facebook today. And again, I'm in love with this book! There were a few typos here and there, but not too big a deal. It's hard not to love such strong, well done characters. I love how strong and unique Tea is, I love her connection with horses, her brother, and of course Jaden. And what's not to love about Jaden? Meow! It was great to learn more about Seth, and I'm really hoping to see him find some happiness in the next book. So, now I need the next book. Now. Please?!"
- Jessica, Goodreads
"M. Garzon has done it to me again!
She grabbed my attention and kept it so tight with her writing, that I was unable to put the book down! I recently had the amazing opportunity to read the newest book written by M.Garzon, titled 'LOOK TWICE', it is in fact a continuation of the amazing novel she brought to us last year, Blaze of Glory. I was blown away with her previous novel and was eagerly awaiting her new novel promised to be a continuation, which if you read the first book, you would completely have to agree, you craved more.
I was unable literally, to stop reading LOOK TWICE, I read it front to back in a 24 hour period going without sleep, I was just so captured and yearning to learn how the story was going to unfold, I could NOT stop reading. M. Garzon has such a way with her words that brings the feelings of the book to life inside you, this story is so full of internal feelings that transport into your own body so you find yourself aching, hurting, loving and laughing along with the characters.
LOOK TWICE, carries on the story that was started in the BLAZE OF GLORY novel, but in a different angle that is sure to touch anyone's heart and make them want more. Tea, Jaden, Seth, Dec and the rest of the characters are back in LOOK TWICE, and they are growing, changing and have more to endure, M.Garzon takes us through the story with her amazing words and still left me aching for MORE!
I recommend LOOK TWICE as a follow up read to BLAZE OF GLORY, for anyone that is a lover of reading from preteen to adult!! I guarantee you will fall in love with these stories and move them into your novel recommendation list, right at the TOP!"
- Julie Backes, Empty Nester Reviews
"As I settled down to read before bed on Thanksgiving weekend, my husband asked what I was reading. I told him I was reading a book that I was reviewing for Horse Junkies. "Another horse book? Do you read anything that doesn't involve horses?" he laughed. A look over to my nightstand would lead one to believe that, yes, in fact, everything I read is about horses. (Why would this be a problem??) However, one look at my bookshelf reveals my other guilty pleasure - chick lit and romantic fiction. If I can find a way to combine my two addictions, well, so much the better! Look Twice, the sequel to Blaze of Glory by m. garzon, was one of those books I didn't want to put down. As in, growl at anyone who dared interrupt me and keep one eye peeled on the clock as it neared time to leave for work. When the book was sent to me it came with a warning, "It's not as "horsey" as Blaze of Glory." Turns out what that means is that a horse is not one of the protagonists, as was the case in the previous book. As the main characters live on the grounds of the family equestrian center, there is more than enough of a "horsey" feel to this book to keep the average Horse Junkie happy.
In Look Twice we are reacquainted with Tea and Jaden, the young star-crossed lovers of Blaze of Glory, and we get to know Seth, her twin brother, much better. Tea and Jaden have revealed their relationship to the family and are now dealing with the fallout. Seth is having his own relationship issues, and is struggling with finding his place in the world. Should he pacify his stepfather and go to college, or should he strike out and find what truly makes him happy? Complicating matters even further is Seth's desire to find the twins' biological father, and how that impacts his relationships with Tea and his stepfather.
There is a lot happening in Look Twice, and you are certainly pulled in through the pages of the book as the twins and the other characters cope with each of the situations they find themselves embroiled in. We see Tea blossoming into maturity as she balances her desires with the needs of her family and lover. We empathize with Seth and are frustrated with him as he struggles with school and finding his true identity. We pull for Jaden and Tea as they fight to stay together despite the censure of their family.
As I said, I enjoyed the book. It's one of those beach reads that you can't seem to put down. At times I was almost overwhelmed by the constant barrage of challenges the characters faced, and there were times when I had trouble believing that Tea was a senior in high school and Jaden a young law student, as their voices are a good deal more mature than anyone that age that I've ever known. Honestly, I don't think there's ever been a male on the planet as sensitive and perfect as Jaden, much less a 21-year-old male, but then, that's why we read these books, right? To leave our own worlds behind and immerse ourselves in the fantasy of another world?"
- Amy Vodraska, Horse Junkies United
"Once again Ms. Garzon creates a story that is real and emotional, with complex and multidimensional characters, who wrap themselves around your heart and refuse to let go. Her storylines and characters pull you into the drama that unfolds within the pages and you can't help but feel as though you are there, a member of the family, witnessing every event that takes place. I love it when an author can draw me into their story like that and make me forget everything else around me.
Look Twice resumes right where Blaze ended. It's now time for Tea and Jaden to face the music about there blossoming relationship. Now if you remember from Blaze we learned that Tea and her twin brother Seth were adopted by Jaden's Uncle Dec after he married their mother. Having grown up like 'cousins' their families are none to impressed to learn of this relationship. Throughout this book we get to see just how strong their love for each other is, as they must deal with their respective families. Coming from a close knit family, I myself can see where their families are coming from, but at the same time see there really is no reason to be against their relationship. I really enjoyed the way Garzon handles the issues with Tea and Jaden's relationship, but at the same time gives them the chance to grow, mature and become the strong couple that they are. They deserve to have a happy ever after and I for one am one of their supporters.
Throughout Look Twice we not only get to see Tea and Jaden grow as a couple and deal with all the drama that surrounds their relationship, but we also get to see Seth come to the fore front. I really liked the way Garzon brings Seth more and more into the series in this book and makes him a major player. We saw the relationship between brother and sister in Blaze, but in Look Twice, we get so see more into their sibling relationship, their thoughts on their adopted family, and life in general. Everything that has ever happened to them so far leads Seth to make a major decision in his life, to find out where they came from. He wants to seek out his biological father. This event becomes a major focus in the story, which in turn becomes the catalyst that sets in motion the events that unfold in the later half of this book.
I was very intrigued with this new development and growth with Seth and wanted to see where Garzon would take us. We really get to see just who Seth is and how he feels about himself right now, and why it's so important to find out who his biological father is. The issues that come into play over locating this man, and finding out the details of why he left their mother are well done, and expertly handled. The raw emotion from these scenes just pours off the pages and had me riveted till the very end, only to be left hanging as to what is going to happen next. Yes folks, Ms. Garzon has done it again, leaves us hanging and salivating for the story to continue.
In closing I just want to say that I really enjoyed Look Twice. Garzon's writing style, her creativity, storylines, and character development are wonderful and very enjoyable to read. I love the realness of her characters and the events/obstacles that take place. Like I said earlier, Ms. Garzon pulls you into her story and you become a part of the book following Tea and Jaden on their journey, navigating the challenges that face them in their relationship, while at the same time watching Seth come into his own. As I stated earlier we are left hanging at the end of the book and it only left me wanting more. I for one can't wait to see what's in store for Tea, Jaden and Seth in the next installment of this series. Will Tea and Jaden finally have the HEA, will Seth find what it is he feels is missing from his life, etc. If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it, you won't be disappointed."
- Marcie, The Reading Café
"Last year, I was lucky enough to read Blaze of Glory by M. Garzon. This year, I also got to read the sequel... Look Twice. It was just as good as the first, if not better. While the book still heavily focuses on the life of Tea... it also delves further into her complicated relationships with her boyfriend Jaden, her twin brother Seth, her stepfather Dec, and her other friends. It also still continues on in following her relationship with the horses that she rides, trains, and loves. And I was so excited to learn that these books have been optioned for a TV series. How exciting! I would absolutely watch that show!
Just as with the first book in this series... M. Garzon has written a very emotional, very heartfelt book that at its core is all about relationships. This book, just as the one before it can only be described as a family drama. The book is all about Tea and her family, her relationships. Her relationship with her stepfather is extremely complicated and at times volatile. But since the passing of her mother, she feels that he is the only family she has. So when she has the opportunity to meet her real father that she has never even met before... she has no clue as what to do. She wants to meet him, but also does not. She feels it would be betrayal to her stepfather.
Her relationship with her twin brother Seth is also evolving. She always thought of him as being one way... now that he has started to grow and change as well... will she lose him, too?
Her relationship with her boyfriend Jaden... may be the most complicated. None of his family members are okay with the relationship... so they have to keep it under wraps and fight for what time they do have together. How long can they keep it up?
And the relationship she has with her horses may be the strongest one of all. But ever since she lost her greatest friend ever in Blaze... will she ever have that same type of bond with a horse again?
I loved this book. Just as I loved Blaze of Glory. It was insightful, well written, and chalk full of intrigue and drama. I urge you to check it out today You will not be disappointed."
- Mistee Dawn, Giveaways & Glitter
"Look Twice is the follow-up to M. Garzon's smash success debut novel Blaze of Glory, which tells the story of Tea, a young, talented jumper rider from Canada. If you haven't read Blaze of Glory, it's a must before jumping into this novel. Highly developed characters and a steamy family scandal are weaved into well-written equestrian plot lines. Like any good protagonist, Tea is headstrong and passionate, both about her love life and her horses. This pair of books is suggested for teens 14 and up, but every age group will be sucked into this very readable novel."
- Horse & Style Magazine
"I thoroughly enjoyed Garzon's first book, Blaze of Glory. So, I was excited to continue the story with Look Twice. Tea and Seth are twins and Jaden and Tea are in love. Unfortunately, Tea and Jaden have been raised as cousins, so the family is having a really hard time accepting their relationship. In Look Twice, they are still trying to find their way, get their families to accept them, and face every other hurdle set before them.
Seth has decided he would like to find his biological father. Even though he and Tea talk about their adoptive family and how much they both love one another, it's something that Seth feels he has to do. Getting his adoptive family to understand, though, is another story.
Steeped in family issues, relationships and drama, Look Twice is a great continuance of the series. The characters have really blossomed from the first book and the maturity shows in their relationships, their thoughts and their decisions. Garzon has a knack for writing vivid scenes and I look forward to seeing it in once it's on television. I also look forward to seeing more of the cast of characters in another installment. If you enjoy reading a strong story with great family dynamics and memorable characters, pick up this series!"
- Wendy Hines, Minding Spot
"I love this novel. I have read both Blaze of Glory and now Look Twice. When I was reading Blaze of Glory, I felt like I was reading a Twilight story line but with horses. I hated Twilight. So when I agreed to read Look Twice, I was really curious as to what it would be. This is one of the BEST books I've read this year. I love it!!! There are so many unexpected things that happen that just make this book. I got this book and started reading it, but then my Kindle Fire broke and I was out of being able to read this for 11 days. It was awful. I wanted to curl up and read this book but I couldn't until my Kindle Fire came back. With this said, it took me 3 weeks to read this, which would have taken me 3 days to read. I would love to have this series. I hope that the author will write at least one more book in this series, because there are some things I need to have resolved, and I need to read about."
- Elizabeth Carr, Mom's Thumb Reviews
"What can I say? I have probably read Look Twice 17 times now and each time it gets better and better. Unlike many writers whose second books are not as good as the first, I easily liked this one just as much as the first book Blaze of Glory. (I've read Blaze of Glory too many times to keep count.) I couldn't wait to read this sequel and it definitely lived up to my expectations.
As soon as she sent me the book to review I read it in one sitting. And then I read it a bunch of times after that. Yes it's that good.
This book continues the original story which involves a girl named Tea and her boyfriend Jayden who is much older - and her cousin. (It's complicated.) I recommend you read the books in order so you really understand what is going on.
Tea is a competitive rider and this book tells about how she is starting to train her new horse. It also includes the story of her brother who is making some major life decisions.
The first book Blaze of Glory was definitely a young adult book and had some parts that weren't appropriate for all ages. This one not so much, but I'd still recommend it for older girls not younger readers.
I am serious when I say that M. Garzon is one of my favorite authors and I think her books are just awesome. I hear they are going to make a television program about the series and I can't wait for that either."