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Reviews

1.   '“Cowgirl” by Tanya Vanderham is an excellent book that captured my attention from the beginning, pulled me in, and never once let go. Each scene/ chapter/animal story was engaging, intriguing, and

flowed smoothly from one to the next. I was really impressed how interesting and informative it was, and liked how easy it was to read. Short, focused stories that would talk about different animals (cows mostly, but also some others) and experiences at the various dairy farms throughout Tanya’s life, and each chapter was as good as the last… and never a “dull part” where you get bored or want to skip ahead… in fact totally the opposite with each new chapter bringing chuckles and smiles and interesting anecdotes (loved the one about “Eye Cow”). The descriptions and insight Ms. Vanderham uses were very strong and we can really picture ourselves in her shoes… I mean, cowgirl boots :-). Like we are there on the farms milking the cows

with her. As far as bio/memoirs go this one is definitely more on the interesting, informative and enjoyable side (with great pictures too). Very good presentation all around and is suitable for all ages."

(5 stars) Stacy Decker—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

2.   "I think that Tanya Vanderham has written a wonderful book here.

I thought it was well- written from the heart, and the pacing and editing was nearly flawless! (I really appreciate that, especially with editing!) Right away Vanderham brings us into her world with a warm and engaging narrative ‘voice’ that makes us feel like we are instantly friends…. only she’s your friend who tells you all these stories about growing up on dairy farms that you never even thought of…. I’ll never look at milk the same way again! I never knew it could be so dangerous (like being kicked in the head!!) or even so emotional – like when the calves are separated.  It is a relatively quick read, one that I finished

in the span of a few evenings, but Vanderham packs in a ton of story and unique experiences and great characters (---the animals and their personalities) in these pages and so that we the readers are thoroughly invested the whole way through. I loved her writing style… it is very natural and relatable and I found myself completely lost in this world she recanted----this is all based on true stories and her life which makes it even more wonderful. Was almost disappointed when I was done, but feel like it really opened my eyes in a good way Recommend

to fans of autobiographies and memoirs, or anyone who just enjoys an entertaining, emotional, well-written story with lots of animals and fun and laughs."

(5 stars) Cody Brighton—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

3.   "I loved this book and read the whole thing in one week, which is fast for me, (I have such limited reading time!) But it just seemed to

go by so fast and I never wanted to stop reading it, even late into the evening. I was mesmerized by the story Tanya Vanderham tells in “Cowgirl”. It is so realistic and authentic feeling; as it should be as

it’s based on the author’s true experiences, with wonderful animal stories – I love that they have their own names and such distinct personalities. I never knew that about cows before! Some strange situations, some that made me laugh out loud, some that made my

jaw drop or cringe, others almost brought tears to my eyes... At times

it read almost like a wild adventure, but other times like a drama, or even a comedy. Crazy to think it’s all real and that she has gone through so many extraordinary circumstances in her life, managed to make it out the other end in one piece! Lol. The writing is fantastic and Tanya does a great job of making us feel like we are a part of the story too, not just on the outside looking in. Too much happens in this book

to cover properly in a short review so you really just have to read it for yourself… you will not be disappointed! Recommend for fans of bio/memoirs. Suitable for teens through adults."

(4.5 stars) Sherrie Warner—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

4.   "I really enjoyed this book, much more than I actually thought I would! And the fact that it is based on the author’s real life and her experiences working on different dairy farms during her life is incredible! I thought it was extremely well told, and in a very lively, natural tone. It definitely kept my attention from the opening to the finish. It is an easy book to just get lost and swept away in…I was surprised by how much this story hooked me, and I felt like I was

really there on the farms also—like at parts Tanya was almost talking

to me. I was genuinely surprised at a few things that happened, and thought the pacing, the narrative flow, and the story-crafting were

all great. Much better than I was expecting. I thought the premise sounded intriguing enough when I decided to read it, but I thought it was much more powerfully and emotionally executed than I originally thought it would be, with stories that range from surprising, to sad,

to sweet. The writing is crisp, clear, and eloquent and the pacing was excellent throughout. I was interested in Tanya’s experiences right from the beginning. Each new chapter & story really brought something to the table, and I liked that as we read Tanya’s life (and others), she just seems so relatable, like a real person going through unique  experiences that we could relate to on some level, even if not literally (because this is a very different life than most people have). Fans of nonfiction and memoirs will enjoy this. In my opinion this book has great general fiction crossover appeal as well. Oh and I

really enjoyed the photos!"

(4 stars) Jean Oliver—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

5.   "How to describe this book by Tanya Vanderham, other than say it

is by far one of the riveting and unique books I’ve read in a long time!

It is a true story/a memoir, and this is one emotional and educational delight following her unorthodox and ultimately inspiring life. Vanderham sucks us in to the story right from the very beginning as she introduces us to her life and circumstances, and skillfully narrates

a wide-ranging storyline full of complex and deeply emotional, and sometimes shocking, funny and eye-popping experiences of her life

on a dairy farm, from milking cows and helping birth them, to their quirky and distinct personalities that are sometimes dangerous. But there are also people, Owls, Roosters, etc…. In my opinion it is the

way we really feel like a part of this life and experience--- Relatable and sympathetic, even though her life is totally different from mine—that makes this book feel like a profound experience. I feel like I’ve taken the whole dairy industry for granted, like the milk just somehow magically appeared on the store shelves– not anymore! Great writing and narrative tone, and I enjoyed the spirit – the sense of adventure. While I do think it could have benefit from more ‘tension’ or higher stakes at times or with danger/consequences (things always feel a bit too ‘safe’ for my liking) this was memorable read and a keeper for sure.  Recommend for ages 13+." 

(4 stars) Darlene Cupp—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

6.   "Woah, this was a really interesting read for me, and I absolutely love the way this author writes! From very opening pages where we learn that this is a true story about the author’s experiences on a

dairy farm (I LOVE cows and goats!), I was eager to dig in. I never

get to do anything fun like that even though it is SUCH hard work

(and dangerous!) it was so interesting to read about all sides of life on

dairy ranch, good and bad. The way that Tanya describes everything from the different cows and their ‘stories’, to the various places, we

feel like we are really right there as it is happening. This book is a memoir, but has so many crazy things go down you’d think it was a work of fiction! But overall a very entertaining and enlightening read and almost profound at times and visually very easy to read. Loved the pictures! And Tanya is so pretty :-) I’d love to read more from her in the future."

(4-5 stars) Marcella Gonzales—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

7.   "I enjoy biographies, memoirs, true-life sort of books the most.

So when I read the description and opening pages for “Cowgirl” by Tanya Vanderham, I eagerly snatched it up, and I’m happy to say

that I was not disappointed. However, while I did enjoy the ride and the great stories and incidents, I felt at times that it could have used more drama or ‘tension’ to really thrust the story forward. Even during the ‘heavier’ moments, it’s written in a way where we never really wonder if it will work out or not or have prolonged feelings of tension

or worry, and everything is quickly resolved. To me this is something

that makes reading a better experience—if you are more emotionally invested in the outcome. But in a way, this lighthearted tone makes it easier to digest – even though there are some more ‘intense’ moments,

it never gets too dark or heavy. But I liked the overall experience and feel like I learned a lot of new things about life on a dairy farm, and had a fun time while doing so. Recommend for readers of memoirs/drama/animal stories."

(3-4 stars) Leo Gregory—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

8.  "What a wonderful ride! Enticing right from the beginning and

you don’t want to stop until it’s all over! I almost felt like I was watching a movie as I followed along Tanya’s fun, funny (and sometimes scary and dangerous) experiences, and if I didn’t know

that this book was all true (or based on real experiences)  I might

have never believed some of it! The whole story and the rhythm and energy was excellent – nice and descriptive and super informative on the ins-and-outs of participating on a farm with cows and bulls and other livestock. Occasionally the pacing was a bit spotty, with part where some exciting things happened, then stretches where nothing really major happened (just felt more mundane and ordinary) but still gave a good overall feel to her experiences. I liked all the chapters and stories and although some were more fully fleshed out  or dramatic than others, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the whole book any. I’d recommend this book, as it was funny, and interesting we certainly lean a lot! Tanya is truly a terrific writer.… And I enjoyed seeing the pics as well… nice touch. Well done overall!"  

(4-5 stars) Nicole Hastings—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

9.  "Tanya Vanderham’s warm, easy prose pulls you right in and makes you a part of her remarkable story in “Cowgirl.” What I really liked most about this book was how personal and natural the tone was. I

felt like I could listen to (or read) these words for hours and hours

and want more when it was over. Sometimes I think reading memoirs about other people’s lives can be kind of boring, actually (unless they

are famous). Like they tell of things that are interesting to THEM,

but no one else (I’ve encountered this several times, sadly). But not here. It is interesting because most of us consume a lot of dairy, but

we probably don’t think much about the process of it, and the human stories behind it.  I really loved reading this and found myself not putting down my iPad until I had read the whole thing cover to cover and I admit, I’m a little jealous that she got to experience a way of life that I’ll never know. It seems like a TON of hard work, but so amazing

at the same time. A profound, adventurous, edgy, eye-opening, riveting  story that is deeper than I expected it would be, and does a great job of enlightening us on what being a ‘cowgirl’ is really like. Loved it. Five big stars."

(5 stars) Anabella Johnson—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

10. ' “Cowgirl” by Tanya Vanderham honestly surprised me--and I’m not easily impressed. I was expecting another semi-interesting, maybe charming, okay-written book that was like many other memoirs I’ve read. I was pulled in at not only the friendly, engaging writing, but

the way I felt entirely transported into the story with Tanya’s effortless prose. With clear focus and direction, Ms. Vanderham has a knack for bringing these farm stories to life in a way where we experience it as readers, and I was surprised at how frequently I was chuckling out loud as I read along. Some more dramatic moments too, like angry animals or birthing twins… Cool pictures too that really helped bring

the scenes to life. Really great writing style and I for one hope she write more like this someday. I could see this book being in middle

and high school libraries because it teaches about an important agricultural lifestyle and might even get younger kids excited about trying it for themselves, or at the very least become more knowledgeable about it." 

(4-5 stars) Stephan Beacher—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

11. "Do yourself a favor and read this book! You’ll be happy you did. It’s not very often that a great book comes along that will really draw you in and not let you go till the very end. I particularly loved how

even though this is about a lifestyle and situations most people don’t know a lot about, the author Tanya Vanderham does such a wonderful job of making it with the heartwarming stories that are short and easy

to process, yet paint such a vivid picture of life and experiences she was lucky enough to have – and we are lucky enough to have her

share with us so we can learn too. I was seriously glued to my ereader eagerly flipping the pages to see was going to happen next. I loved

the pictures and wish there would have been more of those. And I don’t dish out this high of praise easily. When I write reviews, I try

and point out the things I liked with the things I didn’t…honestly I can’t think of one thing I didn’t like other than the fact that it ended!

It had it all, a brisk pace, engaging characters(the animals), great descriptions, interesting stories, was candid and emotional, and took me away from my real world for a while showing me a different side of life that is entertaining and educational. What more could you want? Appropriate for all ages."

(5 stars) Kaylee Stevens—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

12. '“Cowgirl” by Tanya Vanderham is hands down one of the most compelling and well-crafted books I’ve read in a long time. I was completely drawn in from the beginning and absolutely loved Tanya’s

use of description of the different aspects of life and duties and adventures on dairy farms. So much more than I would have ever anticipated! We feel not only into Tanya’s life, but her amazing life experiences… and it was a wonderful and eye-opening look into a profession that is really an entire way of living – a lifestyle. Being a ‘cowgirl’ isn’t a 9-5 job. It’s rough and dirty and scary and amazing. “Cowgirl” covers so, so much it’s impossible to sum up, but it felt like

I was living the cowgirl life on the dairy farm, and it was interesting

to see how everything came together (loved that last chapter!) I

would have liked to see a little more introspection on her personal experiences (as opposed to just telling us things that had happened) just for a more ‘personal’ feel, but that was my only (VERY MINOR) complaint. I guess I just wanted a little more. A fun, book that will definitely change the way you think about milk!"

(5 stars). Karen Matthews—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

13. "At first I admit I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into in deciding to read this book. Because admittedly I do tend to lean towards the paranormal/fantasy romance elements of literature because I enjoy the make-believe parts. And a book about a cowgirl working on a dairy farm?  Probably not my usual fare. But I was intrigued by the writing sample and the way that I felt an almost immediate connection to not only the animals and the farm stories,

but with the way that  Ms. Vanderham was writing it all…., and I

found myself just wanting to read more… and more… and more… and

I couldn’t believe it when I realized I was totally hooked, and I felt transported to another world so true to life and authentic, yet unlike any I’ve experienced before. Really glad I took a chance on this one… I

am an adult, but I could certainly see younger readers (young teens) really enjoying it as well."

(5 stars).  Brenda Maxwell—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

14. "WARNING…when starting “Cowgirl” make sure you don’t have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you

won’t want to stop reading until you’ve finished it all!! Trust me on this! The book starts off with a humorous beginning and just keeps going from there. The stories and the vignettes of the different animals are so well-told you feel like you know them personally. I think what

I liked the most about this book was just the overall feel the author managed to create where it felt intimate, like a close friend was telling me these really awesome stories and experiences that I didn’t want

to stop listening to. There are some surprising twists and some parts that really catch you off guard – some shocking and some sad… but that just made this true book even more amazing and inspirational. Recommend for almost all ages." 

(5 stars) Darla Ortiz—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

15. "First, I have to say that I don’t normally read books that are biographical/ nonfiction, but I was looking for something a little out

of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing. Well, I am most certainly glad I took the chance on Tanya Vanderham’s “Cowgirl”!

This was a terrific book and very impressive for a debut. There is such strong, vivid writing, and everything just felt “genuine” for lack of a better word. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions of the farm life and the animals (and Uncle Jess, haha) … Overall a very enjoyable book that I’d recommend even to those who don’t normally read this sort of thing…try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised and you will definitely learn things about dairy farming that you didn’t know before!" 

(4 stars) Jhonnie Parker—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

16. "I am pleased to have read this memoir “Cowgirl” by Tanya Vanderham. It is solidly written with some of the most interesting stories and anecdotes I’ve read in a long time, and I liked how

the author would weave in educational information (breeds, temperaments, daily activities and duties, etc) along with interesting stories about the different animals to teach as well as tell a fun (or dramatic) tale.  She is right, I was one of those people who thoughts cows were just kind blah and with nor real personalities or anything but I was so wrong! They can be sweet and loving, or even downright mean and evil. Who knew? I liked learning more about the bulls too and their personalities. I thought they were all mean and had horns. Guess I was wrong there too! A fun real all around and I hope to read more from this author in the future! Recommend for ages 15 and older." 

(4 stars).Steph Coleman—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

17. "Holey moley, this book was terrific! SO much fun and so interesting! I’ve never read anything ‘factual’ about farm/dairy life

and it is much more complex and dangerous than I ever imagined.

I always just thought of them just standing around with machines hooked up to their udders – but they kick and have emotions with newborns and some are very feisty. Once I started reading I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished the whole thing. I enjoyed Tanya Vanderham’s narrative “voice” and style of writing. The stories were intelligently constructed and the ‘true life’ angle made it all the more fascinating! I really enjoyed it! I have to commend the author on the fantastic editing job. I didn’t see any mistakes, so rare in e-books

these days. I’d love to read more from her in the future. Highly recommend to fans of biography/memoirs, or anyone who enjoys a charming, emotionally engaging book about some interesting animals and an amazing woman."

(5 stars) Layla Messing—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

18. " Make no mistake, “Cowgirl” is definitely a compelling, unforgettable read, and one that will appeal to a wide variety of readers due to its far-reaching storylines that are much more

relevant than we might initially think. While most of us don’t live

of a dairy farm, they are still a big part of many people’s lives in

terms of dietary staples, like milk, cheese, yogurt, etc… Probably so many people have no idea the amount of work and the interesting

“cast of characters” (so to speak) involved in this process, and it is very eye-opening to say the least…. The story itself was fairly even-paced, but I thought there were times where the story could have been more fleshed out for more heightened tension. But one thing I particularly liked was how we really felt like we were part of the story the whole time. We feel like we are a part of Tanya’s life and I recommend for fans of memoirs/biographies who’d like to experience part of a remarkable life. "

(4 stars) Cale Owens—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

 

 

19. "Wow, “Cowgirl” By Tanya Vanderham was awesome! I finished

it one single night – it was just so easy to read. I was surprised by

how much I enjoyed this, and it is because the author did such a great job bringing the personalities of the animals on the page and making us feel like we know them too. Yes this is a memoir about her experiences

at a dairy farms, and while she is interesting, the book is more about her experiences and the animals, than specifically her. I was surprised

by how emotional the whole thing was – heartwarming and

eye-opening as well. From milking blind (scared) cows to birthing calves, I was totally into the scenes and feel like I learned something and have a new appreciation for certain events that feel more ‘personal’ to me now. And even though I’m not all that familiar with

the dairy farming I enjoyed learning more about it and loved the animal’s spunky personalities. There are just so many elements to

this book, but it doesn’t get too convoluted, and all came together to create a fresh-feeling book that was out of the ordinary and kept me invested throughout." 

(4 stars) Megan King—Goodreads; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers