For What It's Worth

Monday, December 2, 2013

Review: Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally


They’re from two different worlds.

16045296He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack… 
Read an excerpt here: http://mirandakenneally.com/2013/04/1  
~ Goodreads | Author | Amazon
Source: e-ARC provided by Sourcebooks Fire for my honest review vis Netgalley
Release date: December 3. 2013

Review:I really enjoyed Racing Savannah. It takes on quite a few serious issues like class but it’s done in a thoughtful, almost breezy way.

Savannah is the most refreshing of YA girls. She lost her mom to cancer, has a new step mom and step-baby on the way, works in the stables of a horse farm with her family, living one paycheck away from being destitute, has to work as a maid serving her crush – the wealthy son of the horse farm owner – Jake, yet she takes it all in stride. Sure she’s worried about it all but she isn’t mired down in despair over it. She’s worried about bills and lack of health insurance, dating, college prep fees…just like all of us. 

Savannah goes after what she wants. She’s seen her father struggle with money and wants a better future for herself and goes after it. When she falls for Jake – she goes for it. I just adored her.

The romance wasn’t quite as forbidden and swoony as I hoped. I liked him but Jack was….well not someone I could really swoon over. He has so much pressure put on him at a young age as he tries to prove to his father that he can take over the family horse racing business. He’s not supposed to be dating the help but he can’t seem to stop his attraction to Savannah. One of the things I liked about him is how much he respected her talent and abilities with the horses. But as a boyfriend? Not so much. He doesn’t stand up to his father and I get that – there wouldn’t be a book if he does the right thing immediately - but he treats Savannah in a way when they're alone one time that just crossed a line for me. I couldn’t forgive him as easily as she did. It’s nothing huge or dramatic – but shall we say – dick-ish? Yes, I shall say that. Jack is probably one of the more authentic YA boys I’ve read about though. He’s flawed, screws up, and tries to make it right but he's just not my cup of tea in the boy department.

The secondary characters were fantastic and I loved how the story allowed Savannah to have male friends that weren’t love triangle material. Everyone was just so real.

I read a few reviews that said the horse lingo aspect wasn’t authentic and I don’t know enough myself to judge that. All I know is that this book felt open and free to me. That probably doesn’t make sense but I loved when Savannah was cleaning the stalls, riding the horses, watching a race. I felt exhilarated with her – like I was outside in a big wide open field.

Final thoughts: Although the romance didn’t quite work for me it didn’t matter. I loved Savannah and her refreshingly honest attitude about life. She’s not overly brash but knows what she wants out of life – even as new possibilities open to her. Racing Savannah has wonderful friendships and a beautiful sense of family and honor.

13 comments:

  1. I haven't read this one yet (I meant to this weekend but time got away from me) but I do like Kenneally's writing and story styles. I've heard that the romance wasn't the best but I'm still interested to meet Savannah!

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    1. It's worth it despite the lackluster romance. By the way - that wasn't awful - just not super swoony.

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  2. It's amazing how much loving a characetr can get one past other aspects of the story which may not work quite as well! This series seems to have lots of good to great reviews. Definitely one I'll keep on my radar!

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    1. I was sad because I like the *idea* of their relationship and it has quite a few good moments but he's just not my kind of guy.

      Still a great book though.

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  3. I'm liking the heroines on contemporary romance better than their teen fantasy counterparts. They possess better sensibilities and showcase more growth than these world-saving heroines sometimes. I haven't read this but I think I'll love the heroine.

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    1. Poor fantasy girls have to run around constantly in fear for their lives lol

      Miranda writes really good independent heroines. They've all been great.

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  4. I like the cover :) Kind of wanna read it cos of that

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    1. Ha! If you love horses even better.

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  5. Hm.. not sure if I would enjoy the romance either. Need a swoony male in the book for me. Still, might try another book by this author.

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    1. The romance wasn't awful It did a really good job of exploring class issues and overall Jack was a good guy but he just did a few things that I personally would't be able to get past.

      Miranda's books are a lot of fun!

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  6. I have this for review, but I'm just not in the mood for YA. Or maybe that's exactly what I need. lol
    I've really loved the two Kenneally books I've read. And you're right, she does write good heroines. I'm very curious about what Jack did...
    Thanks for the review!

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  7. Jack wasn't really for me either. But I loved Rory!!! He needs a book :)

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  8. I just finished the book and can see the class issues. Jack was okay and it was great to see the other couples. I did think that she was judgmental :( loved Rory & Vanessa . I love reading this series , but this one was okay as far as it goes. Jack too long to figure out things ...there were times I wanted to smack them both. I wanted her to make more friends with the other girls :(

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