Thursday, December 19, 2013

Racing Savannah: A definite surprise (in a good way!)

Racing SavannahTitle: Racing Savannah
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Genre: Contemporary, YA, Romance, Sports
Series: Hundred Oaks #4 (Can be read as stand-alone as I did)
Rating: Owl

They’re from two different worlds.

He 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…
(Summary from Goodreads)

To tell you the truth I disliked Kenneally's first in this series, Catching Jordan and I realize I'm one of the odd ones out about this. Most people loved it. So to say I had fears about this book is a bit of an understatement, yet I still picked up because it sounded fantastic.

And fantastic it was. 

Kenneally has crafted a beautiful story about a girl struggling to find her place in the world. She doesn't really have any goals for herself (except to get a job that pays ABOVE minimum wage.) 
Savannah is a character that I can relate to so well. She's not quite sure about how the rest of her life will play out and she doesn't really fit into the world she's in with the gap between the rich and the poor. 

This difference between the rich and the poor was one of the main things I wanted to talk about. People say that that gap is exaggerated that people don't really care about whether your rich or poor. People say that it doesn't matter, but I beg to differ. I think that most of the time people can grow to overlook that gap, but there are times that there are difference in wealth and they effect people's perceptions.  

On a personal note I read this book right at a time when I've been dealing with some.... Let's say way more upper class people from upper class schools who just think they're better than everyone else because... Well... They're upper class. So reading this book I was far more sympathetic to Savannah's dilemma than others might be. (Literally though, I dealt with nasty people all day who wanted to have insanely high prices for this really stupid event that my family has to go to.... No... Just NO!) 

Also... HORSES! I loved the hot wracking aspect of this book! I'm not in any way and avid horse race watcher, but I always like to watch the Triple Crown and I love Secretariat! (Have you seen that movie? It's AMAZING!) Personally I loved reading about Savannah and her story. 
On that note: LOVE THAT COVER! I actually got a physical copy of the book and the cover is gorgeous. It's so simple and yet it fits the book precisely! The colors are phenomenal and it's so eye catching!  

On to the romance. I personally loved it! Jack was super sweet and I loved how he and Savannah were friends first. I also loved how he really pushed her to take control of her life and was always there to support her no matter what was happening between them. He had faith that she could make something of herself and that she could become a jockey. This book definitely had some of the best aspects of YA romance right now. 

The characters in this book were amazing. Vanessa and Rory were both great and added so much extra humor to the books! I absolutely loved Star and his influence on Savannah. (FYI Star is the horse) 
Kenneally managed to paint Savannah's character evolution in the best possible way. She started off extremely close minded but slowly began to accept different ideas. This was one of my favorite parts to see!

One more negative comment about the book was how I found Savannah's dad and his girlfriend so annoying. They just didn't seem to understand her and it made me really mad. Maybe this is just me but more and more recently I've been having major problems with parents in books and this book was just the most recent I've read so I wanted to vent. I don't think this really took away from the book but it sure was annoying! 

In all I am so happy that I gave this book a chance. After my bad experience with Catching Jordan I felt so unsure about whether these books were really for me. I'm so glad this book was able to make me fall in love with Kenneally's writing style and characters and I think I'll be giving more of her books the chance. (In Catching Jordan I think it was the love triangle thing that really annoyed the heck out of me.) Anyhow I would definitely recommend you reading this book!

WOULD I BUY THIS BOOK: OF COURSE! (Especially the paperback! Love the colors!)
WILL I READ MORE BY THIS AUTHOR: I'll leave it at maybe. It depends on what other topics her books are on! (I believe the next in this series is about a marathon runner! I am so THERE!)


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