Rummanah Aasi
  I always look forward to a new release from Miranda Kenneally because her stories are sweet, inspiring, and ring true for teens. Kenneally proves that girls can be strong, complex, and ambitious characters that do not need a love interest to make them complete. Racing Savannah is no exception. If you haven't had a chance yet, be sure to check out Miranda's guest post about Racing Savannah. Many thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to be on this blog tour. 

Description: 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.

Review: Miranda Kenneally has another winner with Racing Savannah. Unlike the other books in the Hundred Oaks series, Racing Savannah has a mature feeling to it that separates it from other high school centered stories which is not to say that it lacks the honest, charming love stories we've come to expect from Kenneally. The focus of Racing Savannah is that of the unknown future-the struggle to deserve it, envision it, and grasp it.
  I instantly liked Savannah and found her very easy to relate to. She is very pragmatic and down to earth. Her passion for horses is genuine and infectious. She also longs for a future where she can gain more experiences and learn more things though she knows deep inside that she may not afford it financially. Savannah's yearning for 'something more' is what will appeal to readers even if they are not interested in racing horses.
  Like all of Kenneally's books thus far, the sport does not define and limit her characters. I learned a lot about horse racing in this book without feeling as it was dumb down for me, but what I really enjoyed is watching how the sport helped Savannah evolve as a stronger person. Savannah has always seen her poverty as a handicap (unfortunately, it's true), but with the help of those around her she begins to understand that she too can have a future and has a right to one. Though it may not be easy, she sets goals for herself and focuses her attention on saving money for college and training Tennessee Star, a willful thoroughbred who will be sold unless he starts winning races. When she stumbles and falls (sometimes literally) she always wants to get back in the game to prove to herself that she can do it. I admired Savannah's tenacity and her "I don't care what you think" attitude which is what makes her alluring to the secondary characters and Jack, her young handsome and flirtatious boss.
  Like Savannah, Jack also has to overcome his own obstacles. I honestly didn't know what to think of Jack. He seemed to be two people at once: a person who followed and mimicked his father in front of his family and business partners and a sweet charming boy who oozed confidence, charisma and passion. I wasn't convinced if he really liked Savannah or it was the thrill of being rebellious at first, but Jack grew on me as I went further along in the book. I began to see the real Jack, a boy torn between wanting to be his own person but not disappointing his father. He too realizes that he needs to come out of his father's shadows and stand up for what felt was right.
  The romance between Savannah and Jack is cute but not a smooth ride to happily ever after. Their differences in status and social structures are addressed well in the story and only add to the romantic tension between them. While Jack wanted a relationship of the dirty secret kind, Savannah wanted and knew she desired more. I was thrilled to see how Savannah stood her ground, demanded respect, honesty and love from Jack. It is through their separation that I began to see how strongly Jack felt toward Savannah and how she inspired him to do his own self-realization.
  While I liked seeing Savannah and Jack happy, I thought their resolution was bit rushed. I would have liked them to talk about things more and have Jack come to his self-realization before the game. Overall, Racing Savannah is a thoroughly enjoyable read that makes you sad to leave its characters after you finish the last page, but also happily anxious to read the next story.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, sexual content, and underage drinking. Recommended for Grades

If you like this book try: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West, The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
2 Responses
  1. Hm, I can see why you were conflicted about Jack at the beginning. I wouldn't know what to think either. This has been getting a lot of mixed reviews, but I figure if I make it this far into the series, I'll probably end up liking it.
    I own the first two books and i will try to read them as soon as I can.
    Great review!

  2. Jenny Says:

    YAY! I love that Savannah stands her ground and refuses to be a secret for Jack. Good for her! I'm a fan already:) I love Miranda's books, her characters are always so fleshed out and complex, and i just can't wait to get my hands on this one! Lovely review Rummanah!

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