by Miranda Kenneally
To be published on December 3, 2013
by Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Around the World ARC Tours and NetGalley.
Connect with the author: website | Twitter | Facebook.
Summary of book from author's website: 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…My take: I'm a huge fan of Miranda Kenneally. I love that her books are so funny and touching and thought-provoking. I love the way that my favorite characters from her books make appearances in subsequent books -- that way, I never have to say goodbye! And I love that she isn't afraid to take on big issues. In Catching Jordan, she looked at women in sports. Stealing Parker and Things I Can't Forget both involved questions of faith and morality.
Racing Savannah tackles the issue of class and socioeconomic status-- something that isn't always portrayed in YA books in a thoughtful and interesting way. Savannah is the daughter of a horse trainer and the step-daughter of a maid. No one in Savannah's family has gone to college. She's more comfortable around horses than books.
When Savannah and her family move to Tennessee, she meets Jack, the son of the rich family that hired her father to help with their horses. Jack is pretty oblivious about his relative privilege. He's had everything he ever wanted, and it doesn't even occur to him that other people might not have had all the same advantages. When Savannah lands a job exercising horses, she's working for Jack. This becomes a problem, because they're drawn to each other. Does this rich boy/poor girl couple have a chance to make it?
There were a lot of things I adored about this story. I loved Savannah. She was funny and down to earth, but also determined and confident and full of plans and dreams. I loved the horses. I'm a huge animal lover, and I could almost smell the hay (and manure!) and feel the wind in my hair as Savannah rode. Rory, a secondary character and aspiring screenwriter, was hilarious. And I loved the way that the book really showed the obstacles that many working class kids face when thinking about going to college.
I was a little uncertain about Jack. While I was pleased that he wasn't unrealistically perfect, I wasn't always crazy about him and I wasn't always feeling that he was the right person for Savannah. And I felt that this book didn't have the same wrenching emotional journey that the main characters in the Hundred Oaks books usually undertake.
But overall, I really enjoyed Racing Savannah. Fans of prior books will be SO excited at the special cameo appearances by their favorite characters, who just might include Jordan, Sam, Matt, Kate, Parker, Will… Some former characters have younger siblings that we get to know in Racing Savannah, which was also exciting.
I'm giving an ARC of Racing Savannah away for Freebie Friday! Open internationally, but if winner is international I will order them a paperback from The Book Depository when it releases internationally on December 16.
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