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 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...
Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4)FeaturedHot
What I loved: Even though this is the fourth book of this series, Kenneally hasn't lost any momentum. I love how characters from previous books are carefully woven into this story line. Just enough for readers of the previous books to know they are there but not too much that a reader new to the series would feel lost. Savannah is one of my favorite female leads. Maybe because she loves horses and I grew up riding. Even though it's been a while, I get how she feels when she is around horses. I think Kenneally hits it dead on. She wants the best for her family and will do anything to help them BUT she doesn't stand back and let her dreams be pushed to the side.
I loved Jack too. There is something about him that just makes him so real. Even though he is running this amazing racing business he still seems like a real teenager to me. He *might* be my favorite Hundred Oaks guy and THAT is saying a lot. The relationship that develops between Jack and Savannah is nothing short of a big giant swoon.
What Left Me Wanting More: The book...it ended...and I could have read on and on and on....
Final Verdict: I have recommended this series to several people and everyone that has read it has loved it. You can start with this one or go back to the beginning with Catching Jordan. Anywhere you start, you won't be disappointed.
Easily the best part of the book as a whole, was Savannah. She’s basically living in a “man’s world” and I loved that she didn’t let it deter her from her dreams of handling horses and possibly being a jockey, too. Her family has a lot of money troubles, and she hasn’t always had the best of luck, but she never gave up and I liked that she wanted things for herself and her family that others would’ve said weren’t possible. Even when things got complicated with Jack, she held her own and I respected her as a female character. I loved that even though there were moments where she slipped and gave into their attraction, she didn’t settle for anything less than what she deserved. Props to you, Miranda, for creating a strong, independent young lady.
Racing Savannah was a great YA contemporary read and it definitely made me want to check out the other books in this series. I have them, but haven’t gotten around to reading them just yet. After getting just a glimpse of the other characters in this series, I’m curious to learn more about them because I already liked them from what little I saw. As far as YA contemps go, this one was pretty good and I’m sure if you’re already a fan of Kenneally’s, then you’ll enjoy this one as well. The characters were definitely memorable and I loved reading about those horses!
The characters are fantastic! Savannah is sassy, hard working, brave and fights for what she wants. What an honest, amazing character to read. I wish I would've had her attitude in high school. I also loved how passionate she was about horses and what she wants out of life. Rory is so brutally honest, and I love that about his character. I found him to be hilarious and would seriously want him as my best friend. Jack. Oh Jack. While at first I wasn't sure if he was a decent guy or not, I was swooning over the relationship between Savannah and Jack. I did get pretty ticked at him about 3/4 of the way through the book, but I think it was handled appropriately. Honestly, I'm extremely terrified of horses, but I would totally start loving them to meet Jack.
This book is honest, real, touching and swoonworthy. I'm so excited to be in on the Miranda Kenneally fan wagon now and read more of her books!
Racing Savannah is Miranda Kenneally’s fourth novel and, thus far, she’s not written a single book that I do not like and/or love. That, my friends, is an accomplishment. In some ways, all of the Hundred Oaks books are really consistent and similar to one another, but they’re not the same book over and over, which I love. Some are darker, particularly Things I Can’t Forget, and others are fluffy goodness. Racing Savannah‘s definitely on the fluffy end of the spectrum, though perhaps not quite as much as Catching Jordan. Personally, Racing Savannah is my favorite Kenneally novel yet, because Savannah’s my favorite heroine and there are horses.
Up to now, I’ve been swooning over Kenneally’s male leads, but the heroines, while I generally liked them or really appreciated their powerful characterization, haven’t been ones I’ve strongly bonded with. That changes with Savannah. This girl is awesome, and not only because she gets to ride horses all the time which my childhood self is super jealous of and honestly I’m still a bit envious. When I was like five, my dream was to be a jockey even, so it is no surprise that I admire Savannah. However, I was too tall by the time I was in fourth grade or something like that, so not so much. Savannah, on the other hand, is five feet even, so she can live one of my dreams.
Right, I got distracted, but I was talking about how awesome Savannah is. Basically, she’s really honest and direct and funny. Unlike so many YA heroines, if she doesn’t think she’s being treated right, she takes action. If she wants a job, she puts the work in and she gets it. If she feels like a guy’s not respecting her, she ends things. Oh, also, she’s very comfortable with her sexuality. Before her romance in Racing Savannah, she had a sort of friends with benefits sort of situation about which she feels no guilt. Love it! Miranda Kenneally’s novels are so sex positive that I want to hug them. Oh wait, I just made a pile of them all and did.
Speaking of sex, Miranda Kenneally is a serious master of bringing the swoon. I’m pretty sure she has given me stomach butterflies in every single book, but maybe especially in these last two. There are few better kissing scenes in this world. If you enjoy Katie McGarry books for the romance but wish they weren’t so melodramatic, these ARE the droids books you’ve been looking for. Kenneally always sells the romances, but they’re always a fairly slow burn and run in a really realistic way for a teen relationship. Plus, you are guaranteed many kissy scenes.
Back to characterization, Miranda Kenneally is one of the best YA authors at characterization full stop. I praised the awesomeness of the heroine, but she’s one among many. Though Jack’s one of my least favorite Kenneally boys, he’s still got a really great character arc as he becomes more of a boss to his employees (because he’s managing the family business over the summer) and to himself. Star, the horse that Savannah’s working with, feels so real too, and has more personality than a lot of main characters I’ve read. Then there are the rather scene-stealing Rory and Vanessa, Savannah’s best friends. They are freaking adorable as well, and I pretty much just want to hang out with these people.
One of the criticisms I’ve seen of Kenneally’s novels in the past is that they can go a bit too far with the heroines only being friends with boys. Savannah breaks with that tradition, though she starts off that way. She bonds with Rory first and they very quickly establish that they’re only interested in being friends (take that, When Harry Met Sally!). However, Savannah ends up being really close friends with Vanessa and getting all sorts of wonderful girl talk with her. Towards the end, there are even signs that Savannah and Kelsey might bond, which rules because Kelsey was portrayed as a mean girl rival for much of the book. The character arcs, people, are brilliant. Even the parents are developed, which does not happen often in YA.
What Left Me Wanting More:
Much as I want to give Racing Savannah all of the stars, I do think the ending gets a little bit too perfect. Savannah’s family has serious financial issues and, though they’re not resolved, it feels like all throughout the book opportunities feel in Savannah’s lap way too easily. I mean, yes, she’s talented and works hard, but life generally is not that easy.
The Final Verdict:
I loved every single moment of Racing Savannah, carried away by the adorable feels and the hilarious and realistic cast. This is my favorite Kenneally novel to date and I think anyone who was obsessed with horses as a child will definitely feel the same way.
Twelve Things I Loved About RACING SAVANNAH
1. It's hard to go wrong with a story about horses. The relationship Savannah has with Star was so sweet and her back story broke my heart.
2. If GQ Cowboy were a thing I would be a lifetime subscriber. ;)
3. Miranda Kenneally doesn't do "insta-love", but she does write "insta-attraction" and pretty freaking well, I might add. I enjoyed watching Savannah try to fight off her attraction to Jack. (I would've lasted about as long as it took him to say, "Hello.")
4. Savannah is a pint-sized badars full of sass, but she isn't a hardars. I loved that she wasn't afraid to go after what she wanted despite the risks. I wanted to high five her when she stood up to Jack and I wanted to hug him when he finally stood up to her. (Also, I just kind of wanted to hug Jack, period.)
5. The fathers in this story are present and involved and even though the relationships aren't necessarily easy, they are positive.
6. The social class issue/differences felt believable.
7. I am a die hard Matt Brown fan ("Things I Can't Forget") but, SWEET BUTTERMILK BISCUITS Jack Goodwin is a close second! He is a fantastic blend of swoon, swag and southern gentleman.
8. There is a scene in the middle of the book that ties in some of the characters from previous Hundred Oaks books and I got all choked up over seeing them again. I also wanted to go back and reread all of "their" stories again.
9. I think everyone needs a Rory in their life!
10. I'll admit, I thought I knew how this would end, but I was wrong and happily so.
11. Lollipop addictions.
12. Star Wars sheets. That is all!
What Left Me Wanting More: Not a darn thing.
Final Verdict: Horses, hot guys and a girl with sass, RACING SAVANNAH is a winning combination and I couldn't put it down!