Title: Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release date: December 3rd 2013
Genre: Young Adult contemporary romance
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My rating: 4 out of 5 starsThey’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…
I've been having kind of a hard time with YA romances lately - the last few that I've read all seemed too cheesy for me, and I couldn't really enjoy the romance storylines. I had begun to doubt whether YA contemporary romance was still the right genre for me, thinking I might have outgrown the idealistic romantic notions sometimes represented in the genre. That's why I'm so glad I picked up another Miranda Kenneally book - I can count on her to show me what I love about YA contemporary romances! Racing Savannah reminded me that, when it's done well, I do absolutely love romance. That's why Miranda Kenneally is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!
Even though all the Hundred Oaks books are set in the same place, it feels like Miranda Kenneally has created another world in Racing Savannah, and I love this world of horse racing that we get to catch a glimpse into with this novel! I know nothing about horses or farms or racing, but after finishing this novel, I feel like I got to live in Savannah's world for a little while. I loved getting to know a world so different from mine - these racehorses are fascinating to read about! I also appreciated how this setting provided a basis to present issues of class difference, a topic that Miranda Kenneally handles with admirable grace.
As in all of her previous novels, Miranda Kenneally has created some dynamic and lovable characters in Racing Savannah. Savannah is easy to relate to, and you can't help but feel for her. I didn't love Jack quite as much as the previous Hundred Oaks boys because his character lacks some of the heart I loved about the other boys, but he's a solid addition to the Hundred Oaks group nonetheless. As always, the secondary characters are fun to read about as well, and especially Rory always brought a smile to my face.
Companion novels are probably my favorite format because I love seeing characters I enjoyed reading about in previous books reappear, and that was definitely the case in Racing Savannah. The fourth book in the Hundred Oaks series is set a bit later than the first three, so we get to see the main characters from the previous books all grown up, which I really loved. Some of Savannah's interactions with these previous Hundred Oaks characters seemed a bit contrived, but I didn't mind because I loved getting these little tidbits of information as to how all these characters I've grown to love ended up.
Racing Savannah is a solid addition to the Hundred Oaks series I love. You can count on Miranda Kenneally's books to have great humor, cute romance, character's you'll love and relate to, and life lessons that are thought-provoking but never preachy. I can't wait to read to read the next installment in the Hundred Oaks series, Breathe, Annie, Breathe!