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Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally On Tour (Review + Giveaway)

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Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 304
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: horses, responsibilities, family obligations, class differences
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley.
Last book we received by M. Kenneally: Things I Can’t Forget

Summary: New town, new school, new friends: Savannah moves with her dad and his pregnant girlfriend to Goodwin farms in Tennessee for a new job as a head groomer. Savannah has always been good with horses and immediately tries out to be an exercise rider. Soon she is working side by side with the Goodwin’s son, Jack, who is also in her grade but learning to take over his father’s business. Despite their differences, more is growing between them than just friendship. Meanwhile both are working to secure their futures and also make the most out of their senior year.

Reading a Miranda Kenneally book is equivalent to sitting down to coffee with an old friend. It’s comforting and it’s familiar in a way that never feels old but can also be totally refreshing and brand new.

This is my way of telling you that Racing Savannah is my new favorite in the Hundred Oaks collection.

Both Savannah and Jack seem a lot older than their seventeen years and I loved that. Savannah is focused on creating a lifestyle for herself where she is comfortable and not always worrying about money. After watching her father struggle through her childhood and now with a sibling on the way, Savannah wants more for herself than that. Except college is not even on her radar. I haven’t come into contact with a character who felt this way… maybe ever and it made me really admire Savannah because she was so driven but in a completely different way than most of her peers.

And then there’s Jack. He may live in a big house and be on track to take over his father’s farm but the way Kenneally made him seamlessly transition between this boss-like figure and a regular (super cute, funny, flirty, adorable) teenage guy? I loved that so much. I kept forgetting that Jack was in high school, and I was so impressed with his work ethic and his belief in his own work but also the struggle to get his dad to take him seriously and trust his business decisions. That’s a lot of grown up worries for the normal high school senior.

When Savannah and Jack start working together on one horse, their chemistry is immediate from the beginning. They are both fighters and their families are important to them. But with the Goodwin golden rule about employees and family mixing… they settle on a friendship or try to. Savannah showed a lot of strength and self-control during some of her moments with Jack and I just felt myself inwardly applauding her because when a guy is good looking, wears a cowboy hat, and is funny… that has got to be tough. But she was so self-aware and knew what she deserved, and it made me root for her more and more.

The thing about knowing yourself and knowing your place… in both of Jack and Savannah’s cases, this could only take them so far. Both of them needed to learn that other instances in life can affect their choices, that sometimes life is about being flexible and being open to new experiences, and maybe standing up for yourself in a way you never imagined.

Racing Savannah is just about the full package when it comes to the YA contemporary that I like to read the most. Supporting family characters were flawed by genuine (I loved Savannah’s dad even if he didn’t always get it), Savannah’s budding friendships with Rory and Vanessa, the suspense built with horse racing details, the old pal that made our main character fall in love with horses initially, and (I’m giddy about this) the appearances of so many beloved Hundred Oaks characters.

So basically: I read it, I loved it, and I want to read it again. But what else is new?

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As part of the Xpresso Book Tour for Racing Savannah, you have the opportunity to win a pair of Ralph Lauren riding boots (or another pair at equal or lesser value):

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Follow along for the rest of the tour:

November 25th
Once Upon a Prologue >> Review
A Life Bound By Books >> Review + Interview

November 26th
Alluring Reads >> Review + Top 10 List
Rather Be Reading Blog >> Review
Book Twirps >> Review

November 27th
A Reader of Fictions >> Review
Literary Meanderings >> Interview

November 28th
Mostly YA Book Obsessed >> Review
The Flyleaf Review >> Review
A Little Shelf of Heaven >> Review + Top 10 List

November 29th
The Readers Den >> Review
Reading in Winter >> Review
Burning Impossibly Bright >> Review

December 2nd
Some Like It Paranormal >> Review + Excerpt
Book Nerd Canada >> Review

December 3rd
A Bookish Escape >> Review
Singing and Reading in the Rain >> Review
Queen of Contemporary >> Review

December 4th
Readers in Wonderland >> Review
staybookish >> Review
The Book Cellar >> Review + Excerpt

December 5th
YA Midnight Reads >> Review
Leisure Reads >> Guest Post
That Artsy Reader Girl >> Review

December 6th
Confessions of a Vi3tbabe >> Review
Writing my own fairy tale >> Review

December 9th
Little Book Star >> Review + Excerpt (teasers)
Chocolate Coated Reviews >> Review

December 10th
The Book Belles >> Review
JeanBookNerd >> Review

December 11th
Nick’s Book Blog >> Review
Books a la Mode >> Review

December 12th
Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, and Romance >> Dream Cast
A Backwards Story >> Review
YaReads >> Review + Playlist

December 13th
A Book and a Latte >> Interview
Books4Tomorrow >> Review

December 8, 2013 - 7:28 pm

Mandie Baxter - Adored this book. Can’t wait for the next two.

December 2, 2013 - 10:28 pm

Anna - I <3 horse racing, so this might be my favorite of this series so far!

December 2, 2013 - 12:02 am

Blog Tour: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally Review and Giveaway - BO-OK NERD CANADA – Young Adult, Children and Adult Book Reviews - […] 26th -Alluring Reads >> Review + Top 10 List -Rather Be Reading Blog >> Review -Book Twirps >> […]

November 28, 2013 - 1:16 am

Bookworm1858 - I always love the sound of Kenneally’s books but I had really strong negative reactions to the first two so I’m unlikely to try this one-I don’t want to read something that might make me angry but I’m glad you loved it!

November 28, 2013 - 1:05 am

elena - one day, i shall finally give these books a shot! i like what you said about how this is more grown up because they really do sound more mature than typical teens. i used to LOVE reading about horses when i was younger (like saddle club) so yay for horses in the story. thanks for your review!

November 26, 2013 - 8:00 pm

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - Estelle, this review makes me want to pick up this entire series this very second! I’m seriously loving the sound of these characters- I think I would be able to relate to them so well. I love how they’re actually mature, and how Savannah is dedicated, but in a different way. I think that would make me immediately like her. I think I would also like Jack a lot- because it can be such a struggle to get taken seriously as a high schooler (I’ve experienced this many times while book blogging, actually). People tend to make these generalizations, and thus, treat you the same, even though you’re different from other kids your age. I can relate on so many levels.

I also love how you pointed out your love for some of the secondary characters- this makes me very excited for the fact that we get a ton of secondary character development! I’ve always loved seeing that in books.

Lovely review, Estelle! <3

November 26, 2013 - 5:53 pm

Alexa Y. - I am SO excited about Racing Savannah, particularly after hearing you rave about it on Twitter. I just caught up on the Hundred Oaks series this year, but I love it dearly and cannot wait to meet Savannah!

November 26, 2013 - 2:36 pm

Hannah - This made me so happy to read. I love Miranda Kenneally so much, and while Catching Jordan will always hold a special place in my heart, Racing Savannah comes in at a close second =) I love that you say reading Miranda Kenneally is like sitting down to coffee with an old friend. It’s so true.

November 26, 2013 - 1:41 pm

Tammy - I’ve only read the first book Catching Jordan and I loved it. I need to catch up with the rest of the series.

November 26, 2013 - 9:54 am

Giselle - So happy you loved it! Savannah was such an easy to like character and I was kind of fascinated by the horse topics as well as the whole live-in maids (pretty rare around here). Great review, Estelle! 🙂

November 26, 2013 - 9:25 am

Amy @ bookgoonie - Me & The Kid can’t wait to read the newest addition to the series.

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