Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on December 3rd, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, young adult
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Breakout star Miranda Kenneally returns with a delicious novel of forbidden romance 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. She knows the rules—no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries. And with her dream of becoming a professional horse trainer herself, Savannah isn't exactly one to follow the rules either...
Racing Savannah is a cute and cuddly contemporary that touches on some serious issues like poverty, class differences, pregnancy, and animal abuse. Miranda Kenneally’s stories have an easy to relate to quality that I love and have a hard time finding elsewhere, but somehow I expected more from this one. I’m not even sure I am going to be able to explain why, exactly, this book didn’t blow me away like it did so many of my friends, but you should know that I read it all in one sitting so there IS a lot of good here. But.
It’s something about the writing. I don’t know what it is, but it doesn’t flow right. Most of the sentences are choppy, simple, and there is a lack of imagery in the writing which is something that I prefer. It’s hard to explain because I don’t believe I had this issue with Catching Jordan, but with this one I feel like there was too much summarizing and telling but not enough storytelling. Clearly I am one of the few that feel this way, and the writing is not nearly bad enough for me to not read this author again, but it was enough for me to get a bit frustrated from time to time. It’s also a bit predictable and some of the dialogue is super cheesy.
What we have here is a story about a girl that grows up with a dad who is a horse groom and he doesn’t make very much. Her mom died from cancer at a very young age and the family is still struggling to pay her medical bills and make ends meet. Her dad takes a better job at a horse farm in Tennessee and brings Savannah and his pregnant girlfriend (soon to be wife) along. Savannah gets a job as an exercise rider, but is soon found out to be the only person who can relate to a very difficult horse. (Note: This is the part of the story I enjoyed most, because the romance was overly sappy for me some of the time.) She also meets Jack, the owner’s son, and obviously he is very rich and comes from a privileged background.
It’s a decent story and the characterizations are pretty well done. There are also some cute cameos from past characters which I found SUPER cheesy but I also kind of loved. This is definitely fluff fiction at its heart, which is not a bad thing, and it made me smile, but there’s also not a lot of depth. If you are looking for a book to make you feel good and let you escape from the mundanity of life for a few hours, this is definitely the book for you. But if you are looking for fiction excellence, this is not the book I would personally recommend.
So to recap: mediocre writing, decent storytelling and characterization, predictable, but also big on heart. It’s your call whether or not it’s the perfect book for you. For me, I look for a little bit more.