Mini Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Title: Racing Savannah
Author: Miranda Kenneally (Twitter)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publish Date: December 3, 2013
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 304
Source: Publisher

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…
It's no secret that Miranda Kenneally's stories are a bit more like guilty pleasure reads for me, if only because I know I can expect fun, sweet, light-hearted romance. The beautiful thing about Racing Savannah though, is that while, yes, it is all of the above, it is also so much more. It's funny. It's sarcastic. It's relevant. And, just when I'm certain we're going to get a story that offers more sweet than substance, the novel surprises me and offers true character growth and development. It's something I've come to expect from Ms. Kenneally's books. While on the one hand, we get plenty of sweetness and flirty romance, on the other hand, we also get a surprising amount of depth. Racing Savannah is no exception, and as we truly get to know Savannah and Jack, it's a pleasure to catch glimpses of our former favourite characters who have since grown up and moved on with their lives.

Savannah was, perhaps, the most lovable heroine I've read about in a good while. She's one of the lone women in a man's world of horse jockeying, yet she takes the sidelong glances, the whispers and the snark in stride. She had this infectious personality that brims over and reels us into her story in a way that makes it impossible not to fall in love with her and her big dreams. Jack surprised me, as well. From the premise, I worried that we would fall into the trap in which we're stuck with a "poor little rich boy," but he surprised me with his depth and the amount of complexity within him. He was the perfect counterbalance for Savannah, and watching their two characters meet, mingle and begin to grow in a similar direction was truly fun and, at times, so sweet it hurt.

I think that the true strength of Racing Savannah though, is the painstaking amount of care that the author put into crafting such a story. A lesser author might have rested on the laurels of the age-old "star-crossed lovers from different sides of the track," but Ms. Kenneally gives us far more than that. We're given Savannah, who has far less than Jack, but lives a comfortable, empowered and happy day-to-day life. Then we Jack, who has been given everything - wealth, privilege, responsibility - but he has an earnest inner yearning for more that was actually quite tangible. He'd been given everything he'd ever wanted in life, and this is the first time that he actually had to stand up and fight for something he really wanted, all the while still balancing his responsibilities and desire to please his father.

Overall, Racing Savannah pleasantly surprised me. While yes, at times, the novel is a bit more saccharine than I might hope for, there is also a beautiful, powerful amount of depth to this love story. I can't help it - I'm just in love with these books. I give it a 4.5 out of 5, and I highly recommend it to all fans of YA, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction and sweet romance.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this book, Melissa. I quite liked it myself, but I have to admit that it wasn't my favorite book from Miranda Kenneally. While I connected and loved the main character, I just couldn't warm up to Jack as easily. His hot and cold behavior left me a bit frustrated. Apart from that though, I did really enjoy the friendship and the horse-racing aspects.
    Lovely review, Melissa! :)

  2. Ever since Saving Parker (I think that was what it was called) didn't work for me, I haven't read anything by this author. However, you've made me want to pick this one up, so it looks like I'll have to squeeze it into my schedule. Great review, Melissa!

  3. Awww it sounds really sweet and nice

  4. Kenneally crafts great strong, confident girls. I don't always love her stories, I definitely appreciate how much research she does to get the sports right.

  5. I totally agree with you about Savannah. She was a refreshing change from most YA girls. Loved her!

  6. I love this review and completely agree! I haven't read any other Keneally books (well, except a bit of Catching Jordan), but I really enjoyed the story for this one! The sarcasm, the romance, the horses, the writing...I agree! Great review :)

  7. I'm very much looking forward to reading this, particularly after falling in love with Stealing Parker and Things I Can't Forget. It interests me that Miranda has now pulled us into a world with a few new characters, an entirely new sport and still lets us glimpse our old favorites too. Can't wait to read it!


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I always do my very best to return the favour :)

Please note that this blog is an award-free zone!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover