Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hold on Tight: Racing Savannah

Racing Savannah by Miranda Keannely
Sourcebooks Fire, Expected Release Date: December, 2013

*e-ARC Provided by publisher via NetGalley - Thank You!*

Miranda Keannely returns to the world of Hundred Oaks in her latest novel Racing Savannah, the story of a girl whose big dreams and grounded sense of responsibility are pitted against each other, and the added complication of a boy and his own confusing baggage doesn't exactly help.

Savannah's just moved to Hundred Oaks with her dad and his pregnant girlfriend and needs to navigate her school life, family life, and her future. She's always been good with horses and hopes to continue at the horse farm where they live, but Jack Goodwin, the owner's son, makes things messy. Never mind the fact that he's got a reputation as a bit of a playboy. Savannah has been told that staff is absolutely not to mix with the family. But she does go to to school with him. And she doesn't want to like him, but feelings are there. Is Savannah selfish for disregarding many of the rules when it comes to Jack and her emerging dreams of being a jockey and possibly going to college?

This is the second Keannely novel I've read, and I must say, it did sit better with me than the first. Stealing Parker was an unfortunate trigger for me, but this novel had no such effects. Instead we had a girl, a small town, horses, big dreams, and big choices on the line. I was charmed by the setting and grateful for a more open-minded cast this time.

It was a short and sweet quick break from some of the heavier titles in my reading pile lately, and I'm fine with having read it just once. While the Hundred Oaks books aren't strictly a series, readers highly benefit from reading all of them, and in publication order. There were a few scenes where I could tell characters were there as Easter Eggs, nods to the other books, and had I read them I would have been able to keep track of who they were, but instead my thoughts got a bit tangled. Also, sometimes the pacing was a bit off to me, especially when it came to Savannah and Jack's relationship - it felt rushed at times.

All in all, if you're looking cute contemporary in the world of horse racing, Racing Savannah is worth a trip to your local library. I still have every intention of reading Keannely's debut Catching Jordan and will be keeping this author in mind when browsing the shelves.

Miranda Kenneally's Website
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