Jan 12, 2014

Book Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: December 3rd, 2013
Pages: 302
Genre: Young Adult-Contemporary
Source: I received an e-galley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.




Publisher's Description: 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…






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. 

3/5 Dragons



9 comments:

  1. I really need to read this one soon. I'm sorry that it didn't totally work for you, but I'm glad that you still enjoyed it. Lately I think I have gotten much more picky about how books are written. I feel like I am just reading words on a page rather than getting pulled into the book and feeling like I am experiencing it. It sounds like this one is kind of like that. Thanks for the fabulous review as always Kara!!

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    1. Yeah, I hear you. I am VERY picky about writing these days.

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  2. Aww, I'm sad you didn't like it more! I think the fact that it has a lot of heart is what gets me ALL the time. I just love a good story!

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  3. I love that this is about horses, but I don't usually read contemporary, so I'll probably just enjoy the book through your review Kara, LOL! See, I feel as if I read it myself:)

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    1. There's not a ton of depth, so you kinda just did. It's enjoyable but didn't shock me or really make me feel.

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  4. To think of it, I must agree Kara. Something about the writing didn't really make me want to continue on. I wasn't a fan of the romance though, I couldn't see any attraction at all. I think I need to read Catching Jordan now! Everyone seemed to love that one.

    Lovely review, Kara! <33

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    1. I wasn't really a fan of the romance either. The only thing I enjoyed was the horse storyline. I thought Catching Jordan was by far the better written book.

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  5. I wasn't a huge fan of the first book so I never continued with the series--I think it's so similar in premise to DAIRY QUEEN (which I thought was much funnier and cuter and more original) that I couldn't get on board with it. I'm sorry you were disappointed, though! It sucks when you've invested a lot of time into a series.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. I still need to read those, and I really want to too!

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