Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Racing Savannah by Miranda Keneally
Sourcebooks, Available Now
Reviewed by: Honorary Sis Sarah P.
The Sisters Say: Perfect for horse lovers

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…

This is a quick, romantic read stocked with a lot of fun equestrian details. The book is at its best when dishing on jockey secrets, and touring fancy barns larger than your average big box store. There's nothing ordinary about the lives these characters are leading--with their five AM riding sessions before school, and weekend trips to race at Kentucky and Tennessee tracks.

And the track is a fine place to set a romance. I've actually been to Keeneland in Kentucky, where a few scenes in the book are set. It has that mint-juleps-and-big-hats aura. Like this:

Pretty, right? Stolen kisses beside the stalls work well to create a unique flavor for the book.

The rich-vs-poor tension served up in the story line works well. The estate owner proves to be more human and three dimensional than the book's description hints. I was less satisfied by the character development of Savannah's tone-deaf dad, and their awkward discussions about whether or not Savannah would attend college.

The narrative style is first-person present tense, which comes off as a bit breathless. In fact, Savannah felt younger to me than her 17 years. But I liked her feistiness, and the way she stood up for herself before Jack figured out how to do the same.