{Blog Tour} Review + Character Interview: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Today, I am so honored as Jack Goodwin, love interest to Savannah in Miranda Kenneally's RACING SAVANNAH, drops by my blog for an interview! Not only that but I'm also reviewing RACING SAVANNAH. So let's get this started!

Racing Savannah
Title: Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date of Publication: December 3, 2013

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…

Pre-order from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

(You can get a horseshoe keychain when you pre-order Racing Savannah! Go HERE to learn more about this awesome promo!)

Austin Butler as Jack Goodwin
according to Miranda Kenneally
Character Interview with Jack Goodwin

Can you tell us something about yourself?

My family has owned Cedar Hill Farms since the Civil War, and for my senior year of high school, my dad is making me run the farm as acting owner. I'm praying I don't screw up. I wouldn't want anyone to lose their job because of me. Also, I am an Aquarius.

What are your hobbies? How do you spend your free time?

I like to spend time with my three coonhounds - Thor, Athena, and Jasper. We go fishing at the lake, play fetch with sticks, and take walks. My sister named Jasper after the Twilight character.

How would you describe your ideal girl?

Strong, has her own interests and goals, knows how to let loose and have a good time, and has a great smile. 

What was your first impression of Savannah?

The first time I saw Savannah, she chased down a Thoroughbred on foot. I thought she was badass. I also thought she was really cute.

Favorite movie?

Secretariat. Many of the horses on my farm are descendants of Secretariat. 

Favorite book?

Um, can I say Secretariat again? 

If you could have three wishes, what would it be?

- I would wish not to require sleep ever again, but if I wanted to take a nap, I could. 
- A lifetime supply of bread.
- To have a horse that I breed win the Kentucky Derby. 

Thank you so much for granting me an interview, Jack! And thank you Miranda for letting him drop by my humble abode. Now that we got to know Jack better, let's get to my review!


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Sabrina of Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the review copy! This in no way affected my views of the novel.

When the opportunity to lose my Miranda Kenneally virginity card came, I couldn't let it pass and I immediately took the chance to review RACING SAVANNAH. So yes, this is my first Miranda Kenneally book, which pretty much explains my rating. If only I give out half-stars, I would have given this 3.5 stars because it's gooooood. But before you take a rain check on this book just because you think 3 stars isn't good enough, don't! Three stars from me means I like the book and I truly enjoyed this novel. I think fans of the first three books would love this book. However, like what Hazel of Stay Bookish said to me, seeing the characters from the previous books definitely adds to the enjoyment of this novel. Since this is my first from the series and I absolutely don't know anyone, that factor didn't add much to my reading pleasure. Moreover, I had high expectations from all the hype, which I know I shouldn't have but I don't learn and I still do. So, moving on, I shall talk about the actual book!

Racing Savannah is quite probably the first novel I read that tackles class disparity as huge and shockingly realistic as featured in here. Sure, I've read about characters who are working jobs left and right just to make ends meet even though they're just in high school. But Racing Savannah even took that a step farther as Savannah's dad is drowning in debt from the medical bills of her mother who has died years ago. And now, he got his girlfriend pregnant, which makes things even more complicated. And while most YA/NA characters struggle to get to college, Savannah doesn't even think of college. She thinks that being an exercise rider for horses is the best thing in life she can achieve. I'm a careerwoman at heart so I wanted Savannah to dream more and wish more and work more for something more for herself. So Savannah's arc on how she ends up being an exercise rider then a jockey and thinking of going to college delivered such a sweet smile on my face. Way to go, Sav!

Aside from that arc, I also appreciated how Savannah eventually realized that not all rich people are jerks and assholes although Jack flitted from the sensitive and kind guy to the distant rich boss he is. It's kind of reminiscent to Kasie West's The Distance Between Us and guys, you know how much I love that novel. As a person, I love how Savannah works hard for whatever she wants and how she tells people what's on her mind. It was refreshing to read a heroine that goes for her goals and is as forward as Sav. Still, she's also a filial daughter who just wants to help her family no matter what.

As for Jack, I admire how much he loves his family and how much he wants to succeed and prove to his family that he can manage their farm. He loves his sister Shelby, his three dogs and his horses so much, it's so cute. Then how he's so carefree outside work but totally respectable and authoritative at work even though he's only seventeen years old. Although it was kind of frustrating how he can't stand up for Savannah because his parents won't allow him to date one of his staff, he definitely made up for it by the end. So embarrassingly sweet. So cute.

However, before the end of the novel, I wasn't as invested with Savannah and Jack's love story. Blame it on the floppy-haired Rory and the beautiful Vanessa. Rory works as part-time horse groom in Cedar Hill Farm and ends up being Savannah's best guy friend. I love their banter and how organic their friendship is. Vanessa is the pretty and popular girl Rory has a crush on. She's friends with Jack and actually has a crush on Rory! Rory felt like Vanessa's out of his league because she's all that but then Savannah learns that Vanessa likes Rory and plays matchmaker. They're the epitome of young love - partaking in public display of affection everywhere and anywhere and being brave by going for each other and staying together whatever obstacles come their way. They're so cute and sweet and I just ADORE these two.

But I still fancy Jack and Sav's relationship because they have chemistry and they just help each other in every way. For those concerned, this is a mature YA novel and there are definitely sexual situations although they are not graphic. Lastly, I absolutely know nothing about horses and horse racing but RACING SAVANNAH wasn't in any way hard for me to read. In fact, I am now interested in horses! I envy Savannah's connection to the horses, even though it broke her heart once before.

Racing Savannah has a romance you'd smile for but it's not just fluffy romance. It tackles big topics such as class disparity, family duties and dreaming and going for what's best for you. Miranda Kenneally has definitely written a mature young adult novel with depth and I'd definitely read her previous novels so I can get to know the awesome characters I gleaned upon in this novel.

About Miranda Kenneally

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.

1 comment:

  1. interesting choice of actor for Jack! I think I might have pictured him a bit more rugged but she's the creator! :D

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


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