Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Year published: 2013
Price: USD 9.57 at Book Depository // Rp. 129.000 at Opentrolley
Savannah Barrow practically grew up with horses. Following her father who worked as a groom, Savannah had used to interact with horses. When her mother died because of cancer, Savannah found sanctuary on her father's boss' horse named Moonshadow but something tragic happened to the horse and Savannah didn't want to feel the same lost anymore.
On her senior year, Savannah had to follow her father to move to Tennessee, to Cedar Hill Farm. Her mother's death had left Savannah's family with a lot of debt so that the only choice for Savannah's father was to move to a richer farm, which is owned by John Goodwin. Savannah had never agreed to move but she had no choice because she knew her family needed money so bad.
When Savannah wanted to apply as an exercise rider at the farm, she coincidentally stopped a horse named Tennessee Star, who happened to be owned by Jack Goodwin--John Goodwin's son. Impressed by Savannah's ability to calm Star, Jack then approved Savannah to be an exercise rider, and later on, a jockey to Star.
Savannah soon became close to Star, and also to Jack because Star was Jack's initial project to prove that he deserved to be the next farm's boss. There was no denying that both Savannah and Jack had fallen for each other.
But how could a boss dating his employee? And would Savannah risk her family for this forbidden love?
As always in Miranda's works, I love the characters the most. Not only the main character, Savannah and Jack, but also the secondary ones. Each of them has his/her own strength and weakness and also problems. And because Miranda put Rory Whitfield as Savannah's best friend in the story, we can also know what happened to Will and Parker (from Stealing Parker) four years after the last time we saw them in Things I Can't Forget (Rory is Will's brother). And so good to know that Miranda decided not to write happily-ever-after-like-in-those-Disney-cartoons kind of story for them because it makes them so realistic.
About Savannah and Jack's character, Savannah is totally a great role model for teenagers. Yes she had always been in difficult situations, but it didn't stop her to fight for what she wanted. She also cared about her family despite of what her father had done to them. Jack, on the other hand, is not a kind of hero that you would instantly fall for. He could go bossy and a bit stiff because of his responsibility to his family but finally you will be able to see him as a lovable (and swoon-worthy) male lead. His dedication to his family is And together, they made a great couple. So far, among four books of Miranda's that I've read, I think Savannah and Jack have the best chemistry.
Moving to the story, I honestly say that I know nothing about horses and horse racing so that I cannot comment about whether it is accurate or not, but I love how Miranda described the activities at the farm without dropping too much unnecessary informations to the story. It blended in well and made a strong background for the story. And there are two animals that I love so much: Star the horse and Jasper the dog. They are so cute!
The conflict, as I've said earlier, is a bit Cinderella-esque, since Savannah practically was Jack's employee, and her soon-to-be-stepmother was actually Jack's servant. Cliche, but doesn't stop me to enjoy the development of their relationship and to read what they would do to get rid of the obstacles they were facing. The romance also adequate enough and I really enjoyed reading that part.
Without further ado, I want to close this review by saying that Racing Savannah is such a great read. I think this book has replaced Stealing Parker as my most favorite Miranda Kenneally's books. For all of you who love reading Young Adult romance and also an animal lover, this is definitely a book you can't miss.