Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire on December 3, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the Book • Goodreads
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…
What I liked
I LOVED the horses This was easily my favourite part of the book. I used to be a huge horse person. I mean, I still love horses, but I used to take horseback riding lessons. I used to fantasize about owning my own horse (and I still think it would be cool!). So reading this book had me overcome with nostalgia. I wanted to be Savannah and live around horses and have some kind of “magic horse touch”. I wanted it all!
I adored Rory and Vanessa!!! Honestly I thought their romance was cuter than Savannah and Jack’s. Maybe it’s because Rory is more my type than Jack LOL! Rory is kind of quirky with a bit of nerd in there. But mostly, I just loved how Rory and Vanessa came from two different worlds (poor farmhand vs rich family) but they gave zero fucks. They loved each other and it was so clear that they didn’t care about consequences or expectations. They just went for it and it was SO.SWEET!!! There was never a time when Rory thought, “I don’t deserve her because she’s rich” and never a time when Vanessa thought, “He’s not good enough for me”. That just never crossed their minds.
What I didn’t like
I think I got a little too excited about the horse aspect of this book, so I was disappointed when it moved away from that and focused on the romance. I mean, obviously this is a romance book with a horse racing backdrop. It’s NOT the other way around. But somewhere in the middle of the book, I started wishing it was the other way around. I wanted it to turn into an epic Secretariat story LOL! Actually halfway through reading I was like OMG MUST START WATCHING SECRETARIAT NOW EVEN THOUGH IT’S 1:30AM. (And I did, and it was worth it. I adore that movie.)
So I guess that isn’t really a ‘negative’ part of the book.. I just got too excited about the horses and wanted more than the book was going to give. I wanted Savannah to turn into some kind of epic horse jockey that wins tons of famous races.. well obviously that didn’t happen.
I didn’t like the constant “rich people vs poor people” thing. When I read the acknowledgements, I realized that Miranda Kenneally wanted this book to show that there don’t have to be barriers between rich people and poor people. But honestly, I was SHOCKED by the barriers in this book. The way some people acted made me think I was reading a book during civil war times when there were massive gaps between blacks/whites and women/men. Just the way they acted about “status”. Like Savannah hated rich people because “they look down on her” or “a farmhand can’t date a farm owner”. I mean, really? Do people actually act like that these days?
Some of Savannah’s comments and judgments REALLY annoyed me:
Considering she’s popular and wealthy, I don’t think Rory will ever get her into bed even if he does behave like a perfect gentleman.
Crazy that she’s interested in Rory, considering they come from very different lives. What will the other kids say when they hear about this? Will they wonder why Vanessa would date a farmhand?
I never even considered a girl like her might like my friend.
Maybe I was right before. Rich people are all alike. Only care about their goddamn money. Only care about what’s best for them.
I HATED how Savannah was so judgmental. She just assumed that all rich people only care about status and money, and if you don’t have either then you’re not worth their time. Instead of judging people like individuals based on their personality or actions, she judged them based on their status.. which is exactly what she complained that rich people did (judge her because she’s poor).
But what really got me was that it always seemed like Savannah was alone in this thinking. Like she said, “What will the other kids say when they hear about this? Will they wonder why Vanessa would date a farmhand?” Clearly Savannah is worried. But I got the impression that no one else cared. I don’t think anyone at their school cared that Rory and Vanessa were dating, despite their differences. But for some reason it was always on Savannah’s mind, and that irked me.
I know that this was supposed to be about growth and character development. Savannah starts out with assumptions about rich people and beliefs about “status”, then she kind of gets proven wrong in the end. So ultimately it does end with a good message.. but I couldn’t stand some of the parts in between. I was so ready for her to grow up and look beyond wealth.
But ultimately, I enjoyed it
Mostly I loved the horses, but overall I did enjoy Racing Savannah. It was a fun book to read. The romance wasn’t amazing, but it was “pretty sweet”. I kind of wish that Jack and Savannah’s relationship was more like Rory and Vanessa’s. Now theirs was adorable!