Author: Miranda Kenneally

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally | Book Review + Giveaway

Posted December 5, 2013 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult / 7 Comments

Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally | Book Review + GiveawayRacing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on December 3, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
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3 Stars

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…

This is the second book I’ve read in the Hundred Oaks series. I read Stealing Parker last year, and did not fall in love with it like I had hoped. I was really drawn to Racing Savannah, because of the horses. I’ve never been a horse person, but I loved the idea of a racetrack romance. After all, I’ve always had a thing for cowboys! I ended up liking Racing Savannah much more than Stealing Parker, and am glad I gave this series another shot! As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I really loved the setting of Racing Savannah. I loved the stables, the racetrack, the horses. The author did a great job painting a picture of the farm and the horse racing. I actually really liked the horse races. They were exciting! When I was little I always wanted to ride horses, so this aspect of the story made me really happy. The horse that Savannah spent most of her time with, Star, had a sweet personality and I loved the time she spent with him.

2. The characters were fun, but I particularly liked one of the secondary characters, Rory. He also works on the farm, and is Savannah’s wacky friend. He writes questionable screenplays, and has the hots for Vanessa. I love these two. Vanessa is sweet and such a good friend to Savannah. I actually liked their romance more than Savannah and Jack’s, just because there was much less drama. I liked Savannah ok, but she was nothing special. I liked that, despite her family’s lack of money, her time on the farm inspired her to make more out of her life. I liked watching her fight for her future. I did get annoyed at her judgmental attitude. I liked Jack, but did not really like him in the role of owner of the farm. He’s just a little too young to be running things, and making such big decisions. And really, could Jack have been more perfect? I was constantly questioning him, because I could not find one thing wrong with him (except that he was a bit too scared of his parents). I liked both his and Savannah’s families, but I think Savannah’s dad was my favorite. I liked how much he cared about her, and what a sweet father-daughter relationship they have.

3. I’ve never been a fan of the clash between classes kind of storyline. I felt like there was too much emphasis placed on rich people vs. poor people. Savannah’s dad was worried he would lose his job if Savannah dated Jack. Cindy, Savannah’s dad’s pregnant girlfriend, was scared to ask for time off because she would be fired for being sick. Jack was worried his parents would be mad if he dated Savannah. She was referred to as not being girlfriend material. Savannah had a really bad attitude towards rich people, figuring that they were all heartless people who only cared about getting more money. It just frustrated me. Is this still a valid concern in this day and age? I know this was a problem in the olden days, but I thought it had mostly died out. I don’t understand why money makes a difference.

All in all, I enjoyed Racing Savannah and am happy I read it! The horses made the story unique and enjoyable, and the romances were sweet. Even though I liked Vanessa and Rory’s story a bit more, I did like reading about Savannah’s life-changing decisions and her romance with Jack. There were some pretty sexy scenes, so I would not really recommend this for younger young adults, but it’s a fun new contemporary romance that I’m sure many readers will love. I have not read all of the Hundred Oaks series, but I could tell from some of the names dropped that characters in the previous books check in and let you know what’s going on with them now. I always love it when authors do this, so I’m sure fans of the series will be happy to see them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to see the boots? Here’s the link! I think they are adorable.

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Thanks for visiting my stop along the Racing Savannah tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!
If you are interested in following the tour, you can find the schedule here.

3 Stars

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (Book Review)

Posted September 14, 2012 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 4 Comments

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally (Book Review)Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #2
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 1, 2012
Pages: 242
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (ALA)
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2 Stars

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

*NOTE: I read this book without reading its companion, Catching Jordan,  and was totally fine. There were no spoilers or confusing moments. Jordan and Sam do get mentioned, but it’s minimal.

I witnessed all the raving reviews for Miranda’s Catching Jordan, and was very excited to find this companion novel at ALA. I got to meet Miranda, who is extremely nice and fun to chat with. I wish I loved her book as much as I loved her, but that’s ok. I always worry that, after meeting an author, if I do not end up liking their book that it will make them feel like I did not like them. That’s totally not it. The author is great. I just did not like the book, and I’m really sad it turned out that way. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. It is brought up many times in this book that Parker is a good Christian girl. Religion is actually a very big theme in the book. Since I am also a good Christian girl, it bothered me how many times Parker went against her beliefs, and then got upset that her prayers were not being answered. She wasn’t even trying. And it’s not that I mind that she went against her beliefs. I totally get the whole “question your religion” thing. It happens a lot with everyone. It bothered me that she continually did it, though, and then got mad at others for her choices. I’m not going to go deeper into this point, just because I don’t want to spawn a religious discussion or anything.

2. I didn’t like Parker very much. Of course, a part of that is because of my first point, but I also because she came off as being a broken individual with no real desire to put the effort into piecing herself back together. There was a lot of moping and continuous bad decisions that ended up making her feel worse about herself. PLUS to compensate for her mother becoming a lesbian, Parker has decided to create a reputation for herself that marks her as a slut who “hooks up” with everyone. She’s not a strong character, and she’s not even one that young girls can look up to.

3. Brian, the assistant coach that Parker has a thing for, is completely unlikeable. I get that he’s attractive, and that getting attention for an older man is appealing and exciting. But he’s going against school rules to be with Parker, plus he is walking a very thin line legally as well. And for nothing. He’s totally using her, and she’s totally letting him. You can tell that very early on, so don’t worry. I haven’t spoiled anything. Really, this whole storyline just bugged me. I understand that age does not always matter, but when you’re dealing with the LAW and you’ve got an adult and a minor, it’s just not something I enjoy reading about.

4. I liked the supporting characters on the baseball team, and her best friend Drew. Corndog/Will (the third side in this semi love triangle) is really sweet I absolutely loved him from the very beginning.

5. I appreciated that this book tackled some heavy issues, like homosexuality. I enjoyed watching Parker and her family go through the healing process, and I really liked Parker’s mom.

6. This book is too graphic for younger readers. There were some pretty steamy scenes that I wish had been watered down more. (I mean, we read about specific body parts and descriptions of what those body parts are up to.)

Overall, the elements of this story just did not gel with me. There were so many names and things going on all over the place. I didn’t really like either of the main characters, and the supporting ones were not given a ton of attention. When all was said and done, I wasn’t even very satisfied with the ending. It was very anti-climactic. I wanted to love this one a lot. I really did. I’m still intrigued by all the hype surrounding Catching Jordan, so hopefully I enjoy that one more. :)

2 Stars