Review: Racing Savannah – Miranda Kenneally and a Pre-Order Free Gift(details below)

Review: Racing Savannah – Miranda Kenneally and a Pre-Order Free Gift(details below)Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: December 3, 2013
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four-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…

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


There is nothing I love more than a good Miranda Kenneally story. Since her first book, Catching Jordan, I have fallen in love with her storytelling ability and her interesting and unique characters. She has held me capitated with every single one of her books, and Racing Savannah was no different. I loved Jack and Savannah’s, love from the wrong side of the tracks, story. It was fun and had a seriousness to it in the way only Kenneally can seem to do.

Racing Savannah is the story of Savannah, a 17-year-old girl that has been around horses all her life. Moving to a new school and a new farm, where her dad was just hired, Savannah is starting off a little out of her element as the Goodwin family is super rich. Dreaming to become a horse jockey someday Savannah makes an impression on the Goodwin’s 17-year-old son Jack. While the sparks fly between the two there is just one problem, the help isn’t supposed to get close to the Goodwin family. Trying to reach her dreams Savannah has to decide if it is more important to follow her heart or do what is expected of her when it comes to horse racing and even more so when it comes to Jack.

You know what I think I like the most about Kenneally’s writing, is the connection she makes between her characters. There is absolutely nothing similar about Savannah and Jack expect for their love of horses. Everything that connects them is superficial at best and they shouldn’t work as a couple. But Kenneally makes it so they do work, so you as the reader are rooting for them. You want them to say screw it and ignore the outside world and just be together. Because let’s face it, we all want the opposite attracts, forbidden love story. And Kenneally writes it flawlessly.

Jack could have easily come off as pompous and obnoxious with his rich, playboy attitude and Savannah has the potential to get on your nerves with her woe is me look on life. But together these two really worked and I got where they were coming from. Did Savannah get on my nerves at times? Absolutely. Most main characters do. And did I want to tell Jack he wasn’t God’s gift? No doubt about it. Nobody likes someone that loves themselves. But thanks to Kenneally’s writing abilities I was able to see past that and see the story of young love and two people figuring things out. Add in the awesome bonus of characters past and definitely a winner in my book.

Racing Savannah was just the kind of book I needed. It was serious and deep in places, but it was just a great wrong side of the tracks/two different worlds story. It had heart and made me laugh and smile. And it was undoubtedly a Kenneally book. There is no doubt in my mind that any reader that is familiar with her books would know this was from her without even reading the cover. Brava once again Ms. Kenneally, brava.

 

Pre-Order Free Gift
From Sourcebooks….

They’re from two different worlds, but Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules. . . get the next contemporary novel from blockbuster YA novelist Miranda Kenneally: RACING SAVANNAH!

Right before her senior year, Savannah’s father whisks the family off to Tennessee to work as head groom at fancy Cedar Hill Farms. Savannah finally sees it as the perfect opportunity to earn extra money as an exercise rider—no matter how many others don’t want a girl around the barn.  But she’s also caught the eye of Jack Goodwin, the owner’s son. 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 jockey, Savannah is 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.

We’ve put together a fun campaign to thank readers for pre-ordering: send us your proof of pre-order and we’ll send you this fabulous horseshoe key chain!

mkennally

A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally

We have a special offer for U.S. and Canada YA fans for the release of RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kenneally in stores in a little over three weeks! If you pre-order the book, we will send you an exclusive horseshoe key chain—perfect for any busy teen on the go! You have until December 2 or until quantities run out.

Here’s how to get your charm:
1. Pre-order the book (print or eBook) through any retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, your local independent bookseller/Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Hastings, etc.)

2. Email your proof of purchase (receipt or picture of the receipt) to teenfire@sourcebooks.com. Put “Racing Savannah Pre-Order” in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your home address (US & Canada only please) so we can send you the horseshoe key chain! If you’ve already pre-ordered this book—not a problem! Send us your receipt!

3. You will get an email back confirming when the items have been sent out.

4. Enjoy Racing Savannah when it comes out in December!

Optional: take a pic of you and your horseshoe key chain and share it with Miranda Kenneally or Sourcebooks Fire on Twitter! You can find Miranda @mirandakennealy and Sourcebooks Fire @sourcebooksfire.

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Second Chance Sunday – Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

As you may have noticed I’m a Miranda Kenneally fan, both of her and her work. She really has a way about her that hit the teenage soul in all of us and it doesn’t hurt that she writes a super adorable boy. In today’s Second Chance Sunday you will find one of my favorite boys she’s written. Oh, Corndog how I miss thee!

Second Chance Sunday – Stealing Parker by Miranda KenneallyStealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #2
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: October 1, 2012
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five-stars

Red-hot author Miranda Kenneally hits one out of the park in this return to Catching Jordan's Hundred Oaks High.

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?

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Completely head over heels in love with Corndog! Sorry, had to get that off my chest first and foremost. ♥ Now that that’s done, on to the book!

I really really loved this book. As a huge Miranda Kenneally fan, I was ecstatic when I realized there were going to be Catching Jordan companion books. And I was even more ecstatic when I was given an advanced copy of Stealing Parker. And even though it is considered a companion book, with some characters from Catching Jordan strongly present, Stealing Parker is definitely a book of its own. It is witty and quirky and gives a peek into how religion can affect some people’s thoughts and behaviors.

Stealing Parker is about Parker, a girl that at one time had it all. She was on the softball team, had really close girlfriends and loving parents. Then one day her mom announces that she is in love with a woman and Parker’s world as she knows it falls apart. Soon she is a victim to taunts by her so-called friends, a shunning of sorts by her church and is no longer comfortable playing the sport she loves since she is ridiculed mercilessly about it. Now unsure where she fits in Parker decides to become a girlie girl. She loses weight, gives herself a makeover and becomes a kissing fanatic. But when her best friend Drew signs her up as manager to his baseball team and Parker meets the new 20 something coach Brian she realizes maybe kissing only one guy isn’t so that bad, especially if that one guy is Brian. But is being with him worth the possible ridicule or is it possible there is someone out there that may just be everything Parker needs and more?

Honestly, I really liked Parker. There was something about her that was just likable. Was she confused about some things? Absolutely. And she was desperate for people to like her again after the debacle with her mom, but the thing I liked best was how clear she was on how the people in her church treated her family and how wrong it was. She never once really questioned how they treated her personally because she was struggling with how she thought she should be treated. What she didn’t like was how they treated her dad. That showed a lot of character to me and showed me what a stand-up person Parker really was. Sure she was young and getting mixed up with Brian may not have been her smartest move, but I could see where she was coming from. She was kind of a lost soul and Brian, the dirtbag that he was, feed off that without even knowing.

What I really liked most about Parker though was her friendships with Drew and Corndog. Parker to me was most herself around both boys and allowed them to be themselves around her. She did everything she could to stand by Drew no matter what, even if it hurt her in the process. And her relationship with Corndog was off the charts great. They had such ease around each other. Plus it didn’t hurt that he was a family guy and just adorable. Did I mention that I loved him? HAHA. But seriously I loved reading about how both relationships grew and changed but still remained strong.

If there was one thing I didn’t like was Drew’s reaction to something that happened towards the end. He bothered me with the way he responded. It wasn’t fair to Parker at all after everything she had done for him and been through with him. He was being childish and selfish. But really that is so minor compared to the rest of this amazing book.

Kenneally has once again shown just how in tune she is with the teen genre and told a story filled with love and heartache and figuring out who you are and who you want by your side. Well done! Well done! I look forward to more.

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Review: Things I Can’t Forget – Miranda Kenneally

Review: Things I Can’t Forget – Miranda KenneallyThings I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: March 1, 2013
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four-stars

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different...

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt - with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy...

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


Fantastic. Things I Can’t Forget was really great. It was different than what Kenneally has written in the past focusing hugely on religious beliefs but even with that difference it 100% had the Kenneally feel. Cute boy? Check. Emotional Turmoil? Check. Character Crossover? Check. Add in the religious aspect, which I am personally fascinated by, although not religious myself, and you have a can’t miss story. And She definitely didn’t miss.

Things I Can’t Forget is Kate story. She is a good girl, the one that has always done the right thing. She is basically a parents dream. But what people don’t know is that Kate has done something she finds morally wrong and is keeping it a secret. Separated from her best friend and working as a camp counselor at Cumberland Creek Summer Camp, Kate struggles with the guilt of what she has done and what she knows all while trying to figure out just what she believes in. Add in the added hormonal stress of Matt, the cute counselor that is from Kate’s past(he was her first kiss) and Kate is in for a whirlwind of a summer figuring out just who she is and that things aren’t so cut in dry as they were when you were a kid.

Honestly, I didn’t really like Kate all that much in the beginning. Much like Parker told her, I found her very judgmental. She seemed to see everything one way and one way only and didn’t see how people could choose to live other lifestyles.  However, what I did like about Kate was her ability to grow and develop which thankfully she did. As she got to know people like Parker, Will, Matt, she started to see that people have their own faith and it is okay for them to believe whatever way they want and to make any decisions that they want and it isn’t up to her to judge that or find it morally right. She can be there for someone or not, but that is really all that she has control over. I thank Parker for that and the adorable Matt! Oh Matt, Matt, Matt. Mister Perfectly Imperfect himself. I seriously ♥ him to no end! He was not only smart and adorable but caring and funny and charming. He was the complete package with faults in all. Because of him, I found Kate more tolerable in the beginning then I think I would have. His feelings and actions towards her…swoon!  I can’t gush about him enough. Seriously, I really can’t.  With the addition of Matt and the way he celebrated his faith, Kenneally showed the reader and Kate that there were many ways to believe in a higher power and there isn’t one more right than the other. She showed that there is a time that comes when everyone has to decide what to believe, how to believe and the extent of those beliefs. There is a time to grow up.

We all have that list of writers that whatever they write and put out there to buy we will. Well, Miranda Kenneally is one of those for me. She writes it, I want it. With that said it is nice to add she has yet to disappoint! Three books written, 3 books read and I’m a very pleased reader. The thing is that no matter what the subject is or how sometimes mislead the main character is, Kenneally seems to get it and piece it all together in a way that works. She gets her readers and knows what they want so really she is kind of unstoppable e in my eyes. Although Things I Can’t Forget wasn’t my favorite of her books, it still was an awesome story of growing up and that place when you must start deciding for yourself what you believe in and what you stand for. I look forward to more, more, more from this awesome author and storyteller.

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Second Chance Sunday – Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday Second Chance Sunday is brought to you by:

Second Chance Sunday – Catching Jordan by Miranda KenneallyCatching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #1
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Published: December 1, 2011
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five-stars

ONE OF THE BOYS

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

To say I was excited for this book is an understatement. A book about football and cute boys? Sign me up. I mean how could you go wrong with two of my favorite things! And Kenneally didn’t let me down. She took what could have been a typical story of finding out what you wanted may not be what you need and made it into more than that.

Jordan is a funny, sassy, tough QB of her high school football team. She has the respect of all the guys on her team and her coach. She isn’t a girly girl or a primper. She is a tomboy that loves the game of football and wants nothing more then to play college ball and to gain the support of her NFL pro father. She has worked hard for this, her spot in life and doesn’t want it to be taken away. And then comes Ty. Ty literally flips Jordan’s whole world around leaving her feeling like she was sacked in the end zone, changing everything she thought she knew and wanted and complicating things.

Complicating things even more is Henry. (And in a complete fan girl moment I must admit I am head over heels for him. LOL). Henry has been Jordan’s bestie for ten years. The two of them are closer then close and when he starts acting weird Jordan is left grasping for something to hold on to. He backs off and Jordan freaks out because Henry is everything and I can’t say I blame her.

I have to say my favorite part of this book was the friendship between Jordan and Henry.
I loved how they were with one another. It is very rare to find a friend that is your soulmate and I truly think these two were that for one another. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every character in this book. From the other guys on the team to the cheerleaders, to Jordan’s parents. Every single one of them added to the story, but Henry and Jordan were the shining light.

Miranda Kennally’s debut was an amazing mix of smiles and tears and laughter and yearning. Add in a Tom Brady and a Nomar Garciaparra mention and this girl is sold! Awesome awesome book. Can’t wait for more from her.

 

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