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The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

Jade Moon is a Fire Horse and much too stubborn, strong-willed, and inquisitive for a girl in a Chinese family. All she wants is to be allowed to be herself, but as long as she remains in her small town in China, she has a duty to marry, even if it seems increasingly unlikely that anyone will want to take her. But then a young, smooth-talking man named Sterling Promise shows up with an opportunity, and soon, Jade Moon finds herself traveling with Sterling Promise and her father to America. This is the chance that Jade Moon has been waiting for, it seems, and she plans to make the most of it. But, as she finds out the hard way, America in 1923 is hardly receptive to Chinese immigrants and that Chinese women in particular are only ever brought to America for two reasons—marriage or prostitution. But Jade Moon isn’t about to give up her only chance at freedom without a fight, and if anyone can make their way in America, it’s a Fire Horse.

The Fire Horse Girl is a book with historical adventure, mystery, and romance, but more than anything, it is the coming of age story of a girl finding her way in an unfamiliar new world. Debut author Honeyman wonderfully blends the richness of the past with more modern sentiments in this story and especially with Jade Moon’s character; the country of China in the 20s is struggling between tradition and modernization, and so is Jade Moon, as she tries to honor her honor her family while also forging her own path. I was initially drawn into this story because of my sympathy for Jade Moon’s family struggles and fiery temper, but my interest soon shifted to the plot as well as things got a lot more dangerous, surprising, and exciting. Though I found the development of the some of the more minor characters less believable, overall I found the story of The Fire Horse Girl a fantastic one full of vivid cultural history, interesting and complex characters, and a thoroughly engaging plot.

The Fire Horse Girl appeals to readers who also liked The Girl Is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines and Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from publisher Scholastic

2 munch(es) :

Cass said...

This book is a dream. I can't wait to read this book myself! I LOVE LOVE LOVE books with an Asian setting/protagonist/culture. This sounds so, SO great. Thanks for the review!

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