Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Release Date: January 1st 2013
Genres: 20th Century, Asian American, Historical, Love & Romance, People & Places, United States, Young Adult
A fiery and romantic adventure, perfect for fans of Grace Lin, Kristen Cashore, or Lisa See! Jade Moon is a Fire Horse -- the worst sign in the Chinese zodiac for girls, said to make them stubborn, willful, and far too imaginative. But while her family despairs of marrying her off, she has a passionate heart and powerful dreams, and wants only to find a way to make them come true. Then a young man named Sterling Promise comes to their village to offer Jade Moon and her father a chance to go to America. While Sterling Promise's smooth manners couldn't be more different from her own impulsive nature, Jade Moon falls in love with him on the long voyage. But America in 1923 doesn't want to admit many Chinese, and when they are detained at Angel Island, the
Jade Moon is “cursed,” being the independent, stubborn sign of the Chinese Zodiac, a Fire Horse. Her family frequently tells her she brings misfortune and bad luck, pretty much giving up the hopes to marry her off. Jade Moon feels like she does not fit in, and with a miserable future with a bricklayer set up, she realizes she can not live a happy, free life where she is now. Her chance at this freedom comes in the form of Sterling Promise. He sets Jade Moon’s eyes on America, and she will do anything to get there, including giving up everything she has ever known.
This is not a fun, lively adventure story. This is a tough tale of a girl who has hopes and dreams of a better life. It is also a story about Chinese Immigration, and it has no holds barred. Jade Moon soon quickly realizes that American is not all glitter and gold, the Chinese are looked down upon, prostituted, and killed. That being said, it is still YA, and does not go into too much detail of such horrific things.
Humor, romance and a relatable protagonist make this novel more than just a history lesson, and a lovable one at that. The romance is on the back burner, but even that was enjoyable. Sterling Promise and Jade Moon are so wrong for each other, and that is what makes them work so well.