ARC Review: Fire Horse Girl (DAC)

January 30, 2013 Review 11 ★★★★

ARC Review: Fire Horse Girl (DAC)
The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 336
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

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

THE FIRE HORSE GIRL tells a richer, deeper, story that the colorful cover and adventurous synopsis hint at.This is more MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA than MULAN. The strength in this novel is really supplied through the history of Chinese immigration to America, with an engaging plot geared toward young adults added.

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.

Topped with an amazing ending, THE FIRE HORSE GIRL is definitely a book I would recommend to people that like old fashioned stories and historical fiction.

Rating Report
Overall: 4

11 Responses to “ARC Review: Fire Horse Girl (DAC)”

  1. Delaney

    This one’s sounds so interesting! And with the cover, I feel there would be gender-bender elements and who’s this Sterling? ;D Usually I stick away from Chinese/Asian culture (even though I’m Asian myself >____< ) because they just get boring for me, but this one seems like worth a shot to try. :) Wonderful review, Alise! ^^

    • Alise (Readers In Wonderland)

      There are :) Sterling…hmm you’ll have to see ;) I can see how you would want to avoid novels like this but I think it is pretty on the dot culturally. But I’ll let you verify that if you read it! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Sunny Duvall

    I saw this book and wondered if it would be a good read so I was ecstatic to see in my email that you reviewed this. I’m glad for the warning that it isn’t lively or action-y, but more historical and tells a wonderful tale. Love the review!

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

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