February 10, 2013

Review of "The Fire Horse Girl"

The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman
Pub. Date: January 1, 2013
Pages: 336
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Short Sweet Synopsis:  Strong headed girl dreams of finding her place in the world. Feels unwanted in China and does everything she can to get to America.

"The Fire Horse Girl" was a nice surprise.  Jade Moon is a strong female character; while she doesn't always make the best decisions, readers will enjoy her spirit.  Based on the cover of the book, I was expecting this to be kind of like a modern day Mulan, but I was happy that the main focus of the book was on Jade Moon's journey to America.  I had not heard of Angel Island and was very interested in learning about this aspect of US history.  I knew that Chinese came to America and landed in California, but I hadn't read or heard anything about the process before.

I only had one issue about the book, how did she conceal her period?  I know this might sound crass, but seriously, how would a girl pretending to be a guy hide it from everyone for months?  If I could give this book a 3.5, I probably would.  Such a big plot hole just took away from the believability of the story.

“The Fire Horse Girl” is filled with characters with depth.  I liked that I couldn’t tell what a character would do from one minute to the next.  Some characters disappointed me, but their flaws made them more realistic.

I recommend this book to people who enjoy historical fiction, Asian American literature, or who enjoy books with strong female characters.

*Received an advanced reader from NetGalley.