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.


  1. Sounds good-- does she pretend to be a guy in order to get to Angel Island because women could not travel there by themselves? The title is cool, because a Fire Horse is the most strong-willed and wild member of the Chinese Zodiac. Thanks for the review and I'll definitely be checking this one out.

    1. Women can travel there themselves, so she pretends to be a guy later in the book, but I won't tell you why! You will have to read for yourself to find out! ;)