Thursday, January 31, 2013
The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman
Jade Moon is a fire horse, and in Chinese astrology, it means she is passionate and outspoken - a bit too much so. So much so, in fact, that she has ostracized herself with her bold speaking and boisterious ways. While her village sees her as bad luck and her father wants nothing to do with her, Jade Moon's dreams loom large and impossible.
So when an opportunity to go to America presents itself, it feels like her chance at happiness and freedom has finally come. In 1920s San Fransisco, however, happiness and freedom aren't as easy to come by as most Chinese immigrants imagined. Jade Moon will find herself risking everything to get a shred of her hearts desire.
This book is a mixed bag for me. While the language, especially in the beginning, is surprisingly beautiful, the story just didn't completely thrill me. The things she gets mixed up in while in San Fransisco almost bored me with their insinuated brutality and Jade Moon herself felt like a caricature. TOO outspoken. TOO unable to just calm herself and be quiet for a minute. I would've liked to see her grow up a little bit. I was actually quite annoyed until the last 10 pages or so, which did pull themselves together in an interesting enough way. Except I did like the part on Angel Island, which I actually knew nothing about until now. So even though the middle didn't do it for me, I do appreciate it as an immigration story about a people that aren't as represented in young adult literature.