Friday, January 22, 2016

"Under a Painted Sky" - Stacey Lee

Hello fellow bibliophiles! Last week's Clean Slate Read-a-thon took its toll on me. So this week, I have been taking a little breather. Today's review for Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee is this month's book for my FYA book club. This is generally not a book I would pick up on my own, but one of the reasons I love book club! It forces me to get outside of my comfort zone and introduces me to new authors and genres I would normally pass over!

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.

I went into this book without knowing much about it beforehand. For me, it was a struggle to get into the story. I couldn't relate to any of the characters, everything came way too easy, a lot of cliche ideas that are typical for YA books, and not a time period I have much interest in. Understanding the themes and message the author was trying to get across was easy to get yet at the same time, they weren't prevalent enough for me personally to put too much thought into them. The writing wasn't amazing but it wasn't terrible either. A very easy, quick read. If asking what age group this book is best suited for, I would say young, middle school aged kids. It's a great book for girls that age to introduce to them ideas of race and the struggles girls in our past faced. It also does a great job at showing how race and gender don't matter. Anyone can do anything if you put your mind to it. Overall, it was a "meh" book. I think I just wasn't interested in the story itself. 

As always, feel free to share any thoughts, comments, or recommendations! 

Happy reading fools :) 

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