Sunday, April 5, 2015

Review: Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

Title: Under A Painted Sky
Author: Stacey Lee
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's, Penguin
Date Published: March 17th, 2015
Source: Bought
Genres: Historical-Fiction, Western, Young Adult
Links: Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Author's Website

Rating: 4 stars!

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.

My Review

Immediately, this book just launched into the action. The beginning was fast paced and quickly brought us through the events leading up to their adventure down the trail. Thank goodness for that, because the Oregon Trail is already long and slow enough, am I right folks? Although it was a tad too fast... Anyway, as the girls start their journey to California, we start to see more of their personailities unfold. 

Annamae or "Andy" is blunt, confident while cautious, and seems much more wise than her years. She's the level headed one, even in a pinch. Samantha or "Sammy" is disoriented for most of the book. She's never faced hardship like this before and feels very self conscious and alone. What I like is that she never throws in the towel and that all her feelings are justified, not whiny. The girls, at first unsure of one another, eventually form a close friendship after having and supporting only the other. 

The cowboys were very charming and funny and added a ton of happy lightheartedness.  The romance is well done in my opinion. It starts slowly and is given time to grow on you. Granted, this is the 1850s and they're pretending to be guys.  Some of the events at the end were very predictable, but heartbreaking all the same. 

So I might be a little biased since I love historical fiction, but I really enjoyed this book. It's a really sweet tale of friendship, love, and self-discovery that I think anyone will love. Also, it's rare that I see a book taking place on the Oregon Trail, so props to you Stacey!

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