Book Review: The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman

Title: The Fire Horse Girl
Author: Kay Honeyman
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Published: January 1st, 2013
Page count: 336 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Won on Author's Page

Buy from: Amazon|Goodreads

Book Summary:
A fiery and romantic adventure, perfect for fans of Grace Lin, Kristen Cashore, or Lisa See!

Jade Moon is a Fire Horse -- the worst sign in the Chinese zodiac for girls, said to make them stubborn, willful, and far too imaginative. But while her family despairs of marrying her off, she has a passionate heart and powerful dreams, and wants only to find a way to make them come true.

Then a young man named Sterling Promise comes to their village to offer Jade Moon and her father a chance to go to America. While Sterling Promise's smooth manners couldn't be more different from her own impulsive nature, Jade Moon falls in love with him on the long voyage. But America in 1923 doesn't want to admit many Chinese, and when they are detained at Angel Island, the "Ellis Island of the West," she discovers a betrayal that destroys all her dreams. To get into America, much less survive there, Jade Moon will have to use all her stubbornness and will to break a new path . . . one as brave and dangerous as only a Fire Horse girl can imagine.

*The Reader's Review*

My rating: 4/5 stars!

The Fire Horse Girl is an interesting and enjoyable ride. I liked it a lot because it takes place back in 1923 and I so love traveling back to different times. I love to learn about different cultures and traditions I might not be aware of and discover something new through the character's eyes, or at least, to see things differently.

Jade Moon's story starts off in China. She's an only child and a Fire Horse Girl. She's unlucky and a "disgrace to her family". Soon to be a grown woman and with a dull life ahead, Jade is desperate to get out of her village and travel the world in search for something better. When Sterling Promise enters her life and somehow is the cause why she gets to travel to the New World, fireworks explode.

I can't say enough how much I loved Jade Moon's character. She reminds me a lot of Disney's Mulan, and you have to know she's one of my favorite princesses ever. Anyway, Jade Moon is some serious kick-ass  fire horse girl. She is smart, she's stubborn and she is a fighter. If she has a dream, she goes for it no matter how high she has to climb. Jade is a bit clumsy and might forget things, but it's because she is constantly daydreaming, which I don't deem unlucky at all. I can't believe people didn't see that in her, how special she was. Except for Nana and Sterling Promise, of course.

I struggled a bit to like Sterling Promise and to believe there was a love story between him and Jade. I didn't feel anything until the last chapters of the book and by then I had already made up my mind about the whole idea. So really, the romance is not that memorable, yet I'm okay with it, there were so many other things to focus on rather than lose my mind over their lack of feelings.

This book is a stand-alone, so naturally, I wish it were much longer. And, come to think of it, to have been more challenging for the characters to solve whatever they had to solve at the ending. It wraps up nicely, but it left me wanting for more action, more Jade, and why not? More Sterling Promise. Maybe I would have fallen deeper for him. Maybe. Still, The Fire Horse Girl is a book I would recommend to someone looking for a trip to the New World back in the days and hungry to experience the life of a Fire Horse Girl.


  1. Jade sounds fantastic and I love the time period and settings for this. While you struggled with Sterling, this does sounds like a worthy read Melissa :)

    1. It is! I heart this book, so glad I got to read it. :)

  2. This sounds like the setting was fantastic and you gotta love a girl who's a fighter. I think it says a lot that this is a stand alone book and you were still anxious for more time with the characters. Great review! Thanks for sharing!

    1. It was hard to accept there wasn't going to be more. I'm so used to reading mostly series that I unconsciously expect every book to have more. Must read more stand alones. ;)

  3. This is totally new for me and it sounds fascinating! Also, I love the fact that it is a stand-alone, sometimes I feel like I need a break from series (not that I'm complaining about them, of course) and this could be a book right for the job. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Melissa!

    1. Yup, stand alones are a nice break. I like how the authors wrap their stories in only one book, not complicating the characters a lot but they give them a great chance for growth, and one that even though we might not get to read about it, it's almost certain that they'll keep true to themselves afterwards.
      I really hope you get to meet Jade soon, Silvia!