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review 2016-11-11 22:44
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses
The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses - Paul Goble

This is a book that the school I'm student teaching at has as required text from the people who make the schools lesson plans. I read this to my kids a couple of weeks ago and boy did this book confuse my students as well as me. But it did hit home the fact that we were going to be wondering about and questioning the book. 

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review 2013-08-21 00:00
The Fire Horse Girl - Kay Honeyman 3 stars. What a nice heroine! Enjoyed Jade Moon's story.
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review 2013-04-11 00:00
The Fire Horse Girl
The Fire Horse Girl - Kay Honeyman I don’t often select historical fiction for myself, but I picked this one up on high recommendations. Here is another fine example of a book whose description I really should have read before diving into the pages. I knew that there was a Fire Horse girl — and a boy — involved, but that was pretty much it. Needless to say, this book surprised me several times!I adored this book. Jade Moon was an easily convincing Fire Horse, and her struggles with everyone around her were clear. Honestly it just felt as if everyone was just drowned in too much tradition, and Jade Moon just wanted the freedom to be herself (which didn’t seem like too much to ask, in my opinion). I was frustrated right alongside her each step of the way — *not* frustrated right alongside the people she was interacting with!I loved her fire! I loved her spirit and her stubbornness. Here is a strong girl, who goes through so much nonsense and so many trials and still never loses her resolve. I had SO much fun watching her get herself into (and out of) trouble, and watching how she learned and grew throughout these experiences.Sterling Promise, on the other hand. Man, that boy frustrated me, even though I could see he wasn’t as bad as he seemed. Watching him try to make something of himself was interesting, and seeing how he and Jade Moon continually interacted with one another was fascinating. Kay Honeyman did an amazing job with the character and relationship development in this book. By the end, I had tears in my eyes and I just wanted to pull Jade Moon and Sterling Promise into a big ole group hug.[Reviews and more at Another Novel Read!]
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review 2013-03-23 00:00
The Fire Horse Girl
The Fire Horse Girl - Kay Honeyman Originally posted at Gypsy ReviewsAs someone who fell in love with Mulan and to this date is still my favourite Disney princess who I look up to, I was thrilled that the Fire Horse Girl was able to deliver the very same magic I felt when I watched Mulan. It’s such an inspiring story that tells you to strive for freedom and the life that you want for yourself. The story feels so close to home as it talks about a Chinese girl who didn’t belong in China and was too Chinese for America. I have felt like I never belonged either being a Chinese but born in England and then coming to Singapore when I was 6. I’m not British nor am I fully Singaporean and you can’t say I’m from China because I was never born or educated there. I’m neither here nor there, a little like Jade Moon. But despite that difference, Jade Moon still fights (not literally) her way into America to live the life that she wants.Jade Moon is stubborn, fearless, willful, full of passion and is just entirely her own person. She refuses to let her life be dictated for her and knows she has to escape before she is forced into a life she does not want to live. Despite the fact that everyone says she is a curse because she was born a Fire Horse, she doesn’t hide who she is. You cannot help but admire Jade Moon’s fire within her. She’s a heroine you can easily look up to and she’s someone you want little girls to role model after.With such a touchy subject about two countries and immigration, it is usually very hard to write a novel where you don’t brand one of the countries as the ‘enemy’ and particularly in this instance, you would expect America to be upheld as the ‘dream country’ but Honeyman was able to keep it neutral. Despite the promise of freedom in America, things aren’t as dandy as they seem and especially for the Chinese, with the Americans not actually wanting to admit Chinese into their land. With that, it might have been better to stay in China. Honeyman was able to show the two sides and the benefits and cons of both countries.I was pleased to find that the romance was kept mellow, I love me some fair share of romance but it wouldn’t have complied with the Chinese culture because Chinese, Asians in general, are not very public with intimacy. It’s something very private that should only be indulged to the two involved and in those times, a man and a woman couldn’t do anything until they were married. Honeyman was able to deliver those heartfelt moments between Jade Moon and Sterling Promise very well, even without any saucy scenes, you could feel the emotions stirring between the two.The writing was just beautiful, I really wish I could have highlighted some of the passages and Honeyman just made it so utterly Chinese even in English. I actually wished Honeyman provided some of them in its original context in Chinese so I could have fully appreciated the full beauty of the proverbs. It would have added a bit more authenticity to the novel and stir some curiosity into the readers towards Chinese culture.The events in the story are absolutely heart-wrenching, it truly hits you when you realise the predicament women were in during those times. How men treated them like nothing and easily got them married off or sold to a brothel into prostitution. The Fire Horse Girl also reminds you how much the Chinese value the family name and how important family is in terms of reputation. One person’s rash decision could mean the downfall for the entire family and future generations. It gives you an insight over how Chinese families worked in the 20s.I couldn’t put The Fire Horse Girl down towards the end, I just had to finish it and not because of the action or anything, just because the story was so good I had to get to the end. I stayed up for this and I do not regret it at all. It’s a truly fantastic novel that I think everyone should read. This definitely is one of my top reads of 2013 and I strongly recommend it to everyone.
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review 2013-02-10 00:00
The Fire Horse Girl
The Fire Horse Girl - Kay Honeyman Well this was a nice surprise! This book received a couple of positive reviews from my friends, but only a few read it, and there has not been a ton of hype or blogging activity over this book. And that is a damn shame. Because The Fire Horse Girl is possible my favorite read of 2013 so far. I know, I know, I only gave it 4 stars, but what it does have in minor flaws, it makes up for in originality, creativity, and bad-ass writing.Jade Moon is the type of protagonist I am always searching for but rarely find. When the story begins she is in the Chinese village she has grown up in. Jade moon is a Fire Horse girl (fire sign born in the year of the horse) and according to Chinese astrology, this means her family is cursed. If she stays in Guangdong Province, she is doomed to be married to a 4th son bricklayer because that is the best match her family can obtain for her. So when the opportunity arises for her to immigrate to America, she takes it. And this is just the beginning. The prose is utterly gorgeous and captivating. I loved Jade's voice and characterization. She was strong, a fighter, and determined to stand up for herself in a completely patriarchal society. Which brings me to my next point. The Fire Horse Girl is well-researched and historically accurate. You will not likely enjoy the male characters in this book. As annoying as this is, it is as it should be. Because unfortunately females in China during this time were seen as the lesser sex and had to answer to the men in their lives. I just want to warn any female readers going into this one. That if this is not something you can handle, I would not recommend this book for you.One other complaint? I didn't much care for the way one plot thread was concluded. I wish I could talk about it, but without giving spoilers, I cannot. If you have read the book though and wish to discuss this with me, I'd be happy to. This book was rich in atmosphere; each new setting was brilliantly rendered, and the book was exciting enough to keep me flipping from page to page and I never once wanted to put it down. There was a portion of the book towards the halfway point--the immigration section--that was a little slow for me, but I found it interesting enough to keep turning the pages even so. I feel like I learned a lot from this book, and I had really no interest in visiting San Francisco, but now I do. WHOA. I must see Chinatown! I highly recommend this book to almost any reader. And you guys know how much I love Asian fiction. The ones I have been reading lately have let me down, but not this one. It was fabulous. I would even reread it if I had time. Unfortunately I don't, but I don't think you will be disappointed with this one if you decide to read it. It pretty much blew me away!
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