# of pages: 384
Official description: 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.
My opinion: I just loved this book! It’s a young adult and it isn’t super realistic, but I absolutely loved the characters. The author is an amazing writer. I enjoyed the way she described what the characters were thinking as well as the settings. I also found it refreshing to read a young adult novel that is also a historical fiction that takes place during a time that is not written about so much.
This met the requirement for January in the Monthly Motif Challenge and the “diversity” category of the Full House Challenge. The main characters are Chinese and black (escaped slave) young women.
Why I gave this book 5/5 stars: Great characters, unique story, beautiful descriptions. Not entirely realistic or complex, but that’s okay for an uplifting young adult novel.
The Perpetual Page-Turner
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I’d be happy to post yours as well.