Another wonderful week in reading-land! I got Stacey Lee's Young Adult historical novel UNDER A PAINTED SKY in the mail and lost myself in a beautifully written, gripping page-turner full of adventure, friendship, and romance. And cowboys. Handsome, funny, chivalrous cowboys. <3
So what's it about? The year is 1849. Samantha is a Chinese-American whose father has brought her to a small town on the edge of the frontier. Annamae is an African-American slave. The two girls are brought together by one tragic night, and flee into the Wild West disguised as boys headed toward the California Gold Rush. Not long into their journey, they encounter a trio of cowboys: talkative, flirty Cay; quiet, surly West; and kind horse-lover Peety. The guys agree to take "Sam" and "Andy" as far as the next fort…and then the next. Friendships are formed. Romance blossoms. But Sam can't let herself fall for one of her new friends—she's supposed to be a boy, after all. And anyway, she has bigger problems. She and Andy are being chased by the law, and if she can't find a former friend of her father's on the trail ahead, everything will be lost. UNDER A PAINTED SKY has gotten a lot of accolades already (it doesn't release until March 17), and it deserves each and every one. The historical details are perfect. The Wild West setting is stunningly described. The characters are vivid and their relationships are heartwarming and heartbreaking. Even if you don't usually read historical fiction, put this wonderful book on your radar.
The eternal post-ending question: Reading anything good right now? :)