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The Fire Horse Girl

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,049 ratings  ·  250 reviews
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 he
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published January 1st 2013 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  1,049 ratings  ·  250 reviews

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jv poore
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
In China, your astrological sign is a combination of one of the twelve animal signs and an element. A Fire Horse will only appear once in every sixty years. This is a good thing. The Fire amplifies the Horse’s most distasteful traits: stubbornness, selfishness and volatile temper. A Fire Horse girl, particularly one born in the early twentieth century, has little hope of conforming to the expectations held for a Chinese lady.

Jade Moon is a Fire Horse girl. At a blush, she appears spirited, spun
Rating: 4.5 Stars

When it comes to debut novels, I’ve begun to shy away from books. Without naming any names, debut novels more often than not prove to be massive disappointments for me. Of course, they all have gorgeous covers and thrilling synopses, but the ultimate execution of their plots falls disastrously flat. The Fire Horse Girl, however, is one of those few debuts that truly puts every other debut novel to shame. Although I constantly complain that there is a dearth of good historical fi
Experiment BL626
The Fire Horse captured my attention, and this come from a reader who doesn’t like to read historical. Unless it’s part fantasy or mm-romance, neither of which this book was, I pass. What persuaded me was the plot of an Asian-American immigrant’s experience, which immediately made me think of myself. Very rarely do I encounter a book with that sort of thing.

+ the heroine and a rant

The writing was accessible, and thus great. Still, the beginning was like a ride on a country road. The blurb adver
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
"The Fire Horse Girl" was a very well written YA historical fiction novel. It was my first young adult book in this genre, and I expected something edging the immature side for some reason. I was a bit surprised at the range of emotions that this book covered. There is a lot of sadness in this novel, and the fact that it tells the tale of a real time in Chinese-American history feels very... weighty. This book is one of those sort of depressing tales of both physical and emotional turmoil, but t ...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: galleys, read-in-2013
The Fire Horse Girl is just my type of book. It's a story about a girl who doesn't fit in the box where society puts her, she's too loud, too vocal and just too much to be a typical Chinese housewife. Born in the year of the Fire Horse, the worst possible year for a girl to be born, Jade Moon has all the vices - the temper, the stubbornness, the selfishness and the strength.

Because of her unfortunate birth, she's left with little hope in China except being married off against her will to whoever
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who think historical fiction is boring... and anyone else.
The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman is a tale of adventure and romance that, as the back cover claims, unforgettable. The heroine, Jade Moon, is a Fire Horse, the worst Zodiac Sign for girls. In her Chinese village, she is ignored by her family, and insulted by their neighbors Auntie Wu, and her family. Then, everything changes when a man named Sterling Promise offers her family a chance of renewal in the new country of America. Jade Moon hopes to start over, but will America really be what Jade ...more
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-event
Originally posted at:

I'm so glad to say that The Fire Horse Girl lived up to my expectations, and even surpassed them! Once I started it, I was immediately captured by the gorgeous writing and the Asian culture in this novel. While I have read some historical-fiction novels before, I've never really delved into one surrounding Asian culture and tradition. It was really interesting to see how this was so different to, for example, something based in Europe
Aug 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm thinking this is a need historical novel. And I can see all the rematch that went into this particularly angle island. But a true historical novel doesn't hit you over the head with everything you have found out about your subject.

Good story. Good concept. Since the cover gives away what happens in the second half of the book I feel that I can say she carried out being disguised as a young man well except never addressing how she hid her period. I wouldn't have wanted elaborate details but
Abby Johnson
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book - it's historical fiction dealing with an incident I knew nothing about (detainment of Asian immigrants at Angel Island) and features a strong and feisty heroine. But the pacing was off for me and I kept putting it down during the slow bits and then not wanting to pick it back up.
Angela Blount
Originally reviewed for YA Books Central:

A captivating gem of a story—an absolute treasure. I hated having to put it down to attend to ‘real life,’ and relished the joy of picking it back up again.

“I could feel the beginning of the story gathering in her throat. Stories are that way, like storms. If you pay attention, you can sense them in the air.”

Fire Horse Girl is a highly accessible (and subtly informative) YA historical, steeped in 1920’s Chinese cu
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Great story. The romance is very light, more of an afterthought, but I was too caught up in Jade Moon's story to mind. She's an engaging heroine, and I loved the author's writing style. Very evocative.
Cass -  Words on Paper

Reading 'The Fire Horse Girl' was a long time coming. Back in 2013 it was placed highly on my wishlist and I knew that I needed to read it. How often do you read about an Asian female protagonist who cross-dresses as a man to escape China in the 1920s? My interest in this book was tied largely with my intense obsession with the Disney hit film Mulan - see: Asian female cross-dressing - but that desire to read it had dulled somewhat when I began to worry about the potential disappointment. Wha
Andrea Broadfoot
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Typically, I find young adult books to be lacking enough detail, complex plots or development of character for me to be satisfied and wanting to continue reading, but this book included all of it. The beauty of China and the formality of tradition set the tone of this story and allowed the reader to discover Jade Moon and the complexity of her circumstances. Not knowing much about Chinese Immigration or anything about Angel Island, I found the travel from ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think (if it was written accurately which it does seem to have been) I learned more about Chinese immigration than I ever knew before. And I thoroughly enjoyed the feisty Jade Moon. I was laughing in the early pages but then things became quite serious and harrowing. A tad of trite here and there, but Jade Moon had indomitable spirit and thereby was an excellent heroine of this story.
Lisa Tsuruda
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thank you to and Scholastic for this advanced copy!

As most Chinese and part-Chinese people, we take our Chinese Zodiac sign seriously. I'm an Earth Monkey and my younger son is a Water Monkey and although we are similar in the sense that we are funny and clever as well as other Monkey traits, we are different. I can also admit that I am secretly happy that he is also a Monkey and that I have someone who understands me.

I was thus intrigued by the premise of this YA historical novel
Richie Partington
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: THE FIRE HORSE GIRL by Kay Honeyman, Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, January 2013, 336p., ISBN: 978-0-545-40310-8

“I was not ignorant of how ridiculous I seemed to people. My feet wandered the village with little purpose other than my own pleasure, my mind constructed ideas that no one seemed to understand, and my heart held hopes that were far beyond my reach. But I could not help my thoughts or my dreams. I watched the wind lead the leaves in a dance, and I wondered if any of them
Melissa (The Reader & The Chef)
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
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Jade Moon is a Fire Horse and much too stubborn, strong-willed, and inquisitive for a girl in a Chinese family. All she wants is to be allowed to be herself, but as long as she remains in her small town in China, she has a duty to marry, even if it seems increasingly unlikely that anyone will want to take her. But then a young, smooth-talking man named Sterling Promise shows up with an opportunity, and soon, Jade Moon finds herself traveling with Sterling Promise and her father to America. This ...more
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Jade Moon Chan, the Fire Horse Girl, is stubborn and fierce and prickly as a cactus. And I was immediately smitten with her and her story. I enjoyed this book. It shines a light on the struggle of Chinese immigrants to the United States in the early 20th century. There was also a lot of adventure and action. And although the romance was a little underdeveloped, it was sweet.

Likable enough characters and a good story, but not something I will love deeply. That being said, I still recommend it.
Suzanne Dix
Jade Moon was born unlucky or cursed as many would tell her throughout her life. Her mother died giving birth to her "Fire Horse" daughter (the combination of a zodiac animal sign and element) and Jade Moon's entire existence has been one where her family and community criticize and shun her. She dreams of a better life, one with the freedom to start fresh and escape her curse of the impulsive and dangerous Fire Horse. When a stranger visits the family home and explains that he is Jade Moon's ad ...more
Cloie Rainilla
Sep 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of historical fiction
This story is set in the 1920's and deals with citizens from China moving to America and the struggles that follow. Half of the book takes place on Angel island- where Chinese immigrants were taken to be questioned and decided whether they could enter the country. Our main character is a girl named Jade Moon. Her village and own family treat her as if she is cursed, because she was born in the year of the Fire Horse. Girls in that year are assumed to be stubborn, willful, and full of ideas. Jade ...more
Corinne Edwards
Jade Moon is a fire horse, and in Chinese astrology, it means she is passionate and outspoken - a bit too much so. So much so, in fact, that she has ostracized herself with her bold speaking and boisterious ways. While her village sees her as bad luck and her father wants nothing to do with her, Jade Moon's dreams loom large and impossible.

So when an opportunity to go to America presents itself, it feels like her chance at happiness and freedom has finally come. In 1920s San Fransisco, however,
Sam Massey
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book has been sitting on my shelf for too many years. I loved it. It was such a treat to get a glimpse, even a fictional one, of a culture that not many Americans understand or try to understand, and in a period of our own history that we often gloss over. It is extremely important to learn our complete history, even the not-so-stellar moments. I feel like this subject and this book and others like it are especially important with the recent attention to the immigration debate. Even though ...more
Queena Roquemore
4.5 stars.

I've read this book twice and have enjoyed it both times. From a middle school teacher perspective, I thought the writing was fantastic for the target audience (8th-10th grade). There was a lot of historical content to unpack and some great plot points for potential discussion with students. I teetered between giving this book a 4 or a 5 on the Goodreads scale, but ultimately, because it stuck with me so much after the first time I read it, I'm bumping up the star count and including t
Was the world full of traps and cages, or was I particularly good at falling into them?

Jade Moon was born in the year of the Fire Horse. For boys, a Fire Horse's forceful personality is no issue. But for girls, being a Fire Horse means a life doomed to being too bold and too reckless. With her "curse" hanging over her, Jade Moon can't escape the disappointment she sees in her family or their fellow villagers. She longs for adventure, to go someplace where women like her are accepted. When a
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally read a lot of historical fiction, but I'm very glad I read this one. I picked it up for reader's advisory and was completely sucked into Jade Moon's story. It has action, betrayal, heartache, triumph, adventure, everything a good story should have.
Apr 03, 2013 added it
Ah, the past, when men were men and girls were rebellious free spirits who would not be held back by society's expectations.

Why did this book not get more coverage when it was released??!
Vishnu Brahmandam
Aug 25, 2015 marked it as to-read
Before Reading:
That cover is gorgeous.
Ginny Weasly
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Its an awesome book. especially for us girls who know we can be just as good or even better than boys. :)
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Around the Year i...: The Fire Horse Girl, by Kay Honeyman 1 6 May 06, 2019 08:43PM  

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