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Luck of the Titanic

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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  6,206 ratings  ·  1,539 reviews
Valora Luck has two things: a ticket for the biggest and most luxurious ocean liner in the world, and a dream of leaving England behind and making a life for herself as a circus performer in New York. Much to her surprise, though, she's turned away at the gangway; apparently, Chinese people aren't allowed into America.

But Val has to get on that ship. Her twin brother, Jami
...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published May 4th 2021 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Sami If you mean clean as in no explicit material then it is very clean. There is one queer side character but I wouldn't classify this as a romance novel.…moreIf you mean clean as in no explicit material then it is very clean. There is one queer side character but I wouldn't classify this as a romance novel. (less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,206 ratings  ·  1,539 reviews


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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
When I was a kid I had a fascination with shipwrecks and literally couldn't tell you why. I just remember learning about the Edmund Fitzgerald and then spending hours googling and on the phone with my friend talking about it in grade 3. I also loved the Magic Tree House Tonight on the Titanic book. This preamble is all to say that I spent a lot of time googling while reading this, and because of my fascination with shipwrecks I was kind of predisposed to like this. But, Stacey Lee did a fantasti ...more
Booktastically Amazing
So apparently, having common sense is optional.
And I'm referring to myself, by the way.

Rating: 😈😈😈😈😈 4.8

We all know the Titanic. That certain tragedy that was made into a movie which made my eyes puff up to the size of Jupiter and which made me the wonderful perpetually angry human I am today. JACK COULD'VE FIT ON THE DOOR WITH HER. HE COULD'VE. DANG IT. So obviously, I knew what I was getting into. Even anticipated a few tear drops to escape the jail cell of my bucket less soul.

And I was right.
...more
Panda Incognito
A whole lot of nothing happens, and then the Titanic sinks.

This book's premise sounded fascinating, and I have enjoyed Stacey Lee's work in the past, but this book was a huge disappointment. There is very little meaningful character development, and what little plot there is gets dragged out way too long, with far too many inconsequential details. Sometimes, I felt like we were just shadowing the main character's every step on the ship, from her veiled disguise in First Class to her mingling in
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Ashley
Feb 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-releases
I'M DEAD. Dead. THIS FREAKING COVER, THE TITANIC, DIVERSE CHARACERS, STACEY LEE...

Ahhhhh THAT COVER! IT. IS. SOOOO GORGEOUS & ALL ELEGANCE & ART DECO!
...more
Rachel Reads Ravenously
This is sad because I was really excited about reading this book and it turned out to be one of my most disappointing reads this year. Basically a bunch of nothing really happens and then at the last minute, the Titanic sinks.

The plot, which started out really strong, fell flat about 150 pages in and never picked back up. Lots of characters that were never really developed (despite having lots of potential for being interesting) and after another 150 boring pages, the boat sinks abruptly and I
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Steph
for the first 76% of this book, i thought pacing was its issue. the titanic doesn't hit the iceberg until the book is at 76%, which is far too late! titanic's history is interesting on many levels, and i was excited to read about a chinese-british acrobat seeking to perform with her twin brother in america. but why such slow buildup to such a dramatic event?

anyway, once i reached the part of the book where the ship starts sinking, i realized that pacing isn't the only issue. the writing is terri
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Julia
May 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
https://stormyreadsya.home.blog/2021/...

O.M.G. I just finished this like literally 5 seconds ago and wow. I am writing this through my tears so don’t mind a few spelling mistakes.

First of all, the atmosphere? Impeccable. I actually felt like I was on the Titanic, which was terrifying and amazing all at once. The writing style just drew me right in and it makes me want to read everything Stacey Lee has ever written and will ever write. Metaphors and descriptions I had never heard before but someh
...more
Darla
Nov 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
I will never forget seeing the movie "Titanic" in the theaters on a date night with my husband in the late 90's. The opulence of the ocean liner was in my mind as I read this book about Valora and Jamie Luck. They were once working on a twin acrobat act, but after the death of both parents their future is not so certain. Now that they are both on the Titanic, can they make that dream come true in America? What about Jamie's revised plans to stay with his new ship family? And what about the Chine ...more
Jodi Meadows
Jul 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I ugly cried.
human
Nov 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: not-released
hmm, maybe it's something about the titani-

OH MY GOD COVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
...more
mads
TW: confinement, death, death of a parent, grief, racism, racial slurs, sexual assault, xenophobia.
jenna (jennajustreads)
Aug 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
**4.5 stars

I really thought I had this book figured out, but boy was I wrong. When I was younger, I was super interested in the Titanic. Because of this, I had to pick this book up and omg I’m so glad I did.
Everything about this book was incredible and I absolutely adore it.
katie ❀
Jul 07, 2021 rated it liked it
i'm kind of disappointed??? oh well. ...more
Amanda at Bookish Brews
May 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Never in my life did I ever imagine seeing people who look like me in historical fiction, let alone a story like the Titanic. Honestly this is something I didn't know I needed. Check out my full review here! :)

Here's a preview:
Fun, real, heartwarming, thought provoking, witty, and charming.

Luck of the Titanic is the Titanic story I wish we all knew. Move over Rose and Jack, make way for Val and Jamie. Never once did I ever imagine to be able to see someone who looked like me in a historical fic
...more
michelle (magical reads)
4.5 stars

read on my blog

rep: biracial (Chinese, white) protagonist and main character, ownvoices Chinese side characters, lesbian side character
cw: racism, use of slurs

**I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley (thank you, Penguin Teen!). These are my honest opinions, and in no way was I compensated for this review.**

Luck wears many faces . . . As far as I’m concerned, the best way to counter bad luck is to make some luck of your own.


Historical fiction has never been my gen
...more
cossette
i am a puddle of tears no one talk to me this book has ruined me
literarylesbian
May 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book had absolutely stunning story telling! I truly feel in love with Valora’s narration and definitely recommend this book to any historical fiction fans. I really enjoyed the point of view this book provided given how white washed so much of the historical fiction genre is.
♠ TABI⁷ ♠
Nov 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: netgalley
YES. SO MUCH Y E S
  ✧・゚⁽⁽ଘ Shreya ଓ⁾⁾✧・゚
"There are moments to be strong, but there are also moment to be weak. And in those moments of rest, we find strength anew and challenge ourselves to grow bigger than we ever thought possible.”

My rating: 4.5 stars (rounded up)

So I just finished this book and I should probably give myself some space before writing the review but then again, will I ever be ready? cue some sad but dreamy music as I stare out the window and contemplate this question.

Ok well, I decided I'll review it now instead of
...more
Mallory
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I know what happened to the Titanic. I’ve seen the movies, read the books, visited the museum. And yet somehow I let myself get attached to the characters in this book, but in my defense they were so well written. Valora Luck is a spectacular young lady who manages to stowaway on the Titanic. And she manages to find some allies and fool her way into a first class cabin that should have belonged to her recently departed mistress. She’s doing everything she can to find her brother and help him rea ...more
Anniek
I knew this would be devastating and yet I was still shocked at how devastating this was. I spent the last 20% just... crying.

Stacey Lee retells a well-known tragedy through the perspective of the people who have usually been ignored when talking about it: the Chinese passengers. What begins as an adventurous story of a girl doing whatever she can to get reunited with her brother, ends up having a huge emotional impact in multiple ways. This is definitely a book that will stay with me for a long
...more
laurel [the suspected bibliophile]
Five soggy, crying, messy and utterly devastated tears.

Each time I think I know what I'm getting into with a Stacey Lee book, she does something new and shatters my soul.

Full review to maybe come.
...more
jut
May 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-s-books
stacey lee did one amazing hell job here!
Kelly
My ability to write thoughtful reviews will be hampered for a while, but I loved this. Stacey Lee writes incredible YA historical fiction and this story of biracial Valora seeking out her twin brother on the Titanic as a stowaway -- with the goal to get into America and join the Ringling Brothers Circus in order to evade the Chinese Exclusion Act -- is complex, compelling, and utterly immersive. Val is such a clever character, and though the ending is pretty obvious early on, it didn't make it l ...more
Simone
Apr 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a slow burning story about young Valora Luck; a Chinese British person who's trying to get to America and become an acrobat in the Ringling Bros Circus. While it was slow burning, I also remembered this story takes place on the Titanic and perhaps it was more the anticipation of what happens to the ship that made it feel slow. But it was definitely entertaining. Watching Valora pull off being a boy to hang out with her brother and his friends in third class to pretending to be Mrs. Sloa ...more
Dewi
Feb 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Thanks to Edelweiss and G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Luck of the Titanic is loosely based on the events that transpired on the infamous Titanic and more specifically, the eight Chinese people that boarded the ill-fated ship. Valora Luck smuggles herself aboard to find her brother Jamie as well as to join the circus that can bring her to America under the Chinese Exclusion Act.

What I really like is the historical fi
...more
Heather
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: digital-arc, 2020
I'm a sucker for anything Titanic, but it has to be done right. Luck of the Titanic is done RIGHT. The story is told through the viewpoint of Valora Luck, a Chinese girl who is attempting to make her way to the United States via the Titanic so that she and her twin brother Jamie can make their way in a land seemingly filled with opportunity. There's one problem though: Jamie doesn't have his heart set on the United States, and Valora has tasked herself with convincing her twin that their old lif ...more
daphnereads
Mar 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Full review, 3/17/21: Luck of the Titanic is a heartbreaking story that follows Valora Luck as she is trying to reunite with her brother and make a future for them in America. Her only way into the U.S. is the owner of a circus, and she needs to convince him to take her and her brother as acrobats. But when the Titanic begins to sink, all Val wants is to survive.

This was beautiful. Stacey Lee truly did it right with this book, it was brilliant. From the start, you can see how much research and h
...more
Sara L.
Oct 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
BUT WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY??!! 😭 Full RTC to come. ALSO I HAVE COMPLETED MY GOODREADS CHALLENGE!!! THIS IS MY 200th BOOK!
Staci
Jun 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
April 10-15, 1912

Twins Valora and Jamie's parents are of Caucasian (mom) and Chinese (father) descent. Both parents are deceased and the twins are living separate lives as young adults. When Valora learns Jamie will be sailing aboard the newly built Titantic, she takes the opportunity presented to her to board as well. Valora is hoping for a new life in America for both of them. Jamie isn't happy to see his sister aboard as he has plans to shovel coal in Cuba. In addition, he's frustrated with
...more
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Literally Leander: Final Thoughts - June 2 6 Jul 01, 2022 10:13AM  
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Stacey Lee is the New York Times and Indie bestselling author of historical and contemporary young adult fiction, including THE DOWNSTAIRS GIRL, Reese's Book Club Late Summer 2021 YA pick, and her most recent, LUCK OF THE TITANIC which received five starred reviews. A native of southern California and fourth-generation Chinese American, she is a founder of the We Need Diverse Books movement and wr ...more

Articles featuring this book

  Ellen Oh is an award-winning author of middle grade and young adult novels such as Spirit Hunters, The Dragon Egg Princess, and A Thousand...
98 likes · 12 comments
“I point at one of the brighter stars. "What's that big red one?"
"The White Tiger to the Chinese. Westerners call it the Bull."
Isn't that like life? Two people look at the same object but see two different things. I look at shoveling coal and see a job. He sees a calling.”
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“The sooner you let people be who they want to be, the better for all.” 0 likes
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