Book Review from Bestie Jess

I am so pleased to give you guys a book review from one of my BookClub Besties! Her review has me very eager to read this book!

For now let me introduce Bestie Jess and her review of Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee.

Under a Painted Sky Review By Jessica Lopez

I would like to believe that luck came my way the night I met Stacey Lee at a book signing for one of my favorite authors (and Stacey’s dear friend) Stephanie Garber’s book tour for her newest book Legendary. I had no idea I would get to meet another talented author, so I quickly read the synopsis of Stacey’s books, all aligned so perfectly on the shelves in the quaintest little book store I’ve ever seen. At Kepler’s Books, each isle was filled with handwritten recomendations on index cards, and paper lanterns adorning the ceiling, I found myself in book bliss as I picked up Stacey Lee’s novels, determined to pick just the right one before the book signing began.

Under a Painted Sky caught my eye, and having never read a Western before, I decided to give it a try. When Stacey signed my copy, she wrote “Make your own luck” and I didn’t realize it then just how lucky it was that of all her books, this was the one I picked.

Under a Painted Sky begins in Missouri in 1849 and follows the ill luck of a young violinist Chinese girl named Samantha. On the run for a crime committed in self defense, she and her unexpected ally Annamae, a runaway slave, flee onto the Oregon Trail, disguised as boys heading to join in on the great California Gold Rush.

Being on the run from the law, surrounded by the vast empty plains of the trail, they must learn to survive amongst cowboys and criminals alike, all while keeping a low profile as believable boys whom are determined to strike a fortune along with gaining freedom from their pasts.

Stacey Lee paints a beautiful story, full of Chinese folklore that brings characters to life in a whole different way than you would expect of a Western novel. I couldn’t help but feel for Sammy as she struggles with loss, heartache and her ill luck. I found joy in the stories told by the fireside, and the unlikely band of friends made me laugh and gasp at all the right spots. I found myself on the edge of my seat as the story came to a close, unable to peel my eyes from the pages, I felt as if I was tied up in a rope twisted with expertly crafted knots Stacey Lee wove into this story. She captured me like a cunning cowboy wrangler, leaving me feeling like I definitely made my own luck by picking her book and giving a Western novel a chance. I cannot wait to read more of Stacey Lee’s novels in the future!

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