Let's Talk!: Under a Painted Sky by: Stacey Lee

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Under a Painted Sky

Author: Stacey Lee
Pages: 384
Publsihed by: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published on: March 17th 2015
A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity. 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.

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This book has been a pretty anticipated novel for me. I first discovered it back in January and wanted to read it so bad! Then, March finally came and I finally got to read this book. This book was so great. I loved the historical fiction aspect of it and how the main character was Chinese. For a debut author, Stacey's writing was great. It's so funny because I speak and understand Cantonese and so when there were words in Canto. I read them in my head in Cantonese (Even though the English words were pretty precise). It's this kind of connection that enhances the reading experience.

Samantha started off as already a pretty smart person. I have to admit, she is very knowledgeable with the different zodiacs. Believe me, I know what zodiac I am and that's it. I don't know the different qualities I have and what years the other zodiacs are. Whoops. Back to what I was trying to say. By the end of the book Sammy has been through so much for an average Chinese girl. (Sometimes I wonder whether I would survive if I was in the battlefield in a dystopian book. I have come to the conclusion that I would definitely not live past the battle. If anything, I would die first!) By the end of UAPS (Under a Painted Sky) Samantha is a lot tougher than she was in the beginning. If you were to take ending Samantha and have go up against Ty Yorkshire (Is that his name?) she would probably have kicked his butt. This girl knew how to fight by the end of the book and she would have definitely taken down Ty easy peasy. Of course, the way Sam took down Ty is a pretty good way to get rid of him but it's not very preferred...

I really liked the action scenes in this book. It gave me a tiny insight on what is what like to survive on the Oregon Trail. I didn't really expect this book to have a huge amount of action because, well, traveling the Oregon Trail isn't going to be like action everyday. There were the occasional parties and fight scenes and I liked both; Especially the fight scenes. They were just so fun to read about and even more interesting because no one knew Samantha and Annamae were girls. If they wanted to keep up the act of them both being men then they had to fight pretty hard...

The western part of this book. Obviously, you have to go into this book knowing that the Oregon Trail is a very important element of this book. I know very little things about the trail so facts don't matter that much to me; even if they were wrong would I know? Usually I read books that either take place in a totally fiction place, or the modern world. It's was very different for me to read about them in past because I was constantly thinking about things like the Internet or cell phones. Haha, back then if you got lost
At this point, getting lost on the trail meant you should find a new group to join. 

I gave this book 5 stars because I just loved it! The characters, western aspect of it, and just the glorious action! This was a great debut for Stacey and we shall see what her future brings us.  
  
TheendingwassogreatohgoshIwantsomuchmore. Guys, it finally happened! The sail has shipped! My OTP is finally an ACTUAL thing. Isn't it great! Annamae and Peety are finally together! Oh, you thought I was talking about Samantha and West? Hah, well guess what? You guessed right! Okay, maybe I am talking about both Andy and Sam. Gah, this book is so funny. I'm pretty sure the boys knew early that Sam and Andy were girls but it was still funny knowing that West was going crazy crushing on another "boy." I'm just super glad everything cleared out and they can live nicely and California. It was funny because if I didn't know Sam was a girl and saw her crying over West and Sofia I would have been pretty confused. That's what makes Andy and Sam's relationships. Before the ending, I thought they were going crazy crushing on a guy but honestly, what is wrong with that? (Can I just say all the couples in this book were SO CUTE)

Just a thought: Can I say how much I just love Cay, West, and Peety!

The ending! Let's talk about that! I loved the ending. I have to admit, it was pretty epic. The brothers have always been the antagonists of this book*. I was freaking out when I found out Annamae's brother was actually Badge. Then I freaked out even MORE because the brothers were probably going to kill Sam and Andy. Haha, just when I thought the book couldn't even get more exciting and scary, Isacc jumps off the waterfall! Stacey, why you do dis to me?! At this point the book couldn't get even worse huh? HAHA, WRONG. Yes, at this point I was having a heart attack because Sam is on the edge of death! The little water fight with Angus was the cause of that. These guys were pretty scary. As much as they are idiots, they are scary people. Okay so these two are fighting for the death, then she falls off the falls! Stacey what are you doing to me?! Lord, then there is that part where it seems like Sam is dead but she isn't? Yeah, at that I was both freaking the heck and out super confused.

*Well, technically the brothers are co-antagonists.