From the New York Times bestselling author of The Downstairs Girl comes the richly imagined story of Valora and Jamie Luck, twin British-Chinese acrobats traveling aboard the Titanic on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
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 aren't allowed into America.
But Val has to get on that ship. Her twin brother Jamie, who has spent two long years at sea, is there, as is an influential circus owner, whom Val hopes to audition for. Thankfully, there's not much a trained acrobat like Val can't overcome when she puts her mind to it.
As a stowaway, Val should keep her head down and stay out of sight. But the clock is ticking and she has just seven days as the ship makes its way across the Atlantic to find Jamie, perform for the circus owner, and convince him to help get them both into America.
Then one night the unthinkable happens, and suddenly Val's dreams of a new life are crushed under the weight of the only thing that matters: survival.
After two years apart from her twin brother, Jamie, British Chinese Valora Luck, 17, is boarding the Titanic, intent on finding Jamie, a coal worker heading to Cuba alongside seven other Chinese men. When the Chinese Exclusion Act results in Val being turned away at the first-class gangway despite her ticket, she engages the childhood acrobatic arts training the twins' late father provided, climbing aboard with the assistance of white aspiring American haute couturier April Hart. Val is intent on gaining an audience with a partial owner of the Ringling Brothers Circus, certain that it's the siblings' chance to go big-time in New York. With cleverness and determination, Val dons disguises to navigate between classes and decks, securing a public audience with him. But there are those who would see them fail, and soon, circumstances beyond their control throw everyone's plans and lives into question. Lee (The Downstairs Girl) deftly sketches a compassionate cast and immerses readers in the ship's architecture and socially stratified atmosphere, sustaining suspense throughout by foreshadowing the disaster to come. A finely crafted historical exploration of identity, class, and family that resonates through the present. Back matter includes an author's note. Ages 12 up.
This was good!
This was such a good story, I liked the characters, the plot, and the writing. Val wanting to be in the circus, really anything regarding the circus is always interesting to read. I really liked how it portrayed the third class of the titanic, I wasn’t even aware there were Chinese people in the titanic. I thought it was just white people, so it was really interesting to see a different perspective.
I really loved the relationship Jamie and Val had, she really did love her brother. It was sweet. Val is a decent main character, sometimes she’s very annoying but I liked her, she was a good person. I think towards the middle of this book it started to get really boring. I was expecting more of the part of the titanic where it actually sank.
But there was less of that and more of the whole circus thing and the whole Val pretending to be first class going on. I did like that though, I thought her act really went to show the difference between these classes. I think there was way too many characters, I was having difficult keeping up.
I really liked the ending however, it definitely is a sad one but it only made me like the book more. I think towards the end was my favorite part. The end really showed who Val was as a character perfectly.
This is a good read, with a gorgeous cover!