There are a lot of good things about this book and one those being the historical aspect of it. I love when an author takes a historical event and adds onto it with their own style while also giving us information that we may not have known about. The author also added a note to give us a bit more information while also telling us where she got the idea from for the book. I actually didn’t know about the Chinese Exclusion Act or that the Chinese passengers who survived were vilified and called cowards for surviving that night. It is interesting to see what is left out of history or even movies that are based on historical events.
The book is told with one point-of-view and that comes from Valora Luck. She is definitely a girl with many hats as she portrays herself as different people on the boat, all for different reasons! Because of that, it showed the issues when it came to the class system and racism. It was hard for me to fully connect with her but I understood her passion for wanting her brother to be with her. Even if her family didn’t always care as much as she did, she still held on and embraced them, flaws and all. I also liked that she cared about those she hardly knew too. It really showed off her kindness.
At times the book did slow in areas and then it picked up towards the end. Some added twists felt unnecessary like the really minor romance for Valora. I sometimes feel like romance is added for the sake of the genre when it comes to YA. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the ending either. It is definitely heartbreaking though.
Overall, this was a good book. This was my first book by this author and she definitely writes historical fiction well as it’s not one of my favorite genres but I did like it for this one.