I think the reason I didn't like this book as much as others have is that I went into it thinking that I would get a lot more of the Titanic story than what it did. I like that the book had the atmosphere that I wanted of the vast open sea. It included very descriptive and imaginative details of the ship. So much so that I found myself being transported there. So full credit goes to the author for describing the setting and transporting me there.
I also really liked the way the book is written. It flows very nicely and is easy to read and understand what is taking place. The first word that comes into my mind is that the writing is very elegant.
Even with this all being said there were a lot of problems I had with the book. I think most of us wanted to read this book for the sinking of the Titanic but I was very disappointed when this crucial part of the story was left to the very ending and very little time was given to it. When it did finally come around it was very well written and built it up a lot of suspense. And at least for me, I could feel the panic and worry that surrounded this event. That bit of the book was my favorite. It was very fast-paced and had me hanging onto every word. Especially that epilogue. So when we finally do get to the part of the book I wanted to read about, I wasn't disappointed in how the sinking of the Titanic came about.
For most of the book, it's just Valora trying to get her brother to follow her to America and join the circus. In the beginning, I was fully on board with Valora but as the story continued I felt like she was being a little selfish for pushing her view onto her brother when he obviously didn't wanna go. it made me view her as a little bit selfish because if her brother went with her he would leave all of his friends behind. I also don't really understand why it was so crucial for her to go to America. Nothing was explained for a reason why she had to leave her home and why it was so crucial for her to be in America, except that she just wanted to. I wish there was a little bit more of a compelling reason that made us support her in her goal to leave her home.
The characters were some of my favorites in books that I have read. Some of my favorite in this book were Jamie's friends, who are working with him. I love the way that they were written in this book. Some of them are very young but they weren't written in a way and didn't act in a way that was immature and annoying. I found myself caring for them and drawn into their story.
I also felt like this book was pretty slow. We're basically taken step-by-step through every action that Valora takes. Eventually, it becomes very repetitive. It felt like a lot of unnecessary details were added just to drag out the story until we finally got to the climax.
After reading the author's acknowledgments I have a deeper appreciation for this book. The author wrote this book to honor and remember the eight Chinese who were on the Titanic when it sank. I really enjoyed that some of the characters in this book were real people. It is obvious that she took a lot of time to research this event. I think this book is a good novel that is both entertaining and educational. I learn things that I never had before about the Titanic and so I enjoyed this aspect of the book.