Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (September 22, 2015)
Rating: 2 stars
Cover Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤
Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?
*Received a digital copy in exchange for a honest review. Thank you Edelwiess.
Walk On Earth A Stranger is the third and probably the final YA western that I will ever read. It simply is not my genre. While the other two books that I’ve read were decent and I enjoyed them, I can’t say the same thing about this book. First off this book is slow as hell and boring. I know slow and steady wins the race but my goodness this was like reading through molasses. The plot never really picked up until damn near the halfway point and by then I didn’t care.
I don’t know if the author meant to be cliché when writing this book but it has so many tropes that my eyeballs fell out from rolling them so much. Not only do you have the dead parents and someone dying of some terrible infection but you have the typical racist stereotypical bs that seems to plague anything remotely western. I’m sorry but the whole Native Americans are savages that want to kidnap white women need to stop. It’s disgusting and hurtful to keep portraying a whole group of people in the way. Let’s not forget the treatment of slaves and half breeds. I could go on and on but that would make me mad and cranky and my review will be way different then what it is.
So moving on to the main character Lee. Okay she’s fierce, smart, strong and dresses like a boy. Cause you know women are fragile weak-minded individuals. Anyways, while I enjoyed Lee’s character at times I found her annoying. One minute she’s tough as nail and the next she’s an helpless nit wit. Girl make up your mind. Also the fact that she as this so call power to find gold yet she only uses it like twice. In the beginning of the book and somewhere towards the end. I thought the point of the book was that Lee has this amazing ability, yet she barely uses. Maybe the author will explore that more in the next book but I really wish it was explain somewhat better than it was. Yes I know Lee doesn’t understand it herself but that is part of the fantasy element that got me interested in this book in the first place. That and the pretty golden cover. Overall, I found Lee’s character confusing.
As for the romance in the book. One word.
I didn’t feel the connection nor care for the romantic aspects of this book. It was very mediocre even for YA. I will say that it wasn’t insta-love. Thank goodness. It was more of a slow friendship that tries to became more. Again, this is something that will be more fleshed out in the next book. For now it’s a rather unfinished, not really explored mess.
Besides those misgivings I have about Walk On Earth A Stranger, I will say that the concept seemed interesting and unique but to me it’s nothing more than any other Gold Rush era western. It just has a pinch of fantasy thrown it. Seriously, I feel like I was playing Oregon Tail while reading this book.
Still I would recommend this book to people who love westerns and are fans of Lonesome Dove and Gunsmoke mixed with a Little House of the Prairie/Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. And those that don’t mind a slow paced storyline. Just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you won’t find something that will make you love this book.