UAPS Reviews

Under a Painted Sky


“A vivid, nontraditional western…with plenty of twists…Growing romantic undertones with hints of uncertain sexuality add bonus interest to a story that distinguishes itself by integrating strands of Chinese lore and wisdom, Christianity, and music with themes of friendship, diversity, and survival.” [Read Review…]
— Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review


“Well-crafted and suspenseful, with more flow than ebb to the tension that stretches like taut wires across plotlines, Lee’s tale ingeniously incorporates Chinese philosophy and healing, music, art and religion, as well as issues of race and discrimination (including abolitionist views and examples of cruel slave treatment)…Emotionally resonant and not without humor, this impressive debut about survival and connection, resourcefulness and perseverance will keep readers on the very edges of their seats.” [Read Review…]
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review


“High drama, tension, romantic longings, and touches of humor will entice historical fiction fans, and will be a perfect tie-in to social studies curriculum.”
School Library Journal

“You’re going to love this book. It has heroines that will fill your heart with courage, a plot that will keep your blood rushing, and a love story that will take your breath away.”
Francisco X. Stork, award-winning author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD


“Under a Painted Sky shines light on an underserved corner of American History in the Wild West with beauty, grace and humor, while deftly addressing race, class and gender politics. Gorgeously imagined, told with wit, insight and characters you grow quickly to love, Stacey Lee brings us a romance adventure of the best order.”
Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of FLYGIRL and ORLEANS


“Under a Painted Sky is a charming read: funny, poignant, and full of heart. Stacey Lee’s tale of unconventional romance in the West is sure to win fans for her intrepid heroines and their adventures.”
Elizabeth C. Bunce, author of William C. Morris Award-winning A CURSE DARK AS GOLD


“With seasoned confidence, a perfect sense of setting, and gorgeous prose, author Stacey Lee has created one of the most thrilling, compelling, and heartbreaking stories of female friendship and survival.”
Stephanie Keuhn, author of William C. Morris Award-winning CHARM & STRANGE


“A sweeping journey into the heart of the west and the glowing souls of two fugitive heroines. A tale so rich, so captivating, so real you’ll be shaking sand out of your boots.”
Barbara Stuber, author of William C. Morris Award finalist CROSSING THE TRACKS


“Deftly researched, Under a Painted Sky propels readers into the lawless west and life on the Oregon Trail. With a diverse cast, timeless themes, and an addictive plot, this is the YA western I’ve been waiting for.”
— Erin Bowman, author of the TAKEN trilogy


“At its heart, UNDER A PAINTED SKY is a classic western full of stampedes, close calls, and saddle sores, but Stacey Lee enhances this familiar landscape and adds new depth and vigor with her unforgettable characters. Sammy reminds us how American it is to keep the best parts of your past while making the most of the present and building toward the future. UNDER A PAINTED SKY is an exciting new journey into the old west, packed with humor, adventure, and enduring friendships.”
— J. Anderson Coats, award-winning author of THE WICKED AND THE JUST


“UNDER A PAINTED SKY left me speechless. Hopeful. Smiling. Stacey Lee’s debut is a powerful tale of loss, adventure, and sisterhood. Completely captivating.”
— Jodi Meadows, award winning author of  INCARNATE series


“I didn’t know I needed this book until I fell passionately in love with it. I read it feverishly late at night and into the wee hours of the morning and then reread the entire book the very next day. I have always been a huge fan of westerns. But an American western about a Chinese girl and a Black girl who learn to become cowboys and survive the west? Where have you been all my life? Stacey Lee has now become my new favorite author. I’ll read anything she writes!”
— Ellen Oh, Founder WeNeedDiverseBooks and author of the PROPHECY series

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