Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee
G.P. Putman’s Sons Books for Young Readers, May 4, 2021
When you start reading a book with Titanic in the title, you can predict what the big dramatic event will be.
Yes, this book ends with a very dramatic rendering of the last hours of the Titanic’s life.
I could vividly picture the sinking and replayed scenes from the movie in my mind.
Water filled the rooms and washed people down the halls. People clambered to the top of the ship and begged to board a lifeboat while others resigned themselves to death and a pastor preached until his last breath.
But the book is full and attention-grabbing before the great ship strikes an iceberg.
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.
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.
Valora’s determination is inspiring. She wants a better life for herself and her brother.
She’s a control freak. How well I can relate!
She loves and honors her late parents, talking to their portrait every night.
In reading this book, one learns about Chinees traditions, which are very interesting.
Since Valora was born in China but lived in England she practices a blend of Christianity and Chinese religion.
Readers need to be aware of this area in case they find it objectionable. I felt like Valora leaned more toward the Christian religion than Chinese beliefs.
Today’s teen is constantly exposed to a variety of cultures and religions. This is a book that parents and teens could discuss.
I also learned about discrimination toward the Chinese. I hadn’t realized that even in the United States the Chinese were discriminated against.
Luck of the Titanic has well-rounded characters. Two little boys are with her brother and his friends. They both add a lot to the story.
There is very little romance in this book. Valora’s brother’s friend, Bo, is attracted to her and she feels the same about him but the romance never has the chance to ignite. A massive shipwreck gets in the way.
Sadly, Valora is about to reach her goal when tragedy strikes.
This is a true historical event and many people died. Don’t expect the classic happy ending.
The Titanic was a tragedy.
If you need romance to enjoy a book this is not the book for you.
If you’re counting on a sweeping happy ending don’t read this book.
If you enjoy reading about family love, difficult issues, and resilient people you will enjoy Luck of the Titanic.
Pursuing an impossible dream and the fight for survival makes Luck of the Titanic a compelling read for any age.
Thanks for dropping by for today’s book review. Please check back next Tuesday for a new review.
If you read Luck of the Titanic, please let me know what you thought.