[Review] Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Hey, everyone! Today we’re bringing you another review for a YA book that we picked up from Chapters (Coles, to be specific!) a few weeks ago. We’d had this book on our radar for a while and now we’re glad we have the hardcover in all its glory!

Check out the cover and synopsis below:

walk on earth

Gold is in my blood, in my breath, even in the flecks in my eyes.

Lee Westfall has a strong, loving family. She has a home she loves and a loyal steed. She has a best friend—who might want to be something more.

She also has a secret.

Lee can sense gold in the world around her. Veins deep in the earth. Small nuggets in a stream. Even gold dust caught underneath a fingernail. She has kept her family safe and able to buy provisions, even through the harshest winters. But what would someone do to control a girl with that kind of power? A person might murder for it.

When everything Lee holds dear is ripped away, she flees west to California—where gold has just been discovered. Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey.

The acclaimed Rae Carson begins a sweeping new trilogy set in Gold Rush-era America, about a young woman with a powerful and dangerous gift.

I really enjoyed this book from the start. The first page immediately drew me in (seriously, read the first page online–you won’t regret it!) and I knew I was in for a good book. I especially liked how the novel was historical, and the narration felt very true to the time period (1800s Gold Rush-era). The narration (1st person present tense) was a bit unexpected, but it felt very fast-paced at times and very slow-paced. It’s a bit of a balancing act between the two, since the book is mostly concerned with Leah’s journey to California.

After having read the synopsis, I was beyond excited to read a book that would include magic in a world without fantasy–Georgia in the 1800s. Lee’s ability to sense gold was one of my favourite parts of the book, and I actually wish that was exploited a bit more by the author. It was used at times, very well, but Lee could only really sense gold so many times on her journey to California. This book did tend to drag (it’s 400+ pages) but there were bits in the middle that really were exciting. I loved the characters’ relationships, especially Lee’s and Jefferson’s. When I read the synopsis I was afraid there might be just another typical insta-love romance, but that was not the case. The author manages to convey a slow-burning relationship that does not take over the entire plot, and that’s my favourite kind of romance to read!

Next, the writing: I have never read any of Carson’s other books, though I’ve heard they’re fantastic. The writing in this book is really, really solid. I wasn’t sure what Carson’s writing style would be like, but now I feel like I MUST read her other books; the way the story is written is so lyrical but also really fits with today’s commercial YA market.

Lee was a wonderful protagonist, and though I found out through a review something she’d be doing on her journey (which I won’t spoil here … I wish I hadn’t known!) Lee was still a very strong and courageous character. I loved rooting for her throughout the book and can’t wait to read the sequel.

Have you picked this one up? (That cover! It’s stunning!) Let me know your thoughts! 😀

Rating: 4/5

Favourite quote(s):

“I am patient. I am a ghost.”

“When there’s gold to be had, you can’t trust anyone. Not a single soul.”



5 thoughts on “[Review] Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

  1. Elizabeth H says:

    I loved this book! I would definitely very highly recommend reading her Girl of Fire and Thorns series because they are also super great! (a very different genre but still amazing!)

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