The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

The Downstairs Girl

By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, "Dear Miss Sweetie." When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society's ills, but she's not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed i...

Details The Downstairs Girl

TitleThe Downstairs Girl
Release DateAug 13th, 2019
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fiction

Reviews The Downstairs Girl

  • Lola
    After reading a book with protagonists that did not inspire any reaction in me but one of absolute indifference, it felt almost magical to read a story with a character that absolutely popped off the page and claimed her rightful place as the heroine of this book. I live for these types of characters with personality, strength, ambition and a desire for change. Jo hasn’t had it easy at all but she’s working hard to support herself, survive an...
  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    Five shining, rebellious, upstanding, remarkable, powerful, emotional stars!I loved this book because it’s about two things that I love the most: Words and changing!WORDS are the bridges provide connection between people. WORDS could get your feet off the ground and give you the freedom to explain, express, educate yourself.WORDS are faster and powerful weapons, once you used them carelessly, it could even take for years to correct your mistake...
  • Kate
    4/5starsI really liked this!! This was a book I was highly anticipating this year and it did not disappoint! The writing was good, the plot was interesting, there was hardly a romance and the character focused much more on herself and her fam than a boy, and it was very interesting reading about a problem in history I’ve read many times before (segregation and racism in America) but from a different side - our main character is a Chinese Americ...
  • Kate (GirlReading)
    Apparently historical fiction novels following badass teen journalist using their voices to stick it to societal norms and shine a light on injustice is absolutely my kryptonite. Jo Kuan (with the help of Stacey Lee) proves the power words can hold and the changes that can unfold when you decide to use them for good. She is proof of just how strong women (especially women in marginalised communities) have been, are and always will be.This was tru...
  • Sol ~ TheBookishKing
    This is such a beautiful book (inside and out.) I forgot how much I truly love Historical Fiction & this just reminded me how fantastic they can be !! There’s so many twists and turns and that whole last half was just crazy! I definitely recommend this and RTC (soon.)
  • Vicky Who Reads
    Amazing, as expected and as always.
  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight .This is such a lovely book! I have loved every Stacey Lee book I have read, and this one is certainly no different. It combines all the best things: family, friendship, fighting for the rights that all people deserve, and yeah, an immensely lovable protagonist, and even a little romance. Sometimes Jo's story will break your heart, and it...
  • Julie
    I cried at the end. Such a lovely book!
  • USOM
    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) The Downstairs Girl hits the right spot. Stacey Lee's books always make me wonder what I would have done if I was in the protagonist's place and The Downstairs Girl is no exception. Jo is a heroine you can root for because she is compassionate, always speaks her mind, and has a fierce sense of justice. But at the same time, what I ...
  • Billie
    Stacey Lee writes some of my hands-down favorite YA historical fiction and The Downstairs Girl does not disappoint. There were some things that felt a little too convenient or coincidental and I have some questions about the results of the horse race (which I won't share here because spoilers), but Jo was an amazing heroine with whom I really enjoyed spending my time. And, unfortunately for us all, the parallels between society and politics and r...
  • Sophie
    I received a copy of this for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book was delightful! It takes place in 1890s Atlanta, in a period where a lot was going on. The Reconstruction had ended, Jim Crow laws were beginning to take place, it was in the middle of the Chinese exclusion act, and suffragettes were fighting to get the vote. Jo, a Chinese American girl, is in the middle of all this even though the story isn’t exclusive...
  • Rukky
    LOVED IT!!! Review to come
  • Lou
    The Downstairs Girl, in my opinion, cements Stacey Lee's status at the top of the young-adult historical fiction tree; she can always be relied on to write a truly engrossing, high-quality tale. The year is 1890, and Chinese-American teenager Jo Kuan has just lost her job at a milliner's in Atlanta, Georgia, thereby forcing her to take work as a maid for an affluent family who she has worked for before. Their treatment of her was no less than dis...
  • nick
    Stacey Lee is one of those authors who crafts simple stories that manage to be poignant and evocative. As a huge fan of Stacey Lee's backlist, I have been eagerly anticipating the release of The Downstairs Girl. It was another excellent book from this author that managed to be fresh, interesting, and entertaining.Jo Kuan is a Chinese American young woman navigating life in 1890 Atlanta. In Jo, Stacey Lee pens an endearing, clever, and lovable her...
  • Clephiro (The Book Coven)
    Yeah, wow. I don't even know what to say about this one. Set in the 1890s in the Southern United States, Stacey Lee is not pulling punches on my feelings. Jo, a Chinese American woman, decides to write an agony aunt column for the local paper. The "Miss Sweetie" column takes off and Jo speaks her mind about issues about race and gender. Jo is an orphan, and as events in the town escalate, some of Jo's personal past comes to light. Stacey Lee is n...
  • Kiki Cole
    Brilliant, witty, insightful, and empowering are words that describe The Downstairs Girl. This novel taught me a lot about a unfamiliar concept of America’s history. I never would have known about Asian culture in the Gilded Age if it was not for this book. This is definitely a spunky backlash at those who have depressed minorities like women, African Americans, and Asians and it is also a very relevant piece of literature today. I loved our un...
  • Mónica Bustamante Wagner
    omg, what a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL book! Loved the history, the wise sentences, the world, the insights, the voice. Stacey Lee's books keep getting better and better!! Oh, and I didn't even see the twists coming. :) A must-read if you like diverse, historical YA!
  • c,
    “No. What is this victory?” “It’s knowing your worth no matter what the crows tell you. Victory is waiting for us. We have to be bold enough to snatch it.” On my blog. Rep: Chinese mc, black side charactersCWs: racial slurs, violence, mentions of incestGalley provided by publisherThere is no one I trust to write YA historical fiction quite as much as I trust Stacey Lee to write it. She’s out here giving us diverse, well-written and a...
  • Janssen
    I LOVED this historical fiction YA novel set in Atlanta at the turn of the 19th century. Full review coming when the book releases.
  • Marina
    I loved this. Jo is absolutely a star, and what a go-getter.The plots get a little tangled there, but everything works out for the best, and gosh, what a read.
  • Sara
    For my full review, please check out my blog here.This book was fantastic. I loved everything about it, from the characters to the plot to the setting. It was everything I want in an historical fiction novel, and I think it really raised the bar of YA fiction, not just because of diverse representation, but also with clever, well-thought out plot and well-developed setting.I honestly would recommend this book to everyone, because I think it’s t...
  • Liz Friend
    The story: Jo & her adopted father live in a hidden space under the printer's house, trying to go unnoticed in 1890s Atlanta--which is tough if you're Chinese. When she hears that the upstairs neighbors need an advice columnist, she volunteers anonymously--and her column, Miss Sweetie, is a hit. Problem is - can she stay out of trouble, not sass her employer, and find the truth about her parents...all without being discovered by the handsome boy ...
  • Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]
    I always love reading Stacey Lee books. They’re (usually) historicals, but from the perspective of more marginalised members of society; after a steady diet of books featuring white, blonde, wealthy earl’s daughters as the heroine, they’re like a breath of fresh air.Now, they’re not perfect. In this instance, I feel let down by both the romance and the ending. But on the whole The Downstairs Girl is a YA must-read for August. It’s 1890...