Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24th 2016
Buy on Amazon
San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.
On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can't sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the 'bossy' cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
Outrun the Moon was the first of Stacy Lee’s books that I have had the pleasure of reading. I know, most would be shocked by this, but it is true. The cover pulled me in and after reading the synopsis I was hooked and just HAD to be on this tour the lovely Nori put together for the Saturday Street Team for the launch of the book on May 24th. Now I definitely have to check out Under the Painted Sky!
I know that sometimes reviews can get long and I have SO many positive things to say about this book so I am going to review this book and highlight three important reasons why I loved, and believe that you should add this book right away to your TBR even if historical fiction isn’t something you normally go to genre.
1| Oh The History:
I am not one that shies away from history and I haven’t come across the time period that Lee had the courage to tackle in Outrun the Moon. Why do I say tackle? The story revolves around the early 1900’s fire that ravished San Francisco but it also deals with a part of that history that I am ashamed to say that I didn’t know about. I didn’t know that the Chinese American’s were one of the heavily hit communities during not only the earthquake but the fires that consumed their community afterwards. I was aware of the pure prejudice that our nation had towards Chinese American’s. I knew, but Lee creates such a vivid and emotional picture that not only did I know it but I felt it and it was heartrendingly real. I love how Mercy tried through the entire novel to fight against not only the prejudice she faced when dealing with the rest of the world but also the prejudice she faced in her own community. More on this later.
2| Not your Typical Historical Fiction:
One of the biggest reasons that I have heard of why people don’t read historical fiction in either YA or any other genre is that they feel like they’re reading a history textbook. Outrun the Moon is not that type of book and that’s why I wanted to make sure that I mentioned this fact. It is 400 pages but I finished it in a matter of a day and that is an amazing feat for me because I am a notoriously slow reader. Lee does a wonderful job at creating a story that grips you, yanks you right into the story, and afterwards leaves you dumped on the floor reeling from the experience.
3| Oh, MERCY!
I loved all of these characters but Mercy was by far my favorite character. Like I said above, Mercy spends the entire novel fighting against the prejudice she faces from the entire world and her own community for having “bossy cheeks”. I loved how Mercy did not allow pressure from either side to conform to what they believed she should be and fought with a gritty determination to accomplish the goals that she believed in for herself. This is a deeply admiring trait that isn’t seen in many books and I couldn’t help but pump my fist in the air a few times and yell “You go Mercy!” Her determination and resilience is tested over and over and I love in the end Mercy is still standing. She honestly has become one of my favorite female lead characters in a book.
I hope that these three reasons to pick up not only Outrun the Moon but any book Stacy Lee has or ever will write because she is that fantastic of a writer. Her ability to both grip and entertain is just beyond anything that I’ve read in a long time!
Let me know down below if you aim to to read Outrun the Moon or if you’ve read Lee’s Under the Painted Sky.