Welcome to the Sunday Street Team! I received an eARC of this book in exchange for a honest review. It started a little slow, but ended with a bang! I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars.
Title: Outrun the Moon
Author: Stacey Lee
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 24, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): 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?
It’s been a while since I’ve read a historical fiction book, so I was excited to be able to read this one. The first thing that drew me in was definitely that gorgeous cover! *swoon* I received a copy from Netgalley to review, and ended up giving this book 4 out of 5 stars.
The book started off a little slower than I would have liked, but I kept reading because I saw the rave reviews by other bloggers. Eventually the story picked up and I loved finding myself immersed in another culture, in another time period, in practically another world. The imagery of San Francisco in 1906 was done beautifully. Stacey definitely has a way with words, with painting images in her readers’ minds.
I thought Mercy was a great main character. I loved that she had ‘bossy’ cheeks and wasn’t afraid to stand up…for herself, for what she wanted, and for others. The friendships she found in this book were amazing. I loved the girls from St. Clare’s School for Girls. The fact that because of Mercy, different races and cultures mingled together in this book, was amazing. She was definitely an inspiration character, reminding me of what one person can do. It’s astounding that she was only fifteen and had such a grasp of the world and how things should be, instead of being focused on how they were.
I shed some tears towards the middle/end of this book. I won’t spoil the twists and turns and the all-around magic of this book, but I highly recommend it. It gets more amazing as you keep reading. I pretty much devoured the last half of the book in one sitting because I couldn’t put it down.
The focus of the book wasn’t really on boys, but there were some amazing ones and then some not-so-great ones too. The focus was more on society’s flaws, finding lasting friendship, overcoming adversity, cherishing family, etc. I was mostly too busy reading to make note of lines I liked, except for this one: “Maybe sorrow and its opposite, happiness, are like dark and light. One can’t exist without the other. And those moments of overlap are like when the moon and the sun share the same sky.”
Final note: Overall, this was a fantastic historical read. I absolutely love finding diverse novels that I adore, and this one is on that list. I’m glad I didn’t give up when it started slowly, otherwise I would have missed out on this gem of a book. If you like reading about different cultures, or different time periods, or even about natural disasters, check out this book!
Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Californian with roots in San Francisco Chinatown. Born in Southern California, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. She has lots of experience with earthquakes, having skinned her knees more times than she wants to remember diving under tables. One day she hopes to own a hypoallergenic horse and live by the sea. See what she’s up to on Twitter & Instagram: @staceyleeauthor.