Title: Outrun the Moon
Author: Stacey Lee // Twitter
Pub: May 2016
Genre: Historical Fiction
San Francisco, CA – 1906. Mercy Wong, determined to burst out of the poverty of Chinatown, she is admitted to St. Clare’s School for Girls through sheer tenacity, wit, and a little bribery. She soon discovers getting in was the easy part, but she’s determined to stand her ground – that is until disaster strikes.
Mercy’s greatest challenge lies ahead. An earthquake strikes San Francisco. With her city in shambles, what’s a girl like Mercy to do?
I didn’t love Outrun the Moon as much as I did Under A Painted Sky, but Stacey Lee’s sophomore novel is equally strong, compelling, and engages the reader in the best ways.
Much of my love for this novel stems from my adoration for it’s main character – Mercy Wong. Born and raised in Chinatown, San Francisco, she’s tenacious, goal-oriented, and outgoing. Her narrative-voice was so easy to get into. She’s not necessarily a “likable” character, but who needs those? She’s compelling, well-rounded, and persistent. She carries much of the same traits of Samantha from Under A Painted Sky. It’s fun to see how differently those traits could be presented in a narrative and Lee did it so well!
Lee also did a great job in creating the backdrop of Chinatown, the various ethnic hubs of San Francisco, and even St. Clare’s. They all have distinct features, and Lee weaved them into the story quite effortlessly. Lee also touched upon and examined the class and racial divisions of the era and of the city. The novel wouldn’t have been complete without it.
I also really loved how Mercy is a budding entrepreneur. You don’t get to see that very often in YA, much less historical fiction. So, it was refreshing to read.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. Stacey Lee makes me want to read historical fiction.
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