by Stacey Lee
Release Date: May 24th 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Source: ARC via Goodreads Giveaway
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. Now she’s forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?
Breakout author Stacey Lee masterfully crafts another remarkable novel set against a unique historical backdrop. Strong-willed Mercy Wong leads a cast of diverse characters in this extraordinary tale of survival.
"[Our perspective] is like the moon. We can see it differently by climbing a mountain, but we can not outrun it."
The last two sentences will absolutely break you. I completely lost it. It's like I was holding Mercy's journey and could finally let go.
Lee's command of historical fiction and diversity here and in her other works remain consistently wonderful. This book took me far longer to read because I continuously looked up events or cultural references that intrigued me. Even though I live right outside of San Francisco, I still have so much to learn about the city's diverse population and deep culture. Outrun the Moon kept me going down the Google hole, learning more than I ever could in any history class.
Mercy Wong is one of the strongest female character's you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting. She's determined but not stubborn, setting her own course in order to better her situation as well as her family's. She meets and surrounds herded with a group of people who each have their own strengths and she helps them develop into the people I imagine they later become.
Outrun the Moon is a story of hope in a time of extreme adversity. There's racial tension and discrimination which isn't thrown to the wayside or unfairly represented. History is not ignored but rather this is a story of what could be.