Hello! Welcome to my post for the Sunday Street Team hosted by Nori from ReadWriteLove28.com. The SST is a feature that works as a blog tour, book meme, and street team to spread out the love for certain books every month. To learn more about it and join, go here.
This is my first time participating and I am thrilled to feature the upcoming YA Historical Fiction, Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee. This book is an amazing read and should be at the top of your TBR! Below I share some info about this book, my review, and THREE amazing giveaways. Enjoy!
Author: Stacey Lee
Genre: YA Historical
Published: May 24th, 2016
Page Count: 400 Pages
Page Count: 400 Pages
Source: Sunday Street Team/Publisher
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?
*The Reader's Review*
Outrun the Moon is a moving tale about an American Chinese girl, living in 1906 Chinatown, San Francisco. Back in those days, being Chinese didn't give you enough opportunities to lead a better life. But our main character, Mercy Wong, is persistent. And with a great book behind her back titled The Book of Business-Minded Women by Mrs. Lowry, she manages to not only make her way into an elite education at St. Clare’s School for Girls, but also to survive the great earthquake that strikes San Francisco.
"The earthquake took much from us. But there is much we can take from it as well."
Can I just quote the whole book? My reading time with Outrun the Moon was a slow venture since every few pages I would stop to highlight things that struck me deeply. Advice for seeking opportunities, for cherishing life, for working hard, and for how to keep going when your world is literally falling apart.
Half of the story we get to see how Mercy works against the simple-mindedness of the San Francisco society during those times. She's a wild card even among the Chinese who often don't see her bossy cheeks befitting for a future wife, since they suggest that she is a determined, courageous, and an independent strong woman. And that she is. Mercy owns her bossy cheeks, and in order to help her little brother, Jack, and her mom and dad to have a better life by driving her own business someday, she goes after her dream of getting a better education, even though it's an almost impossible feat.
Hard work wasn't enough to get rich, or else we'd already be living in a mansion on Nob Hill with cut-glass windows like those of Leland Stanford or Mark Hopkins. No, the key to wealth was opportunity. And if opportunity didn't come knocking, then Mrs. Lowry says you must build your own door.
Leave it to Mercy to be do the one to drive down barriers! I loved how she shows people that skin color or wealth doesn't mean anything other than different shades and different roofs. And it's not that she knows this from the start, she even harbors her own prejudices with the wealthy, but she learns it along the way as she goes through St. Clare’s School for Girls, makes friends (and enemies), an brings everyone together after disaster goes through them.
Outrun the Moon does have its super slow moments and its many quotable parts were not always enough to keep me reading, but I'm glad a I pushed through them all. And heartbreaking as it was to go through this time period that destroyed thousand of lives, it was rewarding to compare how much things have changed, and could change, when someone takes the right step.
I'll end this with the quote that I believe represents the book the most:
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.
*Quotes were pulled from an uncorrected copy of Outrun the Moon.*
About the Author
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.
THERE ARE 3:
The San Francisco Getaway
The Show Me San Francisco
The Hand Knit Shawl