Review: Outrun the Moon

Author: Stacey Lee
Series: No
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Page Length: 400 Pages
Publication Date: May 24th, 2016
Publisher: Putnam/Penguin
Source: ARC via Stacey + Penguin
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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?
I'm not a big historical fiction reader, but when I do venture into the genre, Stacey Lee's exceptional books are always the first ones to come to mind.

Stacey's writing continues to impress me from line to line. Her books are so quotable, and the words slip into your mind like silk and settle there for you to turn over in your head again and again.

"Outrun the Moon" focuses on the mayhem after the catastrophic earthquake that wreaked havoc on San Francisco in 1906.

I love how Stacey seamlessly blends facts with fiction. Mercy Wong is determined to make her mark on the world and be successful in life. She masterfully worms her way into an exclusive private school which she hopes will open doors for her once she graduates. Just as things are starting to take a turn for the better, an earthquake strikes, and she and the girls at her school must stick together to make it through the dangerous time.

Mercy is such a determined and spirited young lady. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and I love her ambitious nature and fiery personality. She knows what she wants, and she goes after it. This is my kind of gal! Seriously though, Mercy, can we please be friends??

Speaking of friends... The friendships in this book are so memorable and inspiring. I *might* have hugged this book a few times I was just THAT happy with all the friendship and good vibes spreading around. So often in books the characters are focused on hardening their hearts and shutting out emotions and friends for fear of being betrayed or hurt, but the vulnerability of friendship, putting yourself out there is the strongest, most brave thing of all! I wish more books focused on friendships. You'll have one love in the end, but you could have multiple friends. People tend to undervalue or underrepresent friendships in books. I WANT MORE FRIENDSHIPS!

In any Stacey Lee book, it's essential to learn some of the fascinating Chinese culture that she weaves into her story. The pacing of the novel was a bit slow in places, but Stacey's powerful writing and the wonderful characters definitely make up for it. Amidst all the tragedy and death in this book, Stacey manages to balance it out with bright ideas. This book really shows the compassionate side of people and the feeling of community and togetherness that comes about during times of destruction.

I loved this book to the moon and back and urge you to read it!
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.


  1. This was one of my most anticipated books of the month, so I am so glad to hear you enjoyed it so much Rachel! I don't think I've ever read any books set during the San Francisco earthquake, so this should definitely be an interesting time period to read about. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review. ♥

  2. I usually avoid Historical Fiction, I don't seem to have much success with it! I definitely want to check out this Author now that Iv'e read your review!!

  3. Stacey is such a magic author. She literally can do no wrong. I originally reviewed Under A Painted Sky as a 3-star, but I'm tempted to raise my rating to a 4-star. Truly, a great novel & I've been DYING to read this one as well! Especially for amazing friendships! Great review, Rachel! <3

  4. This is definitely another one on my tbr list! Can't wait to get my hands on this one!


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