Title: Outrun the Moon
Author: Stacey Lee
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: N/A, standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
I've heard countless people talk about Stacey Lee and her books--she made a splash last May with her historical fiction debut, Under the Painted Sky. I haven't read that, but when I heard about her new novel, called Outrun the Moon, I reserved it at my library immediately. It took me a while to wade through my library pile and get to it, but I'm so happy I read it. It's one of my favorite historical fiction novels of 2016, and probably one of my favorite books ever. Stacey Lee completely stole my heart with her beautiful, empathetic prose, and the book's heroine, Mercy Wong. A young Chinese-American woman growing up in 1906 San Francisco, she is determined to be successful and rise beyond her circumstances.
Mercy completely stole my heart. I loved her immediately, and I really enjoyed her voice, especially when it came to integrating Chinese culture into the book. It was enlightening and informative, and that's one of the reasons I love the genre of historical fiction: I can learn about real things while seeing through a fictional lens. Mercy is spunky, tenacious, kind and caring. I fell for her immediately--I really found a friend in her, as well as the other characters in the book. The first half of the book revolves around Mercy securing a spot at a prestigious American school, and the second half is really what makes the book shine--it really showed the tenacity of the human spirit, even in times of crisis.
This book was absolutely lovely: a strong, willful heroine, shown with unapologetic ambition, with a lot of Chinese folklore and culture, sparkling, sympathetic secondary characters, natural disasters, all in San Francisco in 1906! A meaty and heartbreaking work of historical fiction and one of my favorite books of the year! Next on deck: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Hellig!