Outrun the Moon review

I’m a huge fan of author Stacey Lee’s Under a Painted Sky. It was such a wonderfully written book about friendship in the wild west.


Check out my review on that book here. I was very excited about her second book Outrun The Moon. Stacey has a way with words that brings to life amazing characters. Once again Stacey has written a beautiful book that brings on the emotions. Outrun the Moon was just as fantastic as Under a Painted Sky!

Let’s take a look at Outrun the Moon.



  • Age Range:¬†12 – 17 years
  • Hardcover:¬†400 pages
  • Publisher:¬†G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (May 24, 2016)

San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare‚Äôs¬†School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare‚Äôs 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‚ÄĒuntil disaster strikes.

On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. Now she’s forced to wait w
ith her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can‚Äôt sit by while they wait for the army to bring help‚ÄĒshe still has the ‚Äúbossy‚ÄĚ 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.



My Review: ¬†Outrun the Moon takes place in 1906 San Francisco, just before the historic earthquake that sent San Francisco into ruins. Mercy is our strong female lead who lives in poverty¬†of Chinatown. She has¬†determination to join the prestigious St. Clare’s School for Girls to further her education. Only, there’s one snag, once she is admitted the earthquakes hits San Franscisco and now Mercy finds herself not only worrying for her family but¬†restoring the city itself.


Mercy is a wonderful character that readers can connect with. She is strong, independent and doesn’t let prejudice and poverty hold her back. She keeps trudging along. Mercy is never ashamed of her appearance but proud of it and her heritage. It was nice to see such a strong character that fought back the oppression against her. She never holds her tongue or bites back a retort. She lets it lose with amazing intelligence and composure.


Not only is Mercy a wonderful character but so are the secondary characters.Tom, Katie, Jack and many others bring to life this era of historical loss. We see life with Mercy before the earthquake and then after. Oh how she changes! When the earthquake hits Mercy takes action to help those around her, even in her time of loss. You can feel how frighten the characters are when the earthquake hits. As the city crumbles around them you hold on for dear life hoping, praying they all make it out.


This book was beautifully written. Stacey does a wonderful job at bringing to life this historical era with passion and vivid detail. I could smell the wet streets, feel the earth moving, and feel the loss of characters. This book brings to life not only a historical moment in history of the San Francisco earthquake but emphasizes social judgement of discrimination against the Chinese and the resolve one girl has at shattering that. Stacey does a fantastic job at bringing that forward through such a tragic event.

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Stacey has a way with characters and words. This story played with all my emotions. My heart broke. My eyes watered until I cried. I closed this book and felt that I needed to read it again. Outrun the Moon was a heartwarming journey that dealt with an epic event and discrimination. However, the heart of the story was Mercy. She is a character readers will fall in love with.

Should you read it? Yes! This book is heartbreakingly beautiful. It’s full of vivid scenes and emotional characters. Outrun the Moon is a book¬†all readers will connect with and love. Make sure you have tissues. This one is emotional, in such a good way.


About the Author:

My name is Stacey Heather Lee and I write young adult books. I’ve dreamed of writing books for a living since I was nine, when I penned my first children’s novel. For four years, I labored to type it on the family Smith Corona (that’s a typewriter, kids). Each time I made a typo, I would retype the whole page. By the time I finished, my fingers flew at 120 wpm. The book became a bestseller amongst my stuffed animals, and baby, I was on my way!

But before I could write for the un-stuffed crowd, I had to make several stops in the real world. Hi Mom and Dad! I studied, got degrees, and earned paychecks. In my spare time, I continued writing. Several years later, I got a wonderful agent, and now I write even when I’m sleeping. I hope you will enjoy browsing my website. All are welcome, stuffing and all.

I am a fourth generation Chinese-American.  A native of southern California, I graduated from UCLA then got my law degree at UC Davis King Hall.  After practicing law in Silicon Valley for several years, I finally took up the pen because I wanted the perks of being able to nap during the day, and it was easier than moving to Spain.  I play classical piano, raise my two children together with my supportive husband, and write YA fiction.

Follow Stacey on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and her blog!


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