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Outrun the Moon

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,989 ratings  ·  701 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published May 24th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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J. It is a YA book, so 13 and up.

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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  2,989 ratings  ·  701 reviews

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Sabaa Tahir
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK. At one point, I threw it into the grass and yelled "NO!" and then I wept. Why did I throw the book? You'll know if you read it. In fact, when you get to the part where I threw it, you will probably throw it too. And then, like me, you will trudge over and pick it up and keep reading while gathering up the broken pieces of your heart and cursing/praise-hands-ing Stacey Lee, an author with immense talent and incredible voice.

In short, I loved this book. Mercy Wong is a badas
C.G. Drews
That was emphatically STUPENDOUS. And that's coming from me who (A) doesn't adore historical fiction generally, and (B) didn't love the author's debut Under a Painted Sky a whole lot. Like it was "okay", but I was disappointed. But this?!? Outrun the Moon was BRILLIANT. Like everything from the characters (ajfdskalfdj) to the plot to the moments that had me laughing out loud.

Plus...are you ready for this?!? IT IS ABOUT A TEENAGE ENTREPRENEUR. And I can't tell you how happy that makes me!! In HF I usually read abou
Fafa's Book Corner
Mini review:


The first time I read this book I DNFed due to the odd writing style. I erased my original review and decided to give it another go. However the more I think about I realize that I am no longer interested in this book. I don't think it is for me.

I do still recommend it.
This book was so fantastic, it totally took me back to the books I grew up loving - recently historical fiction with fiery teen heroines, a la A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN. It feels like such a classic already, it bolsters my heart to know there are still people writing like this, and that they're doing it with racially diverse characters - something the books I loved as a kid didn't really have - makes them that much more important and welcome. Highly, highly rec.
“Once you have been in an earthquake you know, even if you survive without a scratch, that like a stroke in the heart, it remains in the earth's breast, horribly potential, always promising to return, to hit you again, with an even more devastating force. ”

----Salman Rushdie

Stacey Lee, a Chinese-American author, has penned an incredibly arresting young adult historical fiction novel, Outrun the Moon where the author weaves a story about a Chinese-American teenage girl who breaks
Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
(Review originally posted on my blog The Perpetual Page-Turner which you should check out if you enjoy book talk and general bookworm shenanigans, music, tv, movies and more!)

4.5 stars

I loooove historical fiction and, while I loved her debut Under a Painted Sky, this one blew me out of the water and stirred me up emotionally — and by that I mean there were lots of tissues next to me upon finishing. I loved the setting of 1906 San Fransisco at the turn of the century during this hist
Excellent writing, developed characters and a story about overcoming anything you can put your mind to. Enjoyed it immensely! I learned a lot about Chinese culture, like how the number four is a word that sounds similar to death which is why it's an unlucky number. Mercy Wong, you are a star. I love how Stacey Lee weaved in historical points and created a story from a point in American History that shows inclusiveness in dire situations. And how a young girl who is so determined to create a bett ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it liked it
“How easily life can end on a misunderstanding. How fragile we all are.”

I think this would be a really great starter for someone going into historical fiction for the first time. As far as the genre goes, this was a solid book - but as I've read many historical fiction novels, I found that I was looking for something more.

I really liked the empowering themes. Sexism and racism were addressed through the main character, Mercy, who is female and Chinese, so naturally she should be thinking about
Shannon (leaninglights)
I enjoyed this quick read. It didn't pull me in like Under a Painted Sky by this author, but I loved the MC and the story was interesting.
Kimberly Dawn
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: asian
YA/Historical Fiction

Set in San Francisco in 1906, this story takes place shortly before and just after the devastating historic earthquake.

Chinese American heroine Mercy Wong of Chinatown is fifteen years old, but wise beyond her years. In the first part of the book, we meet her family, and her beloved little brother Jack. Mercy not only DREAMS of providing a better life for her family...she has made PLANS and takes the necessary actions at age 15 in order to begin making her dream
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Jan 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jodi Meadows
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There are no words for how much I love this book. Beautifully written, strong characters, and thoughtful story. Everyone should read this book.
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Review originally posted on Mostly YA Lit:
Review: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Mercy Wong has a dream. A seventeen year old Chinese girl living in San Francisco’s Chinatown at the turn of the 20th century, she’s desperate to gain more learning and prestige and find a way to save herself and her little brother from spending the rest of their lives working for her father’s laundry business. The key? Gaining entry to St. Clare’s School for Girls, the most prestigious school in San Francisco. But it’s 1906 a
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee was a book that only took me two days to read. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I wasn't expecting. The emotions that this novel touches upon are more real than I thought. It dug up emotions of my own and it all stirred up inside of me - causing me to be in quite a state. But I don't regret reading this book in the slightest because it also touches upon so many important themes that need covering in a novel.

For starters, culture is a word that doesn't even begin
alexandra ling
3.5/5 • a wonderful and solid read. i feel like i would've liked it more if i didn't audiobook it but *shrug*
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
"It matters not how many wrong turns you make, but that you keep moving."

I hate that I didn't love this one. Typically, I 'm a huge fan of historical fiction. I love the details and learning about a time I didn't live in.

But this one just drug for me. I had a tough time connecting with the main character or any of the side characters - I even struggled to become invested in the time and struggles. I wish I'd loved it more. Maybe it's bad timing....I will definitely read more from this author a
Check out this review on One Way Or An Author!

Segregation: it’s a word that we see throughout history books, and yet sometimes don’t realize that it still happens today. Outrun the Moon is about a girl named Mercy, a “bossy” girl with a strong will who changes the course of her life using her intelligence and determination. She battles not only the discrimination of being a girl during this time period of 1906, but also racism, as Chinese people weren’t exactly treated well.

“But how do I/>“But
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor

Outrun the Moon is the type of book that should be assigned as book reports in high school. I have to admit that I usually hate reading books about tragedy, but I also have to admit that this one surpassed my usual expectations. Stacey Lee is a master with words and diversity, and I’m so glad to finally have read a novel written by her!

I’d like to think of Mercy Wong as someone who is called hard-headed in the Chinese community. Where westerners value independence, most Asians value inter
May 20, 2015 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
'...a spirited Chinese-American girl pretends to be an heiress from China ...'

Hell yeah!

Also, I might have a weakness for royalty and pretend royalty.
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it

Last year, I fell in love with Stacey Lee's debut book, Under a Painted Sky. Just from reading that one book from her, I knew she would be an author who mastered every book that she tackled. Outrun the Moon proved that for me. It's a harrowing, yet hopeful tale of strength, courage and love in the aftermath of San Fransisco's biggest natural disaster, the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires.

For me, the best part of Outrun the Moon were the characters. It's an understatement for me to say that I loved Mercy, our protagonist here, because love doesn't evenofbook,
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
An ARC of this title was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I'll admit, I didn't love this as much as Under a Painted Sky, but it was still a lovely, poignant story. And I unintentionally started reading it on April 18th, the day of the historic earthquake that the story is focused on, which was, well...kind of eerie. (I remember reading about it in school, but the date had little significance to me at that point because it didn't relate to me or anyone I knew.
S.M. Parker
May 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
PHENOMENAL. That is all.
3.5-3.75 stars

Mercy Wong has finished her education at the Oriental Public School in San Francisco, the one school she and her fellow Chinese-American youth are allowed to attend. Mercy has big dreams, however, and a plan to lift her family out of poverty. She plans to become an herbal tea merchant and marry her best friend Tom, who is supposed to succeed his father as a Chinese medicine doctor. She especially wants to ensure her frail younger brother doesn't have to take over their Ba's lau
I love that this novel overflows with colorful language; I adored the metaphors and witty Chinese adages.

If you read this make sure you read the author's bit in the back; she talks about which aspects of the book are historically accurate and which parts blur the edges around what likely would have happened during the time period. I always knew immigrants faced discrimination in America, especially in the 1900's, but I didn't know it was this bad for Chinese people. Black Americans e
Apr 08, 2019 marked it as dnf
I'm dropping this at 55% because I just don't wanna force myself into reading another ~170 pages of something I don't even like. I'm kinda sad that I'm leaving this at DNF but this is just not a genre I generally like and I've realized I couldn't care less about these characters. I mean, the book is not that bad if you enjoy that sort of thing, but I don't...and I'm not gonna waste more time on this when there are things I could enjoy more. I'm still gonna mark this as read on my reading challen ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten!
Diversity: 4 – This is Our World
5 (Mercy is Chinese and Lee accurate depicts the diversity of San Fancisco’s population)
Disability: 2 (a deaf black man appears for a scene and Mercy’s role model Mrs. Lowry is blind)
Intersectionality: 5 (see above; also discussions of how sexism Mercy faces differs from sexism white girls face)

(Clearly, I wrote this review in October 2016, when I was certain Hillary Clinton would win the election and we would not be enduring a democratic apocalypse co/>/>/>/>Diversity:
She was inspired by a book…

Book Title: Outrun the Moon
Author: Stacey Lee
Narration: Emily Woo Zeller
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA
Source: Audiobook (Library)

☆My Pick for Book Theme Song: Love is on the Way by Saigon Kick --nothing wrong with a little one hit wonder action from the 80's. The band's name might have had something to do with that pick.
She was inspired by a book…

Book Title: Outrun the Moon
Author: Stacey Lee
Narration: Emily Woo Zeller
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA
Source: Audiobook (Library)

☆My Pick for Book Theme Song: Love is on the Way by Saigon Kick --nothing wrong with a little one hit wonder action from the 80's. The band's name might have had something to do with that pick.

Ratings Breakdown>

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
The Feels: 3.8/5
Addictiveness: 3.8/5
Theme: 5/5
Flow: 4/5
Backdrop (World Building): 4.5/5
Originality: 5/5
Book Cover: 5/5 (Beautiful…love it)
Narration: 4/5
Ending: 4/5 Cliffhanger: No

Will I read more from this author? Maybe…if it peaks my interest

4.2/5 STARS

My Thoughts

Set in the early 1900's, this is really just a well written story about a girl trying to overcome the restrictions that society has put on her. And the things she learns about people and tragedies along the way. While this hasn't got much romance, just a pinch here and there, actually, it does have a lot of heart. I really enjoyed listening to this and the narration was well done.

Sex Factor: None

Imogene Dacanay
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-reviewed
BOOK REVIEW: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

**Thank you so much Penguin Teen for providing a me review copy of Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee in exchange of an honest review.**

Mercy, desperate enough to go to St. Clare's School for Girls, pretended to be a Chinese heiress so that she can fit in, but like any other typical stories, keeping such kind of secret will be very difficult for her.

The romance isn't your habitual one, it was made with such intelligence and I loved
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
FIRST THOUGHTS: Once again, Stacey Lee has written a marvelous story. Our main character Mercy is easy to love, respect and even admire, in spite of her tendency to be headstrong (in just about all things). And exploring the tragedy of the earthquake in San Francisco in 1906 through her eyes was eye-opening. So much tragedy, and yet so much goodness existed there too.

To be fair, I do have reservations. The story has two parts to it, before and after the tragic event, and I preferred one over th
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Initial thoughts: Lee has written another great story of friendship with very little (but warm and nicely done) romance, a strong business-minded (I stole that from a book-within-the-book title!) heroine, and amazing attention to little historical details.

And Mercy's early days at the School are pretty damn funny. They help offset the painfully sad moments later in the book. ;____;

Thanks to Penguin for the ARC!
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Stacey Lee is a fourth generation Chinese-American whose people came to California during the heydays of the cowboys. She believes she still has a bit of cowboy dust in her soul. A native of southern California, she graduated from UCLA then got her law degree at UC Davis King Hall. After practicing law in the Silicon Valley for several years, she finally took up the pen because she wanted the perk ...more
“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. A” 5 likes
“It is like the moon. We can see it differently by climbing a mountain, but we cannot outrun it. As it should be.” 5 likes
More quotes…