Sunday, 8 May 2016

Outrun the Moon (SST, Review & Giveaway!)

Hi there!

Title: Outrun the Moon
Author: Stacey Lee
Publisher: 
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: 24th May 2016
Rating: 4 Stars

*Thank you to SST for the review copy*

Synopsis: 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?
 

Review: 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 to describe this novel. We have Mercy as a main character who is Chinese and living in America. I was so happy to finally stumble across a diverse character. There's a lot of racial issues in this time and a lot of segregation. All the Chinese people live in Chinatown and seem to have no respect from any of the other 'white ghosts' aka the Caucasian people who live there too. They're looked down on and mistreated. I know that this is something that a lot of minorities can relate to. 

That aside, Mercy is someone who may be female and a minority, but she isn't going to let that stop her chances of becoming someone who means something in the world. She has ambitions to travel and see the world - and she fully intends to do it. She concocts a plan to get her into a prestigious school and works her socks off to make the winds turn in her favour. I really liked her sensible hot-headedness (it doesn't sound like those two words make sense together, but if anyone can make them make sense, Mercy can!). I liked her determination. 


Another thing I really appreciated about this novel is that it had a family that wasn't dysfunctional, and that was present and loving. Especially in the beginning! I loved Mercy's ma who was a fortune teller. She was a wise woman and spoke with quotes that were like nuggets of wisdom. They had me thinking while reading the novel. 


Feminism is also quite prominent in this novel although in more of a background way. The girls in the school are all expected to be married off and that's the best chance they are going to get in life. But when Mercy gets there with her ambitions to travel and be independent, it has the girls thinking that maybe they don't have to be married and aspire to only be a wife. I liked the development of this theme a lot. 


Then of course, the earthquake happens and things change a bit in the novel. Suddenly, even the high and mighty are on the same level as the Chinese. A sense of togetherness arises in the novel. You see new relationships form and then grief is hanging heavy in the air. Loss. Devastation. I have lost people close to me and these emotions bowled me over and hit me like a fist. Lee did it beautifully though, and I have to commend her for it. 

The only thing I wasn't really feeling in this book is the romance. It wasn't that I didn't like it at all, but that it just took a backseat in this novel and therefore it felt like of meh. I think maybe the book would have been better off without it all in all. But I didn't mind it being there. I was kind of indifferent.

This was a character driven book and it was done wonderfully. It definitely moved me.

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.
 
Giveaway Time! There are THREE giveaways you can enter! Aren't you all so lucky?

Click HERE to enter to win a Hand-Knit St Clare Shawl!

Click HERE to enter to win various giftcards and trip goodies!

Click HERE to enter to win a San Francisco Getaway prize!

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

Olivia's Question: What qualities do you value most in a best friend?

Olivia-Savannah x

34 comments:

  1. Great post!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase
    http://gilzetbase.com/

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  2. A loving and supportive family. That's quite a novelty in YA! Mercy sounds like a very admirable character, Olivia. I'm glad you discovered this book. :)

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    1. I know, which is why I appreciated the family being there all the more. Sometimes we need to all have a little Mercy in us.

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  3. [ Smiles ] Hmm. A book about the school for the pampered.

    It appears to be a very interesting book!

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    1. It really was, and I liked the realistic side to things as well.

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  4. *enthusiasm spreads* *adds to TBR* *blames Liv*

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  5. Loved your review. The premise sounds absolutely amazing. 1906 is not a time period for which I've read a lot of fiction, but it definitely sounds interesting.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. I think it's my first book in this period as well!

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  6. The main character sounds interesting and diverse and like the sound of the family

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    1. It was a real diverse mix and I loved that!

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  7. I love that the MC is Chinese! Also, the feminism represented here is a plus. It's good that this girl came in and made a difference to the other girls who mostly looked down on her in the beginning. I would very much like to read this one. Great review!

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    1. I think it is something you could appreciate especially as all these themes were so well done.

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  8. This sounds really interesting, Olivia-Savannah! You actually review a lot of books I haven't heard of before, and it's really wonderful to find out about books that maybe aren't mainstream or as well known, and your reviews are always so through. I'm not actually sure whether this would be my type of read, although I do really like the sound of Mercy and the fact she fights for what she believes in and her passion and unwillingness to be forced into something she doesn't want actually inspires some of the other characters into fighting, too. Mercy sounds like a fairly wonderful character, and those are the best for sure.

    I'm glad it made you feel things, although hopefully you coped alright with the experience? I know some topics can really make me emotional and can stress me out, and sometimes that can be good, because the book is moving me so much, but sometimes it can just be really hard. I hope it was the former, for you here. x

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    1. I try and read a bit of a diverse range. I feel like maybe some more popular books is what I need to bring up next though, to mix it up a bit more. Thank you for the compliments <3 Mercy was an amazing character and the more I think about her, the more I admire what she managed in this book.

      I did manage to cope alright :) It was just hard hitting because I finished the book in two days alone and didn't space it out as much as I usually do.

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  9. I miss that kind of feeling! Only a few books can do that. And if you found one, you better share it. :)

    So, thanks!

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    1. Yes! Only a few books can move me in the way this one did :)

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  10. Awesome review! It's always nice to come across hidden gems like this that leave you thinking long after you finish the last sentence. And I agree, it's definitely nice to see women of color in books, even other cultures. Definitely helps give the book a certain special touch and uniqueness!

    Brittany @ http://www.spacebetweenthespines.com/

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    1. I really liked the diversity appeal in this one and how the author handled that theme as a whole ;)

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  11. Wow! Loved this review and your views not his book. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. I love the cover. I want the book! :O)

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  13. I think I've heard of this one! It sounds really amazing, Mercy seems like a great character, and someone to admire and look up to :) I actually haven't read many books set around that time, so I might be giving this a try!

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. You really should! I feel like it's the kind of book you would be able to appreciate!

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  14. I'm loving the sounds of this novel! I like the emotional aspect you mentioned and that the main character is diverse. It sounds really amazing. Thanks for sharing!

    Dena @ Batch of Books

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    1. I hope you do choose to pick this one up. It was so emotional and beautiful :)

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  15. This sounds like an amazing book. Glad to hear you read it in two days and that you loved it so much. It sounds like a powerful book that will stay with me. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. It really was a powerful read that gripped me from beginning to end. I couldn't recommend it more!

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  16. Wonderful review, Olivia-Savannah! I just added this to my TBR list. :)
    New Bloglovin follower

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    1. I hope you can enjoy it just as much as I did :D Thanks for following <3

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  17. I'm so happy this one had such an impact for you. Great review as always! <3

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    1. Thanks Nori! It was a really good read. :D

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