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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, a 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. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” 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?
ARC received for review purposes, Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction, but Stacey Lee is an author that I have been wanting to read so I immediately added this to my TBR. I ended up going with the audio version of this book, which was a great option for someone who a) loves audiobooks and b) isn’t a huge fan of historical fiction. I had already been warned that her last book was pretty damn sad and tried my best to mentally prepare myself for this one. Still, there is something about reading about tragedy, even if it’s fiction that can still weigh on you. Luckily, the writing transformed this book from a sad and depressing story into a sad but beautiful story.
As much as I loved the writing I think I loved the characters even more, especially our MC Mercy Wong. Mercy s the kind of girl you want to know and be friends with. The kind of girl you admire for her bravery and determination to not only make something out of herself but for helping others. Although she was destined to not have much in life, her determination to not only make the best life for her but to attend the best school made it easy to love Mercy right away. Mercy brought out the best in everyone including her new friends at school, even the ones that took a little longer to win over. Although these girl were brought closer together by loss and grieve, I loved how they remained strong and loyal and always willing to help other in need, even if they put themselves in danger. The setting and descriptions of old Chinatown were vivid and bold and just one more thing to love about this book.
I will say that this story focuses more on Mercy and her journey to get into St. Claire’s, stay in St. Claire’s, be accepted among her piers and later to survive once the earthquake hits. It’s very low on the romance front which normally bothers me, but in this case it just worked .While I would have liked a little bit romance at the epilogue at the end, I’m still very happy with the story and the ending. If you’re like me and don’t normally reach for historical fiction books, you should definitely give this a shot anyway. Mercy Wong and the beautiful writing will make you forget all about what genre this book is. Now I’m looking forward to reading her first book, Under a Painted Sky as well as her upcoming book, The Secret of a Heart Note. Outrun the Moon was a great story of diversity, friendship and girl power.
This cover is absolutely gorgeous! I love the combination of colors and the lanterns. I was browsing on Polyvore last night looking for some lantern-looking jewelry and happened to stumble on this cute red lantern clutch purse which was pretty much made for this cover inspired look. I love the dress and how it has the blue shades of the cover and how it almost looks like the smoke on the cover, to me anyway. The red really stands out to me and I wanted to add a pop of red to the outfit with the purse and the ring.
Although this is my first audiobook from Emily Woo Zeller, she is no stranger to audiobooks. With over 100 titles under her name, she’s certainly a pro at narrating stories. Emily did such a fantastic job with this audiobook, her performance was amazing and one of my favorite parts of the book. She was able to fully capture Mercy and her personality and emotions, especially the heartbreaking moments. I love when a good narrator can make you feel and she did just that. In addition to Mercy’s character, she also did such a great job with the rest of the supporting characters. With such a diverse cast, she was so good at doing different accents and tones. I already looked her up and added a few more titles narrated by her to my wish list.
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