Outrun the Moon | Review
Outrun the Moon has a great synopsis. The tale of a young girl who grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown who has an adventurous heart and longs for more than what her current situation provides. She uses her intellect and cunning to get a chance at her dream, and then her world comes tumbling down as a massive earthquake strikes San Francisco.
Sounds so amazing, right?
And it is! Kind of. I’m not sure. For some reason this book and I didn’t completely gel, because the reviews I’ve seen of this book have been amazing. And there were definitely parts that were, but the pacing just felt off to me. The book started out really well and I was instantly drawn in, but once Mercy got into St. Clare’s there seemed to be a lot of stuff happening that wasn’t needed. I mean, when you pick up the book and start reading, you know an earthquake is going to happen because it says so on the book jacket, but I kept reading the book thinking ‘where’s the earthquake?’.
The earthquake doesn’t happen until almost halfway through the book.
So I suppose I just feel like there is a good portion of the first half of the book that just doesn’t need to be there. I also felt like I didn’t connect to many of the characters until the last half of the book, which is where a lot of the character development happens.
Basically, the book lost it’s momentum for me about a third of the way through it, and then gained it back in the last third, which just made the rest of the book overall less enjoyable.
However, now that all of that is out of the way, I really did enjoy Mercy’s spunk and loved her mom with her fortune telling and all the cultural elements that were woven in throughout the book. The characters grew on me as the book went on and I found myself crying along side them. I also really liked how Lee was frank and upfront with the issues Mercy and her friends faced at that time, like the sexism and racism. Overall, I think it’s a great story and obviously well researched with lots of cultural references that honestly made me want to do some research and learning of my own. At the end of the book, Lee does make note of how this is a historical fiction novel, and therefore there are some slight differences between the book and what would have been likely to happen at that time, which is much appreciated.
My favorite line: “It is like the moon. We can see it differently by climbing a mountain, but we cannot outrun it. As it should be.”
My favorite visual: The Floating Island
Rating: 3 stars
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