I broke my rule about following review copies with deadlines. I skipped ahead to Outrun the Moon. In my defense, it would've been unfair since I'd be thinking about this book while trying to just get the others done already!
I don't know where to start. I don't know how to start. It's fucking FLAWLESS.
Hell, I feel inadequate trying to write this review.
There is absolutely nothing bad to say. Nothing. No minor complaints or nit-picks or pet-peeves. It's all fucking amazing: characters, setting, plot, writing. You name it, Outrun the Moon does it perfectly.
I'm trying not to fangirl everywhere and make it a gif review. It's hard because Outrun the Moon is so fucking good you guys.
It's about friendships and bigotry, opportunity and oppression and community and segregation wrapped in such lovely writing, profound messages and lessons that causes ALL the feels.
The characters are so well done. Mercy and her classmates grew, had depth and impacted the story greatly. They're all real people and dynamic. Their gender and race effects who they are and how they act. Even with the larger cast, they’re all distinct. I never had a problem keeping track. I don’t even really want to call them background characters because they were so good and important.
There's a bit of romance but 1.) it doesn't overwhelm or take focus, 2.) They’re actually friends and act like it, 3.) They were actually compatible, 4.) They did what was best for them even if it meant being apart and they were happy for each other. That's so mature and dammit, I know there are teens who do this that don't get representation and those who need to see this kind of love.
Even after all that rambling, I don't think ya'll understand how much I LOVE this book. I have notes and highlights several times during almost every chapter and beyond to the Author's Note, Author's Second Note and Acknowledgements. Her list of people that helped and gave her the "stamp of approval" for what she wrote, how she portrayed the people and time...Stacy Lee is fucking phenomenal.
It makes me want to cry, both in gratitude and wonder. I don't cry a lot and when I do it's usually from being overwhelmed or a panic attack but this? There were tears. When I thought it was safe, more came.
Her Acknowledgements being with this quote from Jean Massieu, a pioneer deaf educator: "Gratitude is the memory of the heart." [Cool note: It's become a proverb in France.]
Thank you, Stacey Lee for writing this. For all of your time and research and skills. It's been weeks trying to write this review and I'm still struggling for words and tearing up just thinking about it.
Stacey Lee is a must read author. I can’t wait to get read her previous book, Under a Painted Sky and her next book, Secret of a Heart Note, coming out this December(!!).