Author: Ruta Sepetys
File Type: Paperback
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: Philomel Books
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.
She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
I’m surprised by how much I liked Out Of the Easy.
Sepetys’ popularity in the GR community was the first thing that led me towards this book. I’m more of a fantasy girl these days and I wasn’t too sure if I was going to like Out Of The Easy, because sometimes it all comes down to a reader’s mood. I’ve found myself disliking books that wowed others and failed to work its magic on me and somewhere along the line, I started experiencing a reading slump. I was a tad apprehensive at first, but all my apprehensions ran away as soon as the book and I got it on.
The book’s strongest point is Sepetys’ writing. Her writing is so powerful and so engaging and so so so so..I don’t know..cool? I was into the book right from the start and would’ve finished the book in one sitting if not for my daily routine obstructing my route to the reading happyland. The tone of the book is perfect. It’s mysterious and calm. It’s like one of those times when I visited this hill station with my family for a tiny holiday of three days. That hill station was tiny but the scenery was spectacular. It was chilly and cozy and all we did was sit down as a family and stay in with hot cups of coffee and tea. It was one of those times where I felt that time stood still and that nothing in this world mattered except for what was right in front of me. It was peaceful and rejuvenating. It’s weird but while reading this book, I felt exactly the way I felt during that holiday. I don’t know what that says about me, but on a personal note, this is a book that pulled me back from my reading slump, even if it was for just a day or two, but at the end of the day, it did pull me back.
So YAY for me, I guess.
As for the characters?
I love it when I love each and every character of the book. Not all, but the ones who mattered. There were prostitutes, there were crime lords , there were people with double standards , there were people who had fallen too far and had no way of getting, there was an uptown girl who found a friend in another without caring about anything else but the person who she was befriending ,there were hot boys who drove bikes (OH, JESSIE.) , there was a chauffeaur who gave more than he took and was excited for others more than he was for himself, there was a cook who lived and let live and through her silence, gave the loudest cheers of love , there was an iron lady who beneath all her steel was the most sentimental and caring person to ever walk the face of this planet, and then at the end, there was a girl, who even in the darkest of times, never lost hope.
Josie Moraine is a fighter and the people around her are fighters in their own ways, too.
I love how the story was so simple yet when you think about it, it is also so very complex. It has so many layers to it. It has Josie’s inner struggle. Her aspirations. The mystery which frankly disappointed me, a bit. And then at the end, there is the city of New Orleans itself—‘The Big Easy’.
I get the title of the book.
Anyway, I think that Out Of the Easy is a fantastic book and that Ruta Sepetys should be proud of her achievement. Now if I may, I’d like to go and check out her other books because Ms. Sepetys, you’ve stolen my heart.
And I’m going to JIVE on it.