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Meant for the Classics: A Review of OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys

Posted by on January 21, 2013
Out of The Easy 
Ruta Sepetys
348 pages
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: February 13th, 2013
Source: NetGalley

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

   After the glory that was BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, I knew I would pick up anything by Ruta Sepetys. And despite the controversial-seeming plot of the book, I did just that.

   OUT OF THE EASY wasn’t nearly half as good as BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. The main character, Josie, was less emotional – which I guess is obvious seeing as how her life is much easier than that of the protagonist in BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY. Yet, despite the lack of emotion, I couldn’t stop thinking of the characters after I flipped the last page. The characters – Josie, Jesse, Patrick, Cokie, Willie – they just grew on me. They were real.

   The plot of OUT OF THE EASY was like ripping out a page of Josie’s life. It was a glimpse of how she lived for so long in a world so messed up. There were times when my heart was pounding so hard and I was just plain terrified – because whatever happened could happen in real life. 1950’s or not.

   OUT OF THE EASY is about one life. Yet it reflects on so many – no matter what era we live in. It’s about a girl’s struggle to get out of a life where everyone knows everything. Where everyone judges you because of your family. Where a girl is so smart and wants to go to college but she can’t because of where she’s from and because she doesn’t have the money for it. I know how that is. Oh I know.

   If contemporary and historical fiction is your thing, Ruta Sepetys’s latest is for you. Heart-warming, with a struggle many of us can relate to, OUT OF THE EASY is a tale meant for the classics.

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  1. Ooh, I loved this one! :D And I kind of agree with you about the emotion, but I just loved the characters in this one so much that it really didn't matter to me. And what isn't to like about a girl who's mother is a prostitute? She seemed so gritty, LOL. Lovely review, Hafsah! (:

    (Oh, and shame on me, but I haven't read Between Shades of Grey. o_O)

    Megan@The Book Babe

  2. LOVE this author, and although you didn't like it as much as her first novel, I'm glad you related to the characters and they stayed with you:)

    Lovely review:)

  3. I'm so glad to hear that you liked this one! It's been on my radar for a while, and I don't envy the author for having to follow up such an amazing debut novel. But it sounds like I'll definitely give this one a try. The plot sounds fascinating and relatable!

  4. I have seen this all over and really haven’t been that interested in it. The time period isn’t one that I would typical want to read about, but after reading your review I think I might actually like this book if I read it.

  5. I am not one for tragic historical fiction but I've heard many good things about the author, Ruta Sepetys. However, the mystery element in the book gives it a Sherlock Holmes feel so I might be interested in reading it.

  6. Man this book was great! I loved your review. Plus I love stories from the 50's. The time period is one that is full of so many things that one could get lost in reading about the 50's.

  7. I am just about finished with Out of the Easy. I would never have picked it up if I had not seen a review for it from someone that I trust implicitly. And I am so stinkin glad that I brought it home with me. I have been blown away from the first page. The characters came right out of the pages. Cokie, I must say, was my favorite. I loved him. But I loved Josie and Jesse and Patrick, Sweety, Dora, Willy. All of them. This book is phenomenal. I have not read Between Shades of Gray yet, but I plan to asap!

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