Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: Out of the Easy


Source: Purchased

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 346 (Hardback)
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Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depo

Description:
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.
My Rating:
My Review:
Josie wants a life where people do not know her as the daughter of a prostitute, where she can become more than what others expect of her, and one where she knows the identity of her father.  But life in the 1950s is hard for those who have little even when they have the will and the drive to do better.  Josie tries to escape the future others expect from her, navigate a crush, and remain loyal to those who have been there for her with varying degrees of success.  In the midst of her struggles, a local mystery brings unwanted attention of the sort she never imagined.

Ruta Sepetys is so talented and excels at creating touching stories and courageous characters using such simple yet well-written words.  This is such a quick read and I loved every minute of it.  I loved the characters, their personal struggles, and the brief look into the '50s.  It wasn't just Josie but all the other characters and their struggles seen through her eyes.  Some of the Gangters/mob talk seemed a bt contrived but at her book signing I did hear that it was based on a real person and their experiences.  So maybe that's how it really is.  I'm a bit skeptical though.  Also, this story is set in the French Quarter but didn't have a strong New Orleans flavor.  If you are looking to feel New Orleans and the feel of the setting, OI'm not sure you would get that here.  It felt authentic but could have been easily placed in a different setting without changing anything but the names of locations.  If you've read Between Shades of Grey you knows doesn't believe in perfect endings and this one is no different.

Overall, another memorable and touching read from Ms. Sepetys.
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22 comments:

  1. That does sound good! I enjoy books with less than perfect endings too. It's more realistic, I think.

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    1. It's more realistic and doesn't require the author to speed up the pace and make a ridiculous about of things occur to make it happen.

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  2. I have been meaning to read this one for a while! It sounds wonderful. Great review!

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  3. Great honest review. Thanks for clarifying that it's not heavy on the N.O. flavor.

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  4. The cover alone tells me to read it ;)

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  5. Concept sounds interesting and I know Ruta can take you places with her writing you never expected to go. Glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. She does a great job with that. At least this one isn't as emotionally draining.

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  6. awesome review, i really want to read this!

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  7. I kind of like perfect endings :( in books at least, which is what has kept me from giving her a full try. This sounds less... intense than Between Shades of Grey (which I haven't been able to finish reading) so it might be easier to read.

    Thanks for the review.

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    1. It's definitely less intense than Between Shades of Grey. The ending isn't bad here I just expecting her to get something very specific. It has a good ending but just different from what I expected.

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  8. I liked Between Shades of Grey and this sounds very good too. And very emotional.

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  9. I enjoyed this one too. It was so different from Between Shades of Grey that I was worried at first but not for long. I was drawn into the story and really liked it. I look forward to her next one.

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    1. I know what you mean. It was such a quick read. It was over before I knew it.

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  10. I loved this book a lot too-I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked it up but it was so amazing. An early 2013 favorite!

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