Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Pages: 348
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: February 12, 2013
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."

It's 1950 and Josie Moraine lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  She dreams of making something of herself and going to college one day despite being the daughter of a prostitute and not having many opportunities.  Josie works at the local bookstore that she lives above and even cleans the brothel her mother works at.  No one can say that Josie isn't hard working.  Just when she thinks there may be a chance to break free of New Orleans, Josie becomes involved in a murder investigation that took place in the Quarter.  Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys is such a captivating tale that had me glued to the pages. It's easily one of my favorite books of the year.

First off, I heart Josie. Seriously. She is one of my favorite protagonists ever. She's gutsy, smart, knows how to shoot a gun, is independent, well read, witty, and dare I say it...she works in a bookstore! I was rooting for her from the start. I loved reading about the French Quarter bookstore that she worked in along with her best friend Patrick. I thoroughly enjoyed their witty banter and discussions at the bookstore. Needless to say, it was right up my alley.

Josie also works at her mother's brothel and unfortunately cleans up the messes from the night before.  It's not ALL bad though since she works for Willie, the madam.  I adored Willie even though she was rough around the edges; she was one of my favorite characters in Out of the Easy. She's ballsy and doesn't take anyone's crap.  There's also a cast of characters that work for Willie and I loved them all, especially Cokie, Willie's driver.

Josie's mother is one of the most insufferable characters I've come across in a long time. I pretty much loathed her. She was so self-centered and treated Josie horribly.  It's been a long time since I wanted to reach through a book and slap a character.  Sepetys did an outstanding job developing all the secondary characters; I felt such love for Willie and Cokie one minute and then such disdain for Josie's mother.  Well done, Sepetys.

The setting of Out of the Easy, I knew I would love and boy, did I.  Sepetys did a wonderful job bringing the French Quarter to life in the 1950s.  She also illustrated the differences between the rich and the poor very well. Josie had many encounters with some rich residents of New Orleans, which was juxtaposed with the struggling residents of the French Quarter.  Reading Out of the Easy made me want to visit New Orleans stat.

Sepetys is a brilliant author and she has wiggled her way into my heart as one of my favorite authors along with Out of the Easy being one of my favorite books. I highly recommend it.

20 comments:

  1. This book sounds brilliant! Loved the review!

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  2. Initially I wasn't very eager to read this one, but I've read so much positive feedback, I think I'm going to add it to my TBR. Great review. It has me quite looking forward to it!

    Karis @ YA Litwit

    Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY of TWO books by Jennifer Lynn Barnes! One winner will receive a hardcover of NOBODY and a paperback of EVERY OTHER DAY!

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    1. I hope you do add it to your TBR list. Thanks for visiting, Karis.

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  3. Ooh, I'm so glad that to read such a lovely, positive review! Josie sounds like an incredible protagonist (gotta love an independent, gusty girl that works in a bookstore), and the setting sounds wonderfully depicted too. I'll have to take my ARC off the bookshelf and start reading ASAP :)

    Fabulous review!

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    1. Josie was awesome!! I can't wait to hear your thoughts about this book- I hope you enjoy it as much as me. Thanks for stopping by, Lea!

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  4. Josie sounds like an awesome character I would love too! The setting is a big reason I want to read this one and I am so glad to hear you loved it so much! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

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    1. I know, right?! You can't beat New Orleans as a setting for a novel. It was awesome! Thanks for visiting, Sara!

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  5. This sounds great and full of interesting characters and situations. Great review.

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  6. Thanks so much for the review. This sounds amazing! I have been hearing a lot about it!

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  7. This sounds so good! I can't wait to read it!

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    1. Thanks, Christa! I hope you get to read it soon!

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  8. Yay! I'm so glad you loved this one, Christina. I can't wait to read it. I loved Between Shades of Gray and this sounds like a great read too!

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    1. I need to read Between the Shades of Gray! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Out of the Easy. Thanks for visiting, Leanna!

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  9. I'm so glad you loved this! I've had my eye on it for a while!

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  10. I'm absolutely sold! Ms. Sepetys is coming to town for a book signing and I'm planning on going and getting the book then. Fingers crossed! I can't wait to meet these characters.

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  11. Another glowing review for this book Christina, I really need to read it! I think I'll be a HUGE fan of Josie, she sounds like an amazing heroine. I love a gutsy girl:) The setting sounds unbelievable as well, and I'm pretty sure I'll be loathing Josie's mother right along with you.

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  12. I still need to read Between Shades of Grey but both of her books sound absolutely amazing. Great review!

    Marlene Detierro (Local Search Engine Optimization San Antonio)

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