Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Out of the Easy

Out of The EasyAuthor: Ruta Sepetys
Goodreads Rating: 4.35
Pages: 348
Format: ARC

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.

Ya'll know I'm a huge history fan, so diving into this book was like cutting into cake, smooth and easy. I found that I became attached to the characters as I absorbed this wonderful book. I'm not even sure where I should start to talk about this book and what it made me feel. I will admit that I have Between Shades of Grey and that I haven't gotten to it yet, but reading this just made me all the more eager to get to it.

I found that all of the basic elements of a story; plot, characters, setting, were all amazing. Even the research that was done by Sepetys on this era and location was amazing. Little details would find their way into the book like Jesse's grandmother talking about voodoo and the talk of Mickeys in drinks and a whole bunch of other slang that was used during that time. It was little things like that which made me feel like I was in New Orleans during the 1950s.

The characters were also amazing, while I did question Josie's actions at times, I, for the most part, liked her. She was funny and witty and imperfect but strong. There were a lot of times where she just stared down danger, trying to be strong at the time only to be shaking about it later, which was normal when you try to block out what happened. I especially adored Willie, the touch Madam who kept everyone in town in line with the exception of Josie's mother.

I liked how the plot worked itself out, that the murder of a tourist was part of it, but it wan't really the central focus, Josie and her quest to go to college and to outgrow the Big Easy was the end goal of this book. What made it even more delicious were the little skirmishes that she found herself in and the people that helped her out along the way like Coke whose voice, in my head, sounds like Ray from The Princess and The Frog.

The last element that I was so tantalizing was the romance that took a backseat. We are given two boys who could easily win Josie's heart and who are equally adorable, but really its clear that there is only one for her. And I loved him for it, and I wont even go into it because you simply need to read the book and find out who it is.

I think my biggest pet peeve about this book was that I felt that the ending was a little abrupt. I would have liked to have seen things a little bit more resolved (and perhaps with a different ending) but I think that it worked out the way that it needed to. All of the background characters like Klepto Evangeline and bawdy Dora helped create this wonderful world. There are some pretty suggestive themes in this book. It's hard for there not to be when Josie's mom is a prostitute and Willie runs a brothel, but I think the tale is well worth it.
The Courts Decision:


  1. I am glad to read that you enjoyed it, I got this from the library and keep meaning to start it but haven't your review definitely is making me want to start it sooner. I enjoy books where the author pays attention to the tiny details and has some resolve. I also think New Orleans is Awesome!!

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  2. I have been very curious about this book and would love to read it. I enjoy historical fiction if its done well. great review.



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