Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Genre: Historical Fiction/Young Adult Fiction
Published: February 2013
My Rating: 5/5 stars
Goodreads Book 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 to 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 loved this book, plain and simple. I knew I really enjoyed Ruta Sepetys’ writing style after reading Between Shades of Gray earlier this year (it’s one of my top books), so I had high hopes for this one, it being her second book….and I was not disappointed! The story line is just great and totally unique, especially for a historical fiction…which sometimes can feel like the same few topics are covered over and over.
While her other book, Between Shades of Gray, is a heavy read and can be quite depressing, this book does have a lighter feel. But, that doesn’t mean it’s without great characters and a solid storyline. There are definitely serious topics and situations, so it’s not a “fluff” type read at all…it just doesn’t have that same depressing feel throughout. Which is nice for a few reasons… 1) I’m not always in the mood for a very heavy, depressing read and 2) It’s nice to see that the author can write a great story without needing the heavy aspect.
The characters are all fantastic. They are all very different and totally colorful. Sepetys sure does write a young, strong, female lead character well in both books. Loved Josie, Willie, Cokie, Jesse, Patrick…all of them!
Out of the Easy was the type of book that kept me interested throughout the entire story and left me feeling sad that it was over. I am definitely going to be putting my pre-order in for Sepetys’ third book, Salt to the Sea that comes out in February 2, 2016!
Also…one little mention about the “Young Adult” genre: I actually had no clue that this book was listed as a Young Adult read until I noticed that it was nominated for the GoodReads Book Of The Year award under the Young Adult Fiction option. At no point in the book did I think the author was pandering to teenagers or the young adult audience by changing up the storyline to suit the preferences of a younger audience. But…it is definitely a safe read for a more mature young adult reader. Even though the main theme and setting of the book is prostitution and a brothel house, there is no explicit sex talk or sexual specifics discussed.