I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Out of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
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.
Out of The Easy is not my typical read. I probably would not have considered it if it weren’t for two things, 1.) I read Between Shades of Gray and I was floored by it. The beautiful writing, the utter heartbreak of the story, and the amazingly researched history all came together to ensure a genre jumping incredible read. 2.) It was sent to me unexpectedly. To be honest with you, this is not something I would purchase and read on my own and now that I’ve read it, that makes me a little sad.
Out of The Easy is set in the gritty French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950. Josie’s mother is a prostitute and she’s had to live with the stigma of that from a very young age. Now all she wants is out of New Orleans and away from all the judgements and heartache that it brings her. This book is filled with diverse and incredibly well done characters. Whether it’s the harsh but caring madam of her mother’s brothel, or the easy going loveable Coki, they were all so well developed.
Josie was an amazing character. She was very intelligent and she had a wistful streak that I couldn’t help but relate to. She sometimes made choices that I certainly wouldn’t have in her situation, but that can probably be explained by the 1950’s setting. I think every reader can find a little bit of themselves in Josie.
The plot is much more of a mystery than I was expecting. My one and only complaint is that the pace sometimes seemed to stall and slow way down, but it wasn’t a huge issue for me. The New Orleans atmosphere more than made up for that. Ruta Sepetys’ descriptions were vivid and lovely. Even when it was the gritty and less desirable parts of the French Quarter.
Out of The Easy was an unexpected gem for me, although I should have expected it after Ruta’s first book. I recommend it for any historical fiction fans, but also for anyone that just enjoys a good emotional read.