Monday, 24 June 2013

Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Puffin
Publication date: March 7th 2013.
My rating: 4.5 stars.


Out of the Easy is set against the vivid backdrop of 1950s New Orleans. Written by New York Times bestselling author Ruth Sepetys, this novel has something for everyone: love, mystery, murder, blackmail and warmth. Josie Moraine wants out of The Big Easy - she needs more than New Orleans can offer. Known locally as a brothel prostitute's daughter, she dreams of life at an elite college, far away from here. But then a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie caught between her ambition and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans is luring Josie deeper in as she searches for the truth, and temptation beckons at every turn.

Several of my friends for sometime had been encouraging me to pick up a book by Ruta Sepetys. I think with Between Shades of Gray I was terrified of being left in a complete mess, so I knew it would be safer to go with Out of the Easy first.

Ruta’s gorgeous writing is evident from just the first few pages; she pours her heart and soul into every single word. That you lulled in by its beautiful presence with such beautiful prose. I was expecting a beautiful story, and we did get this, but it’s also a story tinged with heartache and loss. Josie Moraine is a girl who deserves so much more, having a mother as a prostitute people tend to make judgemental assumptions about her before they even got to know the real Josie. The real Josie despite having an uphill struggle in life with a mother who never gives a damn and not knowing her father tries to make the best out of every situation. She is intelligent, pretty and fun and thanks to people looking out for her is just getting by. But Josie doesn’t want to just get by, she wants more from New Orleans and she knows she deserves it. But the only way this is possible is by leaving every bad memory, and the friends who helped her behind. She knows it’s a big step, she does have the money, but most of all courage to make it?

I adored Josie Moraine, with a sharp head on her shoulders unlike her mother, I wanted more for her. I know she had great friends which looked out for her, but she didn’t deserve the life she had, cleaning after clients the night after, running around cleaning her mother’s mess, or even hiding because of her mother’s mess. I’ve come across some right old mother’s in previous books, but Josie’s mother was a right old piece of work, she had no care for anyone but for herself, she was either off her face or caught up with some criminal. What mother in their right mind steals from their daughter and then runs off with her criminal boyfriend and then leaves their daughter to clear up the mess afterwards? I just wished that her mother had left sooner, instead of stumbling back into her life and messing up her life all over again. Josie’s mother was a bit like a tornado, she left a destruction of mess every time she left. So I was glad when Mr Hearne visited the bookshop where Josie worked at and gave her the wakeup call she needed. It was unfortunate that his circumstances led to Josie taking this big step. 

Poor Josie constantly had to face so many different battles. So I was grateful to the strong set of secondary characters that Josie had silently supporting her. Willie was one heck of a scary woman, but she was such a great judge of character, she knew how worthless Josie’s mother was and so in so many unspoken ways become a sort of surrogate mother to Josie. I liked how Willie was up to her eyeballs in her own business she had to take care of, but she was always alert to what was going on around her, even though no-one told her anything; she was always willing to help out in any way possible. And there was Cokie, Sadie and Jesse, three characters who also quickly became favourites alongside Willie. They weren’t in the best situations themselves, but had such generous hearts where Josie was concerned.

Out of the Easy was a novel that I normally wouldn’t have picked up, but I’m so glad that I did, as it is one of the most gorgeously written and memorable reads I have read in a long time. With the great impression Out of the Easy left with me, I think I need to find the courage to read Ruta’s Between Shades of Gray sometime soon too.


31 comments:

  1. I can't believe you haven't read a book from Ruta until now! I read Between Shades of Grey last year and I absolutely loved it, and I have no clue why I haven't picked this one up yet! I need to get back into her world of gorgeous writing. This story sounds amazing as well: poor Josie! It seems like she has an unfair life, but some awesome characters help her along the way. I'm so glad you loved this one, Jasprit! Wonderful review. :)

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  2. I haven't read a book by this author but I did recently reserve Out of The Easy at my library! Good to hear you found this enjoyable- especially the atmosphere and writing.

    Fantastic review, Jasprit! <33

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  3. I have this on my TBR pile and now I am so excited to read it! Between Shades of Gray is so beautiful.. you have to read it soon! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Brilliant review, Jasprit :)<3

    Zoe @ Bookhi
    www.bookhi.blogspot.com

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  4. I haven't read this one but I have read Between the shades of Gray and you must read it. I know it'll break your heart but it's worth it. Anyway I can't wait to read this one as you have said Ruta has a really beautiful writing style! :) Great review! :)

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  5. Oh my goodness, it sounds pretty heart breaking! So happy you liked it though and personally, I always look for well-fleshed out characters in a book I want to read so Out of the Easy looks like a winner ;)
    Great review, Jasprit!

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  6. I have this on my TBR pile and I heard some mixed things about it so I'm happy you liked it so much, Jasprit! I'm giddy for the writing and the characters sound amazing (especially the secondary). My sister read Between Shades of Grey and LOVED it so you must!

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  7. Septys is an author I definitely think I need to check out soon too then. I have heard lots about her and I keep saying I will, so I must definitely force myself to pick up one of her books, like yesterday as she sounds like such a fabulous, but rather heart-breaking author.

    I can feel the tears already - better prepare my tissues! haha.

    LOvely review! :)

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  8. Ruta is such an amazing author, and I can't believe I've only read Between Shades of Grey by her. I really should give this one a go. The story and characterization sounds nearly flawless, so you'd better believe your review sold me! Wonderful thoughts, Jasprit :)

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  9. I am happy you enjoyed this! It's not my usual type of read either, but it jut blew me away. I agree with what you said about Josie, she was such a strong and capable mc. I also need to get around to reading Between Shades of Grey. Great review!

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  10. I remember reading reviews for this one before it came out and thinking that I needed to grab it and I still haven't! Gah! I haven't read Between The Shades of Gray either but when you mentioned that you were a mess from it I decided that I want that one too. Basically, you are really bad for my TBR today! This sounds so good, I'm always looking for solid characterizations that I can really connect with.

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  11. What a beautiful review, Jasprit! I love your description of the writing and just by reading your review I want to grab a copy. I already feel really bad for Josie. It seems like she has a lot going on for her, but I'm glad that she finds herself some great friends. I need to add this book to my TBR soon.
    Lovely review, Jasprit!

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  12. Ahhhh! Yet another glowing review for this book Jasprit and I still haven't read it! There's something wrong with me. For serious:) Her mother sounds absolutely awful, the kind of mother that makes me strongly consider throwing my Kindle in the hope she would feel the rough landing. I'm so glad Josie had a strong set of secondary characters there to support her though, and I really need to make time to pick this one up! Gorgeous review:)

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  13. LOL, Ruta was my piano and singing teacher when I was little :D Ha. Just a nice little mindless fact about me:) I like the MC already. She's so strong :O and it takes big balls to reach for one's dreams and step up to bullies, especially if they're one's parents. I'm surprised I haven't heard about this author before :O I should really get on reading some of her books. I'm so happy you loved it:)

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  14. I've got to pick this one up. I keep circling it at the bookstore and going home with something else. Must remedy :)

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  15. I've heard so many great things about this author, but just have felt the urge to read. I'm so glad you gave this a chance & it more than paid off. Great review, Jasprit!

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  16. I haven't read Ruta yet and the reviews for this one have me longing to get through my TBR stack so I can. Great review of Out of the Easy, Jasprit. I'm so glad it's worth 4.5 stars!

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  17. Jasprit! This is unacceptable. While I'm glad you read something by Ruta, you DEFINITELY need to pick up Between Shades of Grey. Because, hello beautiful book.

    Nonetheless, I enjoyed this one as much as you did. The writing is so rich and gorgeous, and you're totally right when you say Ruta picks each word with such care, to pack a punch. I really felt for Josie, especially because of her mother. That woman caused SO many problems for poor Josie. I can't believe that situation with the money, gah. She's so cruel. The secondary characters were also phenomenal, and I loved how developed they were. I was honestly a little depressed by Paul, because I really liked him... ;)

    Anyways, lovely review, Jasprit! I really do hope you decide to pick up Between Shades of Grey now, especially because you've seen what wonderful talent this author has. <3

    -Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life

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  18. I get really annoyed when I'm reading a book and the mother is really bad, so this one sounds like I would definitely be wanting to punch her lol. But thanks to Willie, it sounds like things start to pick up for Josie. Lovely review Jasprit :D

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  19. I am right there with you. I want to try this author but I don't have the courage to read Shades of Gray. I think I need to get this one as I am such a fan of gorgeous writing!

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  20. Although I've read raving reviews about Sepetys' books, I still haven't read any of her work - I think I'll have to rectify this. Thanks for sharing how much you loved this book - Josie's mom sounds terrible but I think I'll like Josie and Willie.

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  21. I completely agree with you! Out of the Easy is a book I wouldn't normally pick up, but I'm so glad that I did! I loved almost everything about it... I even loved how much I disliked Josie's mother! And then the secondary characters really were incredible!

    I'm really looking forward to picking up Ruta Sepetys's first novel! I just haven't gotten the chance!

    Great review!
    Tabitha @ Tabitha's Book Blog

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  22. Out of the Easy is also a book I wouldn't normally consider picking up, because, while I love historical fiction, I'm picky about what time periods and locations I'd like to read and this doesn't fit my normal bill. But I loved Between Shades of Gray (as an aside: Read it, Jasprit! You won't regret it. And for me at least it wasn't so incredibly emotional and sad a book as much as a poignant and beautifully told one.) so I know I'll have to give Out of the Easy a chance eventually. I'm glad that this book ended up working out for you!

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  23. Wow, I literally just finished writing my review for this book and had the same thoughts as you. I did the audiobook and it is just a brilliant story. I have no idea what possesed me to get it either, it isn't really my type of novel either, but I enjoyed it.

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  24. This sounds really good. I have it but haven't read it yet -- big mistake! I'll push it up to the top of my TBR list. Great review :)

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  25. I already wanted to read this but now I REALLY want to read this! I love how you described her writing. I definitely need to check this one out! :)

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  26. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jasprit! I loved it and especially Josie - the character growth in this is phenomenal! Lovely review, dear!

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  27. I've seen this book in my local bookstore but I just never thought it was something for me. But OMG! your review is making me want to rush out and purchase a copy. I can already feel the pain and humiliation Josie must be undergoing because of the actions of her mother. I haven't read anything by the author before, but I'm definitely going to give Out of Easy a try sometime. Beautiful review, Jasprit :)

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  28. OMG I FEEL SO STUPID. I haven't read any of Ruta's books before, but after reading your review and everyone's praising comments, I think I really need to fix that! I really want to find out more about her beautiful writing- it's really rare in the YA world to find an author who focuses on the power and essence of her words rather than the action and story. Josie seems like a really smart, level headed character! And it's awesome that the secondary characters were also very supportive and added to the story. People often forget how important the characters in the background are, but they actually make up most of the story! :') You and me alike, Jasprit! I think I need to bring myself to pick up Between Shades of Gray, despite how heartbreaking or tear inducing it sounds. *puts on brave face* Anyway... glad you enjoyed this Jasprit! Thanks for reminding me that I really need to pick up Ruta's books ASAP. <3

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  29. I love the way Sepetys creates the historical atmosphere and the way she writes. Like you said, it's just gorgeous and so, so talented. I did end up liking this one a bit more than Shades of Gray, though I think both books are good—hopefully you'll think so too. :)

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  30. Josie sounds like a great character to read about. i don't know if its the right fit for me, but glad that you enjoyed

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  31. I've been recommended Ruta Sepetys' books a lot too! I've seen wonderful reviews for both of her books so I'll have to try her out sometime soon. Lovely review, really glad you enjoyed it!

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