Author: Ruta Sepetys
Publication Date: February 13, 2013
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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.
Josie was absolutely amazing! Being named after a famous madam can't be all that horrifying (especially because it's Josie, which is like, the cutest name ever), but when you really think about it, it kind of is-- because she knows it. Maybe nobody else does, but she knows, and it weighs on her. One of the things that I liked the most about Josie was that she was gritty. Not that she was mean or dirty, but that she saw things as they were; and she wasn't afraid to call anyone out on it. She was AWESOME. I also love the idea that she lives (and works!) in a bookstore, because seriously. Is that not your dream?
The character interactions were superb. The way that Patrick, Willie, Jesse, Josie and Cokie all interacted was awesome. I didn't ever find myself doubting their exchanges, or doubting that they all really care for each other. It was as it is-- perfect. The pacing was good too-- I never found myself wishing that the story would move along, neither did I find myself wondering how I'd gotten from one point to another. It was the perfect blend of fast-paced and slower going. Fast enough to keep you interested, but slow enough as not to confuse you.
Because I'm a sucker for characters, I loved every bit of this book. You know what else I'm a sucker for? Good storylines. And this book has a totally amazing one: Josie's mother really is a prostitute. And a crook, but we won't go there. The coolest part is that Josie gets to interact with all the prostitutes-- she cleans house for Willie, so she talks to the girls. And they have their own little train of pretty awesome going on.
All in all, Out of the Easy was FANTASTIC. I loved the characters and the storyline, and I never wanted it to end. It was the epitome of amazing. I'm only stopping here because I'm absolutely sure that I could go on FOREVER about this epic book.