Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Published: 2013, Philomel Books
Rating 4 stars
There's one girl who I work with who I can talk books with. Unfortunately, we rarely work together because we're in different departments and tend to have opposite work schedules. So whenever I do see her one of the first things we ask each other is if we've read any good books lately. I was in the middle of reading Out of the Easy the last time I saw her, and since she had never heard of the book, asked me to describe it in one sentence. I said it is, "a coming of age story and a murder mystery all in one". I think that's a fairly good description of the book and she added it to her to-read list (bonus: I also talked her into picking up Code Name Verity).
Josie, is seventeen years old and growing up in New Orleans in 1950. She lives in the Quarter and her mother is a prostitute. Josie is determined to go to college and not follow in her mother's footsteps. She works two jobs, one in a bookstore and the other is a less glamorous job as a maid, cleaning the rooms in the same brothel her mother works in. One day a man comes into the bookstore while Josie is working and for some reason she becomes almost obsessed with him. The following day she finds out he has been murdered.
I really liked the murder mystery aspect of the plot. I'm not usually one for mystery books, probably because I watch too much Law & Order SVU. When I read I want something different, and this book delivered. While the mysterious murder did impact the story it wasn't the focus of it. That was refreshing to me.
Willie. My favorite character in this novel. She is the madam of the brothel Josie's mother works for. Willie is strong and tough. No one pushes her around and she is fiercely protective of Josie while letting her make her own mistakes (there was one mistake that Josie made and I wanted to scream, "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!").
I was a huge fan of Sepetys first novel, Between Shades of Gray. I was not disappointed by her sophomore novel!
I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews for this book lately and they’re all positive. I think I’ll have to add this to my to be read shelf. Everybody’s reaction has made me curious.ReplyDelete
Lady with Books
I hope you get a change to read it soon!Delete
I just finished Between Shades of Gray recently and I loved Ruta Sepetys' writing. She's such a wonderful storyteller. I've been inquiring about this book ever since so I'm really happy you enjoyed it! It sounds like another great historical read and I love that it has mystery. I love a good mystery! And doesn't Josie sound like a wonderful bookish character?ReplyDelete
This book wasn't as heavy as Between Shades of Gray but it was still so good!Delete
I want to read this one; I think I'm going to wait until the paperback edition comes out or get it from the library.ReplyDelete
The library is always a win! :)Delete
Loved Btw Shades of Gray (and Code Name Verity!!) -- I found this at the used book store (go figure since it is so new) and grabbed it -- it's 3rd in my TBR stack!!!ReplyDelete
Report back with your thoughts on the book!Delete
I've been wanting to read this one for a while (well, and Between Shades of Grey too) so it is good to hear that it was an enjoyable read! I like mysteries + history so this sounds perfect :)ReplyDelete
Out of the Easy sounds like your type of book then!Delete
This is so great to hear! I have a copy of Between Shades of Grey and just have to get in the right mood to read it ... I've heard she's a wonderful writer! Hopefully I'll pick up a copy of this one when I'm finished. :)ReplyDelete
This one keeps catching my eye at the library. I may have to pick it up next time I'm there.ReplyDelete
I really loved this one as well! Like you say, the murder mystery part was really interesting (and I had a little lump in my throat towards the end) I really cared a lot about the characters too. I'm glad you liked it.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed it! I actually liked this one A LOT more than I liked BETWEEN SHADES OF GREY. It was just warmer and more intimate, somehow.ReplyDelete
I really loved her first novel as well which is why I can't wait to read this book. For some reason or another I've put it off for ages!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your great review, it reminded me that I need to read this!
I really loved this book-I've been pushing it, Eleanor and Park, and Code Name Verity for a while now as I think all are really amazing examples of YA (interestingly all are historical fiction, being set in the 50s, 80s, and 40s respectively...)ReplyDelete