Thursday, December 6, 2012

Out of the Easy - Review

Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Summary:

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.

My thoughts:

I have been obsessed addicted to reading any book that is set in New Orleans for a very long time, since I was in high school and I discovered Anne Rice.  I have been to New Orleans numerous times, the last time being the week before Katrina. And I have a very good friend who is a transplanted New Orleanian, and New Orleans is a place I would totally move to if I could.  I had been waiting patiently for this book to be published, so when I saw it on NetGalley I had to request  it. I was so happy when I was approved. 

I downloaded this onto my iPad and started devouring this book like a beignet at Cafe du Monde, just less messily.  I read at night until my eyes were closing, and took the book with me to work, where I read during my lunch and break. Then I read a little bit in the afternoon, but I only had ten more pages to read and I couldn't stop there, I had to know what happened.  

Needless to say, I really enjoyed 99% of this book. The characters were all such different personalities, all of them endearing. Your heart went out to Josie - her life wasn't easy, but she had hopes and dreams, even though she didn't think she was good enough to achieve them. Willie Woodley reminded me of Belle Watling from Gone with the Wind, a sort of take no prisoners attitude, a tough as nails madam, but who had a soft spot for Josie.  Josie's mother was useless and pitiful, but much of your pity evaporated with her continued horrible treatment of Josie. Josie's boss Charlie and his son Patrick formed the rest of her little family, along with Cokie, a taxi driver and driver for Willie. They all assist in helping Josie, (with the exception of her mother) who desperately wants to go to college and get out of the Big Easy, away from her mother and those who know her as the daughter of a prostitute. Josie's mother makes this nearly impossible, and her presence threatens to ruin her daughter's life at every turn. But Josie is resourceful, and has good friends behind her, and her story is captivating. You can't help but root for this girl.  However, the ending was too neat and tidy and convenient. I thought it was a cop out, the easy way out of the story, a way to wrap it up quickly. I feel so much went into this story, that it shouldn't have ended so abruptly. 

I loved the writing in this book - I felt like I was walking the streets of the Quarter with Josie, I saw what she saw and felt what she felt.  Sepetys can certainly set a scene. My only complaint is the throw away ending, and that is not enough to stop me from wanting to read Between Shades of Grey. I think this book is worth picking up, even if it is just to enter the world of New Orleans Sepetys has visualized. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this one is going on my list! I love books that sweep me up into the settings and scenes...and I like how you described your feelings as you read it.

    I love books set in New Orleans, too, but have never been there. Would love to go!

    Too bad about the ending...but it sounds totally worth the read.


I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.