Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: February 2013
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.
Notes/Comments: I really really liked this book. I could even say I loved it. If you are looking for romance, I’m going to steer you away. While there is some element of romance in this book it’s very little and not the focus of the story. Actually, romance is not part of the plot at all and has very very little page time, but enough to make Josie a character who is learning about herself, in figuring out what people means to her and what she wants from life (but never from what she wants from a boy or what a boy means to her < this isn’t in the story at all, really). This book is literary in that it focuses more on character, rather than plot. If you are looking for a heavy plot, then yeah this might not be too swell for you too. This book focuses heavily on Josie and the people she knows, who in turn shapes Josie to be the way she is. This book isn’t perfect (and really what book is?) but I enjoyed it well enough. Much more so than the many paranormal romances out there. Yes, maybe I’m more literary inclined than I am with romance novels… but this one is a good one. I’m buying it to add to my library. And now I shall go check out Sepetys’ debut novel since I haven’t read it yet.