out of the easy by ruta sepetys (tw: sexual scene)
genre: YA, historical fiction
synopsis: 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 to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in a police 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 a quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
i read ruta sepetys’s between shades of gray years ago, and it was the first historical fiction book i’d ever actually enjoyed. since then, i’ve read a few other historical fiction books, but between shades of gray has remained one of my favorites in this genre. when i saw this at the library, i decided to pick it up, since i’ve been hearing so many good things about it. while out of the easy wasn’t what i expected, it definitely did not disappoint!
i absolutely loved the characters in this book, especially josie. although she comes from a poor background, she works hard and has high aspirations. i also liked some of the other characters, such as charlotte and jesse. this book just has such an interesting cast of characters, each with a super intriguing backstory.
the romance was okay; i wasn’t a huge fan of the love triangle. i liked the way it was resolved in the end, and there was definitely a bit of a plot twist! i also really liked the relationships between the different characters, especially the family aspect. although josie’s mother doesn’t always act how you’d expect a mother to act, josie has many other “parent” figures and friends who do care about her.
the writing was amazing! it was so easy to read and flowed really well. the story was paced well, making this book a quick read without things seeming rushed. the plot contained the perfect mix of mystery, suspense, and romance, and i couldn’t put the book down!
the setting might be my favorite part of the book. it’s set in 1950s new orleans, and everything is just so drastically different from society today. there were so many tiny details that really added to the story/setting and allowed me to envision living at this time and place.
overall, out of the easy is an amazing read that i would definitely recommend!
have you read this? what did you think?