Thank you to Penguin for sending me a copy of Out of the Easy in exchange for an honest review.
I meant to read Out of the Easy sooner after receiving it in my swag bag at last year’s Ontario Book Bloggers Meet-Up but I ended up moving, traveling and changing jobs — which completely derailed all my reading and blogging plans.
But I’m really glad I finally read Ruta Septys’ Out of the Easy. Based in 1950’s New Orleans, Josie Moraine is a teenager hoping to get into college. Her mother is a prostitute at a whore house run by a tough lady named Willie. Josie opts out of her mother’s lifestyle by working at a bookstore — but the temptation of easy money follows her every move.
This is a fun YA-novel with a cast of colourful characters. Josie is fantastically strong and weak at all the right times. Willie is wise beyond her years. Love interest Patrick starts off boring but ends up somewhat interesting. Love interest no. 2 Jesse starts off interesting but ends up boring. Cokie delivers some hilarious lines but Josie’s nut job mother has a few of her own. I loved the mentions of voodoo folklore like the black hand — which I only knew about from playing Monkey Island.
The first few chapters in, I rolled my eyes a little bit because it seemed so unrealistic: A prostitute’s daughter with a heart of gold that has helpers all over the town watching her back. Pretty unlikely story but in the end, it was just fun to see who she’d run into next. My only real disappointment was the ending. Nothing really wrapped up. It’s as if Sepetys was already thinking about a second book…