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Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Year Published: 2013

Genre: YA historical mystery
Pages: 346
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2013 Google Reading map): USA (Louisiana)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Its 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 o fan 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.

Review: Ahhhh, Ruta Sepetys strikes again! When I read Between Shades of Gray, her first novel I was amazed and that feeling has been renewed with this novel! Sepetys writes beautifully, weaves a story that pulls the reader in, and creates characters that stay with you long after you've finished her books.

I liked Josie right from the start and wanted the world to treat her right. With an absent father, a horrible mother, and prostitutes for a support group, Josie wormed her way into my heart. I wanted things to work out for her, to be easier for her, and for people to leave her alone to do her thing. But Sepetys creates a complicated world for all her characters; one where they rely on one another, have secrets they hold over each other, and where they need to watch their backs at all times.

The flavor of New Orleans and 1950 oozes from the pages of this book. I got a wonderful sense of the smells, sights, and general life of the time and the place. Gangsters, book sellers, students, cops, old and young all have an important role in Josie's life and the pulse of the French Quarter.

It took me a while to read this book, not because it is difficult or I didn't like it, but because life kept getting in the way. I am so glad that in the past two days I've found the time to devote to finishing this compelling and beautifully written book.

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