Out of the Easy

( 33 )

Overview

 It’s 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine, known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute,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.Should she avoid Jesse, the mysterious motorcycle boy? Can she trust Patrick, her best
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Overview

 It’s 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine, known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute,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.Should she avoid Jesse, the mysterious motorcycle boy? Can she trust Patrick, her best friend at the bookstore? Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. 

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.

 

 


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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

In this stunning standalone follow-up to her debut Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys spins another believable tale. Set in the New Orleans of 1950, Out of the Easy tells the story of Josie Moraine, the 17-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute. Saddled unjustly with her mother's reputation, the young girl dreams of escaping the city and her bookstore job, but her entanglement in a murder investigation threatens to scuttle her half-formed plans. (P.S. One early reviewer called this novel "a sultry mix of mystery, historical detail, and romance.")

Publishers Weekly
Sepetys follows her debut, Between Shades of Gray, with another taut and charged historical novel, though the setting—the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950—is a world apart from that of her previous book. Living and working in a bookshop, 17-year-old Josie Moraine dreams of attending college—anything to get away from her mother, a prostitute with Hollywood dreams and a knack for getting involved with the worst men. When Josie becomes involved in a high-profile murder investigation, she becomes even more entrenched in her circumstances. The sensual yet rigidly class-based setting is a real standout, and Sepetys has also built a stellar cast, which includes Willie, a strident but generous madam; Charlie Marlowe, the bookshop’s owner; and a pair of potential love interests for Josie. Readers will find Josie irresistible from the get-go (“The only reason I’d lift my skirt is to pull out my pistol and plug you,” she tells a guy early on) and will devour the sultry mix of mystery, historical detail, and romance. Ages 14–up. Agent: Writers House. (Feb.)¦
Ruta Sepetys
Praise for OUT OF THE EASY

“Street-smart, literary and compassionate… Atmospheric and assured…nicely paced novel.”—Wall Street Journal

“A satisfying novel, bringing to life the midcentury French Quarter…Sepetys writes with rawness and palpable emotional unease.”—New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)

“A haunting peek at the life of a teenage girl in 1950s New Orleans.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Like her debut title, Sepetys’s latest is full of transporting writing, drawing you into a past that is fully reconstructed by her superb imagination.”—Boston Globe

"Unforgettable."—Toronto Star

• "With a rich and realistic setting, a compelling and entertaining first-person narration, a colorful cast of memorable characters and an intriguing storyline, this is a surefire winner. Immensely satisfying.” —Kirkus, starred review

• “[A]nother taut and charged historical novel… Sepetys has also built a stellar cast. Readers will find Josie irresistible from the get-go and will devour the sultry mix of mystery, historical detail, and romance.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

• "A Dickensian array of characters; the mystique, ambience, and language of the French Quarter; a suspenseful, action-packed story. With dramatic and contextual flair, Sepetys introduces teens to another memorable heroine."—School Library Journal, starred review

“A page-turner that noir romance fans will gobble up. The legions of fans that Sepetys earned with her best-selling debut novel will all be lining up for this. —Booklist

“This suspenseful novel…proves Sepetys's extraordinary versatility as a storyteller.”—Shelf Awareness

"Rough-edged and glamorous by turns, this is a wild ride worth taking."—Bookpage

 

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Josie (Jo) Moraine has recently graduated from high school and is saving her money so she can get out of New Orleans and go to college. Her mother is a prostitute, and works for Willie Woodley, a brothel owner. Jo wants to get as far away from that world as possible but in 1950 a young woman's opportunities were limited by her status. Jo has been working (and sleeping) in a bookstore owned by Mr. Marlowe and his son. The arrival of two men changes her life. One is Cincinatti, a mafia thug with whom Jo's mother is infatuated. The other is a handsome businessman who comes into the bookstore for poetry books for his wife. Jo suspects foul play when she learns the next day that he is dead. Jo finds herself drawn into a dangerous world. When she tries to sort things out by herself, they only get worse. Sepetys draws the reader into the story with the first sentence, "My mother's a prostitute" and continues to create an intriguing world. She shows the reader how the choices we make affect our own lives and the lives of those we love. Many of her phrases read as if they came right out of the 1950's and the novels of that era (such as "dirt nap" and "the voice was thick and had mileage on it"). The sights and sounds and characters are vivid and captivating. Her sense of timing is impeccable. Mystery, suspense, and a strong heroine all add up to one fine story. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Against a vivid 1950s New Orleans backdrop, 17-year-old Josie Moraine is caught between the harsh reality of her negligent, prostitute mother's lifestyle and her desire to escape to a new life. Josie is smart, resourceful, and determined. Her support group includes Willie, the shrewd brothel madam who recognizes Josie's potential; Cokie, Willie's kind and devoted driver; Patrick, who runs the bookshop where Josie works; Charlotte, an upscale acquaintance who encourages Josie to join her at Smith College; and Jesse, the handsome motorcyclist neighbor who has eyes only for Josie. When a mysterious death leads police to Josie's mother and abusive boyfriend, the teen is drawn into the investigation and into an underworld of threats, violence, and retribution. After her mother skips town, Josie is targeted to repay her debt to a powerful criminal boss. As she tries to handle mounting adversity on her own, she struggles with fear, desperation, and her conscience. Stealing from Willie or hooking up with a wealthy john seem her only choices for survival. Overwhelmed, she reveals her predicament to Willie, who saves her in a final act of generosity. Josie's narrative features a Dickensian array of characters; the mystique, ambience, and language of the French Quarter; a suspenseful, action-packed story; and a coming-of-age realization that personal decisions ultimately shape one's future. With dramatic and contextual flair, Sepetys introduces teens to another memorable heroine.—Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC
Kirkus Reviews
Step right onto the rough streets of the New Orleans French Quarter, circa 1950… …and meet 17-year-old Josie Moraine, a feisty young woman whose mother, a prostitute in a Conti Street brothel, offers her nothing but scorn and abuse. From the tender age of 12, Josie has made her own way in the world, working in a local bookstore in exchange for a safe place to sleep and cleaning the brothel to earn money toward her planned escape from the Big Easy. Equal parts book smart and street smart, Josie's dream is to attend Smith College, and she will go to extremes, even blackmail, in her desperation to be accepted. But just when her plans start to gain some traction, her mother strikes again, putting Josie in the middle of a murder investigation and saddling her with a mob debt. There are some meaningful messages here: that love can come from the unlikeliest of sources--the rough-and-tumble brothel madam is much more supportive of Josie than her mother ever was--and that we are all in control of our own destinies if only we choose to be. With a rich and realistic setting, a compelling and entertaining first-person narration, a colorful cast of memorable characters and an intriguing storyline, this is a surefire winner. Immensely satisfying. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410458735
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2013
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 405
  • Sales rank: 640,174
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruta Septeys is the multi-award-winning author of the critically acclaimed New York Times and international bestseller Between Shades of Gray. Born and raised in Michigan, Ruta grew up in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Her second novel, Out of the Easy, was published to rave reviews and high acclaim in February 2013. Ruta lives with her husband in Tennessee.

You can visit Ruta online at www.rutasepetys.com, and follow her on Twitter @RutaSepetys.

For more information, please visit: www.betweenshadesofgray.com and www.outoftheeasy.com.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE:

My mother’s a prostitute. Not the filthy, streetwalking kind. She’s actually quite pretty, fairly well spoken, and has lovely clothes. But she sleeps with men for money or gifts, and according to the dictionary, that makes her a prostitute.
She started working in 1940 when I was seven, the year we moved from Detroit to New Orleans. We took a cab from the train station straight to a fancy hotel on St. Charles Avenue. Mother met a man from Tuscaloosa in the lobby while having a drink. She introduced me as her niece and told the man she was delivering me to her sister. She winked at me constantly and whispered that she’d buy me a doll if I just played along and waited for her. I slept alone in the lobby that night, dreaming of my new doll. The next morning, Mother checked us in to our own big room with tall windows and small round soaps that smelled like lemon. She received a green velvet box with a strand of pearls from the man from Tuscaloosa.
“Josie, this town is going to treat us just fine,” said Mother, standing topless in front of the mirror, admiring her new pearls.
The next day, a dark-skinned driver named Cokie arrived at the hotel. Mother had received an invitation to visit someone important in the Quarter. She made me take a bath and insisted I put on a nice dress. She even put a ribbon in my hair. I looked silly, but I didn’t say anything to Mother. I just smiled and nodded.
“Now, Josie, you aren’t to say a thing. I’ve been hoping Willie would call for me, and I don’t need you messing things up with your stubbornness. Don’t speak unless you’re spoken to. And for gosh sakes, don’t start that humming. It’s spooky when you do that. If you’re good, I’ll buy you something real special.”
“Like a doll?” I said, hoping to jog her memory.
“Sure, hon, would you like a doll?” she said, finishing her sweep of lipstick and kissing the air in front of the mirror.
Cokie and I hit it off right away. He drove an old taxicab painted a foggy gray. If you looked close, you could see the ghost of taxi lettering on the door. He gave me a couple Mary Jane candies and a wink that said, “Hang in there, kiddo.” Cokie whistled through the gaps in his teeth as he drove us to Willie’s in his taxicab. I hummed along, hoping the molasses from the Mary Jane might yank out a tooth. That was the second night we were in New Orleans.
We pulled to a stop on Conti Street. “What is this place?” I asked, craning my neck to look at the pale yellow building with black lattice balconies.
“It’s her house,” said Cokie. “Willie Woodley’s.”
“Her house? But Willie’s a man’s name,” I said.
“Stop it, Josie. Willie is a woman’s name. Now, keep quiet!” said Mother, smacking my thigh. She smoothed her dress and fidgeted with her hair. “I didn’t think I’d be so nervous,” she muttered.
“Why are you nervous?” I asked.
She grabbed me by the hand and yanked me up the walk. Cokie tipped his hat to me. I smiled and waved back. The sheers in the front window shifted, covering a shadowy figure lit by an amber glow behind the glass. The door opened before we reached it.
“And you must be Louise,” a woman said to Mother.
A brunette in a velvet evening dress hung against the door. She had pretty hair, but her fingernails were chewed and frayed. Cheap women had split nails. I’d learned that in Detroit.
“She’s waitin’ for you in the parlor, Louise,” said the brunette.
A long red carpet ran from the front door to a tall staircase, crawling up and over each step. The house was opulent, gaudy, with deep green brocades and lamps with black crystals dangling from dimly lit shades. Paintings of nude women with pink nipples hung from the foyer walls. Cigarette smoke mingled with stale Eau de Rose. We walked through a group of girls who patted my head and called me sugar and doll. I remember thinking their lips looked like someone had smeared blood all over them. We walked into the front parlor.
I saw her hand first, veiny and pale, draped over the arm of an upholstered wingback. Her nails, glossy red like pomegranate seeds, could pop a balloon with a quick flick. Clusters of gold and diamonds adorned nearly every finger. Mother’s breathing fluttered.
I approached the hand, staring at it, making my way around the back of the chair toward the window. Black heels poked out from beneath a stiff tailored skirt. I felt the bow in my hair slide down the side of my head.
“Hello, Louise.”
The voice was thick and had mileage on it. Her platinum-blond hair was pulled tight in a clasp engraved with the initials W.W. The woman’s eyes, lined in charcoal, had wrinkles fringing out from the corners. Her lips were scarlet, but not bloody. She was pretty once.
The woman stared at me, then finally spoke. “I said, ‘Hello, Louise.’”
“Hello, Willie,” said Mother. She dragged me in front of the chair. “Willie, this is Josie.”
I smiled and bent my scabby legs into my best curtsy. The arm with the red nails quickly waved me away to the settee across from her. Her bracelet jangled a discordant tune.
“So . . . you’ve returned.” Willie lifted a cigarette from a mother-of-pearl case and tapped it softly against the lid.
“Well, it’s been a long time, Willie. I’m sure you can understand.”
Willie said nothing. A clock on the wall swung a ticktock rhythm. “You look good,” Willie finally said, still tapping the cigarette against its case.
“I’m keeping myself,” said Mother, leaning back against the settee.
“Keeping yourself . . . yes. I heard you had a greenhorn from Tuscaloosa last night.”
Mother’s back stiffened. “You heard about Tuscaloosa?”
Willie stared, silent.
“Oh, he wasn’t a trick, Willie,” said Mother, looking into her lap. “He was just a nice fella.”
“A nice fella who bought you those pearls, I guess,” said Willie, tapping her cigarette harder and harder against the case.
Mother’s hand reached up to her neck, fingering the pearls.
“I’ve got good business,” said Willie. “Men think we’re headed to war. If that’s true, everyone will want their last jollies. We’d work well together, Louise, but . . .” She nodded in my direction.
“Oh, she’s a good girl, Willie, and she’s crazy smart. Even taught herself to read.”
“I don’t like kids,” she spat, her eyes boring a hole through me.
I shrugged. “I don’t like ’em much either.”
Mother pinched my arm, hard. I felt the skin snap. I bit my lip and tried not to wince. Mother became angry when I complained.
“Really?” Willie continued to stare. “So what do you do . . . if you don’t like kids?”
“Well, I go to school. I read. I cook, clean, and I make mar­tinis for Mother.” I smiled at Mother and rubbed my arm.
“You clean and make martinis?” Willie raised a pointy eyebrow. Her sneer suddenly faded. “Your bow is crooked, girl. Have you always been that skinny?”
“I wasn’t feeling well for a few years,” said Mother quickly. “Josie is very resourceful, and—”
“I see that,” said Willie flatly, still tapping her cigarette.
I moved closer to Mother. “I skipped first grade altogether and started in the second grade. Mother lost track I was supposed to be in school—” Mother’s toe dug into my ankle. “But it didn’t matter much. She told the school we had transferred from another town, and I just started right in second grade.”
“You skipped the first grade?” said Willie.
“Yes, ma’am, and I don’t figure I missed anything at all.”
“Don’t ma’am me, girl. You’ll call me Willie. Do you understand?” She shifted in her chair. I spied what looked like the butt of a gun stuffed down the side of the seat cushion.
“Yes, Mrs. Willie,” I replied.
“Not Mrs. Willie. Just Willie.”
I stared at her. “Actually, Willie, I prefer Jo, and honestly, I don’t much care for bows.” I pulled the ribbon from my thick brown bob and reached for the lighter on the table.
“I didn’t ask for a light,” said Willie.
“No, but you’ve tapped your cigarette fifty-three times . . . now fifty-four, so I thought you might like to smoke it.”
Willie sighed. “Fine, Jo, light my cigarette and pour me a Scotch.”
“Neat or on the rocks?” I asked.
Her mouth opened in surprise, then snapped shut. “Neat.” She eyed me as I lit her cigarette.
“Well, Louise,” said Willie, a long exhale of smoke curling above her head, “you’ve managed to mess things up royal, now, haven’t you?”
Mother sighed.
“You can’t stay here, not with a child. You’ll have to get a place,” said Willie.
“I don’t have any money,” said Mother.
“Sell those pearls to my pawn in the morning and you’ll have some spending money. There’s a small apartment on Dauphine that one of my bookies was renting. The idiot went and got himself shot last week. He’s taking a dirt nap and won’t need the place. The rent is paid until the thirtieth. I’ll make some arrangements, and we’ll see where you are at the end of the month.”
“All right, Willie,” said Mother.
I handed Willie the drink and sat back down, nudging the bow under the settee with my foot.
She took a sip and nodded. “Honestly, Louise, a seven-year-old bartender?”
Mother shrugged.
That was ten years ago. She never did buy me the doll.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Seventeen-year-old Josie can¿t wait to get out of New Orleans, a

    Seventeen-year-old Josie can’t wait to get out of New Orleans, aka The Big Easy. It’s not easy growing up the daughter of a prostitute — especially when everyone in town knows who you are. Maybe it wouldn’t be THAT bad if her mother even pretended to care about her instead of the money she makes and her dreams of becoming a big star. Josie’s only solace comes from the bookstore she works and sleeps in and the few friends that she has. The money she makes at the bookstore is her ticket far away from here. But when someone is murdered in the French Corner, Josie finds her dreams of escape threatened. Turns out her mother was involved with a crime boss and he’s come for them, looking for repayment on an old debt. Loyalties are questioned, and personal limits tested as Josie does everything she can to get out of the easy.

    I love New Orleans, and Ms. Sepetys does a wonderful job of conveying it. Even though the story is set in the 1950′s, it still had the flair that I love and that little hint of danger that threatens to spring out at you from every corner.

    All of the characters are very rich. I really liked Josie’s strength and determination. She never had much of a life — always at the mercy of an uncaring mother. Heck, she was mixing drinks at the age of seven — umm, yeah! I really wanted her to finally get away and find happiness.
    The supporting characters (and there are quite a few) are all just as well-rounded. I loved Cokie, the cab driver with a heart of gold, and Patrick, one of Josie’s friends from the bookstore. I also liked Jesse, Josie’s potential love interest, though I did want a little more from him. On the flip side of that, we have Josie’s mother who is a hot mess, and Evangeline, one of the other “girls” at the brothel who was a total hag.

    I think the most intriguing secondary character had to have been Willie, the madame of the brothel. Willie is sugar and spice all rolled into one. She’s the only real mother figure Josie has and she actually takes care of Josie as best she can, even if she does say in the beginning of the book that she doesn’t care for kids.

    Ms. Sepetys has a way with words, and this book flowed very well. The imagery is great, and the pace fits the tone of the book. This book is very character driven and not exactly fast-paced, but it’s not meant to be. It’s not a thriller or a mystery (though there is a bit of a mystery involved and several “bad guys”), it’s a historical novel about a young girl trying to find her way. There’s a lot of depth and emotion between the pages which totally pulled me in.

    I haven’t read Between Shades of Grey, though I’d heard wonderful things about it. People raved about the author’s writing, and I have to say, they were right. This book made me a fan of hers. This one is heartbreaking, hopeful and fully captivating. I highly recommend it. Even if you’re not into historical fiction, I would say you should give it a try. It reads more like a contemporary book. The characters are rich, the story captivating and the writing top-notch.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    I really loved Ruta Sepetys' first book, so when I saw she wrote

    I really loved Ruta Sepetys' first book, so when I saw she wrote a second one, I decided to check it out. Out of the Easy, in my opinion, was even better than Between Shades of Gray, and not as heavy. I loved the main character, Josie. She is a very strong girl and a dynamic character; I have never read about anyone like her.
    Like Between Shades of Gray, this book is not for younger audiences. There's a lot of prostitution going on, and a couple explicit scenes, but this book is great for teens.
    Overall, I really enjoyed Out of the Easy, and I look forward to Ruta Sepetys' next book! 

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    Best book ever!

    I loved this book so much! It was was exiting and it never got boring. The characters where so well written. It is my new number one favorite book! Please read it it's so good for all ages 13 and up! MUST READ!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Loved it

    Loved it. Could hardly put it down.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Ruta Sepetys is a gifted author!  Out of the Easy is a wonderful

    Ruta Sepetys is a gifted author!  Out of the Easy is a wonderful novel about a young woman who has to fight her way
    out of where she is and into where she wants to be.  Loved it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Out of the Easy was such a pleasant surprise. I did not expect t

    Out of the Easy was such a pleasant surprise. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Even now, I am still thinking about this book and how amazing it is. Out of the Easy is about the life of Josie, the daughter of a brothel prostitute in New Orleans in the 1950s. However all Josie wants is to get out of New Orleans, go to college, and leave behind the life that she never wanted that includes an uncaring and rather heartless mother and the work prospects that seem to be pressuring her into submitting to. 
    Josie is a very strong willed and confident female protagonist. Not many girls can move away from their own home at the age of 11 and get their own apartment on top of a book shop and hold a steady job there up to now, at the age of 17. This takes a ton of presistance and determination. Josie also never dwelled on how horrible her life is, but thought of ways to get away from it and improve it. Also, having a mother like the one Josie has? my god, I would have disowned myself ages ago. Her mother is not only caring but is obsessing with a dangerous man that has hit her more than once, and actually steals.. from her own daughter. However Josie does have a mother figure in her life and, surprisingly, it is the madame of the brothel, Willie Woodley. From the outside she may seem to be tough as steel, but when it comes to Josie? you know she would do anything for her. The relationship between those two, even if unconventional, was so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. 
    Other secondary characters include Patrick, Jesse, and Cokie. The first is her close friend, the second is the love interest, and the third is sort of like her guardian; he is a driver who works for Willie and is always looking out for Josie. I have to say that romance isn't a prevailing theme in this novel, but I am a fan of romance in my novels and I still ended up loving Out of the Easy, so I would honestly recommend it to all young adult readers. I believe that Out of the Easy is a literary gem. It is one of those books with so many underlaying themes and "morales of the story" that I think everyone should at least try to pick this book up. I know for a fact that if you did, you would be swept up and to the world of Josie and the dreams that she, and you, want to come true. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    Really great and fast read! Fresh characters, fresh story line!

    Really great and fast read! Fresh characters, fresh story line!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

    Brings the characters to life

    Ruta Sepeteys has done it again...her first book, Between Shades of Gray, was amazing and now Out of the Easy is even better. The characters are believable and written well. I love historical fiction and can't wait for her to write another one...enjoy!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    I didnt want to put it down!!

    I loved this book! I read it in a day, it pulls you in and and surprises you. Really quick easy read, great story line and characters. I wanted to read more! I definitley recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2014

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    I first read Between Shades of Gray and absolutely loved it. I could not put it down and it took me no time at all to finish it. I needed to read something dimilar as I really liked the author's style and the plot, so I was thrilled to find Out of the Easy. Both of her books are now two of my all time favorites. I love this one as much as, if not more than, the first one. I would recommend this book to anyone (at least age 13). I will definitely search for more books by this author. Definitely buy it if it sounds at all interesting to you- you will not regret it and it is definitely worth the money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    WARNING!!

    Please dont read this book unless you are at least 13 or 14. Dont get me wrong, this was a great book! But it aldo includes some inappropriate stuff. So please dont read if you are 11 and under. Thanks

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    I am an English Teacher and read Sepetys' s book "Between S

    I am an English Teacher and read Sepetys' s book "Between Shades of Grey" for our community's Reading and Writing Festival: it was exceptional young adult literature.  This book is aimed for a slightly older teenage to young adult crowd and it is the most OUTSTANDING book i have read in the last two years.  I find myself thinking about it all the time, wanting to revisit the town and the characters. I will probably read it again right away! It is an easy read but the character development and the plot is complex and riveting: i would even recommend this book to non-readers. This is a PERFECT summer reading book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2014

    Enjoyed

    Loved the book, but not sure what teen should read about a whorehouse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2013

    !!!

    One of the best books I have ever read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    OUT OF THE EASY

    OUT OF THE EASY has to be a must-read for teens. Though the plot was compelling and the characters compelling, I found the many subplots a bit too much. Cincinati never really showed up until Josie has her money. Forest Hearne wasn't important and yet he remained throughout the book. There were too many little things in the plot that took away from the story at hand. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    -gravitysabully

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    A must read

    This book is just so good i got it like two hours ago and i cant put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    Fantastic Read

    You will not be dissappointed with this book. A really great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    I have read Between Shades of Gray and loved it! when I saw that

    I have read Between Shades of Gray and loved it! when I saw that Ruta had a new book, I had to read it.  I started to read this book, and it took a long time for me to get into the plot. Maybe over half way through the book is when I couldn't put it down. Needless to say, the book was gripping towards the end. I recommend it, but give it a chance throughout the first half before giving up on it, it won't disappoint.

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  • Posted June 17, 2013

    Josie wants a life where people do not know her as the daughter

    Josie wants a life where people do not know her as the daughter of a prostitute, where she can become more than what others expect of her, and one where she knows the identity of her father.  But life in the 1950s is hard for those who have little even when they have the will and the drive to do better.  Josie tries to escape the future others expect from her, navigate a crush, and remain loyal to those who have been there for her with varying degrees of success.  In the midst of her struggles, a local mystery brings unwanted attention of the sort she never imagined.

    Ruta Sepetys is so talented and excels at creating touching stories and courageous characters using such simple yet well-written words.  This is such a quick read and I loved every minute of it.  I loved the characters, their personal struggles, and the brief look into the '50s.  It wasn't just Josie but all the other characters and their struggles seen through her eyes.  Some of the Gangters/mob talk seemed a bt contrived but at her book signing I did hear that it was based on a real person and their experiences.  So maybe that's how it really is.  I'm a bit skeptical though.  Also, this story is set in the French Quarter but didn't have a strong New Orleans flavor.  If you are looking to feel New Orleans and the feel of the setting, OI'm not sure you would get that here.  It felt authentic but could have been easily placed in a different setting without changing anything but the names of locations.  If you've read Between Shades of Grey you knows doesn't believe in perfect endings and this one is no different.

    Overall, another memorable and touching read from Ms. Sepetys.

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  • Posted June 5, 2013

    Loved it!  Great story - got attached to Josie - read in a day -

    Loved it!  Great story - got attached to Josie - read in a day - look forward to more from this author

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