Author: Ruta Sepetys
This Edition: Paperback, published March 2013 by Penguin
First Published: Feb 2013
Links: Goodreads | Buy the book
Anyone who dismisses historical fiction as boring need only read a book by Ruta Sepetys to change their mind. Her heartbreakingly beautiful debut novel, Between Shades of Grey, released in 2011, told the story of Lina, a fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl being persecuted by the Russians, and set high expectations for her second book to reach. Out of The Easy did not fall short of these expectations and has cemented my impression of Sepetys as a brilliant author, and I will be very eager to read anything she writes in the future.
Josie Moraine is one of those characters you just know you'll like. Totally down-to-earth, a real girl with real dreams, with whom you can't help empathising and hoping that everything works out for. Josie has her hardships, what with being known as a prostitute's daughter, and having a ditzy mother who seems to care more about money and glamour than her daughter, but she deals with her lot and works hard with the hope that she can escape someday. When something bad happens, you can't help but feel as frustrated as Josie; when a spot of luck comes her way, you feel just as excited and thankful as she does. Ruta Sepetys has a real talent for making you connect with her characters in this way.
The novel's plot was greatly helped by the presence of such a realistic, likable character - a story always means so much more when you feel a connection with the characters - but was also driven along by a nice element of mystery, which made the book all the more exciting.
Even though I had loved Sepetys' first novel, Between Shades of Grey so much, I was still actually quite surprised by how much Out of The Easy moved me. It was refreshing, quirky read that has a special little something about it that makes it really appealing and enjoyable. I so look forward to reading more of Sepetys' work in the future!
My Goodreads rating... ★★★★
In One Word...
Josie, the quirky protagonist who dreams big and refuses to conform to societal rules, + refreshingly original plot = an optimistic yet heartwarming, quirky novel.
Quotes I Liked...
“Sometimes we set off down a road thinkin' we're goin' one place and we end up another. But that's okay. The important thing is to start.”
“Decisions, they shape our destiny.”
“I leapt eagerly into books. The characters’ lives were so much more interesting than the lonely heartbeat of my own.”