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Out of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys
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Out of The Easy (edition 2013)

by Ruta Sepetys

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5957816,490 (4.13)22
Member:sophronia82
Title:Out of The Easy
Authors:Ruta Sepetys
Info:Philomel (2013), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Teen Fiction
Rating:****
Tags:teen fiction, historical fiction, New Orleans, murder, mystery, romance, family, friendship, prostitution, LGBTQ

Work details

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

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  1. 20
    A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly (FutureMrsJoshGroban)
    FutureMrsJoshGroban: Both are excellent stories about strong, intelligent young women desperately trying to leave their difficult home lives behind and get into college and a new life.
  2. 00
    French Silk by Sandra Brown (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: Both books are set in New Orleans and have characters that are "fallen" women.
  3. 00
    My Mother the Cheerleader by Robert Sharenow (StarryNightElf)
    StarryNightElf: They are set in Jim Crow New Orleans and are narrated by teenage girls.
  4. 00
    Frozen by Mary Casanova (susiesharp)
    susiesharp: These two books may be set in different parts of the country and different eras but I recommend reading them both as it is a "turn left" situation, kind of a what-if to each other.
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English (75)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All languages (79)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Sepetys, Ruta
Out of the Easy
2014. 368 pp. $8.99 pb. Speak. 0147508436. Grades 8-up.

Tags: New Orleans, French Quarter, Big Easy, heroine, abuse, coming of age, historical fiction, southern literature, 1950’s, brothel, Louisiana, prostitution, young adult, teen

Josie Moran has been dealt a hand of unreasonable circumstances. The daughter of a prostitute, Josie grows up in the seedy underworld of the New Orleans French Quarter in the 1950’s. She learns at a young age not to depend on her selfish mother and develops a determined and independent spirit. Refusing to travel down her mother’s road, Josie makes a plan to escape and sets her sights on a college far away. Through several plot twists, Josie finds herself tangled in a predicament of her mother’s doing, and assumes that her developed resourcefulness and intelligence may not be enough for her to escape the clutches of the city. This novel successfully draws the reader into the scenes of this 1950’s southern society, though vivid descriptions of the region and time period are merely compliments to the richly developed characters. In the end, Josie proves to be a strong–willed heroine who succeeds at breaking the cycle and creating her own future, despite the many obstacles. Though this coming of age novel contains mature themes, it is certain to enhance the historical fiction section in a young adult library. ( )
  ginawilliams | Oct 22, 2014 |
Forced to grow up before her time, Josie was her prostitute mother’s bartender by age 10, and living on her own by age 11. Her resourcefulness enabled her to avoid her mother’s way of life and focus on one day getting a chance to go to college.

Read the rest of my review on my blog: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/out-of-the-easy-ruta-sepetys/ ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
My work book club chose this book for October 2014 and I was eager to read it as soon as it was mentioned it was set in New Orleans. I was there for a conference a few years ago and when my husband and I started thinking of places to go after I retire New Orleans was top of my list. So I've been trying to read some books set there anyway but I probably would not have found this one on my own because it is classified as YA fiction. It's true that the main character is a teenage girl but the subject matter is all grown up.

Josie Is smart, good-looking and honourable and she has been taking care of herself since she was ten years old. She has a mother technically but her mother has done nothing to look after Josie. Josie's mother, Louise, is a prostitute who works for Willie Woodley, a famous New Orleans madam. Josie lives above a bookstore owned by Charlie Marlowe who lets her stay there in return for helping with the store. Charlie's son, Patrick, has been relying on Josie to help at the store while he is at home looking after Charlie who has been unwell ever since a robbery at their home. Josie also cleans at Willie's brothel and Willie relies on her to tell her what is going on in the house.

On New Year's Eve a handsome older man comes into the bookstore looking for a book of poetry by Keats. He chats to Josie and thinks Josie is a college student. Josie fantasizes that this man is her father so she is shocked when she reads in the paper the next day that he has died in a nightclub. Josie doesn't believe this death is natural and it turns out that she is right. Someone slipped him chloral hydrate in his drink and the dose was too high. When Josie's mother leaves town in a hurry with her boyfriend Cinncinnati and Josie finds the man's watch in her mother's room she realizes that her mother is involved somehow.

Josie has formed a plan to go to Smith College in Massachusetts but she doesn't know how she will get the money or even get accepted. She finds that all of her attempts to accomplish this get thwarted and she becomes more desperate. Soon she is lying to everyone who is important to her. Will Josie ever get "out of the [Big] Easy"?

I thought the author did a good job of portraying the French Quarter in New Orleans and the characters are well-drawn but maybe a little one-dimensional. Most characters were either salt of the earth or despicable and I don't find that most people are that one-sided. However, I enjoyed the book and I rooted for Josie all the way through. ( )
  gypsysmom | Sep 17, 2014 |
Josie works hard and dreams big, longing to go to school far away from New Orleans where she has grown up working as a cleaner and errand girl in the brothel where her mom has worked. Building her own support system due to her negligent and morally questionable parent, a chance encounter with a kind tourist who is later killed brings Josie into some danger and propels her to act on her dreams.
Strong characters and solid story telling drive this interesting read. ( )
1 vote ewyatt | Sep 2, 2014 |
In this well-written YA historical fiction, Josie Morraine is the hardworking teenage daughter of a 1950s New Orleans prostitute who dreams of escaping the underbelly of New Orleans and going to a prestigious East Coast college. Murder, the mob, and some romance thicken the plot. The ending is satisfying and not completely predicable. ( )
  MzzArts | Aug 2, 2014 |
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"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion."
--Sir Francis Bacon
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Josie, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is striving to escape 1950 New Orleans and enroll at prestigious Smith College when she becomes entangled in a murder investigation.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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