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Out of The Easy Hardcover – February 12, 2013


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This title has been selected by the Amazon editors as one of the Best Teen & Young Adult Books of 2013.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel; First Edition edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039925692X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256929
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2013: The French Quarter of New Orleans in the 1950’s calls from the pages of Out of the Easy, beckoning readers to enter a society of madams and debutantes, secrets and desires. “Sometimes we set off down a road thinkin’ we’re going one place and we end up another.” So it is for Josie Moraine, the daughter of a prostitute rooted in the underworld of the Quarter. Josie wants, more than anything, to trade in the dangerous hand of jokers and pimps her mother laid out, for one filled with books and a life away from the Big Easy. Populated by complex characters you come to love or loathe, but either way can’t stop thinking about (even months later), Sepetys beautifully delivers romance and menace in equal parts and what looks to be a predictable ending turns out to be anything but. --Seira Wilson

From 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, NCα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

More About the Author

Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Her award-winning debut novel, "Between Shades of Gray" was inspired by her family's history in Lithuania and is published in 40 countries. Her new novel, "Out of the Easy" is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950. A historical tale of secrets and lies, "Out of the Easy" is a story of identity, family, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny. Ruta lives with her family in Tennessee.

For more information on Ruta please visit her websites:
www.rutasepetys.com
www.betweenshadesofgray.com
www.outoftheeasy.com

Customer Reviews

I also love the main character, Josie.
kayhiggs
Ruta Sepetys did an amazing job creating three-dimensional characters.
Evie Seo
This was a page turner and an easy enjoyable read.
Kathy O

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Rivera on September 16, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the second book I have read by Ruta Sepetys and I must say she is quickly becoming a favorite author to me! This is a well researched, beautifully written 1950's historical. You really get the feel of being in New Orleans in 1950.

Josie (Jo) is a very well written character. She is strong, intelligent and very realistic. She is an extremely believable character with a good blend of strengths and flaws. She is a teenage girl who lives on her own, and wants desperately to get out of New Orleans and go to college. With a prostitute for a mother and no known father her goal seems to be a pipe dream. A sick friend, and a murder mystery just adds to her troubles.

Her mother is an evil piece of work. I loathe her. One of the most self-centered ladies ever! What she does to Jo in this book buts the word awful to shame! Then there is Willie who runs the whorehouse where Jo cleans and her mother sells herself. It took the longest time to make up my mind about her. I like her no nonsense attitude but I always felt that she was hiding something. Then there is Cokie. I loved Cokie. He is the driver for Willie and acts like a uncle and friends to Jo. I think I could have a great time hanging out with him, sweet and fun as he is!

There is a bit a love triangle between her, Patrick and Jesse. Jesse is the ladies man mechanic of the Quarter with a bit of a 'bad boy' edge. Patrick is the son of the owner of the bookstore where she lives and works. The smart intellect, caring for his ill father. Now while I say love triangle it is very mild through a lot of it. It is not drawn out like so many other books these days. Very simple and plausible.

The way everything is written out is perfect. From the clothing, the whorehouse, the Quarter in general....
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Sue B. on February 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I am dazzled by this book. _Out of the Easy_ is rich and satisfying, character-driven historical fiction at its finest. Josie is a wonderfully complex heroine who, like David Copperfield, wonders if she will be the hero of her story or not. So does the reader. Her path is not clear: her mother is a selfish amoral prostitute whose only interest in Josie is what she can take from her, and Josie has grown up working in both a brothel and a bookstore. These two places are symbolic of the choices she will have to make in her life--will she fall into the life of prostitution and "easy" money in the Quarter, or struggle to achieve her dream of college in the East. I really enjoyed how naturally this was handled, I was holding my breath for several of her choices. She makes mistakes and learns how easy lying can be, and is a completely convincing character. The whole cast of characters are utterly believable: Josie's brothel family-Willy the madam, Cokie and the "nieces" who work there, her friends Patrick and Charlotte, the slimeball Mr. Lockwell, bad guy Cincinnati, and her budding love interest, Jesse. A tremendous amount of research must have gone into this novel, but the effect is never heavy-handed, you are simply immersed in the New Orleans of 1950. Character and setting drive the novel, but the plot and pacing keep things plenty lively, especially since these are people you come to really care about.I can't recommend this book enough,it will particularly appeal to readers who enjoyed _To Kill A Mockingbird_ or _Fried Green Tomatoes_. Thanks to the publisher for my copy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Evie Seo TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Out Of The Easy is a gloomy yet - in many ways - inspiring book that explores themes such as poverty, prostitution, mental illness, abandonment, murder, abuse and making one's own destiny. It's a story of a girl who dreams of a normal life - a life that doesn't involve cleaning brothels, sleeping in a book store and constantly trying to appease her abusive, Hollywood-star-wannabe prostitute mother. An engaging, thoroughly captivating tale full of phenomenally depicted settings and masterfully fleshed-out characters that you'll never forget.

17 year-old Josie Moraine has never had it easy. Her mother, a self-absorbed and thieving prostitute in a Conti Street brothel, has made it clear to her that she was nothing more than a burden and a mistake. Her father is unknown, he could be any one of her mother's many clients. Despite being abused, neglected and unloved, Josie's determined to get away from the filthy streets of French Quarter and make a good life for herself. She dreams of attending Smith College in Northampton. She's saving every hard-earned penny, hoping to one day escape from the Big Easy. When her mother leaves for California with a brutal criminal, Cincinnati, Josie is worried, but also relieved. But before long, she learns that her senseless mother managed to make a mess out of her life yet again, leaving her with a dead-man's watch, a mob debt and entangled in a high-profile murder case.

Well-read, street-smart and strong-willed, Josie is a phenomenal lead character. Her story really pulled on my heartstrings. She's the kind of girl you can relate to, even though your lives and personalities are worlds apart. She's kind, understanding, giving, but she can also be fierce and unstoppable. She's gone through so much!
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