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Out of the Easy Paperback – March 4, 2014
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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This novel's plot is as meticulously crafted as its many characters, and readers will be captivated by the complex world Ms. Sepetys has brought to life. Highly recommended!
This book was very different from her other two books I've read: Between Shades of Gray and Salt to the Sea. It is from a completely different setting, but it still features the strength of the human spirit to battle against life and overcome adversity.
In Out of the Easy, Josie has lived in Louisiana, has a mother who is a prostitute and could careless about her own daughter. Since the young age of 10, Josie has lived in an apartment above a book store and it was the owner who saves her by giving her lodgings (she works in the book store with his son, Patrick) and a love of books, education and the kindness of others. When Josie has graduated high school, a very well to do man enters the book store and buys 2 poetry books for his wife. There is a deep connection for Jo and she keeps the check he paid for the books with because she has fantasy that he could be her father.
When he does suddenly on New Years Eve, Josie thinks there is more to it. She has her beloved friend, Cokie try to glean more information. While she cleans up at Willie's (she is the madam that owns the house of prostitution) where her mother works. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Bayou traditions and superstitions; Josie's fortitude and her self consciousness about her heritage and worth but even more the cast of characters from the prostitutes to the boys who want to know her better and her worthless mother and evil boyfriend, Cincinnati. You will be plunged to the depths of despair for Josie but her optimism and endurance will keep you turning those pages and rooting for her!!!