Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Out of the Easy Review

Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
This Edition: Paperback, published March 2013 by Penguin 
First Published: Feb 2013
Pages: 346
Links: Goodreads | Buy the book 

Out of the Easy is set against the vivid backdrop of 1950s New Orleans. Written by New York Times bestselling author Ruth Sepetys, this novel has something for everyone: love, mystery, murder, blackmail and warmth.

Josie Moraine wants out of The Big Easy - she needs more than New Orleans can offer. Known locally as a brothel prostitute's daughter, she dreams of life at an elite college, far away from here.

But then a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie caught between her ambition and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans is luring Josie deeper in as she searches for the truth, and temptation beckons at every turn.

My Thoughts...

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.” 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Showcase Sunday #1

Showcase Sunday is a feature hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea, where we get to showcase all the lovely new books we have recently added to our (already overflowing) shelves!

Last Month:

I bought...

Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Little White Lies by Katie Dale

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

I had so much fun in WHSmith spending some of my Christmas giftcards to buy these! I had already borrowed Looking for Alaska from the library and loved it so I decided to buy myself my own copy, I finished Anna and the French Kiss just yesterday, and I TOTALLY FELL IN LOVE WITH IT, and I'm looking forward to reading Little White Lies soon!

My sister also found a copy of Noughts and Crosses in a charity shop that was in pretty good condition, so she bought it for me, knowing that I have been really wanting my own copy of this (especially one with the extra short story 'Callum' at the end) as it is one of my favourite books ever!

I received for review...
*Thank you to Penguin and Spinebreakers for the following* 

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville

Cress by Marissa Meyer (not pictured because I forgot to take a picture of it! I knew I was missing something!...)

Cress is the only one of these three that I've read so far, and I really enjoyed it! It left me so excited for the next instalment, Winter, which is due to arrive in 2015...hopefully a review should be up soon! 

Did you receive any exciting books this month/week/[insert any appropriate period of time]? Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments - I'd love to hear from you! :)