Book: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
For: Book Club and Beehive Awards
From: The library
Short Synopsis: It's just turned 1950 and Josie lives in New Orleans with her mom... her mom who happens to work at a brothel. Josie also works there... as a sort of cleaning maid. But she loves the madame, who doubles as a mother figure for Josie. That's because Josie's mom is so crazy and irresponsible and basically unable to mother Josie herself. In fact, the story opens with the mom running off with some shady guy and Josie is left alone, but then again, she is used to that. She lives above of the bookstore where the owner and his son are her other family. After Josie's mom leaves, some strange things happen and Josie ends up having to solve a murder mystery.
My Response: I loved the time period and setting of this one! I'm so glad to have got a glimpse in real life of New Orleans so I could easily picture this setting. (We walked around the French Quarter for a morning on July 4th a few years ago. I mostly remember how hot it was! But, I loved the place!) Josie was a fun character too, and someone who has to deal with some pretty adult things. I can't believe the stuff her mom puts her through. What a crappy mom! But luckily she has some people in her life that keep her going. She wants so bad to be a normal person and go to college and be smart and to forget her past.
Bottom Line: Great story and beautiful writing as we've come to expect from this author who knows how to do a fabulous historical fiction!
Let's Talk About: New Orleans some more! Have you been there? What did you think? What's your feeling setting a "kids" (YA is kids book right?) book in a brothel? Is New Orleans a perfect setting for such a thing? Or is it not fair? What other favorite books of yours are set here? Interview with a Vampire!? :)
Oh, I loved this book. As it's got the same combination of fantastically-rendered historical atmosphere—the dialogue is TO DIE FOR—and mystery elements, I highly, HIGHLY recommend it From Bookshelves of Doom
This is a wonderful book that encourages readers to go after their dreams! From BermudaoOion's Weblog
Josie is the best kind of heroine. She’s salty peanuts. It is extremely easy to imagine that she is a friend I know, or even fragments of myself. From Words on Paper
The story was so breath taking and touching, but it was also horrible. It was like my heart was ripped out, stomped on, and healed by love. From Kami's Library Thoughts