Publisher's Note:  

It's 1950 and the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie Moraine wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

Out of the Easy

by Ruta Sepetys

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Overall Review:  

It is impossible to resist 17 year-old Josie Moraine, the protagonist of Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys.  It isn't often a character comes along who completely wins a reader over, but the reader will find themselves rooting for Josie from the opening pages.  Josie has moxie, nerve, and a heart full of hopes.  As if a spectacular main character wasn't enough, Ruta Sepetys gives us a complete supporting cast--each one perfectly articulated in mere phrases so that they are thoroughly created in the readers' mind.  (Loved them all!)  Some writers struggle with a large supporting cast, but Sepetys pulls it off with flare.  Throw in the danger of the mob, the setting of New Orleans, a terrible mother, a man called Cincinnati, an unexplained death, snappy dialogue, and a whole lot more and you have a page-turner!

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  5 religious exclamations; 16 mild obscenities; 10 derogatory names; 3 scatological words; 2 anatomical terms.


Violence/Gore:  Report of a syndicate boss disposing of people; report of a woman being beat; report of a person being shot in the leg; report of a character being hit on the head and mention of blood stains on the floor; report of a death; character pulls gun another character; several verbal threats; report of a beating; character injures self with scissors resulting in a lot of blood; report of a death in a car accident; report of a death from natural causes; knife is pulled on a character; character has a dream about fighting another.


Sex/Nudity:  The main character's mother is a prostitute and the main character cleans a cathouse to earn money so there are many sexual references and the theme of prostitution is omni-present.  Many sexual references including, but not limited to:  brothel, cathouse, "selling sex", asking if a character is ready to spread her legs, characters are propositioned, "sex on a stick", and so forth.  A character is said to be naked underneath a fur coat; reference to a character sleeping naked in a feather boa; a character puts a hand on another's thigh; implied homosexuality of a character; report of a wife running away with someone else; an extended scene where a character goes to a rendezvous for an implied sexual encounter which ultimately does not occur; a character is said to be "buck naked".

Mature Subject Matter:  

Prostitution, Crime

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Adult drinking, sometimes to excess, and smoking.  A character is slipped a drug in their drink.  Seven year old child mixes drinks for adults.

Reviewed By Cindy
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