Saturday, February 02, 2013

YA Murder Mystery Set in the Big Easy? Yes, Please!

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

I've tried and tried to write a plot summary that does justice to Out of the Easy (available February 12, 2013), a new historical YA novel by Ruta Sepetys, but it's just not happening.  The jacket copy says it well enough:
It's 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in a police investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Should she avoid Jesse, the mysterious motorcycle boy? Can she trust Patrick, her best friend at the bookstore? Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in a quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
What the blurb doesn't quite capture is the richness that just oozes out of this very compelling novel.  From its colorful setting to its memorable characters to its heartbreaking plot twists, it's impossible not to feel this one.  Deeply.  I empathized with Josie from the very first page of her story to the last, which made her plight both personal and affecting.  The tale is a gritty one, to be sure, but it's also engaging, engrossing and inspiring.  Bottom line:  I loved it.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:  B+

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG-13 for language (no F-bombs), sexual content, and violence

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Out of the Easy from the generous folks at Penguin.  Thank you!

6 comments:

  1. I loved her first book and can't wait for this one! So happy to see a B+ from you.

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  2. This one is next on my pile! Thanks for getting me all pumped up for it!

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  3. I didn't know Sepetys had a new book out! Now I want to read it! I love YA historical. Not too many out there of this genre.

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  4. Enjoyed it the first time I read it, recently, but not overwhelmed. Thanks for pushing me to reread. Sometimes a book just doesn't strike you, for many reasons. I'll keep trying with this because I totally wanted to love it!

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  5. ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh... I can't wait. Sounds great!

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  6. This sounds great! I'm adding it to my TBR pile!

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