Review: OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys

by Ruta Sepetys 02/12/13
ISBN-13: 978-0399256929
Publisher: Philomel Books
Pages: 288
Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
Source: Publisher
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

It's 1950 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and 18‐year‐old Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. Having grown up in a brothel, the daughter of a prostitute, Josie’s prospects seem dim. But she dreams of a bright future, her goal being to leave New Orleans, leave all of Louisiana, and go to Smith College. But how is this possible for a girl with her background and practically no money? Josie is smart and resourceful. And she’s on a mission. Josie will go to great lengths to make this happen, and relying on her street smarts, she devises a plan. But her plan is dangerous, and she gets into some trouble along the way. Not only does she find herself wrapped up in a murder mystery, holding a dead man’s watch and mistakenly rips off a major mob boss. Josie’s in deep and she needs to find a way out. What lengths will she go to free herself—from her mother, from the mob, and from New Orleans.

My Thoughts: 

OUT of the EASY by Ruta Sepetys is a story about love, heartache and the decisions one makes that can forever alter the course of their lives. Set in 1950 New Orleans with Josie Moraine as the clever and enterprising heroine who wants nothing more than to escape the big easy and her shabby past. Yet, leaving her past behind is never as easy as she would hope.

As I began reading OUT of the EASY I was quickly swept into the current of it's compelling storyline and heroine. Witnessing Josie Moraine navigate through the dark underworld of New Orleans was mesmerizing, addicting and life affirming. I had never felt so attached to a character in a long time for she was written with such depth and emotion that I could clearly feel her pain, embarrassment and her desperate need to get way. She is resilient in the face of adversary and tries her best to make the right choices but at times falls short of her goals. I have to say that one of her decisions almost made me physically sick to my stomach and I was sad that I could barely contain my frustration. It is a moment that I will remember for a long time.

Besides Josie's impressive character, OUT of the EASY was filled with a memorable cast that made this story prevail and shine. One of my favorite characters was Willie Woodley, an outspoken and discriminating madame that I learned to fear and adore in equal measure. She was fiercely loyal to Josie and had some of the best lines in OUT of the EASY. This passage is one of my favorites because Willie always spoke the truth with no filter and while it was harsh, it spoke volumes.

"You're salted peanuts," said Willie.
"What? What's that supposed to mean?"
"You're salted peanuts, and those people out East are petits fours. Don't be cliche',thinking you're going to be Orphan Annie, who winds up in some kind of castle. you're salted peanuts, Jo, and there's nothing wrong with salted peanuts. But salted peanuts aren't served with petits fours." 

Not only did OUT of the EASY have a captivating storyline but it also showcased a moment in time of American prosperity when the concept of a picture perfect family was new, yet impossible to achieve and the lure of New Orleans proved to be the perfect backdrop for release. It is the seduction of this city along with Rutaut Sepetys attention to detail and skilled storytelling that makes OUT of the EASY a stellar read.

OUT of the EASY is an amazing novel and well worth the time spent reading it. I recommend it to teens and adults alike for it has a meaningful message that is truthful and relevent. Every day we put on our shoes and hope that our feet guide us in the right direction, but there are moments when we are taken down a road that can only lead to destruction...Yet, there is always hope that we can turn and walk the other way.

3 comments on "Review: OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys "

Cass (Words on Paper) wrote: February 25, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Great review! This is the fourth OUT OF THE EASY review I've read in a row, like in the span of a day. I'm glad this book is circulating around. :) All positive reviews so far. I can't wait to read this one! (Sorry, I'm out of commenting steam.)

~THE OPTIMISTIC PESSIMIST ~ wrote: February 28, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Ok you have peeked my curiosity and given me goosebumps.
"Every day we put on our shoes and hope that our feet guide us in the right direction, but there are moments when we are taken down a road that can only lead to destruction...Yet, there is always hope that we can turn and walk the other way." <==== Awesome thought

Good Review Thanks for posting

Irene Jennings wrote: June 14, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Wonderful rich characters and great story line. Once again Ruta Sepets has written a fabulous book. Do not miss this one, it is a keeper!
Sugar Loaf NY house cleaning site info

Post a Comment

I would love to see what you have to say :)

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”

Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman

Tales of a Ravenous Reader

My Photo
Hello, and thank you for stopping by. This is my little haven for talking about the books that I adore.

Grab My Button

Email Twitter RSS Feed

Contact Me

I am an avid reader from Northern California and if you are a publisher and would like to have your YOUNG or NEW ADULT book reviewed, please email me. I accept ARCs, as well as books that have already been released. I am also more than happy to do author interviews, guest posts, and contests to promote your book as long as they are in the Young and New Adult genre. Please check my review policy prior to sending me an email, thank you. curlyshoe(at)gmail(dot)com

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
nancy has read 29 books toward her goal of 125 books.

@ravenousreader on INSTAGRAM

Upcoming YA Bay Area Book Events

I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is always best to verify any event prior to attendance.


STACEY LEE Launch Party
Books Inc. in Palo Alto
Thursday, May 26 @ 7pm


June 4&5 in downtown Berkeley
Julie Buxbaum
Gail Carriger
Veronica Rossi
Daniel Handler
Stephanie Keuhn
Stacey Lee
Caroline Paul
Wendy MacNaughton
Lauren Myracle
Alyson Noel
Yvonne Prinz
Jason Reynolds
Evelyn Skye
Wendy Spinale
V.E. Schwab
Nicola Yoon

Books Inc. in SF OPERA PLAZA
Tuesday, June 7 @ 7pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Wednesday, June 8 @ 7pm

Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, June 9 @ 7pm RSVP Here


Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito
Friday, June 10 @ 7pm


Linden Tree Books in Los Altos
Friday, June 10 @ 6pm


Barnes and Noble in Emeryville
Friday, June 10 @ 7pm

Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Saturday, June 11 @ 12 NOON

Barnes and Noble in Roseville
Saturday, June 11 @ 12 NOON


Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Saturday, June 11 @ 2pm


Barnes and Noble in El Cerrito
Saturday, June 11 @ 4pm

B-FEST Book Festival Panel(s) with
Hannah Jayne, Gayle Parness, Jane George and Wendy Spinale

Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Sunday, June 12 @ 12 Noon and 2:00pm

Barnes and Nobel in Corte Madera
Sunday, June 12 @ 2pm

Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, June 17 @ 6pm

Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
Thursday, June 30 @ 7:30pm


Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, July 28 @ 7pm


...and lots more events are coming. I am so excited but cannot share them yet :) Stay Tuned!!

What I am Reading Now

and this too.....

Book Tour Host

Book Tour Host

Book Tour Host

Follow by Email


Rating System

♥♥♥♥♥ Love it! A must read

♥♥♥♥ Great, give it a try

♥♥♥ Okay, a decent read

♥♥ Meh, read at your own risk

Would not recommend

DNF=Did Not Finish

Blog Archive

Blog Stats

Blog Designer

Net Galley

Professional Reader