Out of the Easy

Sepetys, Ruta

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Out of the Easy
Josie, the seventeen-year-old daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is striving to escape 1950 New Orleans and enroll at prestigious Smith College when she becomes entangled in a murder investigation.

Publisher: New York :, Philomel Books,, [2013], ©2013
ISBN: 039925692X
Branch Call Number: FICTION Sep
Characteristics: 346 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Josie, the daughter of a French Quarter prostitute, is striving to escape 1950 New Orleans and enroll at prestigious Smith College when she becomes entangled in a murder investigation.

From the critics

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Dec 26, 2014
  • OliviaF2020 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book was SO good. Ruta Sepetys is my favorite author, and this book reminds me why. A historical fiction book could be hard to write, seeing as much research you need to do as well as not making it 'boring' or too factual to appeal to some teens. Ruta does it perfectly. I forgot that this was a historical book until I finished it and realized, 'Hey, this kind of thing really happened in the 1950s.'

Ruta made this book about the daughter of a prostitute who spends much of her free time in a brothel very clean. There were some sex scenes but Out of the Easy helps to remind readers that prostitutes are people too. And taking place in the '50s, this is actually kind of an eye-opening novel about how things used to be in this part of New Orleans.

I could go on and on about this book, but I'll just say that I recommend it to everyone. Please read, you won't regret it.

Dec 10, 2014
  • gusmcrae rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I imagine that many readers might be wary about recommending a YA novel that is set in the seedier side of 1950s New Orleans--namely in and around a brothel. I definitely had moments while reading it that I found myself wondering if I could recommend it to a teen or not given the setting and situations. After finishing it, though, I think it is an appropriate read for older teens, given the nature of the tale and the story's heroine.

Josie Moraine, the daughter of a prostitute, is 17 and dreaming of life outside of New Orleans. She wants to go to college and do more with her life than clean brothels, something she has done since she was a child. Despite her hard life, Josie has been surrounded by supportive adults--namely the madame who runs the brothel her mother works at and her motley crew, including a quadroon driver who acts as a surrogate father to Josie and a mute housekeeper. Given how childish her own mother is, Josie is lucky to have these folks around her.

I was drawn in by this tale and by Josie. She is intelligent and strong-willed. I couldn't help but hope for the best for her. I imagine there are many teens in positions like her own (i.e., not traditional lives, where the future and college may seem like impossible dreams) and so she will be a character that young readers may relate to.

I definitely will be checking out more books by this author. She knows how to write a compelling story that is hard to put down.

Nov 14, 2014

The book was amazing! Though I was leaning towards the blooming love of patrick and Jo, I still enjoyed. Though I had wished for it to come about it differently. Who knew right? I mean.... in the book he sounds so attractive so does james then.... suddenly I'm hit by a train. I swear I was tear eyed by that one part alone. It was good though .

Oct 29, 2014
  • artemishi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I have to thank Miss Angie for gifting me Out of The Easy. I sped through this compelling read, loving every minute.

It's historical fiction, set in New Orleans in 1950- a city I've never visited, and an era I don't know much about. But Sepetys does such a lovely job describing the scenery and the people, without exposition bogging down the narrative.

I found the story fully believable, as well, which is not my usual reaction to historical fiction (this is what comes from being a history nerd, sometimes). Josie, the main character, is smart, observant, resourceful, and persistent. She's a great role model for young women, and I was cheering for her the entire time.

I definitely recommend this one for fans of New Orleans, the 50's, scrappy female protagonists, non-YA coming of age stories, houses of ill repute in New Orleans, gangsters of that era, historical fiction, and character-driven stories.

Jul 03, 2014
  • green_panda_402 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Really good book! I enjoyed this book a lot!

Jul 01, 2014

I am not one for historical fiction usually, but this book really opened my eyes to what YA fiction can offer outside of the more common science fiction fare as of late.

I read this for a book club and people of all ages and backgrounds really enjoyed Sepetys' book of 1950's New Orleans, which takes not necessarily a hard look, but an honest look into what life was like for people who call NOLA home rather than a getaway destination.

Jan 22, 2014

I haven't read this book yet, but Ruta Sepetys is the most wonderful author I've ever seen. Her first book, Between Shades of Gray, is so good. YOU HAVE TO READ IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Aug 11, 2013
  • meanderthal rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A good book overall, but I found it just wasn't my thing. However, I'd definitely recommend it to others!

Jul 21, 2013
  • mrsgail5756 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very good book. I would recommend this book for all to read.

Jun 06, 2013
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Life isn’t easy for 17-year-old Josie Moraine, living in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950. Everyone knows her mother is a prostitute and expects her to follow, but Josie has her heart set on college. Then a mysterious murder in the Quarter draws Josie into its web and points to her mother as responsible. Sepetys has crafted an intriguing mystery that explores the seamy side of life in the Big Easy.

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