Monday, June 17, 2013

Good, better, best - Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

In out of the Easy Ruta Sepetys have created a wonderful set of characters. The characters never asked to be loved, but still they crawled under my skin, and as a result everyone of them will live on in my heart for years to come. It pains me to face the facts, these memorable characters aren't real. In their own way they feel so real and vibrant, colorful, fun and exiting to spend time with.

Caged? Spread your wings and fly away! I love this cover <3

Another time, another place

Come with me, take my hand and jump aboard my time capsule. We'll travel back in time, to the south, Louisiana, in the "French quarter" in New Orleans. When we are there I'll introduce you to Josie Moraine, she is just seventeen years old, but Josie is wise beyond her years. Growing up in the shadow of a mad woman working on a brothel is no joke. Josie will tell you she is doing fine, in spite of or perhaps because of her difficult childhood she is making a life for herself. She has dreams and she has the fighting spirit to make her dreams turn into something solid.

The Future

If you think that this is all set to be a tragic story about a young girl, then you are on the wrong track. Ruta Sepetys choose to focus  on Josie's future, the hard past is something that is part of Josie but it never takes over her life. Josie is living and fighting for a better future. It seems like everything just might be in Josie's reach when she is involved in a murder case. I will not tell you how it all turns out but I need to let you know that this is a story that will give your warm and fussy feelings. Thinking about Josie, her friends and foes makes me feel thins bubbly sensation of happiness inside and I want to hand out a copy to all my friends and make them read Out of the Easy.

Josie spent most of her childhood and teenage years in a bookstore. Perhaps it was this one?© Flickr/Justin Cozart


In my intro I mentioned how much I fell for the wonderful characters within the word of Out of the Easy, that is just the way it is when a talented author let the characters live a life that feels true, real, a whole lot more than black ink on white paper. Ruta Sepetys writes characters full of richness and complexity, like real live human beings. There is a whole set of memorable characters here; like Willy the brothel owner(based on Norma Wallace), the taxi driver Cookie, mechanic and florist Jessie and many more. I heart them all.

A lovely fasade in New Orleans. © Flickr/Michael Allen Smith

Do you like reading stories featuring memorable and quirky characters? A story that makes you believe in the good that exists in the human kind? With a sweet romance as the delicious cherry on top(or whatever rocks your boat)? Then Out of the Easy is your next read, you won't regret it.

Listen to author Ruta Sepetys talk about what inspired her to write Out of the Easy.

After reading Out of the Easy I dived a bit further into the history of New Orleans, being Norwegian and all I haven't got all that much in depth knowledge on all the American states. I thought I would share some of my finds with you guys before ending this review:

  • Louisiana was named after Louis XIV of France
  • In 1719 the French founded Nouvelle-Orléans. Guess what the city is called today? ;)
  • "The French Quarter" is the oldest quarter in New Orleans
  • Napoleon Bonaparte sold New Orleans to America(with Thomas Jefferson as the man in charge) in the Louisiana purchase in 1803 for 15 million USD.
  • Author Truman Capote was from New Orleans. You might very well have read or heard of his most famous work; Breakfast at Tiffany's. I have read, and enjoyed, the book.

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