Monday, May 6, 2013

Booklove: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Listening To: Lawdy by The Vespers

“Sometimes we set off down a road thinkin' we're goin' one place and we end up another. But that's okay. The important thing is to start.” - Ruta Sepetys, Out of the Easy

Hello beauties & beastlies! I'm presently snorkeling in a deep sea of copyedits, but I wanted to come up for air long enough to tell you about a book I recently read, loved, and haven't stopped singing about: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. (Singing = metaphorically, not literally. Thankfully.)

Out of the Easy in a word = amazing. 

In more words: When I first picked up this hefty tome, I thought - dang. That'll take forever to read.

And then I finished it in two days.

I would have finished it in one day, if I hadn't slept. (And I did consider not sleeping until I finished ...)

The pacing is riveting, so much that even though I wanted to find out what would happen next!! ... I also wanted it to last even longer. The threat to the main character, Josie, made me read crazy-compulsively to see how it all ended. But it's Josie's emotional journey that really made the story shine for me. My word, I loved her. She's clever and tough, and brave enough to open her heart to love even though she's faced some hardcore rejection. Josie's tone is never "woe is me." It's more, "here I go." And my gosh, you want to go with her. You root for her more and more at every brilliant twist.

Some of my favorite stories are the kind that flip preconceived notions of "good" vs. "bad", which happens a bit here. But I really didn't find read any heavy moral overtones. At its heart, this is a novel about one smart girl who bravely carves out her own identity. The action is cinematic. The writing is gorgeous. And the love story is just ... sigh. You are going to flip for Jesse. :) This novel pretty much cemented Ruta Sepetys being an auto-buy for me from now on. She's so talented.

I hope you read it, and then come back and tell me what you thought because I'm dying to discuss it with someone. (And because someone will ask, here's my usual note: this is young adult, and it's a mature read.)

I sometimes write about books I like on my Pinterest. A week or so after I wrote about Out of the Easy, Alyssa left this comment:

You were good. I think this one will forever live in my memory as the book I read that inspired me to make a move on my stalemate college decision, As of this morning, I'm officially going to Taylor University in Indiana!

How fabulous is that?! I know most of you who are college-bound this fall have probably already made your decisions by now but, even then, I think you'll so relate to Josie's fear and determination when it comes to that particular journey. In one scene, when Josie is debating whether or not she should even apply to her dream school, she rationalizes reasons she probably shouldn't try: She's not wealthy, doesn't have the right family, the right pedigree, etc. She says (I'm paraphrasing) that she might as well stay where she's always been. Do what she's always done. Cokie, my other favorite character in the novel, says, "You got a bigger story than that."

Even though this book is fiction, quotes like that (and there are lots of them in this book) have a magical way of getting tangled up inside the very-true-place of your heart. Sometimes your biggest limitation is just ... you. Know what I mean?

So you can take mine and Alyssa's word for it: the book is pretty darn fabulous. 

Here's another fun note: earlier this spring, I attended a book signing for some fab young adult authors at Parnassus Nashvegas. During the Q&A, one of the authors pointed out Ruta Sepetys, who was in attendance. She wasn't signing; she was just there to support her fellow authors. She seemed so nice and approachable. And I wanted to say hello and tell her how much I adore her writing ... but I wimped out. Like I always do. But that's neither here nor there.

Anyway! Out of the Easy is fabulous. I would love to hear what you think about it, when you get a chance to read it! You can read more about the novel here and you can read more about Ruta Sepetys here.

If you're up for it, will you share your favorite lines from the book you're currently reading? Or maybe just namedrop the book you're reading? I love your book recs! I'll be back soon with some fun updates. And possibly a ghost story. And a tale of woe about my possibly-posessed GPS unit, Geraldine. Stay tuned! ; )


  1. took your word for it and just ordered this book. can't wait to read it!
    I haven't been reading much lately, but right now I'm kind of in the middle of Looking For Alaska by John Green and I'm also reading 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp.

  2. This book sounds awesome. I've added it to my to-read list. :)

    I'm currently reading Jane Austen's unfinished works: Lady Susan, The Watsons, and Sanditon. I consider Austen one of my favorite authors, and I've owned this for a couple of years now but never read it. I can't wait for the new LBD spin-off based on Sanditon, so I figured now was a good time to finally read it!


  3. Sounds like a great read! I'll have to keep an eye out for a copy. ;-) I'm currently working my way through review novels, and Insurgent.

  4. I love your blog, Natalie! There's always something encouraging and something thought-provoking! :)
    Rereading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green again...the words are just so beautiful. Some books you clutch until you reach the last page, and some you hold because they're like a fragile ice sculpture; you know? I feel like this one is the fragile kind~

  5. LOVE the cover art for Out of the Easy. Reminds me of getting those Scholastic magazines in school and picking books based on their covers. ;)

    I'm reading "The Likeness" by Tana French... TANA FRENCH! I cannot get enough!!! These books are like a really engrossing episode of Law & Order except 100 million times better and with beautiful characters and even more beautiful writing. And they take place in Ireland, so. Duh.

  6. Thank you for the recommendation! I've put it on my list to read. Right now I'm reading "Daddy-long-legs" by Jean Webster and it is both beautifully written and hilarious! I highly recommend it :)

    Also, so excited for YOUR book coming out next year!!! :D

  7. Oooooh, I absolutely love 'Daddy-long-legs' (and the follow up, 'Dear Enemy'). I definitely recommend it. Right now I'm reading 'Blind Dates Can Be Murder' by Mindy Starns Clark for about the tenth time. It's book two in the Smart Chick Mysteries series. Yes, I admit it's well and truly Chick Lit (albeit Christian Chick Lit) but it's just so funny and quirky (the main character's name is Jo Tulip and she's a household hints expert) that I can't help but giggle every time I read them!

  8. I am currently rereading Pure Dead Magic. It's extremely hard to find but it's a wonderful mix of Mary Poppins, the Adamms family, and Lemony Snicket. A really magical and cute children's read.
    I read Ruta Sepetys Between Shades of Gray and adored it. I have been wanting to read this book for awhile, I'm going to the library today, fingers crossed they have it!

  9. :) This made my day...a week ago. But it's been a crazy week...
    And I also realized that Out of the Easy makes a cameo in one of the videos I 'helped' create(read: starred in because I have very little idea of how to work a camera) for my video production class. It will live down in history...if anyone ever watches that thing again...Or maybe word of mouth is a better option :P

  10. "hefty tome"

    Isn't that the portly, literature-themed rapper who used to visit libraries during the early-to-mid nineties to inspire schoolchildren to read?

    Or am I thinking about someone else?