Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Out of the Easy” as Want to Read:
Out of the Easy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Out of the Easy

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  12,974 ratings  ·  2,446 reviews
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 get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation t...more
Hardcover, 346 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Philomel Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Out of the Easy, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Michelle I think Sepetys dealt with how much you are defined by your parents and how much you owe them. She explored parental figures through several…moreI think Sepetys dealt with how much you are defined by your parents and how much you owe them. She explored parental figures through several characters; Louise, Cookie, Willie, Charlie, and Mr. Lancaster, to name a few. (less)
Allegiant by Veronica RothClockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareRequiem by Lauren OliverThe Indigo Spell by Richelle MeadUnravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
YA Novels of 2013
91st out of 1,512 books — 10,249 voters
Seduction by M.J. RoseThe Aviator's Wife by Melanie BenjaminThe Firebird by Susanna KearsleyThe Midwife's Tale by Sam   ThomasTemple of a Thousand Faces by John Shors
Historical Fiction 2013
27th out of 650 books — 2,288 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Emily May

If you'd asked me about historical fiction two years ago, I would have told you it wasn't my thing. It had long been a genre that just didn't appeal to me. But, after discovering goodreads and getting awesome recommendations as well as hearing about books I would otherwise never have known about, I've ran into a series of books that have proved I was wrong about this genre. From the bright lights and dazzling atmosphere of Libba Bray's 1920s supernatural murder mystery - The Diviners - to th...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
How many college girls cleaned cathouses?

I was watching a show on t.v. today and heard the over-used phrase You can't have your cake and eat it too, to which I replied, "Why not?" When in the history of ever has someone had the dilemma of being given a piece of cake which they weren't allowed to eat (dietetic reasons don't count)? Why would you ever want to have a piece of cake if you couldn't eat it? I have to go with Marie Antoinette and her stance of letting people eat cake...or not, as it...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Reading Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys lead me to conclude that there aren’t enough YA books set in a) the 1950’s and b) New Orleans. And yet, only a writer of Sepetys’ skill and confidence could have successfully written such a story. Out of the Easy is a murder mystery first, a coming of age story second, and about twenty other things in between. It is a story of great complexity, and yet paradoxically, it is also a very simple one.

With Out of the Easy, Sepetys’ confirmed that she’s not mere...more
"The only reason I'd lift my skirt is to pull out my pistol and plug you in the head."

1950, New Orleans. Josie, the daughter of a heartless and uncaring brothel prostitute dreams of escaping the Big Easy, and going to college. She wants nothing more than to start fresh, and leave behind the whispers that follow her every waking step...

Josie is one of the strongest YA heroines I've ever come across. She moved way from home into an apartment on top of a bookshop at the sheer age of 11, and now (at...more
Out of the easy is rather a simple story if you dig under the layers of the plot. I don’t mean that in either a good or bad way. The story should have been slightly more complex for a historical fiction. I’m not particular sure if it intended to inform us about the life in New Orleans back in the 50’s, because nothing was added to my knowledge that I didn’t already expect of 50’s New Orleans. Out of the easy taught me the importance of social class and your background in 50’s New Orleans and...b...more
I'm reading Out of the Easy exactly a year after reading Between Shades of Gray. Sadly, the experience was as far and distinct as the setting in the two books. I was disappointed to say the least. Out of the Easy missed nearly every mark and lacked all the heartbreaking finesse we found in her first novel. Not that there isn't an emotional hook -- the subject matter, while not as ambitious as Between Shades of Gray, is one that could lift the spirit, offer all the grandiose hope we look for in a...more
Several of my friends for sometime had been encouraging me to pick up a book by Ruta Sepetys. I think with Between Shades of Gray I was terrified of being left in a complete mess, so I knew it would be safer to go with Out of the Easy first.

Ruta’s gorgeous writing is evident from just the first few pages; she pours her heart and soul into every single word. That you lulled in by its beautiful presence with such beautiful prose. I was expecting a beautiful story, and we did get this, but it’s als...more
This is the second book I have read by Ruta Sepetys and I must say she is quickly becoming a favorite author to me! This is a well researched, beautifully written 1950's historical. You really get the feel of being in New Orleans in 1950.

Josie (Jo) is a very well written character. She is strong, intelligent and very realistic. She is an extremely believable character with a good blend of strengths and flaws. She is a teenage girl who lives on her own, and wants desperately to get out of New Or...more
Hershey  (Wants to be Magneto)
4.5 stars

This book reminded me of this song called "What would you do?" by Bastille and some parts of the lyrics might appear in my review.

“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.”

This book was surprisingly good. I really didn't know what to expect when I started it. And it started off really well.

Let me tell you something: Josie's narration is very very addictive. It's simple yet felt exquisite...more
Ruta Sepetys has made a fan out of me – at last. Although Sepetys has received much world-wide acclaim for her first novel, Between Shades of Gray, I found that her debut was less fiction and more history, leaving an impact on the reader merely because of the facts it was based upon. Out of the Easy, however, is a fictional tale with historical elements that simply add to the flavor of the tale. I may have given my tears to Between Shades of Gray, but I gave my heart and soul to Out of the Easy...more
Read all my reviews at

5/5 Stars

Lately, I'm finding that with every work of historical fiction I read that I am growing to love this genre more and more. Why? Because it's a window to another world, not a world of fantasy or of the paranormal, but a world, that for one moment in time, existed in our own. And Out of the Easy does what all good historical fiction should do: it teaches the reader while entertaining them at the same time. Are you a fan of historical ficti...more
I’ll admit it, I’ve been too emotionally frightened to pick up Ruta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Gray, but when I saw the blurb for her sophomore novel, Out of the Easy, I knew I had to read it. Josie’s story plucked at my heartstrings in ways I didn’t expect. I found myself for the first time in many many reads to be incredibly stressed out over the choices a character might make. I was so involved in this story, and yet, I found myself avoiding picking it up when we would reach a crossroads bec...more
Summer {is puntastic}
Nov 05, 2013 Summer {is puntastic} rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of character driven novels, people new to historical fiction
“What do you do with all this bank, Josie? Be a lot easier if you just lifted your skirt.”

“The only reason I'd lift my skirt is to pull out my pistol and plug you in the head.”

It's official. Ruta Sepetys is now one of my favorite authors. First, she crushed my heart with Between Shades of Gray, and now, I find myself enamored with Out of the Easy. Her writing is superb, and her characterization skills are envy-worthy.

Out of the Easy is about a girl who is a daughter of a prostitute. All of...more
Stacey (prettybooks)
Out of the Easy, by the author of one of my favourite books, Between Shades of Gray , was easily one of my most anticipated novels of this year. But it couldn't be more different from Between Shades of Gray, which just goes to show that Ruta Sepetys is an author to watch. Out of the Easy starts with: 'My mother's a prostitute. Not the filthy, streetwalking kind. She's actually quite pretty, fairly well spoken, and has lovely clothes. But she sleeps with men for money or gifts, and according to t...more
Review posted originally at The Book Smugglers

Warning: Out of the Easy is a historical novel set in New Orleans. In this review I refer to sex workers as “prostitutes” and “whores” just as in the book.

Warning: there are some spoilers in this review.


Ruta Septety’s Out of the Easy is the author’s sophomore novel after the highly acclaimed Between Shades of Grey. It’s a historical novel, set in the 50s in New Orleans, featuring teenager Josie Moraine whose first person morose, contemplative...more
Out of the Easy was such a pleasant surprise. I did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Even now, I am still thinking about this book and how amazing it is. Out of the Easy is about the life of Josie, the daughter of a brothel prostitute in New Orleans in the 1950s. However all Josie wants is to get out of New Orleans, go to college, and leave behind the life that she never wanted that includes an uncaring and rather heartless mother and the work prospects that seem to be pressuring her int...more
This sounds awesome! New Orleans in the 1950s?! Ruta Sepetys?! Can't wait for this one to come out xD


I loved the unique story/setting and loved Josie as a protagonist, but it didn't entirely live up to my high expectations. The plot was predictable, and therefore, I never felt as though Josie was ever in any real danger. The elementary themes of the novel assured me that nothing outrageously horrible would happen to her. Some of the scenes just felt like filler to take up space, and the wr...more
Lady Danielle
"My mother's a prostitute. Not the filthy, streetwalking kind. She's actually quite pretty, fairly well spoken, and has lovely clothes. But she sleeps with men for money or gifts, and according to the dictionary, that makes her a prostitute."

Wow. Never thought I'd enjoy Out of the Easy as much as I did... ok I'm lying. I expected it to be awesome and awesome it was. Kudos, Sepetys for creating a fabulous historical world of fiction set in the 1950s in New Orleans with amazing characters.

It is v...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Time to add another author to the list of those I have a total crush on. Ruta Sepetys' debut Between Shades of Grey, which I really hope sold some extra copies due to the popularity of 50 Shades and the errors of shoppers, impressed me. Out of the Easy proves that she has the talent to branch out and write a story wholly removed from her first.

Yet again, Sepetys writes about a section of history oft-ignored in YA fiction, and, really, fiction in general. Set in New Orleans in 1950, Sepetys focus...more
Julia Graf
Read it in one sitting, could not put it down! Ruta Sepetys is quickly becoming my favorite author, as I loved her first novel as well.

This book was full of colorful characters that were so strong and unique, and the story was such a beautiful mix of happiness, disgust and sadness. The 1950s French Quarter set in New Orleans was a great place for this story. I didn't know what to expect from this book but I was pleasantly surprised.

Absolutely recommend this one to anyone looking for something a...more

Reader, I loved this book.

I adored Sepetys’ debut, Between Shades of Gray, and had been eagerly awaiting her follow up novel. I was not disappointed. Sepetys’ commitment to impeccably researching her subject matter shows, and she brings 1950s New Orleans to life on the pages of Out of the Easy.

I really enjoyed Sepetys’ take on class and social stigma in Josie’s story. As the daughter of a prostitute, and in the employ of shrewd Madam Willie, as a cleaner, Josie is keenly aware of the limitatio...more
Pixie/PageTurners(Amber) C.
First reaction: No, it can't be done yet. I don't want to leave this world. I laughed, I cried and I screamed but it was all worth it in the end. I would love to see a companion/sequel to Jo's story.

Review -
Simply Amazing...It's the start of 2013 and I can't imagine any other book topping my list for the year. Out of the Easy is the perfect combination of entertaining characters and intriguing story, woven together to create an unputdownable - unforgettable book. I laughed. I cried. I screame...more
Annette (booknerderie)
***I apologize in advance for the following book gush***

I'm a New Orleans girl. I lived in Metairie {a suburb of the city}. I went to high school at McGehee on Prytania St. in the Garden District. I got lost in the French Quarter on the weekends, camera in hand. I may not live there anymore but heart will always be in The Big Easy. So, needless to say, I snatched this book up without reading past "set in New Orleans." With a little apprehension, I began reading. And within the first paragraph, I...more
4.5 stars on a good day.

Fantastic, really. And a whole lot more engaging than I first anticipated. Plus Josie is exactly the sort of character I'm likely to remember for a long, long time.

I suppose it's only right I give Between Shades of Gray a try now...
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
Out Of The Easy is a great book that takes you on a ride like never before. It is a story of how women used to provide for themselves and their family when they could not get a job. Prostitution back then was not a dirty thing because it was considered a service women gave men to help them ease their stress.

Out of the Easy is a story about a girl named Josie who is a daughter of a prostitute. She wants to make a difference in the world and she does not want to follow in the foot steps of her mot...more
Diane S.
The strength in Sepetys language is in her character development and that her characters are for the most part extremely likable. The French Quarter in the 1950,s and a story based on an actual madame, in fact the house she actually lived in is part of this book. Liked the atmosphere of this story and really like the fact that she has such strong young females in unusual circumstances as the main focus in both her books. This one is part mystery, part love story, part quest and the struggle in s...more
I enjoyed the characters in this story, but I wonder which teen I would give a book about a New Orleans whorehouse.
Maggie Stiefvater
Good. Yes. Good.
Source: Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

So I knew this was set in New Orleans but I didn't realize it was historical, set in 1950. Other surprises included the setting of a brothel and menacing mobsters. Our heroine is Josie Moraine, daughter of a prostitute, who has pulled away from her mother, earning an honest living at a bookstore and dreaming about a college education away from the town where everyone knows she's a prostitute's daughter. But she also clea...more
Kat (Le Pauvre Cœur)

Josie Moraine works at a bookstore in New Orleans. She's just a bookish girl dreaming about going to college and maybe even making friends with a nice girl from Uptown.
Oh, and her mother's a prostitute, and Josie's been working at her mother's brothel since she was seven years old, making martini's and cleaning up in the morning after all the men have left.
Josie desperately wants to go away to college and as far as she can from 'The Big Easy' and her shameful and stupid mother. When the murder...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity, #2)
  • In the Shadow of Blackbirds
  • Hattie Ever After (Hattie, #2)
  •  The Fire Horse Girl
  • The Lucy Variations
  • Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass
  • A Moment Comes
  • How to Lead a Life of Crime
  • The Caged Graves
  • Reality Boy
  • Belle Epoque
  • Starstruck (Starstruck, #1)
  • All the Truth That's in Me
  • White Lines
  • Bruised
  • 17 & Gone
  • My Family for the War
  • The Berlin Boxing Club
Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. Her award-winning debut novel, "Between Shades of Gray" was inspired by her family's history in Lithuania and is published in 40 countries. Her new novel, "Out of the Easy" is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950. A historical tale of secrets and lies, "Out of the Easy" is a haunting reminde...more
More about Ruta Sepetys...
Between Shades of Gray Untitled Penguin Teen Spring 2013 Preview

Share This Book

“I leapt eagerly into books. The characters’ lives were so much more interesting than the lonely heartbeat of my own.” 131 likes
“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.” 81 likes
More quotes…