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

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  56,670 ratings  ·  6,946 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, 348 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
Rua Richardson To me the theme is not only about parental figures, but about how life truly is what you make it. You can sit around feeling sorry for yourself or you…moreTo me the theme is not only about parental figures, but about how life truly is what you make it. You can sit around feeling sorry for yourself or you can get up and try to make something of yourself. This book touched my heart, it reminded me of saying my grandfather use to say all the time, "if you throw enough sh*t at the wall something is bound to stick". (less)
Allegiant by Veronica RothClockwork Princess by Cassandra ClareRequiem by Lauren OliverThe Indigo Spell by Richelle MeadThe Elite by Kiera Cass
YA Novels of 2013
1,518 books — 10,959 voters
The Aviator's Wife by Melanie BenjaminSeduction by M.J. RoseThe Firebird by Susanna KearsleyThe Midwife's Tale by Sam   ThomasThe White Princess by Philippa Gregory
Historical Fiction 2013
378 books — 2,578 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  56,670 ratings  ·  6,946 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Out of the Easy
Emily May
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
Mar 19, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ugh, im such a fangirl for RSs writing. shes become an auto-buy author for me - thats how much i love her storytelling.

this particular book is simple. it doesnt have quite the same heaviness and impact her later books do, but i think the simplicity really works well with this story. it makes it become more about the characters, rather than the message, and i found myself really enjoying the characters. all of them, even the side ones, are complex and i felt like i knew them on a significant leve
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
If I have *had* dark rings under my eyes at lunch today, it will was probably be because it's 6AM and I spent the whole night reading. Oops. Now, how could I have resisted? Out of the Easy is so damn charming. Wonderful settings, a flawed MC who makes mistakes but stays very relatable and likeable, secondary characters so lovable and true-to-life (Willie, Coky, Jesse, I want to hug them all), I couldn't stop reading, even if the mystery part was really predictable and a little ludicrous. Now, if ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow.... I mean wow.... This book was so captivating! This book is all about this quote from the book,"Decisions, they shape our destiny." And this book tells you that in any given circumstance, whatever life deals you, in the end it's YOUR choice of how you want to shape who you are and make your life.

The author was able to bring to life with the descriptions and vivid details of the New Orleans during a rough time. Not only did she barely touch on the "Uptown" families, she thoroughly devoted
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did :) I fell in love with so many characters in the book. I felt so bad for Josie having a mother who was a prostitute and didn't care for her at all. The brothel her mom was living in was owned by a woman named Willie and I really loved her. Willie's character was of a good woman, even though she ran a brothel. She was kind to those that needed to be kind to and put people rig
Maggie Stiefvater
Aug 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Good. Yes. Good.
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
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 n
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
My third book by this author and it was just as much a pleasure to read as the previous two. Sepetys has a delightful way with words and her characters and their settings are always so well written.
In this case the setting is New Orleans, the 'wrong' part of it, and our main character, Josie, is struggling to make something better of herself. She is guided and assisted by a number of friends and I loved the way her relationships were depicted. By the end of the book I was very attached to Jesse
Sep 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
WoW! I have to say when I first heard of this book, Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys I assumed it was about something from the 1920s due to the title. Well imagine my surprise when I start listening to words like prostitutes, pimps and whore followed by 1952! I sure wasn’t disappointed when I got into it. Such a good book! Towards the end I even cried some tears! Out of the Easy takes place in New Orleans during the 1950s. It is full of adventures, romance and some prostitution. Along the way a f ...more
Renu (The Page Turner)
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"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
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was such a compelling historical fiction novel. Am I the only one who feels like a lot of books in this genre can get too descriptive with historical fact, and thus become boring? With Out of the Easy, however, I truly couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

I loved the characterization of different people in New Orleans in 1950, how Sepetys captured their lives, the good and ugly parts. Our protagonist, Josie, is an inspiring, independent girl with huge dreams to go to college, but she is held
Shannon (kitchandpages)
4.5 stars

Another great story crafted by Ruta. I really enjoyed this!
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
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Out of the easy is rather a simple story if you dig under the layers of the plot. The story should have been slightly more complex for a historical fiction. I’m not particular sure if it intended to inform me about 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...basically that’s all. I felt the racism was greatly ...more
Sharlene Hammond
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After finishing “Salt to th Sea”, I knew I had to add the rest of Ruta Sepetys’ books to my list.

“Out of the Easy” absolutely did not disappoint. Lovable characters (I instantly adored Cokie), and such a fantastic story.

Thank you, Ruta!
Feb 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

DNF @ pg 45

It's not like the other R. S. books. And I didn't find interest in this one.

Plot and writing style felt very fake, unnatural, like the author was trying to imitate that she can write a book.
Diane S ☔
Feb 07, 2013 rated it liked it
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
[~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥
3 stars

To be fair I did DNF a few books before this so that's something. The characters were interesting enough for me to find out how it will all end. This one felt a bit slower than her other book. Also it was somewhat of a love triangle but it was obvious which way the book will end.
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: february-2013
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
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Reading this book seemed to take forever, and it took me a while to figure out why I kept setting it aside. On the surface, OUT OF THE EASY is everything I like in young adult fiction: interesting and diverse cast of supporting characters, a flawed and often selfish heroine, real world issues dealt with in a real and darkly edgy way, and a bit of romance that doesn't overshadow the story. All of these things are wonderful, and the story
An Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher for review. Quotes pulled from the ARC may be incorrect and may be subject to change.

Josie’s life isn’t easy. Her mother is a prostitute and only thinks for herself. She learned at a young age to take care of herself and wants nothing to do with her mother and her toxic lifestyle. Her main goal is to leave The Big Easy and go to college. Yet, her mother and her poisonous boyfriend Cincinnati makes it hard for her do so, she takes matters in h
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

-This wasn't nearly as good as Between Shades of Gray, it was still a pretty enjoyable read though but it wasn't all that memorable or moving in comparison.

-I had kind of a hard time connecting to the heroine, Josie, she was a little too perfect compared to all the other female characters in the book. It was like they were all wrong in some way or another whilst she was normal and decent. Also, for a lot of the book she was a little too cool, snobby and emotionless. I did start to relat
— Massiel
Mar 15, 2022 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2022
It's not me reading Ruta because I want to cry. 

This is called masoquism. 
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the characters in this story, but I wonder which teen I would give a book about a New Orleans whorehouse.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Girl in the Blue Coat
  • They Went Left
  • The Diamond Eye
  • Bluebird
  • The Book Woman's Daughter (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, #2)
  • The Light in Hidden Places
  • The War Outside
  • The Forest of Vanishing Stars
  • Lengvas budas mesti rukyti (Lithuanian)
  • The German Wife
  • The Girl in His Shadow (Nora Beady #1)
  • Cukursaldā
  • Novels by Mary Higgins Clark
  • Under a Painted Sky
  • The Last House on the Street
  • Lehrerzimmer
See similar books…
See top shelves…
#1 New York Times Bestselling Author and Winner of the Carnegie Medal.
Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. The daughter of a refugee, Ruta is drawn to underrepresented stories of strength through struggle and hopes to give voice to those who weren't able to tell their story. Her award-winning historical novels are published in over sixty c

Related Articles

  As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
61 likes · 11 comments
“I leapt eagerly into books. The characters’ lives were so much more interesting than the lonely heartbeat of my own.” 238 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.” 156 likes
More quotes…