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Out of the Easy

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  26,650 Ratings  ·  4,137 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 to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigatio
Hardcover, 346 pages
Published February 12th 2013 by Philomel Books
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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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Raeleen Lemay
This started out really strong, but around the halfway point it really started losing steam. Still enjoyable overall, but I got very bored near the end.

I was having a hard time articulating exactly why I didn't love this book, and I came across the review that described my feelings perfectly:
Emily May
Nov 02, 2012 Emily May 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 th
Lola  Reviewer
OUT OF THE EASY is another fantastic piece of writing by the stupendous Ruta Sepetys, aka the only historical fiction writer to make my list of top favourite authors.

With a mostly absent and selfish prostitute as a mother, Josie’s life has never been exactly easy. The title is, therefore, very much ironic.

Josie is a good girl who wants a good education and a good life, out of the city of New Orleans which, so far, only filled her heart with disappointments. But if she can’t receive a scholarshi
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)
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
Bekah AwesomeBookNut
Nov 10, 2012 Bekah AwesomeBookNut 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
Jun 22, 2016 May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: estantería
Primer libro que leo que trata la prostitución como debe. Ole Ruta. Ole.
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
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 i
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
Oct 20, 2015 Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, young-adult

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
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
Drew (Drew’s Cup of Tea)
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
Jan 04, 2013 Renu 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
Shannon (leaninglights)
4.5 stars

Another great story crafted by Ruta. I really enjoyed this!
Mar 09, 2016 Phrynne 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
Jun 25, 2013 Jamie 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
Feb 18, 2013 Merna rated it really liked it
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
Maggie Stiefvater
Aug 16, 2014 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing
Good. Yes. Good.
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
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
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
Maria Angelica
Sep 17, 2016 Maria Angelica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tenho, fav2016, lido-2016
Eu adorei esse livro. Teria dado cinco estrelas, mas o desconto da uma estrela foi por causa do início. As primeira cem páginas são um pouco difíceis de ultrapassar, mas depois que isso aconteceu, não me arrependi nenhum um pouco de ter insistido. O livro me cativou completamente e terminei o que faltava em um dia.
Sinto que cada vez mais estou curtindo livros de ficção histórica. Existe um charme na estória ser situada no passado que me atrai imensamente. Nesse a autora fez um belo trabalho em c
[~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.
Nenia *The Flagrant Liberal* Campbell

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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 is
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
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
Morana Mazor
Nov 17, 2015 Morana Mazor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prekrasna, topla priča o Josie koja, uz majku prostitutku i niz osebujnih likova, odrasta u ozloglašenoj, Francuskoj četvrti New Orleansa. Ona radi u knjižari, čisti bordel, biva uvučena u istragu ubojstva, ali vođena svojim jakim karakterom i ambicijom, hrabro kroči ka svom cilju- upisu na prestižni koledž Smith. U njezinoj borbi pomažu joj ljudi koji je okružuju, a uz koje je ne vežu rodbinske nego sudbinske veze koje su, ponekad, one najjače.
Nije ovo ni prva ni zadnja priča o ljudima koji su
Aug 05, 2012 Keertana 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

-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
Danny Phanton
Dec 14, 2014 Danny Phanton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reseña en el blog: La cueva de Danny.
Willie decía que lo normal era aburrido y que debería dar gracias por tener un toque picante. Decía que a nadie le interesaba la gente aburrida, y que cuando morían, se les olvidaba, como algo que se te cae tras el tocador. A veces me gustaría colarme detrás del tocador. Ser normal sonaba perfectamente maravilloso.

En pocas palabras el libro no era nada de lo que esperaba pero me sorprendió para bien, una historia sencilla sobre el perseguir tus sueños y q
Jun 23, 2012 Heather 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
Jul 30, 2013 Summer rated it really liked it
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
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Review: Out of the Easy- Rachel Jacob 1 4 Feb 23, 2017 05:46PM  
For Love of a Book: Out of the Easy Buddy Read-July 52 23 Aug 08, 2016 11:55AM  
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Ruta Sepetys was born and raised in Michigan in a family of artists, readers, and music lovers. As an author of historical fiction, Ruta is drawn to stories of strength through struggle. Her award-winning debut novel, "Between Shades of Gray" was inspired by her family's history in Lithuania and is published in 45 countries. Her second novel, "Out of the Easy" is set in the French Quarter of New O ...more
More about Ruta Sepetys...

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“I leapt eagerly into books. The characters’ lives were so much more interesting than the lonely heartbeat of my own.” 202 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.” 131 likes
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