She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
I’ll admit, I was worried when I picked up this book. I read Sepetys’s first book, Between Shades of Gray, and loved it. I was so afraid that Out of the Easy wouldn’t live up to its predecessor, because sometimes the second book gets rushed out the door and isn’t as enjoyable as the first. I am happy to say that I was worried for no reason.
I loved this book. Sepetys has such a way with words, and her characters are more than interesting. They are real, and just happen to live on a sheet of paper. Josie is spunky and strong, but not over the top. She’s going through her life doing what she can to survive, but she won’t let circumstances drag her down a road where she doesn’t want to go. Even if it would be easier. At the same time, she isn’t superwoman. When her mother’s actions have consequences that land on Josie’s doorstep, she doesn’t snap her fingers and have it taken care of. Instead, she has a normal, human reaction and makes some mistakes. I loved this.
The romance was a little odd, and the thing with Patrick didn’t feel quite authentic. But it didn’t ruin my overall enjoyment of the story. Definitely recommended.