October 6, 2017
Genre: YA historical fiction
***Post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Have You Recently Discovered a New Favorite Author?
I first discovered Ruta Sepetys when I read Salt to the Sea earlier this year. I followed that quickly with Between Shades of Gray (her first novel). Both stories deal with similar WWll themes and loosely follow some of the same family members. Recently I read her third novel, Out of the Easy. Although I love all her works, I consider Salt to the Sea my favorite of her novels (review). ***4/22 Edited to add: I recently read her newest release, The Fountains of Silence.
Summary of Out of the Easy:
It’s 1950 in the French Quarter of New Orleans when we meet seventeen-year-old Josie. A high achiever with a great deal of grit and savvy, she is the daughter of an unreliable mother who is a prostitute, benefits from an unlikely mentoring relationship with a tough madam, and is trying to survive in The Big Easy. Although Josie has a plan to get out, she becomes tangled in an investigation that could change her dream of an elite eastern college and her future. Throughout the story, she is tried, tempted, and tested. How will her decisions shape her future?
Amazon rating (October): 4.5 Stars
I enjoyed this fast-paced and engaging story of a girl beating the odds to pursue an education and a fresh start. At first, everything that could go wrong for Josie goes wrong; but her determination, grit, bravery, spunk, perseverance, and quick thinking pull her through some harrowing experiences. The following quote illustrates her attitude:
“I still wanted to believe it was possible, that my Wings, no matter how thin and torn, could still somehow carry me away from a life of lies and perverted men.”
Josie is a memorable and likable character and readers will root for her throughout the story.
Recommended: Out of the Easy is recommended for mature YA and readers who love a character you can cheer for and a story filled with intrigue and some suspense. In addition, this is an excellent introduction to the beautiful writing of Ruta Sepetys.
My rating: 4 Stars
Meet the Author, Ruta Sepetys
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 stories of strength through struggle. Her award-winning historical novels are published in over fifty countries. “Between Shades of Gray” was inspired by her family’s history in Lithuania. Her second novel, “Out of the Easy” is set in the French Quarter of New Orleans in 1950, and her third novel, “Salt to the Sea, exposes one of the greatest hidden disasters of World War II. Ruta lives with her family in Tennessee.
I’d love to hear in comments if you’ve read Ruta Sepetys or if you plan on adding one of her books to your TBR list.
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
Are you looking for a diverse multicultural read for your middle-grade reader or student?
Told in free verse from the perspective of ten-year-old Ha and inspired by the author’s own experiences, this is a poignant and beautifully written story of a family’s escape from Vietnam before the fall of Saigon to America. This refugee and immigrant story can build feelings of compassion and lead to thoughtful reflection as Ha experiences grief, bullying, learning English, new foods and customs, kindness from a neighbor, finding her voice, family loyalty, and the comfort of old traditions. A perfect read for older elementary or middle-grade readers but, as with all good literature, enjoyable for adults too…a diverse read that builds understanding and empathy.
Amazon Rating (October) 4.5 Stars
My rating: 5 Stars
Meet the Author, Thanhha Lai
Thanhha Lai was born in Vietnam and now lives north of New York City with her family and two dogs
I. Am. Thrilled. to finally review Little Fires Everywhere next week. It was a Book of the Month selection for September and my library hold became available this week so I dropped everything to read it. There’s been a lot of buzz about this book and, thankfully, it lived up to my expectations!
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Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.
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