Sunday, March 31, 2013

Out of the Easy

Title: Out of the Easy

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Rating: 5 stars

Summary: 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 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.

Review: By the first few pages I was absolutely enraptured, and the final chapter came all too soon.

 The characters, from wonderful to despicable, were enthralling. Though Josie has had a rough life (raised by an cruel mother who steals from her and constantly degrades her, got her own place and a job at age eleven, works as a maid in the brothel in addition to her job at the bookstore), my bond with her grew from more than just sympathy. Josie is smart - both book-wise and street-wise. She's a funny, caring, and driven young woman.  She struggles with whether to stay or go, and what she's willing to do to get what she wants. Her mother couldn't care less what Josie does, unless it concerns money. Willie is a strong, independent woman who, though she might not show it very often, truly cares for Josie. I love how Sepetys presented the women of the brothel; not simply as prostitutes, but as humans with individual quirks and personalities that happened to be prostitutes,  empowered women who weren't just defined by their profession. 

The story, a seemingly simple who-dun-it that is much more complex; a tourist's death shrouded in a mystery that tangles everyone in its web.

Out of the Easy is one of those books where once you finish it, you can't help but just stop and go "Wow."

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Rising

Title: The Rising

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Rating: 4 stars

Summary: Things are getting desperate for Maya and her friends. Hunted by the powerful St. Clouds and now a rival Cabal as well, they're quickly running out of places to hide. And with the whole world thinking they died in a helicopter crash, it's not like they can just go to the authorities for help.

All they have is the name and number of someone who might be able to give them a few answers. Answers to why they're so valuable, and why their supernatural powers are getting more and more out of control.

But Maya is unprepared for the truths that await her. And now, like it or not, she'll have to face down some demons from her past if she ever hopes to move on with her life. Because Maya can't keep running forever.
Review: Filled with adventure, surprises, and action, The Rising was an exciting conclusion to the Darkness Rising trilogy. I loved how the author brought in the characters from the Darkest Powers trilogy, a sister series. She melded the story-lines together excellently. I enjoyed the both series immensely. With a a bit of a twist ending, this third book is sure to please fans.