I did not care for this book and was distracted with other assignments while working on this one. My lack-luster and frankly bad writing in this piece reflects my feelings about this book.
In Ruta Sepetys’ Out of the Easy, the story is told in first person narrative by the protagonist Josie. Because of her innocence despite being the daughter of a prostitute, the world has a tint of childish hope. As the novel wears on, the hope of young Josie wears thin and she learns that just because someone sees something good in you doesn’t make it true, though neither does it make it not true. Josie is a very reactionary character, life happens to her, until the final several chapters. For what I felt was most of the book, Josie tries to hide, she attempts to hide from herself, Willie, Charlotte, Patrick, Jesse, and everyone else. Josie tries to take shelter in the bookshop, thinking she’s protecting herself behind the walls of books, but books don’t make very good bricks and lies are even worse. Josie’s point of view is difficult to understand at times. She is still a teenager and I am not anymore. When thinking about characterization, I thought about how she describes everyone she comes across. She see’s all of the people in her life through hope filled eyes and it’s sad. She is a child in so many ways, trying to see the best in everyone she likes and the worst in those she doesn’t. Evangeline’s description goes back and forth, though just once. The one time Evangeline was kind to Josie, her character changed and suddenly this character I thought to be horrid, was a gem, if only for a moment. I had to remind myself that I was reading a book from the point of view of a teenager and that teens can be fickle. Many of Josie’s problems are caused by her lies. Her lying drives the action. If this story were not told from Josie’s point of view, the reader may have only seen the stupidity of a young woman. There would have been a lot of waiting around for Josie to come to her senses and ask for help, with no pay off. Instead because the story is told by Josie’s point of view, we get to see how her emotions drive her actions. She is a teenager and as such does not take the time to step back and look at what is really going on. She spends much of her time scared and confused, when all she had to do was talk to an adult. If this had been told from any adult’s point of view, I’d imagine there would be a lot of head shaking and sighing. Josie is a sweet girl and bright, but asking for help is not one of her strong suits.