This review contains no spoilers.
I see everyone comparing this book to Between Shades of Gray, which it’s not. Let’s set our facts straight; BSoG is about something terrible and very much like the Jewish Holocaust while OotE is about a girl whose mom is a jerk who happens to be a prostitute.
Out of the Easy tells a story about Josie, who I loved from page one. She’s strong, smart, enchanting, and hilarious! Each of the characters is well developed, and none of them really fall into “good or evil” or “dynamic or static.” Each character faces their own trials and tribulations throughout the book, but none quite as much as Josie.
The brothel and the prostitutes disgusted me to the point that I didn’t want to read the book, but once I picked it up, I found myself falling in love with them. They’re all well developed and described, with unique quirks and charms. Especially Willie, the Madame.
I think another thing that made this such an enjoyable read was the lack of setting. Some historical fiction books are run by their setting, to the point that I lose track of the storyline. OotE however, was about Josie and how she struggled to fit in with her society, but not about that society itself.
OotE was haunting, because it stuck with me and made me think. Do I judge people as quickly as I did the prostitues? Would I turn away from someone like Josie, a misfit because of her mother? Could people really be that cruel? Unfortunately, sometimes, I can answer yes to all of those.
I think this is a great read for young adults, but please judge your own maturity as to whether or not you can handle the topic of prostitution.