by Tammara Webber
Published by Berkley Trade
on November 6, 2012
Source: e-ARC via Edelweiss
My summary: College student Jacqueline is still reeling from being dumped by her boyfriend when she's attacked and nearly raped as she's leaving a party. She only escapes because a stranger comes along and helps. In the aftermath of the attack, she struggles to find ways to feel safe. She's drawn not only to Lucas, her rescuer, but also to Landon, the dry-witted Econ tutor she's been emailing so she can get caught up with her coursework. As Jacqueline fights to get her confidence back, will she also have the confidence to hang onto true love?
My take: First off, I should emphasize that this book is Mature YA-slash-New Adult, meaning that it has more explicit language, violence, and love scenes than the typical YA. I don't usually review New Adult, but I'd read many glowing reviews of Easy, and decided to request it and see what I thought.
What did I think? Like any book, Easy is not going to be for everyone, but I really enjoyed it. Easy tackles the serious subject of sexual assault and -- though I'm no means an expert -- seemed to do so in an engaging yet responsible way. For a variety of reasons, Jacqueline decides not to report her attack, a choice that had me grinding my teeth. But the book does show the repercussions -- both legal and emotional -- of thinking you can just "get over" an assault without the support of mental health professionals, friends and family and/or the police.
Easy is also a romance. As a result of Jacqueline's trauma, her new relationship moves very, very slowly. Yes, Jacqueline is a bit of an everygirl heroine and the guy that she ends up with is definitely in the TGTBT (too good to be true) category of male love interests, but sometimes there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Easy also taught me a lot about self-defense tactics -- stuff that will really stick with me.
Maybe it was just me, but I also felt that Easy had a Legally Blonde vibe at times. While Legally Blonde is obviously a much more lighthearted story, it also features a blonde protagonist who is dumped by her attractive but clueless aspiring politician boyfriend and becomes enamored of an attractive teaching assistant. Since Legally Blonde is one of my favorite guilty pleasures movies, I enjoyed the parallels. And Easy does have some lighthearted moments. Jacqueline's ex comes from an odd, politically confused family who named their children Kennedy, Reagan and Carter. Reading the scene that had all three siblings in it was like attending some wacky presidential summit-slash-séance.
Will you like Easy? I'd definitely give it a try if you've read and enjoyed emotionally wrenching, edgy YA books like these: