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Monday, November 12, 2012

Easy Book Review *Tammara Webber*

By now most of the on-line reading community has heard of Tammara Webber’s Easy. Easy was originally a self published book that was picked up Penguin Berkley, and is one of the few books this year for the most part has stellar reviews. Everyone and their mother was raving about Easy, but it wasn’t until Easy was offered on Netgalley did I decide to read it. I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to read Easy. This book is going in my top 10 of 2012. 

Reading Easy was an emotional, eye opening experience because everything that occurs in Easy is so on point from the reactions and emotions felt on these pages. Easy is as close to a perfect book as you can get. Tamara shows college life amazing well, including the sororities and fraternities, the classes and teachers, as well as those students who think they're entitled to things such as respect, good grades, sex whenever they want and is counteracted with those students who must work hard for everything those entitled students are offered. Easy is a whopper of a love story between two people who connect amazingly well. The relationship within these pages are so real to life, especially that of Jacqueline and her roommate and good friend Erin, and the amazing support and love both have for one another. Most of all, Easy is all about female empowerment from Jacqueline, don’t call her Jackie. Through her eyes, we see how Jacqueline overcomes some major issue in her life, and because of meeting and falling for Lucas, her knight in shining armor, she finds the strength within herself she never knew she had.

Jacqueline has just broken up with Kennedy, her boyfriend of three years, or rather he broke up with her because he wants to sow his oats while at college, and since he’s in a frat, he has a pretty easy way of getting that done. Jacqueline is heartbroken and in mourning what she and Kennedy had because for the most part, she did love him and he was her rock, perhaps the one she would be with forever. One night as Jacqueline is leaving a Halloween party at Kennedy’s frat house, she's accosted and almost raped by one of Kennedy’s frat brother’s Buck. Buck may have another ulterior motive for targeting Jacqueline that doesn’t have to do with him lusting after her. Buck is stopped by Lucas and beaten to a pulp. Jacqueline never noticed Lucas before even though he’s in one of her classes. Jacqueline is shaken but refuses to report what Buck has done. After Lucas makes sure Jacqueline is safe, he goes on his way, but now Jacqueline is interested in knowing more about her mysterious savior.

Things go back to normal for Jacqueline although her one class she has is shared with Kennedy. Since she was depressed over the death of her relationship with Kennedy, she skipped some classes, her professor, Dr. Heller, (who is one awesome), sympathizes with Jacqueline after she explains her situation, but expects her to make up the work and must contact the tutor, Landon, who she communicates by email but never meets face to face because all the study sessions are during times where she has other commitments. But soon enough both she and Landon become friendly and she starts to wonder what type of person he is.

Then there’s Lucas. He’s a man of many talents. Not only does he make a mean cup of java (he works at the Starbucks on campus), he’s also campus security, teaches a self defense course Jacqueline and Erin take and he’s also an excellent artist. Jacqueline goes out of her way to get to know Lucas better and soon they’re hanging out. He offers to draw her and she goes to his house, and from those dates, her attraction to Lucas grows and they engage in some heavy make out sessions where he only will go as far as Jacqueline wants to. Kennedy starts to notice something is up and has a change of heart and then there is Buck who's lurking in the shadows waiting to finish what he started with Jacqueline.

There’s a lot going on in Easy but there’s never any confusion as to who the characters are and their roles in this tale. Easy is Jacqueline’s journey and everyone around her is there to lend a helping hand, including Lucas. Lucas, hands down, is one of the best love interests I read all year. It seems as alpha, emotionally disturbed and semi-abusive love interests have become the norm, especially in young adult and new adult novels. Lucas is the opposite of these men. He’s stoic, kind, intelligent, respectful and a perfect gentlemen when it comes to Jacqueline. There’s a reason he treats women so well, which has to do with something in his past. He may seem to be bad boy at first because of his lip ring, tattoos and intense silent nature but Lucas is everything pure and good every single woman, whether they’re in high school, college or in the adult world should want in a man.

The scene that cemented how incredible Lucas is involves a heavy make out session he’s having with Jacqueline. Through his actions, it’s obvious he wants to go further than just kissing and heavy petting but Jacqueline isn’t ready for that:

Jacqueline: I tore my mouth from his. “Wait.”

“Stop?” he panted, watching me.

I bit my lip and nodded.

“Stop everything, or just go no further?”

“Just…just not further,” I whispered.

“Done.”

Done. That one word Lucas says to Jacqueline had me swooning because of his respect for Jacqueline’s wishes and brings to life the disgusting nature of Buck who won’t take the word “no” for an answer. How I wish more authors writing Young Adult and New Adult would write more Lucas type love interests instead of these damaged, psychotic love interests that destroy the heroine’s self esteem and sucks their personality of them. Lucas does have some emotional damage, but he doesn’t take it out on Jacqueline or expect her to welcome it. He bottles it up inside until Jacqueline takes it upon herself to force Lucas to confront those demons eating away at him.

If there is one book female readers, especially teens should read, it should be Easy. The situations are exactly ones found in a college setting and the language and sexual scenes (mainly between Lucas and Jacqueline) are more for the older sect. Easy is one book I would recommend parents read with their teens and discuss about, especially those heading off to college.

Tammara Webber has a winner with Easy. It’s the perfect example of what a New Adult book should be. I’m calling forth a call to action. Read Easy! It’s a book I want to have babies with, and one that after I finished reading made me a better person for doing so. (Berkley Trade)

Finale Grade: A

A few other Easy reviews:
The Book Hookup
Cuddlebuggery
Wastepaper Prose

Katiebabs

8 comments:

Lenore Appelhans said...

Hmmm -- perhaps I will give it a go then. I like a good college story!

JenM said...

This is one book that was totally worth the buzz and I'm so happy I read it. Lucas was a dream, wasn't he? And I love how strong Jacqueline was. I just picked up Between the Lines and I'm looking forward to starting that trilogy.

Mandi said...

I guess I need to read this one, huh?

KB/KT Grant said...

Lenore: incredible college story! Do read. Now! :)

Jen: I love how strong the women are in this book. And Lucas... sigh le sigh.

Mandi: get thee to this book.

Dana SC said...

I agree, I wish more authors would write this kind of hero, especially in the YA/NA fields. I'm getting a bit tired of the alpha male, I want more guys like Lucas.

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Oh god, Katie! You just reduced me to tears with your review. I adore this book and have been raving about it for months especially because before I read it I was extremely pissed off with Beautiful Disaster and its message for women.

Gorgeous empowering novel. I agree, - it has to be read by as many women as possible so more of us would understand that being a jerk is not alright and obsession is not a definition of healthy relationships. Ugh!

Stephanie Sinclair said...

I feel like I want to re-read the book again after reading your review, Katie. I'm so happy you enjoyed it. I agree with you about Lucas. He's the kind of love interest I'd like to see more of in YA titles.

KB/KT Grant said...

Dana: Yes, more like Lucas!

Kara: We need more books like this with the message of empowerment and male characters like Lucas who respect and honor women.

Stephanie: I want a Lucas. sigh.