No wait. I won’t tell you the Goodreads summary. Somehow I feel that will just spoil it for you. Story is much better than its blurb. So let me just say it’s about a girl… and a boy… and how they met each other.
This book saved me
First off, I want to share that I’ve been having difficulty reading books since the advent of my e-reader.
When I was a child, as much as I devoured books, I could only get my hands on a limited quantity. I grew up in a really remote place in an unknown (I think) country and all I had to read were two rooms worth of old, cast-off books from then-greying relatives.
There was an unfortunate number of local college textbooks, and I read all the short stories. On hindsight, they weren’t lightweight. They were about the hard realities of life and were the book equivalent of harsh indie films.
Imagine my delight when I would discover the Lord of the Rings series, Hercule Poirot, and James Herriot books mixed in with these yellowing, pungent books though. At nine or ten years old, I had no way of hearing about how popular these books were but how I loved them. Those days, I treasured every book I could get my hands on.
When I got my e-reader though, suddenly I had tens and hundreds of books at my immediate disposal. I rejoiced like crazy in the beginning until I realized I was dropping books, stopping reading them midway (or even earlier), or literally forcing myself to finish them. It would become common habit to give up reading properly and start skimming until I get to the end. If the book was good, I would discipline myself to go back and read it properly page by page till I finished. What a chore!
Why was I skimming? Because the stories as promised in the Goodreads description didn’t deliver. Execution was poor. There were no lovable or redeeming characters. The concepts were tired. The writing was cliche. That was for the bad books. For the well-written books, the twist was obvious. I could guess the plot and the end a mile off.
Was it me? Was it just a case of bad books? Was it because I was staying in the YA pool and I was reading a lot of new authors? Was it the excess of available literature? Was it too much of a good thing?
Whatever it was, I felt I was seriously in trouble with my reading.
Until I picked Tammara Webber’s Easy and read it one night. Midway, I realized I was reading page by page. And still reading page by page. I had no compunction to hyper-flip pages to get to the end. I was reading the story in pace with its cadence as characters and story unfolded. It was so beautiful to be within the story that I had no desire to bolt through it. For each look and each step and each thought, I was finally in sync. God I was happy.
Thank goodness you got written, Book!
Easy is well-written. While bad writing is disjointed and makes you aware of a story as being made up of words and paragraphs and punctuation marks, good writing will suck you in and make you forget that you are reading printed words and will play in your head like a movie. It flows and carries you.
First off, we get to meet Jacqueline (whom I shall henceforth call J). I love that we get to know J’s character and physical attributes from encounters within the story rather than being told outright in an introduction by the author. Just for myself (and it could be different for you), I enjoyed finding out that J was beautiful, had an innocent quality about her, is too straight to really play games, has a quiet strength, and obviously has an X factor to get a cheerleader roommate oh-so-protective.
Even Lucas would get no outright label upon introduction. Although he would be later called a hottie, his character would be so free-flowing and dynamic so that he becomes more than that. In a bad book, his character would be emo, brooding, and miserable because of his circumstances but somehow, he manages to come alive in the story, be who he is and NOT be a drag on my senses. Essentially, not be the quintessential emo hero. I love you, Webber.
Also, I could not second-guess this book. Normally, I can predict what’s going to happen and how we’re going to get to the end of a story but not so this one. I simply had no idea. I wasn’t even able to guess at Lucas’ big mystery. It was wonderful!!
I’ll just quickly clarify that I was able to guess that Lucas was Landon a bit earlier than the story let on but that’s pretty much a giveaway anyway. Also, execution was still fresh, and ultimately still unpredictable along the way.
Classy handling of a sensitive topic
The opening of Easy surprised me. For a book with such a title, the opening was not “easy”. Rape is a topic that has been broached and been the center of many books and happily, Tammara Webber’s book is one of these stories that is able to handle it with class, sensitivity, and strength. I feel that it showed this topic in practical terms – what you’ll feel, what others will think, how society reacts, how authorities will take it on, the effect on the victim in the long-term, and ultimately, it shows how it should be dealt with.
I have to say that one of the most touching moments for me was the sorority leader’s speech. It was a blinding revelation for me. If sorority leaders like Katie existed, I would definitely have more respect for college-organized sisterhood. Her speech to her gathered sorority girls, ending powerfully with “Are we sisters or not?” totally struck a chord in me.
And on the topic of books about rape, I’d rant about Sea of Tranquility now but I’m already being long-winded as it is…
Fade to black sex
Okay this is funny. I didn’t plan to put this in my review but the sexy scenes were hot. There are no outright sex scenes but you’ll still get plenty of hotness. For me, the writing makes it hotter than pages and pages of outright sex in Fifty Shades and some books in the New Adult category in Goodreads. But that’s just my opinion. 😉
Great, fleshed out characters
I kinda discussed this already under great writing while talking about J and Lucas but one thing ALL my favorite books have is fleshed-out characters. In this book, all the characters felt believable and real. I actually put this in so I could talk about Erin. Ohmygoodness, who wouldn’t want a gal pal like her? It’s awesome too how the author wrote their personalities in. I can’t even begin to say what an awesome bestie Erin was. Even as popular as she was, she still hung out with J when she got unpopular, brought her to events, was very honest with J and would even admit to when people wouldn’t want J around, believed J about the harassment from Buck, broke up with her beloved boyfriend indirectly because of J, tried to get J hooked up, and my favorite, signed them up for women’s self defense lessons every Saturday! I want a bestie like that!
Less gabbing and more atmosphere
This book doesn’t dry up your brain by having characters that talk too much or having a story that narrates too much. It’s lazy writing (or unimaginative), when a writer resorts to too much dialogue and too much narration. Which is not to say this story doesn’t have dialogue or narration. It does. Just saying that it doesn’t have it in annoying quantities like some badly-written books.
I enjoy the non-verbal communication between the leads and the fact that the story is driven by events as much as dialogue. If you agree with me on atmosphere being worth a thousand words, check out the Korean drama Il Mare. 🙂
I almost forgot to say, I read this book without reading the Goodreads summary. And I never do that. I ALWAYS read summaries. But I’d already turned off the wifi and I was already reading and it was 1am … lol. I didn’t pick up this book because of the blurb. I picked it up simply because of the high Goodreads score of 4.25 by 87,000 readers. I’d been burned by so many good blurbs and turned-out-to-be-bad books that I was getting jaded. And surprisingly, I enjoy a book I don’t pick up because the Goodreads summary reeled me in. Should I do this more???
So finally to close, OnigiriLoves Easy. I finally found a book that didn’t torment me with moody characters and convoluted conflict that grated like nails on chalkboard. Lucas will tell you, it’s easy… incredibly easy to fall in love with Easy… heh heh heh…
And back to standard format.
Rating: 4.5 Stars and ….Please dish me up one Lucas please. Seriously.