Josie's life is interesting. She loves books and works at a bookstore, she longs for the life of a college student, she helps with madam Willie, and her mother is a prostitute. Josie attempts to live her life as normal as possible, like falling in love, making friends, and getting out of her small town.
I didn't have strong feelings for Between Shades of Gray like everyone else did. I'm not a big fan of historical fiction. I had checked out this book from the library just to have it in case I ran out of books at some point. Instead, I started reading good reviews about it and decided to put it towards the top of my to-read pile. I have to say that I'm glad I picked it up.
This book reminds me quite a bit of the first book of This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Despite the fact that Paradise is set in the 1920's, and Out of the Easy is set in the 1950's. It was just the college life in both of the books that reminded me of one another. I'm one of those girls that wishes she went to a big private school and can't wait to go to college. I love settings and characters that are elite, exclusive, and gorgeous. When Josie started talking about college, and her friend Charlotte, I feel in love with the book even more.
On the contrary, this book had a lot of deep and heavy things to it. There were hints of murder, suspicion, abuse, prostitution,
I liked the aspect of madam Willie and the whore house. That sounds really bad, now that I type it. But I like the fact that Josie didn't let herself get wrapped up in it. She was a young, respectable lady. She accepted the fact that she was closely tied to Willie, but she didn't fall into the trap that was laid out for her.
The sense of romance in this was a nice touch. It wasn't overpowering! Josie was more focused on things in her life OTHER than boyfriends and falling in love. The small romances she had were cute, and I liked how her relationship grew at the end. It was a good touch and it seemed to complete the book.
Then there were the minor characters. There were so many amazing characters in this book besides Josie. Willie, her best friend Patrick, Cokie, and Jesse. They were all amazing and I wish I could read more about all these wonderful characters.
Honestly, I was surprised by how much I liked this book. It had a lot of things in it that I wouldn't expect myself to like. Somehow, with it all weaved together, I ended up loving this book a lot. I think I'm kind of obsessed with the 1950's, because I keep looking up outfits and people from that decade.
If you enjoy books, you'll like this one. I seriously don't think there was something in this book that someone wouldn't fall in love with. This book was simply fantastic and I can't wait to read more of Ruta Sepetys' work.