Author: Tammara Webber
Release Date: November 06, 2012
Published By: Berkley Publishing Group
A previous NA read pretty much left me scarred because of the way it didn't handle serious issues well (I won't mention any titles but my goodreads friends should have a good idea on what book I'm talking about) so you can't really blame me when I say that I was a bit hesitant to try Easy. Easy has a lot of similarities with the previously mentioned NA book - they're both self-published, deal with less-than-perfect love interests, and have garnered enough hype since then to be re-released by major publishers. However, I haven't really seen bad reviews of Easy, and most of my fellow bloggers have been raving about it, so I decided to give it a shot.
Cue my relief at finally not judging a book by preconceived notions and giving it a shot, because I loved Easy. I have no qualms in saying that this is one of my favorite books of 2012, and quite probably the NA book I consider to be the most accurately written, at least when it comes to the characters, the setting, and the situations the characters get themselves into. As we all know, NA novels deal with characters who are either in college or out of high school but are not yet full-fledged adults, and I truly felt that Webber knew what she was talking about while reading the book. I never raised an eyebrow at the situations that occurred because I believe that they can actually happen in college - nothing was far-fetched or out of the ordinary. I never thought that the writing was forced either. Everything just flowed, and the story just grabbed my attentions and didn't let go.
Also, Webber did a brilliant job in dealing with rape culture in this novel. Many people seem to think that there is only a certain number of plausible reactions towards both attempted rape and rape, but Webber's Jacqueline showed us just how little people actually know of rape. The portrayal of the character of Jacqueline was just exquisitely done - from the sheer terror brought about by the assault, to her finding out that she CAN do something to protect herself from those who want to hurt her, and to her stepping out of her comfort zone and talking about what she went through. Jacqueline grew so much in the course of this novel - she didn't let the attempted rape define her, and she went on to become a strong and independent young woman who fights for herself and what she believes in.
I can't help but laud Webber's portrayal of Lucas as well - he isn't perfect, he has problems of his own to deal with, and his past haunts him every second of everyday. His imperfection is what makes him the perfect character to relate to, in my opinion. Webber was able to explore so much of who Lucas is that I actually feel like I know him, and he isn't a stagnant character either. Like Jacqueline, he grows so much throughout the novel - he finally accepts that what happened in the past wasn't his fault, and that he needs to deal with the repercussions of his continuous blaming of himself for what happened years ago.
Furthermore, I loved reading about how Jacqueline and Lucas' relationship progressed. Lucas started out as being the one who saved her in Jacqueline's eyes, but pretty soon, that wasn't the only way Jacqueline saw him. The mutual attraction was palpable, but that wasn't what defined Jacqueline and Lucas' relationship. They truly care about each other, and they both helped each other face what each has been running away for so long. A subplot concerning Lucas also allowed you to look at their relationship from a different angle, and it was so apparent - to me, anyway - that the two of them belonged together.
To sum it all up, Easy is an enthralling story from start to finish, and I consider it one of the must-reads of 2012. These characters will stay with you, because you can learn so much from their stories. After reading Easy, you can't not be proud of both Jacqueline and Lucas!
Rating: 5 Stars