Review: Easy

Review: EasyEasy by Tammara Webber
Published by Berkley on November 6, 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 310
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

First Sentence: “I had never noticed Lucas before that night.”

Review:
Because of my immense hatred for the term “new adult,” I really did not have any plans to read this, though I did put on my GR to-read shelf for what that’s worth. However, Jenni of Alluring Reads read this very recently and praised it to the skies, which prompted a Twitter discussion. Both Jenni and Steph of Cuddlebuggery insisted that I should read this book, but, because of a recently instated book-buying ban, I doubted that would happen anytime soon. At the book club’s white elephant party, I “stole” a gift that included the paperback of Easy. Let’s just say that I will definitely listen when Jenni and Steph tell me to read things.

First off, the writing in Easy was amazing across the board. I have no complaints about this book being so immensely popular. Webber knows what she’s doing and I can only hope that having been picked up by Penguin will make all of her books easier to get a hold of for people like me who do not like to buy ebooks. In case the fact that this used to be self-published worries you, do not be worries, because this has been both well-written and well-edited. Oh, also, can I say how incredibly thrilled I am that the email and text conversations in this book did not involve any text speak?

Initially, Jacqueline frustrated me. Her newly ex-boyfriend, Kennedy, was so obviously an awful human being. Their relationship reminds me in every way of that of Elle Woods and her high school boyfriend in the movie Legally Blonde. A handsome, preppy guy heading for a sleazy career (lawyer/politician) dumps his beautiful, devoted girlfriend so that he can sleep around in college. On the plus side, that’s better than cheating, but I had no patience for Kennedy whatsoever and could not fathom why Jacqueline stayed with him.

Thankfully, Jacqueline proves herself again and again. After the dumping, Jacqueline reverts to using her full name in place of the nickname “Jackie” that he gave her, a reference to the president he was named for and his wife (UGH, seriously, why did she not know he was awful before?). When he inevitably comes crawling back, Jacqueline’s much more mature about it than I could ever be, remaining civil but consistent in her lack of interest. Heck yes, girl!

As is pretty well known by this point, Easy begins with an attempted rape, and that is a main theme throughout the book. Another reason I struggled with Jacqueline as a heroine at first was that she did not report the guy. However, I know that’s completely realistic behavior. Thankfully, with the help of her completely supportive BFF, Erin (who I totally loved btw), Jacqueline manages to take charge of herself, finding new mental and physical strength. I loved that. Also, though there’s a depiction of the dark side of the Greek system on college campuses, Webber does not malign it entirely. She kept everything fair, and I appreciate that, even though I’m one heck of a GDI and want nothing to do with frat guys myself.

Please, please, please do not judge the romance in this book off of the blurb. The whole bit about how “He watched her, but never knew her” sounds creepy as hell, and, seriously, Lucas is not like that. He was in her class, so he would watch her there, the way people do when they’re bored during a lecture. Since she was cute and smart, he would take note if he saw her on campus. This is completely normal and non-stalkerish behavior, okay? Lucas is not that guy; he does nothing a normal college student wouldn’t do in the course of an attraction.

Obviously, I love Lucas or I would not feel the need to defend his honor thus. He’s just a great guy. He does do a couple of questionable things, but, honestly, I’m glad about those because they made him real. Otherwise, he would have been in manicpixiedreamboy territory. He’s got some darkness and makes stupid decisions sometimes, which is much better than if he were purely perfect. As with all the best heroes, he empowers Jacqueline, and helps her to be better in every way. Plus, he does not pressure for sex at all. Speaking of sex, wow. Webber can write a sizzling scene. Much as I love YA, I do get to missing a well done sex scene, and Easy definitely scratched that itch.

In case you didn’t figure this out by now, I ended up loving this book, so much so that I devoured it in a matter of hours. I only hope I can figure out how to get my hands on her Between the Lines series soon.

Favorite Quote: This is a text conversation between Jacqueline and Erin:

“Erin: Talking to Chaz. May be late. You ok?
Me: I’m good. YOU ok?
Erin: Confused. Maybe I’d feel better if I just kicked him.
Me: NUTSACK!!!!!!!!!
Erin: Exactly.”

40 responses to “Review: Easy”

  1. Why do you hate new-adult? I agree with you about the blurb on the back. It made him sound much more like a stalker than he actually is. Andddd Erin was also probably one of my favorite characters from that novel. Great quote selection :P.

    • Christina says:

      I just feel like “New Adult” are books for adults. There’s no reason to make a new genre.

      Erin was so great. She had J’s back all the way. I love actually supportive friendships!

  2. I hate the term “New Adult” because basically it’s a euphemism for “Pure Crap.” But this one does come highly recommended. The fact that it passed your critical tests, being self-published, gives me high hopes. I recently bought it as soon as I heard Penguin picked it up, so I could get it for cheap. Maybe one day I’ll even read it!

    • Christina says:

      Ha, most of them do seem to be utter dreck. They seem to be the worst in YA books retold with lots of sex and bonus abuse. Thankfully, that’s not what this was.

      I thought about buying it before the ebook price went up, but it ended up working in my favor that I didn’t!

  3. I’ve only read two “New Adult” books. I loved Easy but then I read another one… that I hated with a burning passion. It’s been a month since I’ve read it and I still can’t finish my review because I just get all worked up over it. It was bad, bad, bad! And I’ve heard that a lot of “New Adult” has a similar theme and that makes me sad. I just don’t get why people are raving about them! Sorry. Rant over.

    Easy was a great read. Very well written and even though Jacqueline made me want to throttle her for not telling, I get it because that’s what happens in real life.

    Erin gets an award for being the best BFF ever. She totally kicked ass and instead of putting her friend down or making excuses she took action.

    • Christina says:

      Easy felt like an adult book with enough serious themes to make it more than just a romance novel. It didn’t read like a young adult book with more sex and even creepier guys, which seems to be the case with most of the others. So far as I can tell, the only books classified NA are highly sexualized books with youngish protags. I’m pretty sure most of the 19-22 year-old MCs still just get labeled adult as usual.

      Exactly. I felt the same way about Jacqueline. But she was a very different person by the end. Kennedy was poisonous.

      LOVED Erin. I clapped when she dumped her boyfriend for supporting Buck.

    • That’s exactly what NA is to me. It’s a slightly aged MC that has lots of sex and a skeezy/abusive boyfriend. I’m so glad I have Easy a chance and I will definitely read more from Webber but it’ll be a long time before I pick up another NA book.

    • Christina says:

      I’m going to pick them up only with recommendations from trusted people. I have very little interest in assholes having sex. I want to be excited that someone’s getting action, not pissed off!

  4. Hi!

    Great review! It reflects exactly what I think of Easy. It’s really an amazing book and I’m glad you read it. Tammara Webber knows how to write an intense story without being over the top. The characters sound true and it was wonderful to follow Jacqueline and Lucas journey.

    • Christina says:

      Hi!

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the book too! She really did do a great job walking that line. It reminds me a bit of Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry in that it could have been cheesy or melodramatic, but managed to stay just on the right side of that. Even better, Lucas never uses any icky pet names for J. Hallelujah!

  5. I was surprised by how much I liked EASY, too–I sped through it like a demon! But you know–I was sick recently and wasn’t able to concentrate on much, so I decided to skim through it again. I’m not sure it holds up as well on repeat readings (and it’s not knowing what happens at all–the plot is fairly predictable), though maybe the beefed up/official print version edited by a traditional publisher will help with that.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it, though! And definitely an author to watch.

    • Christina says:

      Ha, I did speed through it like a demon. Read the whole thing in a couple of hours.

      Hmm, that will be interesting to see. Perhaps it was your mood, perhaps it really doesn’t hold up well, or maybe it was too soon after you last read it?

      I will definitely be keeping an eye out!

  6. HA! I love how you finally got the book, it was meant to be!

    RIGHT! They text and email like grown ups! Such a refreshing thing that was.

    Erin was such a great best friend. I loved how she prompted Jacqueline to take charge of the situation and empower herself. And Lucas pushing the empowerment even further was so damn sexy!

    I have heard that the Between The Lines series is super good also, and I will be grabbing it soon. So happy you loved this!! What prompted it to be a 4.5, rather than a 5?

    • Christina says:

      Right? I felt like a jerk “stealing” the present, but that’s the point of the game and I NEEDED it.

      Haha, that was so major for me. Most books have people texting like neanderthals!

      Erin and Lucas were such great people. They definitely made her a better person. Jacqueline definitely seems to take on the qualities of who she spends time with a little bit. Thank goodness Kennedy left. He was the WORST.

      Oh, I don’t know exactly. I think it was that I had a bit of trouble figuring out why J ever liked Kennedy at all.

  7. So glad you liked this one, Christina! I did to. I don’t have issues with the New Adult label, actually if I see it attached to a book these days it tends to make me WANT to pick it up and give it a look. Like you, I must admit to missing the sex in YA:)

    And your’s is the second review I’ve read that makes comparisons to Legally Blonde, which I didn’t see while reading but totally see afterwards:) Kennedy was such a jack ass. Him only calling her “Jackie” should have been her first clue…

    And how awesome is Erin? LOVE her. Definitely one of my favorite friendships I have read this year:)

    I ordered the first book (ebook) in the Between the Lines series right after finishing Easy but haven’t read it yet. Hoping to get to it next month. Love your review, Christina!

  8. W00T, W00T! We converted you! So glad you liked it and bonus points for the homage to Legally Blond! You’re right, it was just like that. I didn’t even think of that when I was reading. Did you cry during the sorority leader’s speech? “That’s RAPE, ladies.”

    *hugs teddy close*

    I really can’t wait to checkout Webber’s other series.

  9. Nori says:

    I keep reading good things about this one. I’m going to have to give it a try. I also am not a fan of the New Adult classification. I feel like it’s a glorified way to censor books.

  10. YES!!! *pumps her fist in the air* I’ve been blubbering about my crazy ass love of all things Tammara Webber for the whole year, especially Lucas. So so glad you loved it just as much!!! And you totally MUST read her Between series. First one is a rendition of Pride and Prejudice :)) I haven’t read the rest, but they are all being published very soon.

  11. Lilian says:

    Must. Be. Hipster. Must. Not. Give. In.

    But yes, I am waiting for this one to show up at the library (but my library doesn’t really buy indies.)

  12. KM says:

    *sigh* I really sorta hated this book. And apparently, I’m the ONLY one. Like…literally. I can’t even. My grievances were so many with this book. But I’m glad YOU liked it! lol I’m just not sure I can take another rape-plot where the rape doesn’t actually affect the heroine in any way besides the author trying to make us feel sorry for her with it. Well, I didn’t feel bad for her – I didn’t even know her in chapter one! Who cares if a fictional character almost gets raped?! I need to feel something for her first! And can she please have some actual after effects, like – oh, I don’t know – being uncomfortable around guys and not going to clubs to find boys, like, a couple weeks after it all happened? I just didn’t buy it. And don’t even get me started on the romance and lack of actual romantic tension. (Sexual tension it had plenty of. But romantic? Zero.)

    Okay. Sorry. Rant over. I don’t even know why this book pissed me off so much, it just sorta did. lol

    • Christina says:

      Sorry, KM! Just when you want me to not like something, I go the other way.

      I can see what you mean, but I actually know some girls who were raped that didn’t have that much of an obvious reaction to it, and kept partying, dressing, and dating boys the way they did before. Everyone reacts to grief and terror in a different way, so I was okay with how Jacqueline reacted. She definitely was more aware of her surroundings, so she did take some of it to heart.

      Hmm, I don’t know that I agree with you on the lack of romantic tension. Sexual was definitely the driving force, but I thought the romantic picked up towards the end.

      I can see why it pissed you off so much, though. 🙁

  13. I NEED TO READ EASY LIKE YESTERDAY! Seriously. I have heard nothing but good things about it — plus that whole text/email without textspeak convinces me. Like, I am an adult and no one I know texts with textspeak, plus my phone automatically corrects that crap.

    Also — I actually like the new adult label because to me, adult signifies boring stuff like babies and bills and mortages and marriage. Whereas new adult signifies awesome things like college and sex and drinking and pretty much all the awesome parts of being grown up.

    • Christina says:

      Oh dude, I think you will love it. Though you know more about sexual crimes than I do, so you might be able to shed light on things I couldn’t.

      I do know a few people who text like mindless idiots, but most of the people I know at least spell things out, thank you very much.

      BLERGH. I feel like ‘New Adult’ just means romance novel with younger protagonist. It’s not like there’s been any literary fiction or action novels to go under the heading. Sigh.

  14. greengp01 says:

    Great review! And I totally agree with you about “New Adult”, I mean, clearly, Easy could be classified under Young Adult or Mature Young Adult and we wouldn’t have to be all pedantic about what the hell new Adult actually is.

  15. Bea Tejano says:

    I’m so weirded out by this whole New Adult genre LOL I mean can’t they just place it under YA or Mature YA? Anyways, I have this on my e-reader and I’m excited to get started on it:)

    • Christina says:

      True. I don’t like the Mature YA idea either, exactly. I feel like we just don’t need more age group classifications. This book is great though, whatever age group/genre you call it.

  16. Isa says:

    I understand your dislike for the term New Adult. =/ I’ve seen this book so many times and part of me is tempted to pick it up but recently I’ve been disappointed with books that get a lot of hype. Maybe it’s time I stop resisting, it sounds like such a great read and the characters sound sweet and likeable. Great review. 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Hmm, I don’t know if I would quite call the characters sweet, but I did think they were likeable. It was a nice change from my usual reading, and balanced an idealistic sort of romance with darker issues. Probably the best comparison would be Katie McGarry’s Pushing the Limits.

  17. Well, there’s another addition to my personal reading list…

  18. Christine says:

    I was so excited about new adult at first, since I thought it would deal with heavier issues that are too “intense” for YA reader, but then I realized that most books classified under this were just really smutty YA books/adult romance novels with younger characters. I did love Slammed and Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover, but I don’t think they really belong under the “new adult” label, since the only difference from traditional YA for them is slightly older characters (late HS/early college), not really the content itself.
    But I just ordered Easy online yesterday after hearing it was amazing, so I’m beyond glad to see that you enjoyed it! Makes me even more excited for it to arrive 😀

  19. I’m also not a person who reads adult books but this one I really loved. I’m happy to see that you loved it too. 🙂 Yes writing was amazing so it was easy to enjoy the book. Great review 🙂

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