My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've been circling this one for a couple months. Dipping my toes into the New Adult waters, I've been seduced by the sexy, gritty angst. The choices and decisions someone makes when they're on their own for the first time. The boys that show up and the nights that don't end. And Easy was touted amongst them, but I kept side-stepping it.
I can be completely vain and tell you it was because of the cover.
God, I'm a horrible person, but the guy looked like a Richie Sambora kind of rocker and my brain kept thinking cheesy rocker fan-fiction and I kept turning the other way. Then my soul sister read it and I knew it was okay now. Time to do this.
I absolutely adored this book. I swooned, clutched it to my chest, and found myself a new boyfriend. And he looks nothing like Richie Sambora.
More like Trent from Daria.
Easy was everything why I couldn't stop reading Beautiful Disaster, the sexy, charged electricity between two college kids, but without the terrible codependent declarations of love and crazy angry guy issues. Easy is none of the soap opera, but instead has this real life pulse, much like Flat-Out Love, and benefits from that subtle intensity.
Right from the beginning, you're in one of the most terrifying situations. It's gutting, and you're sweating and praying, because no. Rape is a big catalyst in this story, and it's dealt with strong, capable hands that don't shirk back from the ugliness of it. Girls step forward for each other, and you want to stand with them, and the moment with the sorority girls, and their Boss Girl was one of the best scenes. Just, ever. I was proud of these girls. I want these girls in all stories.
The self-defense classes that Erin dragged Jacqueline to were some of my favorite too. It wasn't cheesy, or, "Hey, this is what comes next!" but it was funny and empowering and Erin was this fierce ball of energy screaming NO! and genuinely wanting to get to the part where they kicked the guy's nuts, and I wanted to be her best friend, but was stoked that Jacqueline got her.
Speaking of Jacqueline, I dug her. There were so many ways that this could have been a Weak Girl Story, but it never went there. She was vulnerable and confused but she was trying and building herself, and it was just a pleasure to watch. I was rooting her on so hard, and wanted so much for this girl who plays an upright bass and gets crushed on hard by the middle school boys she tutors. This was a solidly drawn girl going through a shitty year, but she's dealing with it, and she's growing and she's getting somewhere new.
And that's why she finally notices Lucas.
I can not express how in love with this boy I am. He's tall and dreamy with artsy tattoos and a sneaky peak lip ring, but he's watching her quietly giving her barely there smiles and he's drawing. Always drawing with charcoal smudges on his hands that get on her shirt and I'M DYING HERE. He's saving and sitting in the back of class and looks like a slacker, but there he is also working at Starbucks and all these small conversations they're having are getting my chest all tight. Lucas is a sexy mystery showing up at the bar to dance, and then leaving and then smiling from across the hall and he's forward but unsure and he's so patient and I'm swooning so hard I might faint.
And then there's Landon. The tutor her professor has set her up with to help save her grade after bailing from class post-break up. The emails are getting flirtatious, and I'm getting so tied up in knots, but it builds such great tension that it's just damn near impossible to put it down.
This book as a whole was just so good and exemplifies why the New Adult genre can be so breath-stealingly worth it. The writing was strong, the heartbreak was gutting, the humor was pitch perfect, and the emotion was ridiculous and perfect and I just want to cuddle it for awhile.