Monday, 7 January 2013
Review: Easy by Tammara Webber
Easy by Tammara Webber
Published: 3rd January 2013 (UK edition)
Publisher: Peguin (UK)
Source: Bought for kindle
Reason for reading: Everyone and their dog has read it and loved it.
Jacqueline seems to have a knack for making the wrong choices. She followed her boyfriend to his choice of university, disregarding her preference. Then he dumped her. She chose a minor she thought she could combine with her music studies, but she's falling behind. And then, leaving a party alone one night, she is attacked. If it wasn't for the timely intervention of a stranger, she would have been raped. Now she must make a choice - give up and give in, or toughen up and fight on. Only the support of the man who is tutoring her and the allure of the guy who saved her from the attack convince her that it's worth fighting on. Will Jacqueline now have to make a choice between them too? And can she make the right decision? It's not easy . . .
You know those books that you read, and you don't really expect anything from them and then BAM they're amazing? That was Easy for me. I read it in December after hearing about how amazing it was for 6 months, after having it on my kindle for six months, and I read it on a whim because I was in need of a change from all the fantasy I'd been reading. It was exactly what I wanted to read and I enjoyed it immensely.
Jacqueline was a fantastic character. Her break up had really knocked her for six but I thought she dealt with it so well, I think skipping ONE class for two weeks is a pretty together-reaction to be honest. I have the utmost admiration for how she dealt with her situation, all the way through the book she was so strong and level-headed, despite everything that happened. It's kinda cool in a way to see books about people who are recovering from their first long-term serious relationship, cause at my age that's something I think I can associate with a little better than a lot of YA where it's younger teens just getting into that same relationship. I definitely think Jacqueline dealt with it better than I did anyway!
Lucas was such an appealing love interest, he managed retained certain 'bad boy' elements such as how inscrutable he was, his artistic streak, his good looks, emotional drawbacks, whilst thankfully lacking some of the more negative elements that often come with these characters now; the descructive behaviour and habits, the instability, the often abusive treatment. It was great to see a character who was both appealing and stable, the sort of person you'd actually want as a boyfriend. I loved how he continued to look out for Jacqueline and how their relationship progressed.
The relationship itself was so cute and normal, but so intense at the same time, on a really good level. It wasn't all about love at first sight but you could feel the attraction between them and it actually gave me like, butterflies in my stomach sometimes, reading the interactions between the two of them as they danced around the tension, and then eventually gave into it. It felt so organic, it was a perfect recreation of a new relationship I thought.
The book did deal with some pretty heavy issues, with the attempted rape of Jacqueline early on, and the continued harassment she experienced as well as the eventual climaxes of that particular plot point. This was handled so well by the author, it wasn't played down but it also wasn't so dramatic, by which I mean the character's reactions to everything weren't too over the top, and the whole story wasn't filled with so much angst you could practically swim in it. I did feel at some points that character's reactions were fairly textbook responses, because the author was clearly making a point about rape, about how a lot of people get raped by those they know and even trust, about how victim-bashing is unacceptable, and whilst I do feel those points needed to be made, especially in a YA book, I did feel the author's voice and influence coming through at certain points.
The plot in terms of Jacqueline's journey to move on from her relationship, her interactions with her tutor and attempts to get her life back on track were really great to read. Her email exchanges with Landon in particular made me squeal a little when reading they were just so cute and flirty. Jacqueline is a fantastic role model, something I don't feel happens enough in YA nowadays. She was strong without being hard and detached like the heroines of dystopian novels I love so much, and she wasn't a pushover, willing to do anything for the first guy who shows her attention. She was a normal girl, living her life and how she got everything back on track and reclaimed the power made me feel kinda proud and satisfied.
TL;DR: Easy is a perfect specimen of college-age, more mature YA. It has that realistic feel you get from a book that has less constrictions placed on it because of the market it is aimed at, but it also didn't go too overboard with the drama like others I've read. If you're looking for one of these mature YA reads, this is the one to go for. It's an easy choice to make. (sorry)