I received this book for free from blog tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Philomel on February 12th, 2013
Genres: Historical, Love & Romance, Mystery, Young Adult
Source: blog tours
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.
She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.
With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.
Josie’s life isn’t easy. Her mother is a prostitute and only thinks for herself. She learned at a young age to take care of herself and wants nothing to do with her mother and her toxic lifestyle. Her main goal is to leave The Big Easy and go to college. Yet, her mother and her poisonous boyfriend Cincinnati makes it hard for her do so, she takes matters in her own hands only to be caught in the middle of a murder.
Young women like Josie sure had a hard time even applying to get into any school. I felt for her. I pitied her. I cheered for her. Josie is the character you grow to admire and love. She is as strong as any kick ass heroine with the intelligence to match. Her life was not easy, but she made it work. I admired her tenacity and determination to never give up and I have to say that I have grown to love her character as if she was my own friend.
Jesse, the mysterious and rugged boy she grew up with is wanted by all the ladies but only has eyes for Josie. He likes to help Josie when she’s in need, and loves to tease her whenever he can. Patrick, her best friend and co-worker is reliable and supportive. He has a hard life living with his father who is sick and is in need of around-the-clock care. The scenes with him were heartfelt and I pretty much teared up he was on the page. There were so many secondary characters in this book that I loved. Willie, with her sharp tongue and protective habits, Cokie, and his supportive and optimistic view for Josie’s future were both so endearing and I can’t help but love that these two characters helped Josie along the way.
The writing is fluid, humorous, infectious and downright entertaining! I couldn’t stop reading until the very end. Mind you, there were some very predictable parts but that’s probably just me unraveling the mystery as I read along. I thought it was a bit too long, but then again that’s probably because I’m impatient and I want to know what happens right away.
I can’t wait to grab a copy of Ruta’s previous book so I can read more from her beautiful writing style and lovable but flawed characters.
So many characters that I just loved!
Fast in pacing, but a little long for me.
Beautiful. The cage symbolizes her goal perfectly.
SO much drama and problems, but Josie was just a great main character to cheer for.
Overall, a must-read for any book lover!