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Easy by Tammara Webber

I ran across a passing mention of Easy on Goodreads the day before yesterday. And, like any good reader on the hunt for the next new thing, I followed my sniffer to a reliable source or two. In this case, my sources were Jane from Dear Author (who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time at BEA this year) and Sarah of Clear Eyes, Full Shelves. That's right. Those kinds of reliable sources. And so something like five seconds passed between me reading their comments and me clicking the purchase button on my Nook. Somehow I had never heard of Tammara Webber before, but I was thrilled to find out this, her latest, was a new adult novel. I seem to always be in the mood for them these days, and new ones by new-to-me authors are positively sparkly with potential. Don't you just love reading books that make you want to sit up and blog? That make you want to wave your reader flag high and recruit others to read it so that you can dish about it together at some future date? Easy was one of those books for me. I finished it last night and haven't been able to think of much else since.

Jacqueline is kicking herself for making the exact mistake her mother told her she would. She up and followed her boyfriend to state college rather than attending a prestigious music conservatory to pursue her career as a concert bassist. It's just that she and Kennedy had been together for over three years. Who would have thought they'd get a mere handful of weeks into their freshman year before he dropped her like a hot potato in the name of sowing his wild oats? Not Jacqueline, that's who. But it happens. And now she's forced to keep going through the motions, while she figures out what in the world she's supposed to do at this school she doesn't belong in, in a life she doesn't recognize. It starts with changing her name back to what it was before Kennedy got his smarmy hands on it. It continues with a subtle shift in seats in the econ class she shares with her ex, so she won't have to look him in the face and see how quickly he moved on. It ramps up with a series of emails exchanged with her geeky econ tutor and a series of chance meetings with a mysterious boy she encountered one black night under the blackest of circumstances. And it catches fire with enrolling in a self-defense class with her roommate to take back what others would claim as theirs. Each individual shift doesn't amount to much, but combined this series of decisions changes her life. 

Easy starts out simply, luring you into the false notion that it's a simple book about predictable people. If you're reading the first few pages and wondering, know that it all unfolds in good time. And as it unfolds, it refuses to pull its punches. I found the way it dealt with issues of empowerment and discernment wholly engrossing. Ms. Webber states in her acknowledgments:
I couldn't have written Easy without the help of my husband, Paul. The creation of good fiction begins with raw, honest emotions--whether the author is penning a story about a mouse who wants dessert, or a sprawling epic of Tsarist Russia. The subjects touched on in Easy come with an even deeper obligation to remain true to those emotions. Paul encouraged me constantly to fearlessly portray my love of hidden connections, and my belief that our close relationships with family, friends and lovers--any and all of these, if we're lucky--are capable of healing the traumas all of us experience in our lives.
It took no great effort to empathize with Jacqueline's trauma and with her growing sense that everything bad (and it gets pretty bad) happening in her life now dates back to that one bad decision. The litany of regrets drummed through my head along with hers: if only her vision had been clearer, if only she hadn't walked alone to her car that night, if only . . . if only. But the beauty of this book is that it's tightly centered on Jacqueline's forward trajectory, on not only her recovery and resiliency, but on the way she is able to put her knowledge and experience to good use and make a difference in the lives of others. She is both the beneficiary and the giver of unexpected kindnesses in her personal and academic lives. Which leads me to Landon and Lucas. These two boys she cautiously becomes friends with are just high, high points in this incredibly enjoyable novel. They are kind. They lift as opposed to stifle. They are forces for good in one girl's life. And it should probably be mentioned here that one of the two's interactions with Jacqueline will set your heart to racing. And I mean racingTammara Webber really strikes a lovely balance between the development of the romance and Jacqueline's personal path toward independence. I was incredibly satisfied with the ending, and I will definitely be back for more. Because this book? It's just so easy to love.

Highly recommended, especially for fans of Jessica Park's Flat-out Love, Jennifer Echols' Going Too Far, all things new adult, and just substantial, swoony contemporaries in general.

Buy: Amazon | B&N

Linkage
Clear Eyes, Full Shelves review
Dear Author review
The Life of Fiction review
Obsession with Books review
The Readers Den review
Reading in the Corner review
Steph Likes Books review

Comments

  1. I really, really liked this one a lot too. And I agree that this is a great read for people who liked Going Too Far--it's got a similar mature tone, and lots of drama without being over the top.

    Did you see that Easy landed on two NYT bestseller lists last week? The author has basically done zero promotion, it's all word of mouth buzz.

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    1. Sarah, yeah, that felt like a strong comparison. Mature without being petty. I like that.

      And I did see it hit the NYT! Fabulous news!

      Delete
  2. Sold, Angie! *off to Amazon* Is this self-pubbed? I thought Jessica Park mentioned Tammara's name in an article I read today about going indie

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    1. Holly, hehe. Yep, it's self-pubbed. Enjoy!

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  3. "These two boys she cautiously becomes friends with are just high, high points in this incredibly enjoyable novel. They are kind. They lift as opposed to stifle. They are forces for good in one girl's life. And it should probably be mentioned here that one of the two's interactions with Jacqueline will set your heart to racing. And I mean racing." SO WELL SAID! Couldn't agree more and I must add that my heart is still racing thinking about some of the scenes ;)

    Awesome Review!

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  4. My daughter loved this book! Have to tell her to write the review. Thanks for sharing your review of this gem.

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    1. LM, ooh, do! I'd love to read her thoughts.

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  5. O_O I hear your rallying cry in this blog post. This book shall be bought as soon as I get home.

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    Replies
    1. Janice, we understand each other. Make sure you return and report.

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  6. This sounds really good. I've been looking for new adult books, too.

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  7. YAY it's in paperback. Guess that means I'll succumb to peer pressure ;) Thanks for the review!

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    1. Britt, yup. Choices, choices. I think I may need to order a paperback now . . .

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  8. Cool, I just heard the author's name and title of this book yesterday, it must be meant to be!

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  9. In dire need of something that will kick me out of a slump; this looks like it might fit the bill! (Especially since the rec is coming from you.) Will be getting a copy asap.

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    1. Chelle, aw, *hugs*. I despise that feeling. Think there's a fair chance it'll do the trick. *fingers crossed*

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  10. I can always use more of this:

    "it's tightly centered on Jacqueline's forward trajectory, on not only her recovery and resiliency, but on the way she is able to put her knowledge and experience to good use and make a difference"

    and this:

    "These two boys she cautiously becomes friends with are just high, high points in this incredibly enjoyable novel. They are kind. They lift as opposed to stifle. They are forces for good in one girl's life."

    Definitely adding to the tbr. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. V, lol. Right?! It's a heady combination, my friend.

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  11. Brilliant review! I like this story.

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    1. Shane, you should check it out then!

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  12. Oh! I am so glad to be reading your review right now, it couldn't come at a better time! I was just looking at this one yesterday and wondering whether or not I was giving it a try. I love the bits of her acknowledgments. This has absolutely changed my mind from "maybe" to "absolutely"!

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    1. Kay, oh, I'm delighted it came at the right time. Love it when that happens for me. Let me know what you think for sure.

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  13. I'm so glad you had fun reading this one, it sounds like such an interesting read, I grabbed a copy after seeing so many great reviews around! Thanks for linking Rachel's review too! :)

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    1. Jasprit, ooh, so glad you grabbed a copy. Hope it's as fun for you as it was for me. And happy to oblige on the linkage. I love me some good links.

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  14. Anonymous1:38 PM

    This sounds great, Angie. I read a review at Dear Author as well. I'll have to add it to my buy list!

    KarenS

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    1. Karen! Your comment came through! I'm delighted. I've been fretting over that since I got back. Let me know if you do read it. Love to hear what you thought.

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    2. Anonymous9:53 AM

      Yes! I chose Preview first. Nothing came up, but when I chose Publish it worked.

      Anyway, I will definitely read this. I thought I'd have to give in and buy an e-reader for Easy and Raw Blue, but I can see they are both coming out in print. Thanks for the review. KarenS

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  15. Okay, so this one was already on my wishlist even before you reviewed it. But chatting with you and Janice on Twitter about Easy has made me more excited to pick it up. I have a feeling I'll be reading this sooner rather than later! Also, I'm a big fan of both Flat-out Love and Going Too Far (and New Adult titles in general).

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    1. Chach, yeah, it just consistently reminded me of those two, but still retaining its very own feel and flavor. Hope you like.

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  16. Ok, seriously. With a review like this did you honestly think I could even finish reading the REVIEW before I went and bought the dang book?

    Your powers of persuasion are legendary...

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    1. Michelle, hehehe. Happy reading, girlie!

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  17. Okay, I just bought this on Amazon after reading your review. And I rarely ever read self-pub because of the HUGE amount of trad pubs on my TBR, that is how convincing your review is. I can't wait to take the time to read Easy!

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    1. April, uh oh. The pressure is on now! ;) I try to be choosy with my self-pub forays. But sometimes you just hit gold, and this one was one of the good ones. I hope you like it.

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  18. Yeah! I'm glad that the recommendation (along with Sarah's) worked for you. Webber has such a great voice.

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    1. Jane, she really does. Thank you so much for pointing me her way. I can't wait to see what she writes next.

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  19. I LOOOOVED that book. If you haven't read Between The Lines (her YA trilogy), please do. It's awesome too with great, unusual characters! Marion

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    1. Marion, I read one of them! Very fun. I think I prefer EASY in the end, but they're all extremely readable.

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  20. Anonymous12:40 AM

    Jacqueline and Kennedy are actually in their sophomore year, not freshman ;)

    But great review of a great book!

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  21. Anonymous12:10 PM

    I don't just know how to start am just short of word's and happy that i would be celebrating my Esther with my wife,Due to the help of dr ikuku,This dr ikuku has brought back happiness into my life that i have lacked for year,My name is Maxwell am from the United State of America,Am just so happy today and today has been the happiest day of my life and this happiness has brought me joy and am so happy,Because dr ikuku brought back my lover tricia into my arms without any delay,After my lover left me for good 2years,i was in deep pain and always thinking because i truly loved Tricia,Until a faithful day listen to the radio due to boredom,Then in which i had a lady shouting in happiness about the great thing dr ikuku has done how dr ikuku brought back her lover back into her arms within 36hours,when i had that goodness i decided in contacting dr ikuku immediately,Because i was desperate in getting in touch with him,So i got in touch with him,Which then i told him my problem and he promised in bringing back Tricia back to my arms within 24hours,And then when i had that Tricia would be back to my arms within 24hours i was so happy and waiting to feel Tricia,And really Tricia came into my arms within 24hours,Begging me for forgiveness,i was so happy when i saw Tricia now my lover is fully back to my arms due to the help of this great man dr ikuku who has bought back happiness into our great country(Usa)Please friend in need of help you don't need to go far all you need to do is for you to kindly contact dr ikuku for help,Because he his trustworthy and straight forward,You can contact him on his private mail,ikukutempleofsolution@gmail.com or cell number +2348034458597

    ReplyDelete
  22. I keep seeing this novel everywhere. I really liked Pushing the Limits and the story of Beautiful Disaster was good (though I had some issues with their relationship). I think this New Adult genre is one that has greatly been missing for many years and hopefully will continue to grow.

    ReplyDelete

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