Review: Easy

EasyJacqueline (not Jackie) doesn’t love college the way she thought she would when she first came. For one, she abandoned her dream of studying music to follow her boyfriend to his school of choice. Secondly, he dumped her not long after arriving.

Jacqueline doesn’t have much time to get over things when the unthinkable happens: she’s attacked outside a party on the way to her car. A stranger luckily saves her, and Jacqueline can’t help but feel in his debt. She tries to forget the incident and carry on with her life, but Lucas, her saviour, suddenly seems everywhere, reminding her of that fateful night.

As sparks fly between the pair, Jacqueline realises that Lucas isn’t the only one who’s everywhere; Buck, her attacker, wants revenge for his humiliation, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants: Jacqueline. This forces Jacqueline to confront the one night she thought she could forget and question whether she  can turn her one night of powerlessness into something greater.

So this is my first foray into the ‘New Adult’ genre. If you haven’t heard about it, it’s pretty much exactly as it sounds: a crossover genre between YA (young adult/teen) books and adult books.

For me, it didn’t read too differently from any adult book. Jacqueline isn’t in her first year of university, but in fact her second, so there’s a difference in where the story is set in the protagonist’s life, compared to a YA book.

Easy had an interesting hook, which initially got me interested, especially after I saw it getting rave reviews all over Goodreads. It starts on the fateful night when Jacqueline is almost raped by a classmate in the parking lot of a party, and speeds forward after that.

Despite the enormity of this incident, the book (and Jacqueline) loses focus on the issue, and instead starts to revolve around Jacqueline’s growing attraction to her saviour, Lucas, who sits in the back of her Economics class. She’s just recovering from a breakup from her high school boyfriend, and her friends convince her to make him her rebound. That’s all fine and well, but it seemed quite strange, especially after such a serious incident. The issue of Jacqueline’s almost-rape doesn’t resurface almost until the second half of the novel, and by then, the story has become all about Jacqueline and Lucas’s romance.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the romance; I did. Lucas isn’t the requisite bad boy in so many YA novels, but he is holding himself back- and for good reason. A good portion of the novel is about the push and pull in their relationship, as Jacqueline tries to break down Lucas’s walls. Despite the complicated nature of their relationship, it read too much like a straight up romance novel, which really took away from the story (for me).

Jacqueline doesn’t really do much right after her attempted rape, but later events make her change her mind, and really take charge. After another girl gets raped by the same guy, she realises she can’t just stay silent anymore, since this isn’t just about her anymore. She has to face the events from the one night she’d hoped to forget and she does so quite bravely. She takes self-defence and arms herself with the knowledge of how to save herself, instead of waiting for someone to save her.

Easy wasn’t a perfect book, but it was an enjoyable read, with an important message.

So for that: 3/5.

Thanks for reading,

Ikhlas

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