Author: Tammara Webber
Rating: 4.5 / 5
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night – but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.
When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy. (goodreads.com)
WARNING: Here Be Spoilers! To be safe, I’ve marked this review as having some spoilers and putting it below a cut tag.
My brain exploded from awesome.
I just spent a week reading books that were, at the end, so disappointing. I was so, so relieved that there was absolute closure for the end of this one. Perhaps that’s why I liked it so much.
The writing in Tammara Webber’s Easy flows so well. It moves easily from scene to scene, and the shift of time is barely noticeable. The story jumps right in, doesn’t hold back, and I found myself wanting to know, badly, whether Jacqueline and Lucas work out.
Speaking of characters, I really wanted to like Jacqueline. At some points, I was cheering her on, and at some points I really wanted to ask her, “are you serious?” both in her defense and at her. I think a lot of my problem is that I have a hard time identifying with female characters, mostly because so many of them are non-confrontational and sometimes I really just want them to stand up and say, “enough!”
Eventually, Jacqueline gets there, but it’s a long road for her. By the time she’s there, though, I really appreciate her as a character, so there’s that. I was really glad to see that, in her progression to get to where she needed to be as a person to be happy with her life, there was little to no back-sliding.
There was, however, one instance where I really didn’t like her. She digs into Lucas’s background once she realizes Lucas and her econ tutor, Landon, are one and the same. She googles him, his mother, asks the econ professor (who is a family friend of Lucas and his father). Everything she can to glean information except going to the source–Lucas himself. I really don’t go for that kind of thing, and it really made me dislike her, so Lucas’s reaction when she finally tells him was so reassuring. It restored my faith in the author. I figured if the author could write Jacqueline into this hole, surely she could write her out of it, as well.
Lucas was such an intriguing character. I really, really liked him. At some points, he comes across as more wish-fulfillment than real, but at other times he’s so human. He lies to Jacqueline to protect her, just because he wants to be with her. His motivations are purely selfish in this instance, and I can’t really say anything except, “I don’t blame him.” I rooted for him, all the way. Especially when he comes through for Jacqueline not once, not twice, but thrice (haha), in big ways.
Of course, I wouldn’t get by reviewing this without talking about the other characters, in particular Erin and Kennedy, as well as the Greek system. Erin is Jacqueline’s roommate, and while she isn’t initially honest about the assault that happens at the hands of Kennedy’s frat brother, Buck, she comes clean when rumors start circulating that she’s getting down and dirty with him. Erin signs them up for self-defense classes that are held by the campus police.
I, personally, loved Erin. She was such a party girl (and an embodiment of many girls I went to college with), but she held such love for her friend that she was willing to sacrifice her Saturdays to go to self-defense class with her. I also adored her lust for doing bodily injury to an attacker, particularly in the groin area. But what really made me love her was her insistance that Jacqueline be present when Mindi, a freshman pledge in Erin’s sorority, must sit before the sorority and talk about Buck raping her at a party. Erin is so protective of both Jacqueline and Mindi that I really, really just wanted to be her friend and cheer her on at self-defense classes.
Kennedy was… You know what? He was a grade-A jerk. What made it worse was that he came across as such a Nice Guy (TM), but in reality he was an ass masquerading as something he wasn’t. He breaks up with Jacqueline (Jackie to his Kennedy) in order to be able to sleep around, and then almost two months later decides that it wasn’t such a good idea and wants to get back together with her. He decides it’s enough punishment that Buck is removed from the fraternity after it comes to light that not only did he assault Jacqueline after the Halloween party, but that he raped Mindi. Jacqueline hands him his own ass on a silver platter for that one, and goes with Mindi to make a police report. I couldn’t believe the nerve Kennedy had, to assume that getting kicked out of a frat was enough punishment for having the nerve to violate someone’s personal space, make them feel unsafe in an environment where they should feel okay, and basically let him off with a slap on the wrist.
Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. Yes, I would totally recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a quick, contemporary read.