Berkley / November 6, 2012 / $15.00 print, $5.99 digital
Haunted by a secret
Sometimes, love isn't easy…
He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…
The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he'd worked so hard to overcome, and the future she'd put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.
Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth—and find the unexpected power of love.
A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easyfaces one girl's struggle to regain the trust she's lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.
Tammara Webber's Easy opens with Jacqueline (also known as Jackie, but only if you want to have your butt kicked) leaving a Halloween party and getting attacked by her boyfriend’s rival, Buck. Before Buck can rape Jacqueline, however, a classmate, and resident bad-ass hottie saves Jacqueline from the assault.
Jacqueline decides not to press charges at the time, and while it creates moments of serious annoyance, it opens up a dialogue among the characters. The book confronts women’s rights and rape in a way that both talks about the issue without making it an “issue book.”
“He apologized. He groveled. He said he’d apologize and grovel to you if I wanted him to. He swore he’d never thought Buck would resort to—that—to get a girl, because girls are always throwing themselves at him. I told him three weeks ago that it isn’t about sex. It’s about dominance.” She raised up on her elbows to look at me. “He didn’t listen to me then. And now, when Buck is about to be arrested and charged with rape—now he’s listening.”
I shrugged. “I guess that guys who’d never do something like that have a hard time believing some other guy would,” I said, but I could see her point. Awareness and apologies were fine and good, but they could come too late.
Her savior, Lucas, is everything Jacqueline isn’t used to. She’s recently broken up with her boyfriend of three years, Kennedy, who's perfect, charming, intelligent, and very full of himself. Lucas is tattooed, pierced, and from all accounts, a terrible student and complete slacker. Another boy competes for Jacqueline’s attention. After Kennedy broke up with Jacqueline, she missed two weeks of the class she shared with him—luckily, her teacher gives her a chance to redeem her grade and sends her to a tutor.
Landon, the tutor, and Jacqueline have some of the best exchanges I’ve ever read, and Lucas is a three-dimensional character who is as flawed and complex as Jacqueline. Lucas even helps her learn fighting skills so she can fight back if she was ever attacked again.
He dried his hands on a dish towel and tossed it on the counter, pulling me closer. “I’m very aware of the fact that you’re a girl.” His fingers threaded through mine and he restrained both of my hands behind me, gently, pressing them into my lower back. My breathing quickened along with my heart rate as we stared at each other.
“How would you get out of this hold, Jacqueline?” His arms surrounded me and my body bowed into his.
“I wouldn’t want to,” I whispered. “I don’t want to.”
“But if you did want to. How would you?”
I closed my eyes and visualized. “I would knee you in the groin. I would stomp on your instep.” I opened my eyes and calculated our relative heights. “You’re too tall for me to headbutt, I think. Unless I jump up like they taught us to do in soccer camp.”
One corner of his mouth turned up. “Good.” He leaned down, our lips inches apart. “And if I kissed you, and you didn’t want me to?”
I wanted him to so badly my head swam. “I—I would bite you.”
“Oh, God,” he breathed, his eyes closing. “Why does that sound so good?”
Overall this book is a great blend of what makes young adult stand out and what makes romance so hot. The subplots are enough to keep the book interesting without being swallowed by any particular plotline. It was a great introduction to New Adult and a great book on its own.
Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.