by Tammara Webber
Publisher: Penguin Berkley
★★★★★ (5 / 5 stars)
Having such a newfound interest in the New Adult genre, I felt it was only appropriate to go back to one of the first books that contributed to its roots.
Easy can be considered one step above a YA story, but the themes that are introduced are quite dark. Jacqueline is a college student who also has a hidden passion for music, which she puts to use as a sixth-grade orchestra tutor. One night, at a Halloween party, she is sexually assaulted by a guy, Buck, who’s been stalking her for a while, until Lucas comes in to save her. She’s traumatized by the experience, and frequently has reoccurring nightmares about it. But her best friend, and dorm roommate Erin helps her to get over Buck and hook her up with Lucas.
The semester is almost over, and Jacqueline is informed by her professor that she needs to bring her grades up or else she will flunk her class. So he sets her up with a tutor. But little does she realizes, the ‘tutor’ isn’t someone new. This relationship grows in and out of class.
Meanwhile, Jacqueline takes a self-defense class so she can defend herself against Buck. Turns out, Lucas, the guy who saved her before is there, volunteering, as well. But the closer she gets to Lucas, the more secrets she finds out about him. Like his dark past, and another mystery that had been haunting her in her class with him.
Toward the end of the story, Jacqueline and Lucas’s relationship is tested once more, as is Jacqueline’s skills to face her past once more. Needless to say, this story ended in a sweet, heartfelt HEA that leaves you wanting more.
I loved all the characters in Easy. I can totally visualize them as actual people. Like Erin. She seemed like a ditzy, preppy sorority girl that liked to dress in all the latest fashion trends, but she has a big heart when it comes to taking care of her friends. Lucas was handsome, mellow, an awesome artist, and a broken guy with a big heart. I think he and Jacqueline were meant for each other. Jacqueline seemed like a weak heroine at first, but as the story went on, and with Lucas’s help, she became stronger. I can totally tolerate reading this story from her POV. She didn’t whine or complain. She took life how it was and dealt with it the best way she could. So I commend the author for creating a likable, (semi) mature twenty something character like Jacqueline.
I especially loved the little mystery that was sprinkled into this story with Jacqueline trying to find out who Landon was. It wasn’t too hard to figure out, but it was a nice little twist to the story that made me want to keep reading.
The main theme of this book was dealing with sexual abuse of varying degrees. I think this is a great book that will hit home for many readers who might have had something similar happen to them in this book. It speaks volumes about always speaking out and finding help as soon as it happens, and not keep it a secret. This is serious stuff.
Despite this main theme, the (consensual) sexual scenes were very light, and nothing graphic at all. Some scenes were fade to black. Others were so short, I had to go back and re-read a few paragraphs because I didn’t realize they had sex. I would argue say the content could be something you might read in a YA. But the nature of sexual scenes are never a factor for me when I review books. But for those who are looking for steamy scenes in a NA romance, you will be disappointed when reading this book.
I was glad that I read Easy and got a feel of what the New Adult genre was like at its extreme infancy. I’m looking forward to reading more of Tammara Webber’s works.