Easy by Tammara Webber (review copy) - "I took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly before turning around. It was Lucas who stood there. His gaze was penetrating, not wavering for a moment, and my pulse hammered under his silent scrutiny.
I couldn't remember the last time I'd been so full of pure, unqualified desire."
Lucas is the stranger who saved Jacqueline from an attack by a fellow student - she'd never noticed him before then, and now he's everywhere.
But can Jacqueline trust him - or will the secrets he's hiding come between them? From Amazon UK
Since hearing about New Adult a few months ago, I have been eager to get stuck into this new category. Having heard such buzz around Easy, I jumped at the chance to review it when offered, despite worrying about it being a book about sexual assault. Rape has always been something I've shied away from reading about, being a subject I'm not sure I'd be able to cope with. However, I was told that Easy isn't as heavy as I automatically thought it would be, and I should really give it a go. Now, having read it, I'm so glad I have! It's amazing!
Having been with her boyfriend for three years, Jacqueline decides not to go to a musical conservatory as she's always wanted, but to follow Kennedy to his college of choice instead - only for him to dump her a few weeks in. Kennedy wants to have the "full college experience", and all the girls that come along with it. If that wasn't bad enough, she is attacked after a party by someone she thought was a friend. Saved by a mystery guy, Lucas, she soon starts seeing him everywhere - a constant reminder of the attack. Jacqueline can't deny the chemistry between them, but Lucas is battling issues of his own, and Jacqueline is being stalked by her attacker. Will Jacqueline and Lucas be able to overcome their problems with the help of each other?
Easy is such a great book, because it is both a brilliant and powerful story of a girl who has been attacked and how the attack itself affects her, and the most beautiful love story. Let me just say that the love story doesn't push the story of rape aside and brush it under the carpet, it's running along side with it. Which is remarkable. It shows that your life doesn't end when you're raped or attacked, that you can carry on, strive for your dreams, and, yes, fall in love. However, it's not a fall-in-love-with-your-rescuer-because-he-rescued-you love story, it's to do with who they are. But lets look at these two stories separately.
Easy opens with Jacqueline's attack. It's majorly difficult to read. Yet, the book on the whole isn't very heavy, and this is not down to Jacqueline having a guy to distract her. Because Lucas is anything but a distraction being the guy who saved her. No, it's not as heavy as you would imagine because of Jacqueline's attitude. Sure, she's scared and feels violated, but she wants to move on and get on with her life. She has amazing support in the form of her best friend Erin. Seriously, their friendship is one any girl would aspire to have with their best friend. Erin gives Jacqueline so much strength just by being on her side when rumours are flying around. She convinces Jacqueline to sign up for a self-defense class, and despite the giggles and laughs that come along with it, it's something they both take extremely seriously. And when there are things Jacqueline has difficultly with, Erin helps her through them. I have so much love for Erin, you have no idea.
However, moving on is a little difficult when you're attacker won't leave you alone, determined to get what he was after before. The immense strength shown by Jacqueline, despite her fear, is something to behold. She is just amazing; determined to save herself any way she's able, no matter how the result makes her look to other people. Jacqueline is most definitely the heroine of this story by saving herself with her strength, her determination not to give in, and by moving forward, slowly but surely, with her life with dignity and self-respect. She may not be the toughest of cookies, but I'm pretty sure she's the most awe-inspiring female protagonist I have ever read. You cannot help but cheer for Jacqueline throughout the whole story. And a side note - though only those who've read the book are going to get this - the sorority leader? I felt such a rush of love for her, she brought tears to my eyes. Let's hear it for female solidarity!
Now the love story. Oh, Lucas! He's covered in tattoos, he's pierced, he seems to be slacking in their economics class. Bad boy, yes? No. Sure, he might have the bad boy sexy vibe going on, but he is the guy all girls dream of. Not only is Lucas just generally such a nice guy, but he's respectful, he's understanding, he's just so god-damn lovely! He is all about making sure Jacqueline can look after herself, giving her the tools she needs, rather than wanting to smother her all the time to be her hero. He doesn't want her to be a damsel-in-distress, he wants her to be a damsel-who-survives-on-her-own. He isn't her strength, but he makes it his job to fan her flame of strength into a roaring fire. He is supportive and empowering. He is exactly what Jacqueline needs. And, on a similar note, he is also exactly what Jacqueline needs. That chemistry I mentioned earlier? It damn well sizzles! Easy manages to be so incredibly sexy without becoming erotica. There is more than just lust behind every kiss and touch, there's a whole well of emotions that make the physical side of things far sexier. Their's is a relationship that's based on mutual respect, support, admiration and real genuine feelings. It's more beautiful than I could ever possibly put into words.
Easy is an incredibly powerful novel, and one that is right up there with my favourites. It's a brilliant story that will leave you breathless and full of admiration and gratitude. I couldn't possibly thank Tammara Webber enough for writing such a beautifully touching story. I will definitely be reading more by her in the future. Easy is not a book to miss.
Thank you to Penguin for sending me a review copy.
Published: 3rd January 2013
Buy on Amazon US
Tammara Webber's Website