Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Review: EASY by Tammara Webber - An outstanding MUST-read!

I have no words to properly convey how I feel about EASY. Dear Tammara Webber, I adore you. 

A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?

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.

(Mature Young Adult/ New Adult)

This was a one-sitting read for me, and is by far one of the most gripping books I've ever read. I was sucked in immediately, as Webber artfully starts with action instead of build-up, and I could not put this book down! 

My initial thought after finishing? After the usual "Holy Crap" and "Mind = Blown" thoughts? 

"Does anyone NOT like this book?" 

Honestly, I couldn't imagine it. So I went to GoodReads. 

Well, after looking through reviews, I see there are some people who didn't like this book. Happily, I see that they are far outnumbered, and not in my circle of friends  lol. In reading their issues with the book, I can see what they're saying, but I have to disagree. 

One reviewer claimed there wasn't enough background as far as scenery and what university this book takes place at - visual world-building, basically. Honestly? I was so sucked into the story that I never even questioned this, but on that note, who cares? Who cares if Jacqueline is at Harvard or ASU? Does it change anything? No. Does it affect the story at all? Absolutely not. This story was focused on people, and the relationships we form - what those relationships can to do harm us or heal us, and ultimately help us grow. This book was about redemption and loss, letting go, moving forward, and learning to love again. I don't care if this story was at a university on Mars. Because it really doesn't matter. Instead of faulting the author for this, I applaud her because her story was so important to me that I didn't care about the outside world. I didn't care about the setting. I cared about the story, the people.

Some other reviewers complained about the main character - Jacqueline - and her reaction(s) to her assault(s). I've never been assaulted in *that* way, but I thought she reacted the way I would have reacted. Though I don't know from experience, I do know without a doubt that every person reacts to things differently. Some people are very outspoken about their pain, posting "poor m, blah blah blah" on Facebook and wanting the world to know, whereas others of us would die before we posted our deepest pain on a social networking site. Some people are very introverted with their pain, hiding it away, keeping distance from even their closest of friends. People are all unique, and their coping mechanisms are as such. I think if it were me, back when I was that age, I would have drowned my sorrows in alcohol and ran from the problem. I wouldn't have had even half the strength this character displayed, and I sure don't fault Webber for creating a character who isn't completely annihilated by a trauma. 

Some reviewers complained about Jacqueline's obsession with her ex and the break up, combined with her attraction to Lucas. I have to say, in Webber's defense as well as my own - because, let's be honest, people have had similar issues with my main character - I was as boy crazy as they come. I was pretty much boy-obsessed from a very early age. I have NO IDEA why. I attended church and church camps most of my life, even having parents that were youth pastors when I was a child. I wasn't raised in a broken home - I had a mom and dad who were still together until the day my dad died. (I am NOT saying a broken home equals boy-crazy, I'm just trying to give you some insight into the fairly normal home I grew up in.) I can't pinpoint what it was about me, or my upbringing, or my life, whatever, that made me so boy crazy, just that I was. It's a simple as that. And when I fell for a guy, I fell hard. It wasn't just a cute little high school crush. I was in love every single time. And every time I swore I'd never heal from the heartbreak - every break up crushed me. But I also bounced back relatively easily, which probably made my poor parents nuts. And if you'd been reading about me, if I was one of these MC's, I would have been the main character so many reviewers don't understand or relate to - except for the few like us. Basically, after all that rambling, my point is that maybe in Jacqueline's situation, you wouldn't have been so hung up on your ex. Maybe in this situation you wouldn't have wanted to move forward with Lucas so quickly and with such little restraint. Maybe you wouldn't have so easily pushed the assault out of your head. 

Or maybe you would have, if that's what your coping mechanism was. 

The bottom line is that we can relate to some characters, and others we can't, but that doesn't mean that their actions, in-actions or re-actions are wrong. It just means they are different from yours. I could completely relate to Jacqueline, and her story compelled me to stay up way past my bed time so I could see where it went. (If you know me - I'm looking at you, Feaks - you've probably made fun of me for how early I go to sleep. So knowing I stayed up past midnight to devour this book is saying A LOT.) 

Lucas as a love interest was so perfectly flawed, that he reminded me of half the guys I've cared for in my life. I loved his quiet strength and the pain that lurked just beneath the surface. I didn't see him as a bad boy at all - more like someone who was different than Jacqueline's normal "type," but not bad. I imagine that reviewers that peg him as such were probably going into this story wanting to dislike it. 

Tammara Webber crafted a beautiful story full of heartbreak and healing, and I know it will stick with me for a very long time.

And man oh man. After reading WARM BODIES (my review can be found HERE) and now EASY, I'm scared to pick up another book for fear they won't live up to my first two reads of 2013!

You can find EASY at these places:


  1. This book sounds awesome. I'm totally going to add it. Thanks for such a thorough review :)

  2. I loved EASY! I don't read too much Contemporary because I usually just can't get into it, but this was one of the ones I absolutely enjoyed. :)

  3. Jessa I love your words! I read this book awhile ago and it is on my list of LOVES. I loved the characters and the writing. I am a sucker for a good contemporary so I ate it up. As a person that had a similar experience to the MC and have written a MC in one of my WIP's that had been abused, I get so frustrated when people say things about what a character should or shouldn't do. If it was so easy no one would be in an abusive relationship. No one would be taken advantage of, life would be perfect. Everyone who reads my WIP says that they don't like the character because she doesn't immediately kick the guy to the curb but just like you were boy crazy I was a nurturer and wrote my MC in that way. I swore I could fix them. Of course I couldn't but that took some growing up to figure that out. Let the characters work through their issues and grow up on the pages of the book. I thought you said it wonderfully. Have you read Beautiful Disaster? It was along the same lines as this...having flawed characters and all. And don't worry...I read both Easy and Warm Bodies last year and have found some great books to follow them up!