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. 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, stalked by her ex’s frat brother, and failing a class for the first time in her life. Her econ professor gives her an email address for Landon, the class tutor, who shows her that she’s still the same intelligent girl she’s always been.
As Jacqueline becomes interested in more from her tutor than a better grade, his teasing responses make the feeling seem mutual. There’s just one problem–their only interactions are through email. Meanwhile, a guy in her econ class proves his worth the first night she meets him. Nothing like her popular ex or her brainy tutor, Lucas sits on the back row, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. At a downtown club, he disappears after several dances that leave her on fire. When he asks if he can sketch her, alone in her room, she agrees–hoping for more.
Then Jacqueline discovers a withheld connection between her supportive tutor and her seductive classmate, her ex comes back into the picture, and her stalker escalates his attention by spreading rumors that they’ve hooked up. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy…
I want to say I immediately liked Jacqueline, but that was not the case as she was moping for the first part of the book. I couldn’t believe that she followed her ridiculous boyfriend to a school that she didn’t even want to go to. I was frustrated with her, because when girls do this we all know how that story usually ends. Jacqueline falls to pieces when Kennedy breaks up with her and she even lets her economics grade suffer. Thankfully, I started to like her more when she took control of her life and basically said “screw Kennedy.” Erin, her roommate, helps her by giving her confidence and support, which her parents clearly do not give her.
My heart went out to Jacqueline when she was assaulted by Buck as I know this is something that happens daily and unlike Jacqueline not all girls are luck enough to have a Lucas around to play mysterious protector. Obviously, Easy deals with some heavy issues, like date rape, sexual assault, stalking, violence, etc, which is not to be taken lightly. If you are looking for a fluffy read, this isn’t one for you; however, I felt Webber handled such a serious situation very well.
Easy also deals with another common problem… girls who lose or give up their identity to just to make a man/boyfriend happy; Jacqueline gave up her name and went by Jackie, because Kennedy liked it. She was his Jackie O. But it was great to see her take a stand and reclaim who she is once the moping was over.
Three years had passed since I’d gone by Jacqueline, and I fought daily to regain that one original part of myself that I’d put aside for him. It wasn’t the only thing I’d given up, or the most important. It was just the only one I could get back.
Lucas is an interesting character, His connection to Jacqueline was instantaneous and I loved the romance. There were some scenes that were pretty intense, Webber knows how to throw just enough “smut” into a book to keep it good. I also thought Webber did a great job creating such a mysterious character in Lucas. I knew he wasn’t showing all of his cards to Jacqueline, but I wasn’t quite sure why. It was interesting to figure out his backstory as Easy unfolded. The secondary characters are also well done. I loved Erin, the fun roommate, and Jacqueline’s economics tutor, Landon, who she has a lot of fun flirting with through e-mail.
Landon, The worksheets are definitely going to help. I already feel less scared of failing this class. I did the first two – when you have time, could you look them over? Thank you again for wasting your time on me. I’ll try to get caught up quickly. I’m not used to being the student who’s a pain in the butt. I had two freshmen from rival schools in competition with each other at regionals. Both asked me, separately thank God, who was my favorite. (I told each of them, “You are, of course.” Was that wrong??) They were very smug with each other when they came to get their basses from my truck, and I prayed that neither would mention the favorite status in front of the other. BOYS. Engineering? Wow. No wonder you seem so brainy. JW
Jacqueline, The worksheets look great. I marked a couple of minor mistakes that could trip you up on an exam, so check those. Ah, sounds like your freshmen have crushes on you? Not surprised. A bass-playing college girl would have rendered me speechless at 14. Of course I’m brainy! I’m the all-knowing tutor. And in case you’re wondering – yes, you’re my favorite. ;) LM
Another aspect of Easy that I enjoyed was the college life. The classes, the coffee breaks, the friends, the dating, the parties etc… I never got to experience that and Webber did a fantastic job portraying it in a way that made me feel like I had. I almost wanted to clap during the sorority president’s speech:
She drew herself up and crossed her arms over her chest. “And you’re worried about who’ll look bad if they tell? Screw that. Dean and D.J. and Kennedy and every frat boy on this campus can all go fuck themselves. Are we sisters or not?”
This whole “new adult” genre is definitely becoming one of my new favorites. If you are a fan of mature contemporary reads that deal with serious issues, but also have some good romance in them, definitely check out Easy.
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this review though I was sent a copy of Easy by Penguin Books