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Magan: Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy by Tammara Webber
Publication Date: May 24, 2012
Pages: 304
Target audience: Mature Young Adult or New Adult
Keywords: rape, self-defense, break-ups, college, music major
Format read: Purchased for my Kindle.

Summary: After an unexpected break-up with her boyfriend, Jacqueline attends a frat party where her ex-boyfriend’s friend tried to rape her. She’s saved by Lucas who she repeatedly runs into on campus after the attack.

 

I’ve been a huge fan of Tammara Webber’s (revist my reviews of Where You Are and Good For You). I’ve really enjoyed her colorful characters, fun plot lines, and the need to devour her books. I felt her writing was only growing stronger; when reviews of Easy started popping up proclaiming its awesomeness, I knew I had to finally hunker down and read the book that had been sitting untouched on my kindle.

Maybe I allowed the hype to get to my head and I put Easy on a pedestal, positive it would be a home run. Maybe it just wasn’t the book for me.

I found that Jacqueline was a girl I just did not connect with. In the beginning, she’s attacked by a fraternity brother of her ex-boyfriend. He tries to take advantage of her and Lucas saves her. I imagine a sense of panic and feelings of nervousness moving forward with life after an event such as this. I didn’t feel the weight of this nearly as much as I would have liked to. I felt the focus was much more on finding out about Lucas, Jacqueline getting over her ex-boyfriend, her catching up on a class she neglected after her bad breakup, and the happenings of her roommate.

There were so many things I walked away from Easy knowing, but ultimately, I didn’t see a whole lot of Jacqueline in all of that. She’s a music major who tutors a lot during the week and supposedly spends lots of time practicing to perfect her skill. Until the last few chapters, those things never caused much conflict in her schedule and were on the very periphery of her story. (I remember being a college student: Life is all about the deadlines.) I felt like everyone else defined who Jacqueline was as a main character, but I didn’t have a good grasp on the things she proclaimed to love. I felt very distanced from her as a reader.

The majority of the time, it seemed she went out of her way to meet up with Lucas and dropped everything to be at his beck and call. I really liked Lucas’ personality — very much, actually, but I did have some pretty major drawbacks when it came to understanding who he was though. One thought that crossed through my mind several times was: Is there nothing this boy can’t do? Is there anything he doesn’t do perfectly? He tutors, works at Starbucks, beats up assholes trying to victimize women, teaches self-defense classes, knows how to sketch anything and everything, is a full time student and professor’s assistant, a campus handyman, and oh, is mind blowing at sex. I understand the appeal: Lucas is what every girl wants but can’t have. He’s got tattoos, a lip ring, longish hair, rides a motorcycle, and has a nicely toned body. He’s not very realistic. I could not mesh the tattooed barista with the nerdy scholar who would somehow have time to workout, learn to draw, or have any semblance of a normal life (or get a single minute of sleep, ever).

While great points were made discussing the importance of turning in victimizers, reporting rapes, and knowing a few moves to protect yourself from said a-holes, I found myself slightly displaced. I didn’t feel like I was actively a part of the story, but instead staring down at a little college village where life was happening with these people I could not connect with. I didn’t have a problem putting down the book and walking away for a day; the story didn’t suck me in and consume me.

While I will not discount the subject matter Webber chose to take on, I will admit that I very much felt like Easy was trying to make a point to me. I read reviews about books that mention religion and someone will say, “I felt like the author was preaching to me.” I walked away with the exact same sentiment. The message was very clear, but I felt this was another disconnect for me. Instead of imagining Jacqueline taking the self-defense classes, I felt I needed to be taking notes so I would know how to protect myself. I do think Webber’s message — women need to know how to protect themselves — is a very important one and I wholeheartedly agree; I simply wish the message didn’t overcompensate for the character development I felt was lacking.

[I realize I’m in the very small minority of people who have written a less-than-glowing review for Easy. That being said, I do think you should check out Easy by Tammara Webber. It’s only $5.99 on Amazon!]

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December 1, 2012 - 2:00 am

Kristen Evey - Once again, this is why I love your reviews. I can always count on both of you to temper the flailing and OHMYGOSH THIS BOOK IS PERFECT found in other reviews (btw, neither of those things are bad). I did buy this book for my Nook based on the recommendation of a couple other blogger friends and I’m planning on reading it soon. I’m really glad I read this review first though because now I think I won’t be as disappointed. Biggest disappointed would have been Lucas (LOL at your description of him btw). I absolutely can’t stand perfect boys in books, particularly YA (or NA in this case, I guess). It’s the same problem I had with Adam in Shatter Me. He was so effing perfect it was irritating. But then, I’m also a sucker for the dark and tortured soul character, so I’m a little biased against the perfect ones. 😉

November 19, 2012 - 5:59 pm

Karen - I enjoyed Easy but I did like The Between the Lines series more.

I don’t want to spoil anything in my comments but it was the twist that I didn’t really like. I saw it coming a mile away and would have preferred a more straight forward approach to things. Does that make sense even though I’m being cryptic?

I also never entirely clicked with Jacqueline even though I liked her.

November 18, 2012 - 3:28 am

Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life - I, surprisingly, haven’t seen too many reviews of this book at all, but I do recall reading some really excited and positive reviews of this book. But I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy this one as much as you expected to, Magan! I hate when hype gets to your head, and it prevents you from enjoying the book. It’s happened to me a lot before, and it’s never fun. :/

However, the main character really does seem flat to me. And it makes me sad that the author kind of shifted the focus of the book from the major issue at hand and instead focuses on the relationship instead. I feel like that’s kind of a missed opportunity. And I seriously dislike when characters are perfect- like Jack seems to be. I like my characters realistic and flawed, thank you very much.

I’m sorry that this one disappointed you, Magan! I think I’ll look out for a few more reviews of this one, but for now, I think I’m going to pass on this one.

November 18, 2012 - 12:57 am

kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best - I love your review and I agree but to even more degree: Lucas was too perfect and I didn’t fall head over heels for him. Jacqueline was a MC I didn’t feel anything for, even though I really, really wanted to. Maybe it’s because I’m only 17 but I felt like all of the feminist talk was being shoved down my throat and not really part of the story, if that makes sense! Yet another aspect was: how did Jacqueline and Lucas get together. I can understand that he saved her…but what? I just felt like the sexual tension skipped the getting to know each other aspect.

November 17, 2012 - 10:18 am

Leah - I’m among the teensy handful of people who haven’t read this book yet, but I can totally relate with being in the minority when it comes to reviewing a book. I’ve given in to hype more times than I’d care to admit and more often than not it ultimately leads to a huge disappointment. Unfortunately I expect the world of these books and the tiniest flaw can lead to a letdown.

Hoo boy. Lucas must have organizational skills down to an art. Or, you know, maybe he owns a time-turner. 😀 Really though, I’ve read enough YA to expect the love interest to be incredible at everything (& we can’t forget about his looks!), but this is a little extreme.

I’m still deciding whether or not I want to read Easy. I’m NOT a fan of issue novels, so it already has one strike against it, but perhaps I’ll eventually pick it up one day.

November 17, 2012 - 6:01 am

Lori - I really enjoyed Easy, but I can completely see why some people didn’t. My one complaint with it was that Jacqueline kept putting herself in situations with the attacker, knowingly. Who does that? And I definitely agree that she wasn’t fleshed out. But, my goodness, did I enjoy the sexual tension! 🙂 I love the point you make about the author preaching. I didn’t notice that but now that you mention it I totally see it.

Fabulous review, Magan!

November 16, 2012 - 4:32 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - Though I felt differently about this book, like Alexa said.. I do appreciate your honest review! And it has made me look at things from a different perspective as well. I know for me, I went into this book not having a clue what it was about. I had never even heard of the author before. I sometimes wonder what my reaction would have been if I read it after all the hype? Who knows. I do think Tammara Webber is an excellent writer and want to read more by her.

November 16, 2012 - 2:21 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - Funny enough, even though I felt the extreme opposite and really loved Easy, I also love your review. It’s not just the honesty or the intelligence with which your feelings are expressed, but rather that you allowed me to take a step back from my opinion of the book and go, “Huh, you know what, you might be right!”

It is true, now that I think about it, that we don’t really get the opportunity to learn much about Jacqueline or get invested in her story. And a lot of the stuff is a little too ideal or perfect, especially in terms of characters like Lucas.

BUT I do like the way it was written. And I like the message Tammara was attempting to share with her readers. And maybe I just read it at a time when I wanted something that would entertain me 🙂

November 16, 2012 - 12:39 pm

elena - We’ve already discussed this but I agree with your review! After all the raving reviews, I was expecting it to be more but it came off sort of heavy handed to me. I was sending out WTF? e-mails to my friend in the beginning while I was reading it. I felt like everyone else defined who Jacqueline was as a main character, but I didn’t have a good grasp on the things she proclaimed to love. SO TRUE. She & Lucas seemed more like a list of traits to have in a character to me than an actual character. I don’t know how Lucas manages to do EVERYTHING and still be a student? He must be superhuman.

Anyway! Thanks for your insightful & honest review.

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