When I was a teenager, my book buying routine was fairly (and by fairly I mean ridiculously) damaging. I would see a book, perched in all of its loveliness on a shelf, take it down and flip to the last page. I wouldn’t read the entire last page (cause that would just be stupid) but I WOULD read the last sentence. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t buy the book. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
What I failed to see then (that I understand now) is that a book is not necessarily about the last sentence, it’s about the journey the characters travel to GET TO that last sentence. The happiness they encounter. The pain that shapes them. The love, courage, hope and redemption that makes them who they are. All things you will never learn from 8 words and a few well placed commas.
Thankfully I have matured over the past 15 or so years (or at least I like to tell myself that I did) and shoved that nasty little habit into file 13 (otherwise known at the “black pit of absurdity”) If not, I may have (very ungracefully) bowed out of the chance to read Tammara Webber’s novel “Easy” and, to put it quite melodramatically, that would have been a colossal mistake.
“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.”
There is this saying amongst book people: “If a book doesn’t capture your attention in the first chapter, it never will.” Now, while I don’t necessarily agree with this statement, I can appreciate its sentiment. Books are a dime a dozen, why waste your time on one that doesn’t grab your attention right out of the gate, right?
Just for the record, that is NOT the case for “Easy.”
It takes a lot to floor me, to get my blood stirring and my emotions to react as “normal people’s” do. It’s a consequence of my job…desensitation. So when after just two chapters I found myself shaking with dispair and genuinely concerned for the well-being (both physical and mental) of Webber’s lead character Jacqueline I knew, without a doubt, I had stumbled upon something worth my time.
“Easy” is not just another romance novel. It’s a 318 page lesson in compassion, understanding, courage and self-worth.
Lucas and Jacqueline define the phrase “beating the odds” and they manage to do so by not only challenging themselves, but each other. Life is hard. Trust isn’t given easily BECAUSE life is hard. It’s this concept alone…trust…that makes their duo so beautiful.
To be blunt, Jacqueline is the victim of a heinous crime. Lucas (abstractly) is a part of it. It’s the effect of this crime that drives the novel. Makes not only the situations IN the novel feel real but the people a well. As a reader you want to yell at them for their inability to let people in. As a human…you want to embrace them for their flaws. Together it makes for a mesmerizing combination.
Should I tell you all about the plot and how magnificently paced and planned out it was? Yes, probably. But…this is one of those times that I think the book should speak for itself.
In short…highly recommended.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -Lao Tzu
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I write romantic Mature Young Adult / New Adult fiction.
Reading was one of my first and earliest loves, and writing soon followed. My first book was about a lost bear, but my lack of ability as an illustrator convinced me to abandon that effort and concentrate on passing 3rd grade. I wrote sad romantic poetry in high school and penned my first half-novel when I was 19, for which I did lots of research on Vikings (the marauders, not the football team). It was accidentally destroyed when I stuffed it into the shredder at work.
Addictions: coffee and Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt. Also baby carrots, but not with coffee or frozen yogurt, because that would be disgusting. I love shopping for earrings, because they always fit – even if I occasionally forget to work out. I’m a hopeful romantic who adores novels with happy endings, because there are enough sad endings in real life.
Representation: Jane Dystel of Dystel & Goderich handles all questions regarding subsidiary rights for any of my work. Please direct inquiries regarding foreign translation and film rights availability to her.
Writing/Self-Publishing Advice: Any success I’ve enjoyed as an author can be attributed to a combination of hard work, blind luck, and fantastic emotional support. As much as I’d like to, I don’t have time to write back to everyone who asks me questions about my journey as an author. Most questions are answered in this post: Indie Writing FAQs.
Reader FAQs: No, I don’t plan to write any more stories centered on Graham and Emma or Lucas and Jacqueline. Here’s why: Love May Make the World Go ‘Round… But Conflict Makes a Novel Go ‘Round.
Want to gush, gripe, or ask a question? Please write to me at tammarawebber(at)hotmail(dot)com. I’ll attempt to answer in a timely manner! (Please assume timely is a relative term.) Questions concerning anything answered on this page or in one of the referenced posts will likely be ignored, due to the fact that I have a book or two to write. 🙂