EASY is... such an amazing book. It takes basically everything I don't like about the new adult genre and turns it on its head. It's a college-set romance where all of the characters actually work hard on homework and studying for tests. It has a realistic portrayal of frat life, with all of the pros and cons that come with that. It has feminist themes and an interesting heroine and an adorable emo love interest with a devastatingly tragic backstory that brought me to tears. It has a sex positive heroine who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to set boundaries. It has positive female friendships. It reflects a vision of college life that mirrored my own and made me feel all the nostalgic feels, like I was reading about someone I could have known from my own life.
When we meet Jacqueline, she's having a pretty awful time. Her boyfriend of three years just broke up with her and then someone she used to consider a friend tries to rape her in the parking lot while she's leaving a costume party. She's saved by a mysterious guy named Lucas, who makes sure she gets home safely without being invasive. Lucas ends up coming into her life again and again because he has dozens of odd jobs around the university, in addition to being a student himself. He's also a genuine nice guy and manages to be protective without being chauvinistic, which is a nice subversion of the "dominant" male leads cast in the mold of Christian Grey and Edward Cullen and Travis Maddox.
Jacqueline is a great heroine. I loved her friendship with Erin and how she wasn't one of those "not like other girls" heroines. I loved Erin, and I liked their support of Mindi and that surprising show of sisterhood in the sorority. I loved that Jacqueline started taking self-defense classes and that she worked so hard for her grades. I loved that she was sex positive and that she knew what she wanted, and I felt like all of her fears and insecurities were real. I loved that psychologists were presented as a normalized response to trauma and mental health, and that it was dropped in so casually. More of that, please.
And Lucas-- I wish I'd read this book when I was in college because when I was a college student, I craved stories like these. It has all of the drama and romance of a K-drama, and I read huge chunks of this book at a time. For a while, I put off reading EASY because I had lumped it in with books like THE EDGE OF NEVER and BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, but it's really nothing like any other new adult book I read, except maybe THE DEAL. I just loved the romance and the love interest so much. I read a lot of trashy books with heroes who I would run from in real life, but Lucas is the kind of guy you would run to, and he would catch you every time. I'm not normally into guys with tattoos and piercings but I feel like the message of this book is that sometimes appearances really are only skin-deep and people can end up surprising you in the best possible way. It was just so sweet and I seriously can't recommend this book enough. Just look at me, handing out four and five star reviews like candy.
Reading has never been so easy.
4.5 to 5 out of 5 stars