Tammara Webber’s Easy is sort of a pillar in this weird “new adult” fiction genre that’s slowly blowing up. On one hand, it’s great that authors are filling the void between books about high school romance and full-on adult romance. On the other, these books can be just as dirty as proper adult romance novels (not that is entirely a complaint, though, if that’s your jam). Usually, the characters are college-aged (not necessarily in college); the female protagonist is either a good girl looking to live it up a little, or a former bad girl who wants to be good but can’t fight her innate attraction to trouble; the male protagonist almost always hits every possible “bad boy with a heart of gold” trope there is. Relationship drama that is more or less appropriate to someone 18 to 23 years old then ensues (and is usually much darker than typical YA fare).
So, Easy. Our story opens with Jacqueline as she’s leaving an awkward frat party (she’s just been dumped by the boy she followed to this state school instead of pursuing her talents at a proper music school) and gets sexually assaulted in the parking lot by a winner named Buck. She’s saved by a mystery hot/emo-looking fellow – who turns out to be all-around swell guy with a past, Lucas (He’s an artist! He’s smart! He rides a motorcyle!). Things proceed with the fall-out of Jacqueline’s attack, Buck raping another girl, and Lucas sorting out his crap.
All in all, the book is actually pretty okay for what it is. Webber made the right choices with how she developed Jacqueline and the process of dealing with her trauma (she and friend take self-defense classes, she steps up when the second girl is attacked, but is still full of self-doubt and guilt). Reading this is in the wake of the Steubenville rape case probably elevated my emotions a little; however, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it along with other upper-YA lit that tackles the same subject.