Josie Moraine wants out of The Big Easy - she needs more than New Orleans can offer. Known locally as a brothel prostitute's daughter, she dreams of life at an elite college, far away from here.
But then a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie caught between her ambition and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans is luring Josie deeper in as she searches for the truth, and temptation beckons at every turn.
Known only as a whore's daughter, Josie wants out of New Orleans. She moved out of her mother's madam's house when she was 11 and has been saving money to move further away ever since. Only problem is her mother is a thief as well as inconsiderate and shacked up with an idiot criminal.
Sepetys addressed many sensitive issues, from prostitution to mental illness, from social class to homosexuality. All the secrets the Quarter held was impressive and very gripping but I cannot blame Josie for wanting out. Josie was smart and her single-mindedness to get into Smith's college was admirable. She had a very simple voice but I rooted for her from the start. However, I really hated her mother; she had no right to talk to Josie the way she did, she was irresponsible and often plain stupid. Luckily, Josie had plenty of amazing friends that supported her in a way her mother never did.
I've always wanted to go to New Orleans and even though Josie hated it there, Sepetys' descriptions were so evocative, I could practically smell the dankness of the streets. She also described the stark differences between the French Quarter and Uptown, from dark streets full of laughter to smart but lacking character. I slipped easily into Josie's story and her struggle to get on her feet, which proved tougher than she thought! Between threats from the mob and a victim of theft, Josie had her setbacks but if anyone deserved a happy ending, it was her!
Published 7th March 2013 by Penguin Books.