A sense of victimhood can be found in many of the female central characters in novels ostensibly aimed at women, and I find it a worrying trend – particularly when such books can be so influential on young women readers. So when Tammara Webber’s Easy begins with our heroine Jacqueline being brutally attacked, almost raped, but then rescued by the guy who will soon become her love interest, there’s the potential concern that this will be the ultimate in victim-y romance stories. Thankfully, that’s not the case in this well-considered love story. Yes, Lucas rescues Jacqueline that night, but – if it’s not too Double Gloucester to say so – as the story progresses, she rescues him as well.
Webber has created a mysterious, sexy, tattooed, pierced, brooding, artistic, super-intelligent dream-guy in Lucas, but if he seems like a fantasy, it’s not in the sense of being distractingly unrealistic, but instead he’s a character that you can feel leaping out off the page, and into your— Well, you get the picture. He’s hot. His seduction techniques involve a sketchbook. It’s very… persuasive. But he also has secrets, and he may not be the person he claims to be. This all feeds tantalisingly into the story’s twists and turns, as we learn along with Jacqueline that guys don’t get all sexy and broody without something fairly significant to brood over. And, like, genetics, for the sexy part. Or something.
In any case, Jacqueline is also a relatable central character, one who you pull for – yes, she’s vulnerable, at college having just broken up with her boyfriend, feeling a little at sea, not to mention the whole brutal attack and all, but she’s never icky or eye-roll inducing. She finds her way to fighting victimhood, with Lucas’ help and her own strength, and through her you can feel every emotion, every high and low – and there are plenty of those in Easy. The mystery of what’s making Lucas that enigmatic, serious, ooh-wanna-mother-him-but-hmm-not-really-cause-then-all-the-other-sexy-stuff-would-be-kinda-gross-and-possibly-illegal guy is very cleverly handled, and with each reveal, the balance of who’s keeping secrets from whom makes for a compelling read. You really want Jacqueline and Lucas’ relationship to succeed, and it’s so refreshing to have a sense of the guy being protective but not patronising – he seeks to empower women, and so does this story. So much so, it actually made me want to take self-defence classes. Must get on that…
Cringe Factor 1.5/5
Is it Hot in Here? 3/5
For the Love of Feminism! 5/5
Overall Tasty Goodness 4/5