Ignore the icky cover—this one’s worth reading.
College was probably the time in my life that most influenced the sort of person I am as a “real adult.” (Note: Adulthood is highly overrated.) It’s where my mind was opened about the world beyond the U.S., where I discovered that Women’s Studies was a legit major and where I met my super-cute husband who also knows how to fix stuff around the house.
Yet college remains an elusive setting in fiction.
Yes, it appears in high-brow literary fiction on occasion, but that’s not usually my wheelhouse. Young adult fiction is limited to high school settings and most adult fiction ignores this formative and interesting time. The only book I can think of in recent memory set in college is Charmed Thirds/Jessica Darling #3, which I dearly love. Oh, and Jennifer Echols’ Love Story, which was just an okay read for me. So, when Jane at Dear Author recommended Tammara Webber’s Easy as a good read set in college, I clicked “Buy Now” without even downloading a sample.
Easy is set in a southern state college and follows Jacqueline through the first semester of her sophomore year. She’s at the state school despite being an excellent musician because that’s where her boyfriend of three years, Kennedy, decided to attend as a legacy. At the beginning of the novel, two things happen:
- Kennedy breaks up with Jacqueline; and
- One of Kennedy’s fraternity brothers, Buck, attacks and attempts to rape her in the parking lot after a frat party.
Jacqueline is saved from Buck by a senior who’s in her economics class (he’s always in the back of class, drawing in his sketchbook), Lucas. However, despite his protests, she doesn’t report the crime. She then starts seeing Lucas all over campus (he holds down several odd jobs to pay his way through school) and her roommate Erin (a character I was quite surprised that I liked so very much) encourages her to pursue Lucas as a bad boy rebound fling. At the same time, she’s assigned an economics tutor, Landon, because she missed two weeks of class and a midterm, with whom she starts a kind of, sort of, maybe flirtation over email.
While this makes it sound like easy is the story of Jacqueline finding a new boy, what Easy is really about is Jacqueline finding her way back to herself.