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AmberJ

Following the Leader (Amber J.)

Just along for the ride

Easy - Tammara Webber “Three things are necessary for an assault: an assailant, a victim, and opportunity. Remove opportunity and you take a huge leap in reducing the likelihood of the assault.”Easy is about getting it wrong the first time, in love and life, and getting a second chance to make things right. It's about choices - good ones, bad ones, the ones you don't make. It's also about mistakes, and what we learn from them. It's about learning to forgive yourself, about feeling helpless and becoming empowered. I think my main issue with this book is that I didn't really learn anything, which, for me, is the mark of a "good" book. I like when books teach me something I don't already know, and Easy didn't have much to offer...well, except "the lawnmower" lol.Unfortunately (or fortunately), I've already learned all the lessons the characters are taught along this journey. I already know it's hard to exorcise personal demons, and what it's like to have parts of your past tethered to your present. I already know what it's like to be in a scary situation, because more often than not, in real life, you have to come to your own rescue. And just about every woman has experienced heartbreak in her life and has found a way to recover from a failed relationship (and an ex you can't quite shake off lol). I've already been thru the adolescent years and college and grad school (which aren't all that different to be honest lol). Webber does accomplish something that no YA author has been able to do in a long, long time: she created a female protagonist I actually...like. By the end of just about every YA novel I've ever read, I want to choke the female MC or lock her in a closet or something (which I know is a little inappropriate to say based on the subject matter covered in this novel, but it's true, sorry), and I only tolerate her existence as a conduit to the other, more likable, characters. But I could relate to Jacqueline: I played an instrument growing up and it was nice to take a stroll down memory lane through hours of practice and participating in recitals and supporting other musicians; I know what it's like to have been in one relationship in your life, which also lasted several years and ended unceremoniously, which makes it even worse :(I like the way Jacqueline thinks (even though I didn't agree with her decision to blatantly invade someone's privacy). But most of all I like that she was real. She wasn't disgracefully weak (sup Bella Swan) and she wasn't some ass-kicking assassin (hey Penryn and Katniss) - she was just a normal young woman: brave, vulnerable, smart, foolish, generous, needy, loving, loved, and all the other beautiful and wretched things that make us human.The thing that irked me the most about this novel: Lucas. Lucas, who comes complete with the stereotypical bad-boy accoutrements: tattoos, a leather jacket, a motorcycle, etc. He definitely does prove his worth the moment we meet him (as promised by the synopsis) but after his display of awesomeness in the first chapter, he trips and falls into a vat of he's-fuckin'-perfect and then stumbles over the tortured soul/traumatic past trope along the way, all while holding down like FOUR jobs mind you lol. But it doesn't stop there (prepare to swoon ladies): he teaches martial arts (ooh), he's an artist (aah), and he has a kitty-cat (aww). Lucas gives explanations for all of these attributes, but it's still just a bit much.The only reason I made it all the way through this book is because Webber is a great storyteller - the writing is simple yet expressive, descriptive without an overabundance of details. She's designed an engaging narrator and relatable character in Jacqueline. And I absolutely love the supporting cast: Erin the BFF and Benji the classmate and even Kennedy's hilarious younger brother (who we only meet briefly). Halfway thru this novel I was so sure I would give it at least 4 stars, but then the rest of the story happened and...*sigh*