I'm going to be completely honest (as always) and tell you that I was in two minds whether to request this book for review after reading the blurb; it sounded intriguing and something different from the norm, but also a bit of a touchy subject. Touchy seems such an inadequate word there, though I'm not sure that 'delicate' which is the only other one springing to mind, is even better. See I guess, that part of my problem, and I'm sure for many others, is that death is such a, well, "touchy" subject. Anyway, where I'm going with this is I'm very pleased I did actually take the plunge and I'm grateful (thank you to Quercus and Netgalley for the copy!) I have had the chance to review it.

Not that it was an immediately smooth ride, the beginning had me smiling, but then by the dénouement of the first assisted suicide, the tears were well and truly flowing. Not even polite tears running down the face, no I'm talking full-on proper crying. I'll admit that I did then have a little internal battle with myself as to whether I could actually do this, and by 'this' I mean continue reading the book rather than any struggle with what was happening. But I steeled myself and journeyed on.

I have absolutely no moral dilemma with what was happening at Mercy Hospital, the lives and decisions are clearly the patients' own, they, on the whole, had the support of those around them, so who am I to stand by and judge? Who know what we would do until we're in that situation. We can hypothesise and imagine,, but, well you know, "Never judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins".

If you haven't been unfortunate (now that IS a totally inadequate word) enough to lose someone close, and dare I say it, see the fucking disease that is cancer, as Amsterdam puts it go "through him like drain cleaner", then you are, very, very blessed. This truly horrendous disease seems to be everywhere. I honestly don't think I know anyone who hasn't be affected by it somewhere in their lives, be it friends or family. And I think this was my initial struggle with the book, and I hope I'm not spoiling it here, but the first scene is of a man, Teddy, who has been ravaged by cancer. Maybe if it had been another disease I could have acclimatised myself to it first - though even as I'm writing this I know that is pretty much baloney. I guess at least this way I was facing my demons pretty much head-on. And I shan't go into it here, not because I'm ashamed or embarrassed in any way sharing it, or because I would not be able to see the page amidst my tears, but because it is private, in that repressed English way. I shall say that I (forgive me) fucking hate cancer with every ounce of my being, and every day, every single day I miss my Dad. Anyway, (wiping eyes furiously) this isn't just a book about cancer, no there are lots more horrendous diseases to familiarise yourself with!

And, actually, whilst I'm still thinking about it, I don't know if The Easy Way Out, is the right title. I can see the way in which it's meant but I think it takes fecking courage to opt for this ending. Yes being able to choose the time and manner of your death empowers you, yes you get a pain-free exit, but oh the courage, or the desperation it must take.

Anyway, now, however many words in we are, I realise that I've told you practically nothing about the book and what is probably more than acceptable (or wanted) of the workings of my erratic brain. Aside of, or perhaps because of, the rollercoaster of emotions experienced, I did enjoy this book. Evan, as the protagonist, is a likeable character, caring for his mother Viv, trying to find a way to help patients in one way or another, and seemingly shying away from lovers/friends, Lon and Simon. I couldn't help but think that perhaps he might have benefitted from a little does of therapy or something that would have helped his apparent inability to be loved. Anyway there I go again, I apologise.

Is it a book about trying to get the most out of life? A book about love and what it is to be loved? It's probably both those things and more. Yes at times it's very sad (though perhaps worth noting here that my eyes are I think hot-wired to leak at every opportunity), but it is also funny, and a little bit raunchy at times. It certainly gives you lots to talk and think about, in case you hadn't guess that already!

Please, read this, I think armed with tissues you'll get a lot more out of it, than just the great read it is.