Title: The Exact Opposite of Okay
Author: Laura Steven
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Bitingly funny and shockingly relevant, The Exact Opposite of Okay is a bold, brave, and necessary read for fans of Louise O’Neill and Jennifer Mathieu.
Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend, an aspiring comedian, and a person who believes that milk shakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups are major food groups. But after she’s caught in a compromising position with the son of a politician, it seems like everyone around her is eager to give her a new label: slut.
Izzy is certain that the whole thing will blow over and she can get back to worrying about how she doesn’t reciprocate her best friend Danny’s feelings for her and wondering how she is ever going to find a way out of their small town. Only it doesn’t.
And while she’s used to laughing her way out of any situation, as she finds herself first the center of high school gossip and then in the middle of a national scandal, it’s hard even for her to find humor in the situation.
Izzy may be determined not to let anyone else define who she is, but that proves easier said than done when it seems like everyone has something to say about her.
I really enjoyed this story.
It was sometimes upsetting. Izzy was severely bullied after compromising photos were posted online. It escalated all the way to national news. While Izzy was bullied, the boy featured in the images was not, which demonstrated a gender bias when it comes to sex. Girls are punished for being sexual, while boys are rewarded.
This story had a strong feminist theme. Izzy did put herself at risk by taking the photos, but the media and her peers escalated it by “slut-shaming” her. Even her teachers held it against her. She had been through a lot, but she definitely didn’t deserve that. It made me angry while I was reading the story, because it is so realistic and I could imagine this happening in real life.
On a lighter note, Izzy was a hilarious narrator. I laughed out loud many times. I particularly loved a pick-up line she used: “What’s your patronus?” She said that the question would tell her if a guy is worth her time, because he would know what she was referring to (Harry Potter) and he would already have an answer. I think that’s a great line!
This is a powerful story with a strong feminist message.
Thank you HarperTeen for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
A Girl Called Shameless (Izzy O’Neill #2) by Laura Steven
Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman
About the Author:
Laura Steven is an author, journalist and screenwriter from the northernmost town in England. The Exact Opposite of Okay, her YA debut, was published by Egmont in March 2018. The sequel, A Girl Called Shameless, will follow in 2019.
As well as mentoring aspiring authors through schemes like Pitch Wars, Laura works for Mslexia, a non-profit organisation supporting women writers. She graduated with Distinction from her MA in Creative Writing in 2017, and her TV pilot Clickbait – a mockumentary about journalists at a viral news agency – was a finalist in British Comedy’s 2016 Sitcom Mission.
Laura is represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary and Media Inc.
Prize: Win (1) of (2) copy of THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF OKAY by Laura Steven (US Only)
Blog Tour Schedule:
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Thank you The Fantastic Flying Book Club and HarperTeen for letting me participate in this blog tour.
Have you read The Exact Opposite of Okay? What did you think of it?