I’ll admit that back in March when The Exact Opposite of Okay was published I was slightly worried about reading it because everyone loved it and I was scared I might not like it as much. Anyway fast forward to August and I’ve finally read it and I wish I hadn’t left it as long as I did! This is by far one of my absolute favourite contemporary reads because the feels from it were unreal. But anyway, full review below!
Title: The Exact Opposite of Okay
Series: Untitled #1
Author: Laura Steven
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Release Date: 8th March 2018
Source: Paperback purchased
‘Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has…‘
Words can’t really express how much I loved this book… Izzy was such a great main character, I loved her funny little quips throughout and Ajita is such an awesome best friend. The story is told from Izzy’s point of view and in first person, it’s also set up in a way which makes it look like excerpts taken from her personal blog which was a pretty smart way to display it as it lets the reader see her feelings and emphasise with her better.
The synopsis describes Izzy as an aspiring comic but in all honesty that doesn’t really do her justice in terms of humour, personally I found her hilarious through the majority of the story and I seriously admired her way of coping with the horrible bullying that she’s put through. She’s one of the strongest characters I’ve met in a book but it was heartbreaking to see her struggle with what she’s put through. And she’s also a big fan of Harry Potter, to the point where her dog is called Dumbledore and there are a lot of references to it throughout also (which is always a plus for me to see references in a contemporary).
She starts off as a very confident person, happily transparent about her sex life to her friends but ends up being subjected to viral bullying, including having personal photos of herself shared on a website aimed solely at bullying her. Of course, the website also mentions a couple of guys she’s had relations with, but they pretty much get let off the hook completely. Izzy goes through some seriously difficult things because of the website, but she comes away strong and the friendships that she ends with are so fantastic to see.
But what makes this so perfect is how much it highlights just how wrong “slut-shaming” is throughout, it really hurt to see what Izzy had to go through and how NOTHING BAD HAPPENS TO THE MALES and honestly it hurt because it’s usually just so true, even down to celebrity affairs the focus is always on what the female did wrong and in general society the female always gets the blame too, regardless of if it’s in school or work, anywhere.
This story is overall so empowering though, there are times when you’ll want to cry with Izzy but by the end the tears will be tears of happiness (and some yays, lots of nodding etc.) so if you’re after a contemporary read this summer and haven’t picked this book up yet, what are you even waiting for?
In the UK? Order this book from Book Depository for free delivery!
I was lucky to meet Laura at YALC this year! I love the cute little message of keep biting back. I was about 100 pages in when I met her though and I wish I’d finished it in time so I could have said more about it, but hopefully she’ll be at another event I attend (and hopefully I’ll have been able to read her second book beforehand)!
Have you read this yet?
What did you think?
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