Wednesday, August 15

Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay

The Exact Opposite of Okay
Laura Steven

Published By: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: March 8, 2018
Date Read: July 2, 2018
Genre: YA - Contemporary
Source: Bought
Format: Paperback
Pages: 335

From Goodreads:
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...

"Look at Vaughan. He's done everything I've done. He drank beer, had sex, sent a nude picture. And he just got an offer from Stanford. Why is his life worth more than mine, just because he's rich and male?"

The Exact Opposite of Okay is a book that I discovered while at YALC 2017, and it was almost a year later when I finally started to read it. I wasn't entirely sure what I would think about this book. I am not a major lover of contemporary novels but after hearing such great things I knew I had to give this book a chance. I am so glad that I did.

The Exact Opposite of Okay follows Izzy, high school student who after a drunken night that ended in two hook-ups and then some nude pictures sent later than week finds herself dubbed the 'slut'. With a website dedicated to hating on her, Izzy finds herself in the midst of a sex scandal. Can she overcome all of the hate she is getting from her classmates? And just who is behind the website?

Honestly, I thought the first 100 pages of this book were pretty slow. There had to be something about it that kept me reading as usually if I'm not enjoying a book I put it down after 50-100 pages but with this one I kept going. It was slow to start but then once we hit the 100-page mark, and the existance of the website, I couldn't put it down. I was so taken up in this story and found myself loving it.

The Exact Opposite of Okay is hilarious. Told from the point of view of aspiring comedian, Izzy, she is completely hilarious and flawed. I loved this about Izzy. Not only did she make mistakes at the start (I mean, she did sleep with two people in one night, and one of them outside in public) but she kept making mistakes as she dealt with the backlash. She was flawed but she owned her mistakes and took the flack for them. It was really great to go through this journey with her and I really loved seeing her grow as a person without changing her whole personality.

The message behind this book is so amazingly important. It's been dubbed as a 'feminist' book and if that puts you off I urge you to give it a go. I usually avoid books that have been dubbed as such as I expect them to be overly man-hating feminism but this one isn't. It's all about equality and how men and women should be treated the same and how it's not okay for one of them to be congratulated for having a lot of sexual experiences and women knocked down for the same thing. It also tackles the important issues of bullying and cyber-bullying and about the effect that can have on someone's mental health... particularly teenagers. It's got such a great message throughout this book and I am so glad I read it.

I didn't really expect much from The Exact Opposite of Okay but I absolutely loved it. It's meaningful and hilarious. Everything you could ever want from a good summer read. If you're looking for a new contemporary to make you laugh then I highly recommend The Exact Opposite of Okay.

"What do I want to be now? Bold. Fierce. Honest. A fighter. A revolutionary. A bitch. Because the way the world treats teenage girls – as sluts, as objects, as bitches – is not okay. It’s the exact opposite of okay."


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