I’ve probably put off writing this review for way too long. But how am I supposed to accurately tell you how amazing this book is? I have no words.
The Exact Opposite Of Okay by Laura Steven
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…
When I just finished reading this book, my first reaction was “this book is going to change the world” and I still stand by that statement. There have been a lot of books with feminist themes and about feminist topics but none of them have been like this. None of which have had the potential to be this influential (at least not to the extent that I’ve read). This book is so powerful and inspirational, but also so necessary in this time. Slut-shaming is the norm in this society: girls who have a lot of sex is looked down upon, but at the same time girls who haven’t had sex are “prudes”. AND WHY?
I obsess over who might be looking at these pictures of me – bare, exposed, eighteen – and judging me for them. Judging my body; my choices; my life. I know this will blow over eventually. But until then, it’s going to be hell.
Laura Steven’s writing style is refreshing, new, shameless. Izzy, the character she created unlike any other character I’ve read before. I am struggling to form the right words to describe Izzy’s character. She is incredibly funny, unafraid to make fun of herself, she is bold, fierce and honest. She is shameless when it comes to sex and her sex-positive ways come under sudden scrutiny when pictures of her end up on the internet. Beside Izzy, there are some amazing side-characters: her best friend Ajita, who I adore to pieces, her other best friend Danny, and her grandmother Betty. I love how all the relationships are complex and imperfect. There are a lot of pretty sides but not all of them are pretty.
It could be worse, I suppose. It could always be worse. I’m not quite sure how exactly, but Betty often sas I am so optimistic it borders on the sociopathic, and now is as good a time as any to look on the bright side. I’ve been through the death of both parents on the same day. I won’t let the words of a pathetic bully leave a scar.
When I started to read this book, I was in a horrible mood. I was in one of the worst moods I had probably ever been in. And this book dragged me out of it. It was so good, that it made me forget about everything that was going on in my life. Though the story is about a lot of ugly things in this society, it also let me escape from my own ugly stuff. And I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I honestly could go on and on about how much I loved this book and how much you should all read it, but I think you should just experience it yourself.
Slut-shaming is not really about women’s sexuality. It is grounded in the belief that men have the right to assert themselves, and women do not.
I am giving this books 5 stars because I honestly couldn’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about this book. I couldn’t recommend it more and will not rest until I’ve made everyone I know read this book. It’s an instant-favourite and YOU SHOULD (PRE-)ORDER THIS BOOK NOW. RIGHT NOW, I’m telling you. GO.