April 05, 2018

REVIEW| The Exact Opposite of Okay

The Exact Opposite of Okay
Laura Steven

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UK Publisher: Electric Monkey
UK Release Date: March 8th, 2018


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...


So, you're interested in picking up this book and you're here to read if its any good. Asking that all important question of: Is it as promising as that enticing cover? 

I want to take a minute out, before getting to the actual review, to just speak about this cover. Isn't it glorious?! 

The artist team behind it is Good Wives and Warriors, and they're amazing. To the point that I've been eyeing up some of their colouring books for a while. Anyway, their style works fantastically at creating my favourite kind of covers. The ones that I can sit and stare at for hours on end, both before and after reading, picking out the small and new details.

Let me explain. Be calm. 

I want to print it and plaster it on my pin board. I might have already done that.

I picked up an ARC back in July 2017, whilst at YALC. At first I was disinterested because YA contemps are rarely my thing... then cue the hYPE. The word Feminism was being thrown around; the hashtag #BitchesBiteBack grabbing my eye and then I went home the first day and found it all over my Twitter feed. 

Yes, I was dying to read it.

An this book. Oh my F@?!ing God, THIS book. 

When I finished it, I posted on my Facebook wall- something I rarely do when it comes to speaking about books- and said "this is going to big". Almost a year later, I still stand by that statement. 

It was just absolutely brilliant and poignant and funny. Teen girls, young adults, even the older generation, everywhere, needs to buy or borrow a copy.  N.O.W.

Izzy O'Neill finds herself in deep water when photographs are leaked, and a national scandal ensues. This could have very easily been heavy and uncomfortable to read, but Laura Stevens applies a blend of humour that kept me engaged from the start to end.

I am finding it harder and harder to find teen inner monologues that stand out above the rest and that's exactly how I would describe Izzy's.  Her constant inappropriate jokes, fit so closely to mine at that age and ongoing that I instantly connected with Izzy and her conflicts.

Although there is a sequel due out next year, I really loved how this was ended. It wasn't all fireworks and fairy tale finesse, but a fresh air to what I'm sick of reading.

Tackling slut-shaming, imperfect relationships and why us bitches need to bite back, The Exact Opposite of Okay tackles a variety of topics, both in the grand "herstory" of modern teen life.

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