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…
Contemporary YA can be a bit of a hit or miss for me but I thought The Exact Opposite of Okay had a really intriguing premise. After just a few chapters I was completely hooked on this funny and fascinating book. It is without a doubt my most favourite contemporary read ever.
This book is fun, clever and deals with a lot of important issues. (I mean what more could you really ask for?) Izzy is a teenager who is hoping to be a script writer when she’s older. She’s a comic and she’s hilariously funny. When a website surfaces claiming she is a ‘world class whore’ and highlights all the details of her sex life, Izzy is made to feel ashamed of her sex life and struggles to deal with the hateful comments. The book really delves into issues around slut shaming and the differing ways that men and women are treated regarding sex.
I loved everything about this book. I know a lot of the time people will say ‘oh this book is so funny’ but honestly I was laughing so hard at some moments that my boyfriend had to come and check that I was okay. The book is written as if Izzy is writing entries in her blog and I really liked this style. It’s also peppered with references to music and pop culture and they made me love this book even more (especially Dumbledore the dog).
This book is fresh and original and features such a fascinating protagonist. Izzy is sarcastic, brave, stubborn and brilliant and she’s definitely one of my new favourite characters. I loved that the book explored her relationships with her grandmother as well as her relationships with her two best friends, Ajita and Danny. I absolutely flew through this book because I just couldn’t put it down. It deals with important issues in such an interesting way and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Laura Steven writes next.