The Exact Opposite of Okay By Laura Steven Spoiler-Free Review

Hey everyone!!

I’ve got a review for ‘The Exact Opposite of Okay‘ and let me tell you now it is an extraordinary book that I loved and I can’t recommend it enough. (Please read this book!!)

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35817737. sy475 The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

Published: March 8th 2018 by Electric Monkey

Genre: YA Contemporary, feminist, first in the series

Trigger Warnings:

sexism, slut-shaming, male gaze, sexual objectification, small bit of homophobia (not in a good light)

Synopsis: “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…”

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MY REVIEW

YES. YES. YES. I ADORED THIS BOOK!!

The Exact Opposite of Okay is a story where we follow Izzy O’Neill who is an 18-year old student living her life just fine but then it all changes when a site brings up photos of her having sex with a Senator’s son and talks about all her sexual behaviour which obviously changes her life in more ways than one.

The book talks about being a woman in a modern day society very specifically to Izzy O’Neill’s experience but it reflects so much about our society and just so many of the things that Izzy goes through is so real and Steven was able to capture so much. It talked about so many things. I was getting angry, I was getting disgusted and I was getting empowered. 

This is a modern day feminist book that so many should read– to chant along with Izzy and to learn something.

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This book is told in first person narrative and it is told as if Izzy is writing about her life on her private blog so you can a very first-hand view into her story and you get a more informal tone as this is how 18 year old would write about her life. But she is a comedian and likes to make a joke about everything giving this book a really engaging, easy to read, light-hearted tone but it still able to hit the hard points so well and with a lot of emotion.

A big theme of this book is the sexist society that we live and we specifically look at the way slut-shaming occurs. As the photos and stories of Izzy’s sex life are released it is then followed by the response of many different people– students, teachers etc. and as it involves a politician son the stories gathers more and more chatter which unfortunately is mostly negative throwing out the word ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ as much as possible.

This is an awful and horrible experience but what I felt like Steven was able to do was build a full picture of the after, not just the relentless name calling and ‘slut-shaming’. It shakes up everything in her life. From how teachers view her, to people who she consider friendly with her (if not all the way to friends), her friend’s parents, judges in a competition and a boy who had a ‘crush’ on her. It talks about how one incident effects everything and isn’t just the worse people who can hurt you. It when people are nice and think you owe them something because of it which is a very real thing but not always talked about so I was glad to see it was. It is the small things as well as the outright bullying that exists.

It was a hard time and it did highlight a lot of bad behaviour (that people just don’t call out) but it also made all the best people shine brighter. It was full of characters that you can easily love. They are wonderful characters and just make my heart warm SO much. This is also a funny book, the topic isn’t but the book itself is because of the narration and the characters. It still handles the hard topics with the right amount of care though. The friendship with Ajita is amazing. Ajita is amazing. She was a loyal friend and I loved seeing how much Izzy valued that. It included some good friend appreciation in this and talked about how to be a better friend which I liked.

A big part of this book is talking about sexism but it talks about many different things as well, it doesn’t just stick to one inequality. Now Izzy is a white straight girl and that is definitely the experience we are facing in this book as it would be different for different people. But she also had money problems and I think it talked about those really realistically. Also with Ajita, her best friend, we begin to touch on her character and what she has to face with. She made this really good point about privilege which I liked.

I like that this book talked about many different topics from sexism, racism, money problems and how it affects your dreams, body image, sex talk, revenge porn. I think the book treated each point with care and got the right message across. It was well put together as much as it was frustrating to see the injustice the characters showed how it was wrong and helped each other.

Izzy, Ajita, Meg, Carson, Betty and Dumbledore (the dog) are ALL amazing characters and I can’t wait to see more from them!!

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This book handled the situation with so much care and pure brilliance that it made a very real story to read, it had a funny and lovable protagonist that made the book so engaging (she did have quite a British voice considering it was set in America as revenge porn laws are different there but I liked it as I’m British), a great friendship and a sweet romance. It had everything I wanted and more so I can’t recommend this enough. IT. WAS. AMAZING. It is definitely 5 stars if you haven’t guessed that already.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

 

Have you read The Exact Opposite of Okay? What did you think of it? Do you want to read it? (please tell me if you do read it)
What are you favourite feminist stories/characters? If you’ve got any recommendations similar to this please let me know.

23 thoughts on “The Exact Opposite of Okay By Laura Steven Spoiler-Free Review

  1. Ok, you’ve convinced me- I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE ASAP.
    (not only for Dumbledore the dog, but that’s a bonus)
    We need more books that actually, seriously talk about ‘slut’-shaming because it’s a horrible occurrence that needs to be understood. Izzy sounds so wonderful and my heart breaks for her 😣! I hope I can read this soon!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear and I really hope you love this book!! I would probably read this book just for Dumbledore the dog to be honest, haha!!
      Yes I agree this was the first book I read that talked about slut-shaming and it was so important and it is horrible so I wish everyone gets to read this book to think about it and better understand it.
      Izzy is great and I’m so exciting to read more from her in the next book!! She does have a really rough time and I just want her to be okay!!
      I hope you get to read it soon so you can shout about it with me!! 💙💙

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yessss for Dumbledore the dog!
        I agree, we need more books like this and we need more people to read them! I think that they could make a huge difference.
        yay I will definitely do so! 💛

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I know, I looked at her book coming out next year and there is a dog called Sirius so I am loving all the Harry Potter inspired pet names, haha!!
          Yes I think so many people can learn something from reading this and it can make a big difference!! 💙

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I hadn’t heard of this book before! Gotta say, that cover is gorgeous! Man, I think I need this book. The slut-shaming is real with my 7th graders. Glad you loved this one so much!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I am glad I got to bring this book to your attention!! The cover is great, it’s so loud and colourful– I think it suits the story quite well too.
      Yes I think it deals with slut-shaming really well and I think it is an important topic to be talked about as it is really common and normalised by society so I really hope everyone gets to read this to be honest!!
      Thank you, I hope you love it too if you decide to pick it up!!

      Like

  3. This sounds like an awesome read, I’m glad you liked it so much! I just finished a graphic novel called Speak, which is sort of similar to this. It follows the life of a girl at high school after she gets raped at a party. It’s darker than this, but it was so so good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you– I really did love it and I would recommend it to everyone!! I haven’t heard of that graphic novel, it does sound like a horrific event but it does need to be talked about and when it is handled in the right way can make a very powerful story. I will look out for Speak. Thank you for telling me about it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, this looks really good! I hadn’t heard of it before, but I added it to my TBR after reading this post. 🤗I have been wanting to read more modern day feminist books, so I’m excited that this exists and that you enjoyed it. Great review, Sophie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay I am so glad I have brought this book to your attention as I love it and want everyone to read it!! 💛 I like reading modern day feminist books as well and I think this is a great one. Izzy and her friends are all wonderful!! Thank you so much, Olivia 💛!! I hope you enjoy this book if you decide to pick it up!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed this book so much ❤️ it can feel so frustrating when the injustices that a character has to face get under your skin but it’s also a sign of a good book that it can affect you like that. I find it amazing that the author managed to invoke those feelings and humour too though. It’s already on my TBR but I’ll definitely have to read this soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really did!! I agree when I am getting annoyed by events or a certain character in a book I see it as a good sign as it is able to make you feel a strong emotion and move you. The injustice in this book was made all the more frustrating by the fact that it happens in real life so much as well.
      Same– I thought it was impressive that she could include humour whilst talking about a heavy topic but it was done really well and it didn’t feel as if there were any cheap jokes in there, it was all handled really well which was important.
      Aw.. yay I’m glad!! I hope you love this book too when you check it out!! 💛💛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes that’s so true. And that definitely adds to it as well. I think it’s a good thing that these sort of issues seem to be popping up in books now though – at least awareness is getting raised.
        That’s amazing and I definitely need to see how that’s managed. She just be a truly talented author.
        Thank you ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so, so happy to hear you enjoyed this book so much, Sophie! I’ve heard so many great things about it and it sounds like such a fun, important, empowering read. I can’t wait to read it 😀
    Fantastic review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes thank you, I really did enjoy reading this book a lot!! I would definitely consider it a fun, empowering read and I’m so happy that you have heard lots of good things as I think it definitely deserves it!!
      I really hope you love it when you get to read it!! ❤
      Thank you so much!!

      Liked by 1 person

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