Release date – 8th March 2018
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is one of those books that EVERYONE should read; it’s the kind of book that should be studied in schools, because the subjects that this book deals with are so important and relevant. It explores the Friend Zone, revenge porn, the self-entitled Nice Guys. It explores privileges. It explores how, in our culture, boys are congratulated for their sexual conquests – they are ‘lads’, while girls are whores and sluts when they engage in the same behaviour.
After a party in which she has two one night stands, Izzy’s life is turned upside down when someone creates a blog dedicated to her, ah, whoredom. And worse? The blog is complete with pictures of her having sex on a bench, and also of a nude sent to a senator’s son, in reply to his dick pic. And while Izzy is made into a social pariah, demonised by the media and attacked by politicians, the boys who had sex with her and sent her explicit pictures? Still on the basketball team, offered a place to study at Stanford.
This book really makes you think. It makes you think about how much pressure is on girls and women; pressure to look a certain way, to act a certain way, and speak a certain way. The injustices that Izzy faced made me so angry; she was constantly put down, constantly torn apart and judged by people she didn’t know. Hell, even some of her teachers judged her and leered at her.
When I first started The Exact Opposite of Okay, I wasn’t entirely sure I liked the writing style (Izzy tells the story through blog posts, with the occasional gag or anecdote added in), but I absolutely adored it once I got into the story!
Izzy is definitely one of the strongest heroines I’ve read about. She cries, and she lets things get to her, but she doesn’t give up, despite wanting to sometimes. Despite literally having people tell her to go and kill herself, she carries on going. And, when she screws something up quite magnificently, she actually holds her hands up and admits it. She doesn’t moan about how the world has it out for her, but takes responsibility for her actions and tries to make it right again. I adored her, in all her sarcastic glory.
Ajita, Izzy’s best friend, also needs a mention because she is a low key super star and you’re gonna fall deeply and madly in love with her. Her friendship with Izzy is probably the best female friendship I’ve ever come across; they know each other so well, they love each other so much, and they roast each other constantly. Their banter is a blessing this world does not deserve, and I can only hope to someday have half the friendship that they do.
This book is so important, and it’s done so, so well. I’m going to shove it into the faces of everyone I come across.
*thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free copy*