Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend, an aspiring comedian, and a person who believes that milk shakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups are major food groups. But after she’s caught in a compromising position with the son of a politician, it seems like everyone around her is eager to give her a new label: slut.
Izzy is certain that the whole thing will blow over and she can get back to worrying about how she doesn’t reciprocate her best friend Danny’s feelings for her and wondering how she is ever going to find a way out of their small town. Only it doesn’t.
And while she’s used to laughing her way out of any situation, as she finds herself first the center of high school gossip and then in the middle of a national scandal, it’s hard even for her to find humor in the situation.
Izzy may be determined not to let anyone else define who she is, but that proves easier said than done when it seems like everyone has something to say about her.
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My Rating: 4/ 5 stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is such an important book. I’ve read many feminist books and while some of them have been really great, there always seems to be a struggle to balance tackling these complicated issues while also maintaining a coherent and solid plot. The Exact Opposite of Okay discusses so many pertinent issues while still having a well crafted plot and strong characters. The discussion of these feminist issues felt very natural which is really important when reading a book like this. This book had so many amazing points and it was done in such an eloquent manner. It’s an incredibly timely book that can be used as a starting point for discussion on multiple relevant issues.
One of the things that made this book so unique was the main character, Izzy. Her humor and view of the world made everything that she went through all the more interesting. She was strong, stuck to her beliefs and didn’t let anyone define who she was. She was such an amazingly strong character and incredibly confident in who she was as a person. These personality traits made the moments where she was very vulnerable and close to breaking down all the more powerful.
As I previously stated, so many important topics were discussed in this book. These subjects include slutshaming, consent, “nice” guys” and revenge porn. I absolutely loved reading about Izzy’s view on all these topics and felt that the way they were approached was very tactful and it was seamlessly woven into the plot. It was also really interesting because not only did she have to deal with shit from strangers but also from people who she genuinely cared about. I really liked how she grappled with these betrayals.
In addition to an amazing main character, there was some really great side characters. I loved Izzy’s grandmother. She was so funny and it was so sweet how supportive she was of Izzy. I also really appreciated the fact that they were struggling as poverty rep in YA is still very limited. I also really loved Ajita’s character arc. I really hope we get to see more of her in the sequel. One thing that kind of rubbed me in the wrong way was that Izzy accidentally outs Ajita which didn’t really seem essential to the plot. I personally could have done without the forced outing. Nonetheless, I think it did show how flawed Izzy was which I think is pretty important. I just wish that there was a less harmful way to demonstrate that.
Giveaway (US ONLY)
Starts: 5th June 2019
Ends: 19th June 2019