Shameless, Funny, Thoughtful … A Little gem! Review of The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

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…

 

Review

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” _ Eleanor Roosevelt

 

5 “pure brilliance” stars

 

I am madly in love with this book!

It is clever, witty, moving, smart, bold under the cover of a seemingly innocent YA story!

I think every teenager and professor and parent should read this book!

I also give Betty the gold medal of supportive, unconventional and witty grand-mother.

And I want to be Izzy O’Neil when I grow up!

 

Let’s rewind here.

I decided to read that book after having read Sim (alias Simant @flippingthroughthepages) raving about it on IG and her blog! As Laura Steven will attend YALC UK I decided to give it a go.

By the time you’ll read this review I’ll be either en route, either at YALC by the way.

 

Izzy O’Neil is an orphan raised up by a courageous and totally modern grand-mother Betty.

She has two childhood best friends the nerdy Danny and the tiny but intimidating Ajita.

Izzy is what you could call your jokester. She is a real comedian and is the best at working on funny scenarios. Barely passing her classes her counselor and drama teacher will encourage her to enter a competition for screen play. Kind of The Voice but for aspiring writers who dream of working for the movie and tv industry.

 

Izzy is a free-spirited girl, always trying to see the bright side of life whatever the curve ball it’s throwing at you. Her favorite weapon is humor.

At ease in her skin, stretch marks, cellulite and all she enjoys boys as many teenagers do.

She is one of these characters who hates confrontation. She is a peace maker at heart.

 

One night of fun will end up on a blog set up exclusively to bash her and her slutty behavior. Full on disclosure about her “sexcapade” , her body, her habit. It was “slut shaming”. Every single detail or her life, every intimate part of her body. Everything on full display for everyone to see.

It did not end after that “one night”. The hater managed to hack her phone and send nude pics of her and nude “dick pic” of the senator’s son.

But of course, the girl will be a whore and the boy will be a boy.

The boy will be offered a place at Stanford and Izzy will be crucified by everyone.

 

This is totally double standard.

The students, the teachers, the parents will leer at the sight of Izzy.

 

“I know this will blow over eventually. But until then, it’s going to be hell.”

 

How would YOU react if everyone was looking at you and murmuring about what a whore you were? And have you seen her thighs? She should go on a diet.

What would you do if politicians used that as fuel to their campaign and encourage abstinence as the only way for our youth today?

What would you say if the grand mother who had raised you working tirelessly long hours to give you a roof upon your head and food on the table was judged for her bad parenting?

 

Would you still dare going to school or would you stay in bed all day, forgetting the world?

“Standing on the front steps and trying to catch my breath, I want to claw my skin off. Despite all of the things that make me me – my personality, my heart, my sense of humor – I’ve been reduced to a grainy filter and a pair of tits. To a mere sex object.

I wonder whether I’ll ever stop feeling so dirty.”

 

That’s where I am really in awe of Izzy because that girl went to school chin high, ignoring the shame fest the best she could!

Her friend Ajita was her fantastic champion! I want a best friend like her! Small yet so fierce!

But Izzy was also prone to make mistakes. She did not think before posting some comments via messenger. She trusted too easily.

Because even if your friend can be trusted now, maybe in the future he won’t be! Or the account can be hacked and your words displayed for the whole world to see!

In French we say “Les paroles s’envolent, les écrits restent” something that you could translate as “Words fly away, writings remain” and that’s so true in this social media era!

 

Even the strongest can have their bad days and all these attacks will wear Izzy out.

It’s when you are feeling low that you discover what matters most for you: the people you love.

 

Laura’s writing is extremely funny because Izzy is a comedian! You have tons of come back and humor. Yet this is also tragic and vulnerable. Like these kids who hide their sadness and their fear under a jokester mask.

 

I could go on and on about this book!

Just know that under that brightly colored cover and seemingly innocuous YA contemporary hides a smart, thoughtful, funny and shameless little jewel!

 

Thank you Simant for being such a fierce advocate of this story! I had a blast.

 

Now it’s my way to boss you and tell you to JUST READ THAT BOOK!

 

Have you read it? Or plan to now?

 

Thanks for reading and greetings from YALC!

Sophie

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24 Replies to “Shameless, Funny, Thoughtful … A Little gem! Review of The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven”

  1. I’m totes going to read this! Turns out i have a copy of it… Apparently i got it from the charity shop at some point, hehe 😀

  2. I hadn’t heard of this book before but it sounds incredible. Izzy sounds like a character I would love to meet.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Suzanne I just want everyone to read it!

  3. Fantastic review, Sophie! I’m glad you enjoyed this book so much! I haven’t read it but your review convinced me enough to give it a shot!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Oh Raven I can’t wait for you to read it!

  4. This sounds wonderful, Sophie – I’ll have to see if I can squeeze it in the TBR.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      It really is unique and worth it Teri!

  5. Amazing review 🙂

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Mia!

  6. I remember seeing a lot of great reviews for this book last year. I think there’s a sequel too. It sounds like a nice mix of humor and drama and discussion around important topics. Glad you liked it, and I hope you are having an amazing time at YALC!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      I got the sequel at YALC sam and knowing your taste you just HAVE to read it!

  7. I really need to read this one – it sounds right up my alley, AND one of my co-bloggers/friends has been constantly recommending it to me. I love the way you described Izzy – funny, awe-inspiring, but also someone who makes mistakes. Great review!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you SO MUCH Veronika! I hope you’ll give it a chance indeed 😉

  8. Awww this is where I salute your review writing skills Sophie!! ❤️❤️❤️ I gotta read it now obviously!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Dani that’s so kind of you to say this!

  9. Ahhh I love this review so much! This book is incredible and I completely agree that everyone needs to read it.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Rose I hope you got the second one at YALC 😉

      1. I read it a few months ago and it was just as amazing! I hope you enjoy it!!

  10. This sounds like a must-read! Thanks, Sophie, I’m going to look it up.

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      You are so welcome Jacquie!!

  11. I was hooked immediately by the synopsis. Wonderful review, Sophie. And I hope you have a blast on your trip!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you Laura! I did 😉

  12. I read it somewhere in last year and i agree it’s a gem. Great review!!

    1. BewareOfTheReader says: Reply

      Thank you so much Priyasha!

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