The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
Unfortunately this book was not my style, after reading the tag line ‘ground breaking young adult novel for anyone who’s ever called themselves a feminist’ I was expecting a book similar to Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu but was sorely disappointed. I was tempted at about half way through this book to give up on it and leave it unfinished, but I decided to plough on as I hate leaving books unfinished. I’m glad to say the story did start to pick up slightly in the second half. There were some character progression in the final few pages which contributed well to the story, it was just a shame it had taken so long to appear.
This review is difficult to write as the message from this book is so important, and I appreciate the taboo subjects that are discussed. This book focuses on the differentiation between the sexes, how guys are treated differently to girls. How a guys nightly conquests are a girls desperate downfall. That a girl with any interest in sex is a automatically a slut or a whore. I fully support the message in this book that slut shaming and degrading someone in regards to their personal life is NEVER okay, it is exactly the opposite of okay.
However I could not give this book more than 2 stars because of many reasons, this book is written in the form of blog posts, although this is an interesting concept it makes the book difficult to read and events become easily jumbled up in the various timescales. The MC isn’t relatable at all, I could not for the life of me connect with Izzy, I could hardly even muster up much empathy for her situation. Izzy came across as a very arrogant young woman, she was crude and sarcastic on almost every page. But as soon as things went downhill she seemed to develop 2 personalities, she’d be outspoken and rude on one page then shy and demure on the next. It was difficult to relate to a character who was constantly changing.
How many times have you heard ‘I use humour as a coping mechanism’ ? I’ve heard it far too many times in YA novels already, I know plenty of young people with tragic childhoods who have never used offensive jokes as a coping mechanism. Offensive jokes aren’t funny, they are always insulting to someone. This book is filled with sarcasm and over dramatic metaphors, as well as continuous swearing,which I don’t appreciate in a good book.
As I said, I was expecting a novel dedicated to girl power, women standing side by side and fighting injustice together. So maybe this book was doomed to fail from the start as my expectations were too high. However if you enjoy a novel that discusses taboo topics, a dramatic character and an overuse of swearing, then I wholeheartedly recommend this book. The Complete Opposite of Okay is available here.
I read an ebook of this novel through Netgalley. Any links to Book Depository used in this blog are affiliated links, meaning any purchases made through this link provide me with a small amount of commission at no extra cost to you.