The past few months I read a lot of fantasy novels. Because there are only so many brave heroines with two love interests one can handle at a time, I decided to pick up a contemporary novel for a change. I had my sights on The Exact Opposite Of Okay for quite a while, because that cover is beautiful and the blurb sounded very interesting. The book was very easy to read, which meant I breezed through it. But is it any good?
This synopsis is taken from GoodReads.
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…
An Important Book
The Exact Opposite Of Okay shows us an accurate portrayal of the way young girls are seen in our society. While most girls won’t ever experience a scandal as big as Izzy’s, there are plenty of girls who send nudes to boys they trust. And there are plenty of times when those pictures find their ways into the hands of other students. As I work with teenagers every single day, I have seen this happen. Boys are hardly ever held accountable by their peers, while girls will be called sluts. The fact that Izzy has to go through all of this and still manages to survive is an important lesson for girls.
Izzy copes by using her humour. It is her shield when she has to fight the rest of the world. I loved that at the end of the novel, Izzy learned to show her emotions. She learned that it is okay not to be okay. Most importantly, she realised that none of what happened to her is her fault. This book tackles the stigma surrounding girls who enjoy sex and who are comfortable with their sexuality. Izzy is unapologetic about her sexuality, even when she is being mocked for it, which is a refreshing take rarely seen in novels.
While Izzy has many flaws, I adored her sassiness and her growth. Steven allows Izzy to make mistakes and own up to them. Sending the nude is not one of them though. Steven could have had Izzy feel shit about sending that picture, but instead she made sure that Izzy never apologised for sending the picture. She shows Izzy’s embarrassment at the fact that everybody has seen her naked body. But Izzy feels that she had as much right to send a nude pic as the boy who sent her one first.
I also really appreciated izzy’s best friend Ajita. Even though she struggled with her own demons, she always remained a good friend and protected Izzy. She did not let her best friend down. Also major Carson appreciation, but you need to read the book to find out why.
Those who consider feminism to be a crime against men should skip this book. This is a book that celebrates teenage girls and portrays them as strong as they are or can become. Even when the world tries to drag them down. The book is funny, easy to read and entertaining. Basically I need a sequel right now.
+ Empowering story
+ Funny as hell
+ Great writing style
+ Very relevant.
+ Why aren’t you reading it yet?