Title: The Exact Opposite Of Okay
Author: Laura Steven
Publisher: Electric Monkey
Publication Date: 8th March 2018
About the book:
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…
What I Thought:
The central character and complete star of The Exact Opposite Of Okay is Izzy O’Neill. Izzy’s parents died when she was small and her grandma has brought her up ever since. Following a party nude images of Izzy appear online and The Exact Opposite Of Okay follows Izzy as she tries to discover who shared the images, and their reasons behind it while dealing with what this means for her personal life.
First up I have to say I absolutely adored Izzy, she’s not perfect in fact she’s far from it and there are times in the book where I winced and thought Izzy don’t do that! I have to say though I don’t think anything Izzy does that turns out badly is done with any malicious intentions. There’s one bit especially you’ll recognise when you get to it.
TEOOO also has a great cast of supporting characters including Betty, Izzy’s gran, Mrs Crannon, her drama teacher and Ajita and Danny, Izzy’s closest friends. Despite being older Izzy’s gran does her very best to provide for Izzy following the death of her parents, she doesn’t always get it right and there’s a particularly moving part of the book where they talk about it. They may not have much financially but they have a sausage dog called Dumbledore and there is clearly a lot of love there. Mrs Crannon is an incredibly supportive character for Izzy, encouraging her to continue with her writing and reach for her dreams. I’m not going to speak that much about Ajita and Danny, poor Charlotte from Charlotte, Somewhere is very much aware of my feelings on these two having to put up with my messaging her constantly as I was reading, so feel free to DM me to talk about them more!
The structure of TEOOO surprised me, I’m not sure if I’d just not read any reviews prior to picking it up, I’d forgotten it, or it wasn’t mentioned but I never realised that the book was written as a series of blog posts written by Izzy. I think because it wasn’t the standard narrative I was expecting it took me a little while to get fully invested in the story and the characters but once I got so far in something just clicked and I think the blog posts, with Izzy’s additional comments as she re-reads them on the whole worked so well!
Laura’s writing style is fantastic, The Exact Opposite Of Okay deals with some serious and difficult topics Laura does it with apparent ease, infusing humour throughout that keeps the book light despite the topics it covers. I could read Laura’s writing for days!
The Exact Opposite Of Okay tells such an important story in a way that’s incredibly accessible for everyone. It shows the double standards that exist in the world, how an man and a woman taking part in the same activities can be treated entirely differently, and tackles the issue of slut shaming in a way which is thought provoking and will hit you in the feels, this book took me through an entire spectrum of emotions! If this book shows just one person that doing nice things for someone doesn’t entitle you to anything in return, or one person that they do not owe anyone anything, especially sexually, just because they’ve done nice things for you in the past then this book will have done something important and amazing
I’m really not sure why it took me so long to pick up TEOOO, and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t! On the positive side leaving it so long to read TEOOO means the sequel – A Girl Called Shameless is already out and sitting on my shelf ready to read!
About The Author
Laura Steven is an author, journalist and screenwriter from the northernmost town in England. The Exact Opposite of Okay, her YA debut, was published by Egmont in March 2018. The sequel, A Girl Called Shameless, will follow in 2019.
As well as mentoring aspiring authors through schemes like Pitch Wars, Laura works for Mslexia, a non-profit organisation supporting women writers. She graduated with Distinction from her MA in Creative Writing in 2017, and her TV pilot Clickbait – a mockumentary about journalists at a viral news agency – was a finalist in British Comedy’s 2016 Sitcom Mission.
Connect With Laura
Want to buy it?
As always if you’ve read the book let me know what you thought! If you’ve not read it yet will my review convince you to pick it up?