The Exact Opposite of Okay, Laura Steven – Book Review

Hello humans! Today is another example of my forays out of the world of SFF and into contemporary YA. I’ve read some amazing examples of contemporary YA it’s just not my preferred genre so I don’t tend to gravitate towards it. But I’m so glad I requested this book because it is utterly phenomenal and I’m excited to tell you all about it.

Goodreads Summary:

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…

Find The Exact Opposite of Okay on Goodreads

Never before have I found a book that was so close to being written in my internal monologue than this one. I have a weird constantly flowing internal dialogue, I talk to myself, I make a lot of inappropriate jokes and I related hard to Izzy, so much so that it took me a while to properly understand that the book was set in the US because I had been reading it mentally in an English accent.

This book is hilarious. I very rarely laugh out loud at books (usually because I’m reading them on the bus and I don’t want to look odd) but in this instance, I just couldn’t help it. Something about the pacing of these jokes and the way they are thrown into the story just tickles my funny bone – what can I say.

This is the book I needed to read when I was about sixteen. It’s got likable characters, realistic talks about sex and what it is actually like to be a teenager/young adult and the potential repercussions of actions (without a whole schpiel about shame because that’s not ok) along with a heavy dose of feminism thrown in. I feel like this book could start the kind of conversations people, particularly young women (and a lot of older women if I’m being honest) need to be having. I also think a lot of younger men would benefit from reading this. Basically, everyone would benefit from reading this.

If every YA contemporary novel was as good as this one I would have no problem picking them up more often. This is tackling incredibly complex and difficult issues, but instead of shrouding them in humour or cliché this book uses humour as a way of bringing those issues into the foreground.

I’m looking forward to this book shaping the YA scene for a while! Should you read this? Absolutely. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cry because you’re laughing – and you just might learn something!

My rating: 5/5 stars

By the way, I received a digital advanced review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Is this on your TBR, let me know in the comments below?

J

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