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Sunday, 28 January 2018

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven | A refreshing and interesting read! {Yomna's Review}

My rating: 3.5/5

This is my first ARC (Advanced reader's copy) of 2018! Excited for more to come! This book comes out on March 8th 2018 in the UK.

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...

Mix gender stereotypes with a funny heroine and a huge hot mess and BAM!! The Exact Opposite of Okay! Also, can we please just admire this gorgeous cover? It's the definition of love at first sight. I don't know if it has anything to do with the story, but you know what, beauty over practicality any day! 

Double standards are the focus of this YA novel. Izzy, the main character's actions result in her being branded and labeled a 'slut', while the male counterparts involved in the same 'scandal' she was involved in are absolved completely of blame, and on the contrary, praised. It is crazy to read about this because it really reflects the mess we are as a society, and I thank this book for being another new voice that is championing away this standard.

What I loved most about this book was that Izzy owned herself from the beginning, despite minor moments of doubt, which is beautiful. She never lost her whimsical narrative voice and I really enjoyed that. The book was also pretty easy to read, on account of the comic tone. 

Laura Steven is definitely a debut author to watch out for! Her writing is effortlessly comical and pretty much never gets boring. 

Unfortunately, there were some things lacking from this story. First of all, the writing was a bit cheesy and overdramatized. It just took away from the "this could happen in real life" element of the book. I definitely think the message of this book could've been more subtle. It felt like there was a lot of 'telling' rather than 'showing'. Unfortunately, it just deprives the reader of figuring out the implications of these stereotypes and the damage they can cause themselves. Additionally, the pacing was a bit lacking, it was pretty much always too fast or too slow. 

I also would've liked more to happen with the side characters, especially since they all seemed to have some kind of interesting side story to explore. 

Despite its faults, this book is a solid YA debut and I'm glad I read it!



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