#20BooksOfSummer is an annual event hosted by Cathy Brown of 746 Books and runs from 3rd June until 3rd September With the aim to clearing a target of 5, 10 or 20 books from your TBR but with very relaxed and fun rules.
Wow. Oh my godfathers wow. I could barely put this book down, I was incensed, inspired, uplifted and sorrowful across the range of this book.
This book is a powerhouse of feminism and a scathing attack on white male privilege, toxic masculinity, ‘Nice Guy’ entitlement and the obsession that ‘polite’ society has with sex, the sexualisation women particularly young women and slut-shaming and being horrified at the decline in morals of the young (conveniently projecting away from their own behaviours)
With flavours of Pretty in Pink meets Easy A but with a stronger certificate and updated for the social media generation this is a book that every teen, and importantly every adult needs to read to assess their own behaviour and attitudes.
Trigger warnings for: suicidal thoughts, discussion of suicide plans (in black humoured jest) and outing.
18 year old Izzy O’Neill lives in small town America but she’s not enjoying the McMansion life with plans of college awaiting. She dreams of becoming a comedian and scriptwriter but her parents died when she was tiny and has since been raised by her rapidly aging and financially struggling grandmother Betty. However she is loved immensely and given freedom to express and develop herself and found friendship with childhood best friends Danny and Ajita.
One party during senior year Izzy whilst drunk sleeps with both a senator’s son and a basketball star in the same night (separately!!!) but something goes wrong when the contents of her online private diary including accounts of her trysts are collected along with candid pictures of her with the senators son and later her private nude texts are online on a personalised revenge porn website.
Her life falls apart quickly, and she has to learn how to cope in a world that treats women shamefully and find out who could do such a hateful thing and why.
Last night went up in flames. Seriously, I make such unbelievably bad life choices. Can I blame this on the tragic orphan thing again? No?
I’m not going to talk too much about the themes and the events because too much spoilers BUT I will say this is immensely powerful and dark but uplifting and funny at the same time. I called it, but I was devastated to be found right.
Izzy is a force of nature, full of fire, wit and vulnerability and you feel angry, shocked, hurt, and fired up with her, for her and for all girls that are judged and put in this position because of the disgusting way that society treats and views women’s bodies.
As a mother I rage and burn for Izzy, as a woman I resonate and ache for her and as a human I hope that things change, but then it will take generations of eroding a mountain range of misogynistic chauvinism and privilege. All I can say is if I was the mother of a boy this would be just as important reading as for my girls.
The Exact Opposite Of Okay by Laura Stevens is published in the UK by Electric Monkey an imprint of Egmont. In the US it is published by Harper Collins.