THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF OKAY by Laura Steven
Kirkus Star

THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF OKAY

Age Range: 13 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

High school senior Izzy O’Neill has a “spectacular list of problems” that’s about to get longer.

The hilariously crass 18-year-old self-proclaimed “aspiring comedian and all-around idiot” is an unapologetic connoisseur of peanut butter cups and sex. When photographic evidence of her love for the latter is posted to a website entitled “Izzy O’Neill: World Class Whore,” she finds herself at the epicenter of a national sex scandal, bearing name-calling, judgment, and public scrutiny of her actions and her body. During the following weeks, Izzy tackles double standards, slut-shaming, and male entitlement. The boy who appears in the leaked sex photo is the son of a powerful uber-conservative politician. In their small American town, the school’s sex ed program focuses on abstinence and purity—and is taught by a deeply religious teacher. Izzy tells her story via blog entries as events happen. Her snarky, scathing, and irreverent narration is dotted with hilarious parenthetical asides. The shaming and harassment wear down her natural confidence, but she manages to keep her sense of humor even when she truly is the opposite of OK. Whiteness is assumed for most characters, including Izzy. Ajita, Izzy’s supportive best girl friend, is Nepali-American, and Izzy’s love interest, Carson, is black.

Essential for opening and fueling dialogue about a culture that normalizes slut-shaming and promotes toxic masculinity. (Fiction. 13-adult)

Pub Date: June 11th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-287752-9
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2019




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