The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven (Review by Sarah Ryan)

Rating: 4/5*

Meet Izzy O’Neill – 18, budding comedy star, and lover of nachos. She’s raised by her hardworking, hilarious grandmother. She shares laughs and over-priced fries with her two best friends, Danny and Ajita. Things could be better, but they’re not bad. That is, until the party.

Izzy finds herself under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons when shots of her in a compromising position with a politician’s son is leaked online. On top of that, Danny shows his true colours after she rejects his advances. She wants to trust fellow clown Carson, but is he just like the rest?

Narrated by Izzy through a series of blog posts [with commentary, so any lawyers reading cannot sue her, she is too poor, dammit] ‘The Exact Opposite of Okay’ exposes sexist double standards and takes down the tired trope of the entitled ‘Nice Guy’. It’s refreshing, relevant and downright funny in places. YA fans will find a friend in Izzy. She’s witty and headstrong. Awkward and ambitious. Loyal and loving. That is to say, she’s a regular teenager. With Ajita and her grandmother by her side, she makes it through. While her story is infuriating, it ends with a sense of hope and resistance. The way teenage girls are treated is the exact opposite of okay, but they are most definitely not alone.

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