ARC Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay

The Exact Opposite of Okay


Title: The Exact Opposite of Okay

Author: Laura Steven

Series: N/A

Publisher: Electric Monkey

Release Date: March 8th 2018

Rating:

Four Stars

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…

– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com

I received an ARC of this book free from Electric Monkey. It in no way affects my views on The Exact Opposite of Okay.

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

I might put on a tough exterior, but…nobody likes to be hated.
Ajita texts me again.
Have you looked? Are you okay? xo
It takes me several attempts to type out my response.
No, Ajita. I’m not. I’m the exact opposite of okay.

Izzy is a normal student and her problems are the usual ones. An aspiring screenwriter with a sharp tongue and a sarcastic biting sense of humour she’s trying to work out what she wants to do when she heads to college, like the rest of her school mates. Her life is good, until someone creates the website ‘Izzy O’Neill: World Class Whore’, and suddenly Izzy is the most talked about girl at her school for all the wrong reasons.

I loved Izzy’s character from the very first page of this book, her sense of humour and her blunt way of speaking had me hooked. The Exact Opposite of Okay is a story told in the format of blog posts Izzy wrote as the events of this book unfolded which she is now (at some point in the future) looking back on. There were plenty of hilarious ‘author’s notes’ from Izzy but it’s her voice in the posts at the time of the scandal that really stood out as I was reading.

“Izzy! Great to see you. Been too long.”
And then, slowly, deliberately, his eyes run up and down my body. And in that heart-dropping second, I know he’s seen the photo too.
I feel disgusting. Like I’m being forced to grow up too fast.

The author of the website knows details about Izzy no one could possibly know but it’s the pictures now out in the world, intimate photos of Izzy and of her hooking up with one of her classmates, that everyone has seen that have Izzy struggling to keep her head above the water. It can’t get any worse, until the father of the classmate Izzy hooked up with takes the story national and soon Izzy finds out how much worse it can get.

The Exact Opposite of Okay is one of those important stories that I think everyone should read, it focuses on the issue of revenge porn and gives it a voice in Izzy O’Neill. There’s no law against revenge porn in state Izzy lives in, and as the story unfolds we see how the things Izzy did, things she didn’t think twice about at the time, were turned into something so horrible and cruel that changed and ruined her life.

…The Characters

“Despite all the things that make me me – my personality, my heart, my sense of humour – I’ve been reduced to nothing more than a grainy filter and a pair of tits. To a mere sex object.
I wonder whether I’ll ever stop feeling so dirty.”

Izzy is an incredible character and she’s very passionate about what she feels; be it simply a crush on one of her schoolmates or the prospect of facing the unfair bar of trying to get into the screenplay industry when she doesn’t have the money she needs. She has her whole life posted online; her privacy has been violated in the worst way possible and she’s the subject of gossip at school but she is determined to keep moving forwards.

She uses her humour to keep people from seeing the hurt but there are times where the gossip and the whispers and the hate weighs on her and her humour fails. There are some heartbreaking scenes where things get really bad for Izzy, as much as she tries to keep her head up it’s impossible. It seems like every time she thinks the worst is over something new happens which just proves her wrong and over the course of the book her humour and her voice changes. Izzy is

Betty hears me sobbing and taps softly at the door. I don’t reply, so she lets herself in.
“Sweet girl,” she murmurs. “What’s wrong?”
I sniffle and press my face into the pillow before handing her my phone.
“Please don’t hate me.”

There are some incredibly written side characters in this book; good characters who made me happy Izzy had so many incredible people in her life and bad characters who made me want to reach through the pages and strangle them. After Izzy lost her parents she was taken in by her grandmother, Betty is the kind of grandmother/guardian I think anyone would love to have. She works a hard job long after she should have retired just to support Izzy, she knows what her granddaughter needs and above all she supports Izzy no matter what.

“Both of my best friends are behaving way out of character. I always thought I’d know if the alien apocalypse began with those closest to me, now I’m not so sure.
It really has been a WTF? kind of day.”

Alongside Izzy are her two best friends Danny and Ajita. Danny has a crush on Izzy, and his development throughout this book was well written but he was a character I found myself disliking as he took on the ‘Nice Guy’ persona around Izzy. Ajita is the perfect friend for Izzy. The two bounce off one another when it comes to their humour and inside jokes, but they are always there for one another and, like Betty, Ajita is one of Izzy’s firm supporters throughout this book.

One thing I wish The Exact Opposite of Okay had expanded on was Ajita’s story. Like Izzy she’s struggling in this book but with something very different that she’s still keeping a secret. I understand that this was Izzy’s story, and the way it was written means we could only really get a glimpse at Ajita’s struggles through Izzy’s eyes, but I would have loved to see more of Ajita’s development in this book.


It took a while to get to the main part of this story as Laura Steven’s builds up Izzy’s character and her world before bringing in the website and the subject of revenge porn. I think the strength of this book isn’t in the plot itself but the characters. Izzy was an incredible protagonist, a likeable voice and a well developed character, and her relationships with those around her really made this book stand out for me.

What did you think of The Exact Opposite of Okay? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

All quotes have been taken from an ARC and may differ in the final publication.

25 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Exact Opposite of Okay

  1. I really love how you set out your review 😀 I got a copy of the book at YALC last year before I started reviewing, and found that I wasn’t a big fan of Izzy’s sense of humour and the constant jokes, but I did really like the message of the book and what it was trying to highlight. It’s one of those books I’m still pretty mixed about haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, and oh that’s a shame because as this book was a first person POV one Izzy’s humour was a big part of the story wasn’t it? Definitely an important message, and overall I loved the way it was highlighted in this book. 🙂 Hopefully you enjoyed more than you didn’t though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I heard a bit about this from another blogger, but now I DEFINITELY am looking forward to its release! It sounds so good?? It seems like it tackles slut-shaming and I feel like that is SUPER important and needs to be talked about.

    And aahh I love how it’s told through blog posts! Books in unique formatting are always super cool imo. And I’m glad the characters were well-developed, because I love some brilliant character work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that’s what I thought, I really enjoyed the fact that the author chose to shine a light on the situation Izzy finds herself in because it’s something that needs to be discussed. 🙂
      If you like well developed characters I think you’ll love Izzy May, she’s definitely one of my favourite YA contemporary main characters after reading this book. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is literally the first I am seeing of this book and the blurb looks really interesting! So, I skimmed a little, but I am glad to see that you enjoyed it 😀 I am going to go and add this to my TBR

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely definitely pick this one up Lauren, it’s a brilliant book and based on what I’ve seen from other blogger who’ve read this one it’s not just my opinion talking there either.
      That’s great to hear, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this as much as I did. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That was a lovely review, Beth, I’m really happy you enjoyed this book! I’ve been hearing great things about it from fellow bloggers and I’m looking forward to reading it someday, the main character sounds quite unique and I’m intrigued by the formatting of this book as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie! 🙂 Oh I thought this was a great read, and just because of the things it discusses and the light it shines on the situation Izzy finds herself in it’s going to be a book I highly recommend.
      I think this is a book you’d really enjoy Marie, and if you do pick it up someday I’ll be really excited to see what you think of it too. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s hilarious- I know an Izzy O’Neill. She spells it “Issy” though. Great review. This sounds really interesting. I’ve never read a book with that format.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, that is funny. I was actually talking to another blogger recently about finding our own names in books, there are very few characters out there called Bethany. 🙂
      I hope you enjoy this book if you decide to pick it up, it’s definitely one I’d recommend, and the blog format didn’t bother me too much while reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I never seen my name either. I know of one book with a character with my name- and she was named after me! I feel a lot of authors are going for really out there names a lot of the time now. You know, the names where you question whether they’re actual names or not.
        Thank you! I think I do need to check it out because I’ve seen nothing but good things about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I read a lot of fantasy books so I feel like nine times out of ten they are more obscure names than not, and yeah sometimes I question whether they were actually names before they appeared in so-and-so book.
        That’s all right, and yes definitely do! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.