The Exact Opposite of Okay
“funny, touching, and thought-provoking. Izzy is likeable and real, while the story studies both her good characteristics and her flaws. Recommended for anyone trying to either navigate or understand the world of teenage sexuality.”
Izzy O’Neill is many things: orphan (living with her grandmother), comedian, best friend of Danny and Ajita, screenwriter, and free-willed teenager with a right to do what she wants. She’s not afraid to tell it like it is.
“Look, you probably bought this book because you heard about how I’m an impoverished orphan at the heart of a national slut-shaming scandal, and you thought, Oh, great, this is just the kind of heart-wrenching tale I need to feel better about my own life, but seriously, you have to relax.”
Izzy enjoys life. She enjoys her friends. She enjoys sex. She’s not afraid to take opportunities when they arrive, and she doesn’t feel bad about it.
“So, to summarize: two guys, one night, both highly enjoyable. Is there a TripAdvisor for one-night stands? If there was, I would definitely recommend both gentlemen to a friend. (I know you’re probably reading this thinking, ‘Oh my god, what an unbelievable whore!’ even though you generally consider yourself to be fairly progressive, but that’s really on you. I’m having a good time and I’m not hurting anybody. What’s the problem?).”
Well, the problem arises when things get out of hand. One of the “gentlemen” sends Izzy a dick pic, and she reciprocates with a nude. Someone else gets ahold of these photos and uploads them to a website they’re calling World Class Whore. Izzy’s naked body is out there for the world to see.
Izzy doesn’t feel guilty about what she’s done, and she gets support from both her grandmother and Ajita, while the rest of the school (and larger world) judge both her body and her actions. But who would want to ruin her life like this? One of the two guys? Her friend Danny, who wants to date her? The new girl trying to be Ajita’s new best friend? Izzy can’t imagine why anyone would want to hurt her like this.
But then, she also can imagine it. And she’s pissed.
“Slut-shaming: in which a woman is labeled a ‘slut’ or ‘whore’ for enjoying sex (or even just looking like they might) and is subsequently punished socially. Interestingly, only girls and women are called to task for their sexuality; boys and men are congratulated for the exact same behavior. This is the essence of the sexual double standard: boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts.”
Izzy trudges through this new, cruel world while trying to be a good friend, a reliable actor in the school play, and a loving granddaughter. Will she be able to get past this dark interruption in her life, or will it ruin everything good that she has?
This book is funny, touching, and thought-provoking. Izzy is likeable and real, while the story studies both her good characteristics and her flaws. Recommended for anyone trying to either navigate or understand the world of teenage sexuality.