Title: The Exact Opposite of Okay

Author: Laura Steven

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Electric Monkey/Egmont Publishing UK

The Blurb

A hilarious, groundbreaking young adult novel for anyone who’s ever called themselves a feminist . . . and anyone who hasn’t. For fans of Louise O’Neill, Holly Bourne and Amy Schumer. 

Izzy O’Neill here! Impoverished orphan, aspiring comedian and Slut Extraordinaire, if the gossip sites are anything to go by . . .

Izzy never expected to be eighteen and internationally reviled. But when explicit photos involving her, a politician’s son and a garden bench are published online, the trolls set out to take her apart. Armed with best friend Ajita and a metric ton of nachos, she tries to laugh it off – but as the daily slut-shaming intensifies, she soon learns the way the world treats teenage girls is not okay. It’s the Exact Opposite of Okay.

Bitingly funny and shockingly relevant, The Exact Opposite of Okay is a bold, brave and necessary read. For readers of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Doing It by Hannah Witton and Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo.

The Review

Oh my wow. What a debut. Laura Steven has knocked it out of the park with her debut novel The Exact Opposite of Okay. It is the teen feminist novel that I didn’t have. I never thought I would hear myself say this but it made me want to be a teenager again so that I could have a copy of The Exact Opposite of Okay as my weapon of choice against the douchebaggery that is high school. I’m not even sure that sentence made sense. That is how good this novel is.

The story centres around protagonist Izzy O’Neill who makes some decisions about her life that don’t fair too well for her. Okay. I’m 34 and I will admit that I did judge Izzy for some of the things she did. I frequently said out loud to the empty room “Oh Izzy, you will regret this.” But then I realised this is exactly what this book is about. Judging people by the standards we set for ourselves and the belief that those standards are universally good and right and moral. Laura Steven teaches us in The Exact Opposite of Okay that if you are happy with how you are living your life then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. She does this all the while looking at the disparity in slut shaming and how the privilege of having xy chromosome gives you license to not be judged for doing the exact same thing as the xx card holders.

The Exact Opposite of Okay will go down as one of my favourite books of the year. It is sharp, sassy and makes me excited to see what else Laura Steven has up her sleeve.

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven is available now.

For more information regarding Laura Steven (@LaurMSteven) please visit www.laura_steven.com.

For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit their Twitter page.

For more information regarding Egmont Publishing UK (@EgmontUK) please visit www.egmont.co.uk.

Sam and Ilsas Last HurrahTitle: Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah

Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Egmont Publishing

The Blurb

Sam and Ilsa Kehlmann have spent most of their high school years throwing dinner parties, and now they’ve prepared their final blowout, just before graduation. The rules for the twins are simple: they each get to invite three guests, and the other twin doesn’t know who’s coming until the guests show up at the door. With Sam and Ilsa, the sibling revelry is always tempered with a large dose of sibling rivalry, and tonight is no exception.

One night. One apartment. Eight people. What could possibly go wrong? Oh, we all know the answer is plenty. But plenty also goes right – in rather surprising ways.

The Review

As far as writing partnerships go, Cohn and Levithan has to be one of my favourites. There has yet to be a book that they have written (either individually or together) that I have not enjoyed. Therefore, even before turning the first page of Sam and Isla’s Last Hurrah I knew I would like it.

And like it, I did.

It is almost like that game were you select ideal dinner guests, except in this circumstance all the guests are alive and not celebrities. We see Sam and Isla through the dual narrative try to come to terms with the empty space ahead of life after high school. Besides not knowing if they are going to college, travelling or getting a job they also have to deal with the fact that they are losing their home; the location for the last hurrah – their grandmother’s New York apartment.

It really is a quirky piece of YA fiction that focuses on half truths and lies and also includes a sock puppet. I know you are intrigued.

Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is available now.

For more information regarding Rachel Cohn (@rachelcohn) please visit www.rachelcohn.com.

For more information regarding David Levithan (@loversdiction) please visit www.davidlevithan.com.

For more information regarding Egmont Publishing (@EgmontUK) please sisit www.egmont.co.uk.

4 Stars

The Blurb

For fans of YA authors such as David Levithan, Rainbow Rowell, Lauren Olive and Jay Asher comes the compelling, page turning, stonkingly good thriller from American author Lynn Weingarten. When June met Delia, she was a lifeline. Their intense friendship gave her a sense of belonging, of security, that she’d never had before. She felt braver, smarter, funnier, more attractive when Delia was around. But then something went wrong, and Delia and June haven’t spoken for a year when an announcement is made at their school that Delia is dead.

June barely has time to mourn before Delia’s ex-boyfriend convinces her that Delia didn’t kill herself but was in fact murdered, and June is fast swept into a tangle of lies and deceit – and a conspiracy she can barely conceive of, never mind believe.

Stylish, sexy and atmospheric, with so many twists it will leave you breathless.

The Review

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls is one of the most haunting stories that I have read this year. Actually, scratch that; it is probably the most haunting book I have read ever.

It is a story about friendship and the dark and twisted turns that it can take. Sometimes you can be too close to someone and that is exactly what happens with June and Delia. During their friendship you would barely see one without the other but as they get older and boys get involved the once close friendship diminishes.

When June finds out that Delia has died, committed suicide, she starts to feel guilty that she didn’t keep in contact with her friend. Perhaps she could have stopped her, perhaps things would be different. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps.

When June starts to suspect that Delia was murdered things take an interesting turn.

Seriously, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls is YA fiction at its most twisted. Read it and be in shock and awe.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten is available now.

Follow Lynn Weingarted (@LynnWeingarten) on Twitter.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls