This week, I’ve been continuously counting down until April 2nd, where I get to host Laura Steven on my online book club for an entire day. She’ll be answering questions, stunning everyone with her beauty, and, of course: kicking some ass.
She just seems like the kind of person who’ll steal everyone’s hearts in a single beat. Honestly, I’ve met her and she’s just adorable. A great human being, constantly standing up for feminists, awkward people like me and she seemed determined to make me smile.
AND SHE RECOGNISED ME. ACTUALLY. RECOGNISED ME.
Besides all that, I had been meaning to pick her book up anyway – but this all just greatly exaggerated what I was missing out on. So pick up her book, I did. (I’m Yoda now, apparently).
AND HOLY FREAKING SEVEN HELLS AND BACK.
This book features a confident, fun-loving feminist who likes sex and isn’t afraid to admit it.
No, it doesn’t make her any less human.
No, it doesn’t make her a slut.
Not even when a website goes life detailing every single person she’s ever done it with.
Not even then.
Laura Steven has a way of tackling topics that need to be talked about in a way that makes me desperate to read them.
I really want to give this book a 5 star rating, but one thing is holding me back:
Guys, if you struggle with depression, are an orphan, or have suicidal thoughts- I’d gently push this book away from you. Not because it shames you or makes light of you, but because Izzy’s way of coping with her difficulties in the book is by making light-hearted jokes. Which is okay, because it’s real. Everyone copes with things in different ways – but I occasionally found myself quietly stunned by how much she, or her best friend Ajita made passive comments that could hurt someone who’s feeling in an emotional vulnerable place feel a little down.
I honestly don’t think a lot of the comments were meant like this, but this is my fair warning.
The Exact Opposite of Okay tackles slut-shaming, name-calling and bullying in a honest, truthful way that hurt at times. Hurt my heart.
But it helped me through a journey that let me heal.
And heal I did.
Laura’s writing style is bubbly and energetic, and kept me turning page after page – her characters so real and vivid that my heart wrenches right now thinking about what happened to Izzy in the books. What she had to go through. (LAURA HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO MY PRECIOUS BABY?!)
So, no, I am not okay.
In fact – I am the Exact Opposite of Okay.
(I feel very much that Izzy would be proud of me for this pun, even though it’s probably been used in reference to this book st least a thousand times.)
Izzy is the sarcastic, snarky writer that you need in your life.
As the main character: you expect her to be perfect.
But she’s not.
She loves her grandmother/adopted-mother/carer.
She loves her best friends.
But does she love herself enough to protect her own heart when she needs to?