Wednesday 6 June 2018

Min reviews: The Exact Opposite of Okay and Sam & Ilsa's Last Hurrah

The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven
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.

This book basically broke the book community when it was announced and released, and for good reason! It was funny, cringe-worthy, adorable, clever and so damn good! It dealt with, and beautifully, by the way, themes like slut-shaming, teenage sexuality, male entitlement, the friend-zone (ha, social construct!) and friendship. Izzy is my new heroine, she had such a great voice, so charming and self-deprecating, yet completely lovable. The things she had to deal with were quite rage-inducing - the whole situation was such bullshit and I hope it teaches plenty of young women, and men, how to act and not act when it comes to discussing sex, sexuality and relationships. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
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.

Unfortunately, this missed its mark with me. I was never really sure whether I was supposed to feel sorry for the twins; they both came across as "poor little rich kids", which got old fast. The story was one of those one-day moments, and I think that did work - everything was smushed in there, all the drama and tantrums, and that was kinda the point. The whole group had one last evening together and the twins wanted to go out with a bang, but for me, the characters didn't work. All of them were too weird and wacky, and I get that this is New York but really, how can two people pick just a few others and end up with ex's, bitches and the socially-awkward ventriloquist that talks through his sock puppet? It was all really annoying and pretentious and unfortunately did not get any better.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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