*** Trigger Warning: Abuse/Rape ***
I have read and reviewed more than a few books on rape. I didn't have the thought to include that above warning until I saw someone on Goodreads do that. Personally knowing more than a few people who have been raped I understand they can have triggers. I just wanted to be sure my book review doesn't make things more difficult for them, but helps them.
Asking For It by Louise O'Neill is about rape, sex, rape culture, slut-shaming, and bullying. This book has sex, drugs, underage drinking, and language; it is definitely not a clean book. The subject most definitely is tough, but there is value in it b/c it is so realistic. I hope by the realism this book portrays that others can learn from this book.
However, I only gave this Printz Honor Book, Asking for It, 3 out of 5 stars. I feel this award winning book is good for the tough subject and something that is very real. I would dare say that the majority of society knows someone that was raped. What happened to Emma happens too much; once is too much. Though, if we all see this tough subject in our lives, then the real value of this book is if there's something more. I felt this book missed out on really teaching and inspiring.
I did not like Emma, buy I did feel bad for her. Though, to be honest I didn't like any characters. There really wasn't one likable character. Though, I felt like that with Luckiest Girl Alive. After reading this book I had the thought that Emma is going to turn into Ani from that book.
The slut-shaming and bullying that went on, especially over social media reminded me of 13 Reasons Why. The rape and how it changed Emma to be withdrawn and pull back from everyone reminded me a lot of Speak.
The entire time reading this book, in one setting, I was in pain for the choices Emma made, the horrible things that were done to her, her pulling out of pressing charges, and her family not supporting her. It was a tough read b/c I felt it could've helped more than just causing people to talk such taboo subjects like rape, consent, bullying, slut-shaming, and more. The one benefit is that this story is fictional; I only hope that boys and girls alike read this and decide to learn from all of the character's choices and make their life better
Overall, this is a tough, and not clean, young adult/teen/high school read. This book would be valuable to discuss bullying, slut-shaming, self-esteem, underage drinking, drug use, and more not so pleasant subjects, but one that need to discussed in homes or classrooms.
Happy Teen Printz Honor Book Reading!
Asking for It by Louise O'Neill
Rating: 3/5 stars
Best For: 14 yrs and up, 9th grade and up
Worth a Check Out: Yes.
Buy It or Not: Not.
Read Aloud: It's real and intense dealing with rape, but I think Speak may be better suited for emphasizing the growth.
Lesson Ideas: Rape, Consent, Bullying, Slut-Shaming