Thursday, 12 November 2015

Book Review - Asking For It by Louise O' Neill

Asking For It

Author: Louise O' Neill

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Feminism, Mental Health. 

Published: September 3 2015

Pages: 352 pages (Paperback) (Quercus Publishing UK)

Read: October 2015

Rating: 5 Stars


It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma. The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. She doesn't know why she's in pain. But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes...

Book 44/60 - 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge

This is one of those books that you just find it so hard to find the right words to say. But I will try my best here.

Asking For It was gripping, moving, devastating and just too much for my heart to handle.

I started this book, groaning to the fact that Emma was one of 'those girls'. We all know what I'm talking about here. She was beautiful, popular, smart and under it all she a condescending, two-faced bitch (excuse me for my language) but it's true. The whole start of this book was seeing Emma for who she was, which was far from pretty. Even the relationships she had, with family and friends were far from ideal and ones that most people would do anything to get out of. Emma O' Donovan was not a character to be liked. 

And then everything changes. Emma is practically gang raped at a party and everyone has seen the pictures. Emma becomes a social outcast for something that wasn't her fault. She becomes hated for something she didn't do. She becomes nothing for blaming the star boys of the town and it is sickening. 

For the rest of this heartwrenching book we see what Emma becomes, we see what happens afterwards. And it is devastating. 

Asking For It is unique and real in the way that everything doesn't close up nicely. There's no nice ribbon to wrap up this book at the end. There's no hope, not really. There is just surviving. That is all. In my opinion, the ending of this book was perfect because it was so real and raw. 

Asking For It doesn't soften the topic of rape but brings it into the light with such a raw and powerful novel. And this was needed. It was needed a long time ago and finally it is here. This is a book that is needed in the education system, it's needed in schools and colleges and well it's needed everywhere really and it is a book that everyone should read, young, old, boys and girls.

And most importantly it sends the message that no matter what way a person acts, dresses or anything, they are not asking for it! No one is asking to be raped. 


  1. I've never heard of this before but now I really need to read it! I adore powerful books that send out messages, even if reading them is really tough. And it's nice to know that there are books - young adult ones, especially!! - tackling rape in such an honest and truthful way, while still firmly stating that no one deserves it or asks for it. Definitely going on my wishlist.

    Charlotte | Bookmarks and Blogging

    1. It's great too hear that you've added this book to your wishlist. It really needs to get out there more because it is such a powerful book! Thanks for commenting :)

  2. your review of this book makes me want to read it. It's similar to Speak, Melinda was raped at a party and she's a social outcast after. I do agree when it comes to the topic of rape, nobody deserves to be raped, it can not be blamed on clothing,the behavior of that person, or being drunk. The stigma of victim-blaming needs to stop. Nobody asks for it.

    1. I hope you do read it :) It is the truth, no ones asks or deserves to be raped.