Emma has just turned 18, and she's the most beautiful, popular girl in town (we know because Emma herself thoughtfully reminds us every 2 pages). She goes to a party where she drinks a bit, flirts a lot, and then takes some unknown drugs. The next thing she knows, she's waking up sunburnt and bruised near her family's door, she's become the school pariah, and naked pictures of her are plastered all over Facebook. And that's just the first couple of days.
Nobody's better at writing despair than Louise O'Neill, and she writes beautifully here. However, I doubt many YA readers are going to be patient enough to read through the first 100 pages of Emma's "It's tiring to be so popular."
Reader: "OK."
Emma: "I'm the prettiest girl in town."
Reader: "We KNOW."
Emma: "My friend's mom says that I should be a professional model."
Reader; "Jeez, just stop already!"
Yes, I understand what O'Neill is doing here. Yes, nobody deserves to be assaulted no matter how obnoxious s/he may be. Yet I'm uncomfortable with the underlying assumption that only young, physically beautiful women are raped, and the implication that this would somehow be less of a tragedy if the outcast Josephine or one of the other plainer, nerdier girls had been assaulted. This novel has a couple of graphic scenes, so it's probably better reserved for older teens.

JEM_LPL's rating:
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