Wednesday 4 November 2015

Asking For It by Louise O'Neill

Meet Emma O'Donovan, she lives with her parents and brother in a small town in Cork, she's an eighteen year old girl.  She is beautiful, happy, confident and very popular with lots of friends.  One night on a weekend, there's a party which gets out of hand. Everyone is there and all eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes up on the front porch of her house where her parents find her. 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. She vaguely starts to remember parts from the night before, drinking hard, taking a few pills but that's it, everything else is a blur.

Photographs taken at the party start to emerge, in explicit detail of what happened to Emma that night. They are put up on social media, on her Facebook page that has been set up and everyone can see them, there are hundreds of likes and comments on these pictures and everyone whispers "slut, skank, bitch, whore, slut, skank, bitch, whore" pointing and giggling everytime they see Emma.  Sometimes people don't want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town's heroes......

I didn't like this book, I absolutely LOVED it, it was brutal, honest, raw and left me emotionally drained after I turned the last page.  I went through alot of emotions reading this and I'm sure I'm not the only one.  It also shows the dangers of social media and how it can be used as a weapon by the wrong people to try destroy someones life and successfully accomplishing it too.  I hated Emma's parents, they were the most unsupportive people I'd ever come across, they dismissed everything that Emma was going through after her ordeal and wanted to forget everything and were willing to turn a blind eye or want to bring attention on themselves by getting the culprits charged especially when Emma went to get legal advice from her parents solicitor and it makes you angry and realise what the legal system is like, when a victim of sexual assault or rape is treated and not just in Ireland mind you.  I Loved her brother Bryan, he was the only one who stood up for Emma, supported her and tried to make their parents see sense but not to much avail.

Louise O'Neill has written a brutal yet honest account of what could, can and has happened to women of all ages and where the questions and blame starts to set in; did they bring it on themselves by the way they acted?? by what they wore?? or where they #AskingForIt or are they a victim of a sexual assault?? I would HIGHLY recommend this to everyone to read from 16 years of age upwards, both male and female and would even go as far as to say that it should be on the Curriculum in Secondary Schools.  Asking For It will definitely be in my Top 10 Reads of 2015.

Asking For It is available on Kindle and in all good bookstores.

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