Asking For It (Winner of the Irish Book Awards 2015) Hardcover – 3 Sep 2015
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'Riveting and essential' (New York Times)
Brilliant, harrowing (Observer)
A brutal and shocking novel that strikes to the heart of the current debates around consent (Stylist)
'Establishes Louise O'Neill as a literary tour de force' (Irish Independent)
A difficult, confronting and vital read (Elle)
Heartbreakingly accurate . . . handled with both sensitivity and unflinching honesty. A compelling and brave story that deserves to be read by all (Heat)
A stunning portrait of a girl, a family and a town in trouble (Irish Examiner)
A brutal, unflinching look at the culture of slut-shaming and trial by social media. It broke my heart. (Red Magazine)
A brave and important book about rape culture, sexism and victim-blaming in modern society. (Telegraph)
Bold, brave . . . and brutal (Bookseller)
BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS 2015. The award-winning, bestselling novel about the life-shattering impact of sexual assault, rape and how victims are treated. For fans of Caitlin Moran, Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult.See all Product description
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What made this hard-hitting read memorable for me was that Emma was not a sanitised character but one that was imperfect and authentic. This made hard reading in many ways as we navigated the brutal world of teens and the aftermath of the party that changes everything for Emma and her family.
It is hard to read a work of fiction like this without feeling outraged and horrified but it also saddens me that with great breakthroughs in this day and age we have still quite a way to go to address women's rights around the world. Not an easy read but o e with many triggers as this tackles the issue of rape and consent, but in my opinion a must read.
A standalone novel from the author of 'Only Ever Yours', I found I could not put down this heartbreaking and devastating tale. The female main cast are well crafted, and at the start of the book, Emma is so different. It's a tale of progressive characters, and a world in which we are living in. The plot is shattering, and some readers could find this uncomfortable. That being said, it is a brave story, a tale of hope and courage, as well as the terrifying realities that women face.
Any girl/teenager/woman should read this. Boys/men should read this. Everyone should read this, and realise that when something awful like rape happens, women are not asking for it in any sense of the word.
I can't wait to see what Louise O'Neill has in store for readers next.
It was so thought provoking and made me sit down and chat to my 15 year old daughter. It made me cry... a lot!
The scary thing is that this stuff is all too true. Why is it always the girls fault? Why is the girl always vilified and hated? It's just awful to think in this era us girls are still not as equal as men and the worst thing is.. girls seemed to be at the centre of this story.
The author is a brilliant writer. This must have been all too difficult for her too write but well done for writing about this subject and provoking ( I hope) many chats with our daughters.
Emma is the central character in Asking For It, Louise O’Neill’s latest work, following the excellent Only Ever Yours. She’s taking on extremely big issues and themes and this will be seen as a tough read by some, but it’s one that deserves the attention it has received since its publication.
The book features harrowing depictions of rape and its aftermath. The horror of this gets worse as it progresses and Emma is unable to remember the events of the night. People are quick to judge her after the photos, to brand her and shame her. The word ‘rape’ hits a nerve, it isn’t something she wants to take on .
There’s a sense that the community is against her. This is a GAA place and people are quick to defend the other people involved as they’re seen as pillars of the community. O’Neill is extremely good at digging into this and conveying the control and influence people have when they’re involved in the local sporting world.
Emma has to suffer trial by media, locally, on radio and even on The Late Late Show. She’s made to feel that things are her fault. She’s no longer Emma, she’s now the Ballinatoom Girl. People are out to judge her without knowing what really went on. It’s her that is at fault in the eyes of many, not the other people that were involved.
Asking For It is an important book. It challenges the way we handle things as a society and shows how quick people are to make judgements and not treat people with respect and dignity. It looks at how a society can turn against a victim and not show any consideration for what that person has gone through. Once again, O’Neill has created a work that should be widely read by teenagers and adults.