Finished May 9
Asking For It by Louise O'Neill
This teen novel is set in the Irish town of Ballinatoom, where Emma O'Donovan is a young woman who uses her beauty and popularity to get what she wants, or at least what she thinks she wants. She is the dominant one in a group of 4 girls, with the others being Jamie, Maggie, and Ali. She values her reputation, but still is willing to use her body to get the boy that she wants. She doesn't want to be seen as afraid of trying things, even though she really is. She counsels her friends to deal with bad things that happen to them quietly, and not make a fuss. So when she goes out to a party when her parents are away overnight, and they find her on the doorstep the next day in very bad shape, she works to protect her reputation. She doesn't remember exactly what happened anyway, and despite knowing inwardly some of what she happened is not what she would choose, she tries to move forward as if nothing had happened, but when it turns out that pictures were taken and circulated, she doesn't know what to do, or how to react.
This is a story of peer pressure, of a culture of risky behaviour, and of bad choices. This is not the book I expected as I began it, and yet it is a book that speaks to the realities of some young women.