Asking for it

by Louise O'Neill

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Modern and Classic Literary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Asking for it

A courageous, unflinching and emotionally challenging novel, focusing on sexual consent and the issues surrounding social media commentary and uprisings. Covering two time periods, a year apart, a vivid picture emerges of Emma. Emma is a fascinating character, bright and beautiful, she loves to be the centre of attention, however she is manipulative and able to use her looks to her advantage. Beneath the surface, there is much more to discover, and as her story is written in the first person, a fuller picture of Emma starts to emerge. Louise O’Neill describes the events that occur with consideration, yet most importantly with a frank honesty, meaning at times this is not only an uncomfortable but also achingly difficult read. Distressing, bleak yet compelling, this is a significant novel that will encourage contemplation and discussion, about a painful and challenging subject. This title is recommended for older teens due to the content.

Liz Robinson

Asking for it Synopsis

'A soul-shattering novel that will leave your emotions raw. This story will haunt me forever. Everyone should read it' Guardian In a small town where everyone knows everyone, Emma O'Donovan is different. She is the special one - beautiful, popular, powerful. And she works hard to keep it that way. Until that night ...Now, she's an embarrassment. Now, she's just a slut. Now, she is nothing. And those pictures - those pictures that everyone has seen - mean she can never forget. For fans of Caitlin Moran, Marian Keyes and Jodi Picoult. 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.

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Asking for it Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Helen Clare - 'It is compelling and insightful and handles well the negative aspect of social media. Highly recommended for young adults and adults alike.'
  • Karen - 'This is an extremely powerful and thought provoking story and the writing is at times brutal. It raises issues of taking responsibility for yourself and the question of consent.'
  • Rachel Bridgeman - 'This is a brave, unflinching examination of consent, social media and social attitudes to sexual politics. Not for the faint hearted. Superb.'
  • Genevieve McAllister - 'A morality tale for the 21st century, I felt sickened and saddened reading this.  It should be compulsory reading for teenage girls and boys everywhere.'
  • Beth Kemp - 'Asking For It is hard to label as enjoyable, because in many ways it’s excruciating, but it certainly had me hooked.'
  • Katy Noyes - 'To say this 'makes a good point' is an understatement. It's powerful, explicit on more than one occasion (parental advisory: not for primary-aged readers) and very, very important.'
  • Julie Evans - 'A story which brings a different perspective to the age of the Smartphone, highlighting the potential damage it can cause to the individual and subsequent consequences to their families.'
  • Gill Dally-FItzsimons - 'Uncomfortable...Compelling...Heartbreaking...I couldn't put this book down, it really makes you think, the reactions, emotions and feeling of Emma and her family are so raw and convincing.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Wow, this book was just amazing. Really gripped to the book, didn't want it to end...'

Asking for it Press Reviews

'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

'O'Neill has a keen ear for the catty argot of teenage girls and her writing is razor sharp ... unsparing and unsentimental' Independent

'A razor-sharp look at gender issues' - Glasgow Herald Glasgow Herald

'Riveting ... a timely, gripping and vital novel.' Western Mail

'A nuanced and insightful commentary on the intricacies of teenage female friendship and the internal and external pressures that young women face as they reach adulthood' Irish Mail on Sunday

'Blistering, unapologetic and vitally important' -- Anna James

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781784293208
Publication date: 07/07/2016
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781784295868
Publication date: 03/09/2015
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781784293208
Publication date: 7th July 2016
Author: Louise O'Neill
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Louise O'Neill

Louise O'Neill was born in west Cork in 1985. She studied English at Trinity College Dublin and has worked for the senior Style Director of American Elle magazine. While in New York, she also worked as an assistant stylist on a number of high-profile campaigns. She is currently working as a freelance journalist for a variety of Irish national newspapers and magazines, covering feminist issues, fashion and pop culture.   Author photo © Miki Barlok

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