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Asking For It

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  10,484 Ratings  ·  1,847 Reviews
It's the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O'Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there's a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can't remember what happened, she doesn't know how she got there. She doesn't know why she's in pain. But everyon
...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published September 3rd 2015 by Quercus UK
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Hester The details that are revealed after the fact are extremely upsetting. And yes, some of them qualify as graphic in my book. But ultimately, it's not…moreThe details that are revealed after the fact are extremely upsetting. And yes, some of them qualify as graphic in my book. But ultimately, it's not those details that will make you cry.(less)
Catriona Quigley
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lola  Reviewer
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rape, contemporary
Emma O'Donovan is not a character Louise O’Neill created to narrate this book.

Emma exists. She’s everywhere. Where you are, where I am, where everyone is. There are Emmas all over the world.

Which is why it’s so important for people to read this book.

Rape cases happen so often that we’ve come to trivialize them in our culture, it’s true. The word rape has always had a negative connotation to it, and it still does (no one wants to talk about it), but it’s still not taken seriously enough.

And we ha
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Stacey (prettybooks)
I reviewed Louise O'Neill's Only Ever Yours in August and put Asking For It straight on the top of my TBR. I knew it was going to be difficult, powerful and much-needed even before I started. It's the perfect choice for my book club because we're all sure to have a lot to say.

Asking For It is about what happens to eighteen-year-old student Emma O'Donovan after she is raped at a party by a group of boys on the school football team. She doesn't understand what's happened to her, until photos of
...more
Kai
Sep 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“My body is not my own any more. They have stamped their names all over it.”

Everybody must read this. It should be read in school, uni, book clubs. By parents and by teenagers. By you! This is a highly underrated novel and needs way more attention.

This was incredible. I can't say I enjoyed reading it, because I did not. It made me feel uneasy, uncomfortable, queasy, angry, sad, and very very hopeless.
The writing itself is awesome, the characters intruiging. You don't really bond with them, becau
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Liz Barnsley
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Where to start…

Asking For It will hit you hard in emotional places you didn’t even know you had. Louise O’Neill has some stark truths to put in front of us and boy does she do that without giving you ANY room to wriggle away or hide from them. This book SHOULD, assuming you are a human being, make you mad as all hell. Because sadly every single little bit of the story could be, has been and will be something that happens. Happened. Will happen again…unless we change an awful lot of attitudes.

We’
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jessica
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this was H E A V Y.

also, note - im rating this for the book itself (i did not like the writing style, the abundance of characters and lack of evident transitions made it difficult to follow the story, i found the main character difficult to empathise with, etc.). if i was rating this based on the message alone, it would probably get four stars because i cannot state how important it is for a story like this to be told. sure, the execution wasnt for me, but that doesnt diminish the need for awar
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Lia
Reviewing this book today is not any easier that it was days ago, when I finished reading it. But I know most of you must've heard what just happened to Kesha, who is being forced to work with the man who abused her physically and mentally. And even though I'm not a fan of her music, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter because for how many times I try to convince myself that our society is different, that things are not how they used to be, that rape and abuse are taken seriously and that women ...more
Barry Pierce
With great hype come great expectations. It's fairly tough to try to ignore this book, especially in Ireland. It's being lauded as one of the greatest Irish novels in recent memory and all I will say to that is, "hmm".

While the message of this novel is very important I cannot say that the hype is deserved. To be perfectly honest I would have preferred if O'Neill had just penned an essay, an essay stating her views and the point she's trying to get across. I feel she couldn't wrap a successful n
...more
Emer
Review post second read June 2018

This is one of those books that still has impact after a second reading. Honestly my heart is so full right now... But I think it's so full because of the realities of this book and real world cases that we've all heard about.

A girl dresses in what is termed a provocative manner...
But why is her body immediately sexualised? Why can't she dress in fashion-forward feminine clothing because she likes the way she looks??? Why is it always assumed that a short skirt
...more
Jenna Major
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
BEFORE I START! If you are keeping up to date with the news these days you may have heard of the Stanford Rape case, where the rapist, Brock, was sentenced to a despicably short 6 months. UPDATE: HE WAS RELEASED AFTER ONLY SERVING 3 MONTHS! 3 FREAKING MONTHS!! Despicable. This book cuts deeply into subjects similar to this case.

IT IS NOT OKAY TO TOUCH SOMEONE WITHOUT CONSENT. SEXUAL ASSAULT IS REAL AND RAPISTS AREN'T GETTING THE SENTENCES THEY DESERVE! It is outrageous, the overwhelming rape c
...more
Bee
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is so, so cruel. Yet so completely realistic, I almost wish it was a lie.

The story is about Emma O'Donovan. In any other YA novel, she would be the Queen Bee, the Mean Girl, the ultimate Bitch everyone loves to hate and hates to love. As the book is from her point of view, we get to read her thoughts and feelings unedited, however shallow and narcisstic they may be. She is constantly making sure that boys notice her, and if they don't, she wonders why. She is jealous of her friends, h
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Tatiana
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1, printz, 2017, ya, starred-2016
Asking For It is the second very political choice by Printz Committee this year. Is this the best ya novel about rape culture? Is it better than, let's say You Against Me or All the Rage that came out a couple of years ago? Is it better than other books about rape culture and victim blaming that were published this year? I can't really tell because I don't quite have the stomach to sample and compare any more of these stories. But one thing is certain - Louise O'Neill has power and rage in her w ...more
Matteo Fumagalli
Videorecensione: https://youtu.be/mjSoEP5jZdg

Sicuramente uno dei migliori Young adult che abbia mai letto.
In un periodo in cui escono tonnellate di titoli mediocri, Louise O'Neill è un'autrice che, nel genere, va tenuta assolutamente d'occhio.
Con una prosa semplicissima è in grado di colpire violentemente allo stomaco del lettore.
Il tema è quello del consenso, attualissimo, e, soprattutto, del revenge porn.
Non aspettatevi una costruzione classica della storia.
La vittoria del romanzo sta nella
...more
Hannah
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreakingly realistic. More thorough review to come with the #BangingBookClub
Anthea
Oct 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
I am definitely one of the minority here....

This book was so badly written??? I really don't see the hype at all. I was excited to read this as it addresses rape culture and apparently has HIGH reviews here on goodreads but I was let down tremendously.

First of all, there were too many characters to keep track of. It suddenly jumps from one character to another which was really confusing. There also wasn't any introduction of the characters' appearances/characteristics. None of the characters w
...more
Rebecca
I don't quite have words yet but I will definitely review this at some point. For now, I'm just going to let it all sink in. Such an intense and powerful and important book.

Trigger Warning: Rape - message me if you want details if you're concerned
Reading Corner
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
Trigger Warning:Rape


I've been meaning to read this one for ages and I'm so glad I got around to it.I literally couldn't put it down and I had it finished in less than a day.Asking For It is a devastating novel which explores one of the most relevant but ignored aspects of our society today, rape culture.Eighteen year old, Emma O'Donovan suddenly becomes a victim of this when she awakens the day after a party to discover revealing photographs of her from the night before, posted online.S
...more
Mariah
I read this book for the goodreads' book club Diversity in All Forms. (If you want to participate in the discussion the link is below).
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

I also read this book for my Young Women's Hometown Book Club (it worked out nicely).

I enjoyed the read but at times it dragged on. I felt like I was enjoying it more than normal because the discussions that were taking place with the book were very good and captivating, but the book itself had a lot of dull moments.
I real
...more
kat
Apr 05, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5? 3? something in there. i have some things to say (both good and bad) rtc.
Mary
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THE GOOD:

* Tackles a very sensitive but important topic - sexual assault and its aftermath
* It’s very eye-opening, very difficult to read and it leaves you with a nauseous feeling, because it’s very rooted in reality
* Unlikable protagonist, but I really like that the author chose to write the main character this way, to make the point that no matter what kind of people they are, victims are still victims
* I loved the writing - raw, unapologetic, intense
* Ambiguous ending, because there’s no cl
...more
Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
I read Asking For It a few weeks ago but forgot to type up my review on Goodreads for it, oops! I met Louise a few days ago at a book event and she was ever so nice and down to earth. If she's at an event close to you, go and see her!

The subject topics contained in this novel are deep, it tackles the negativity of social media, rape and life changes in an instant. Emma is an eighteen year old girl who has everything she could ever want and when a party comes up, she goes along. But in the follow
...more
Book Riot Community
I read this book in one sitting. It’s a book that you endure rather than flip through casually. O’Neill’s writing is like a gut punch with a kick to throat for good measure. It follows Emma, a beautiful eighteen year old from a small Irish town. Emma and her circle of friends are a “Mean Girls” kind of clique. They are obsessed with their appearance, are cruel to other people and even to each other. This all changes after Emma is raped at a party by multiple boys. The incident is recorded and pl ...more
Kaitlin
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't often read contemporary fiction, but when I do I like to read books that have a really important theme to them and which will both entertain me, and make me think...hard. This book does both of those things, it's a fast-paced story which unfortunately isn't just a story, This is a set of events that could easily happen to any young girl or woman. The story we see unfold of Emma and her tragic night where everything goes wrong, is such a horrible, but deceptively easy situation to get int ...more
Sandra
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I haven't actually written any reviews because, to be completely honest, I'm lazy and also, despite the amount and diversity of books I've read throughout my life (and considering how early I started and the type of books I read as a child and teen already), I wouldn't ever dare criticize an author seeing as I don't write books myself. If I enjoy a book, I enjoy it. If I finished it it's because I felt compelled to keep reading and never lost interest so why rate a book any less than 5 stars? Of ...more
Rachel
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Asking For It is a difficult book. As if the subject matter isn't disturbing and harrowing enough - an 18-year-old girl is raped and then ostracized from her community because of it - Louise O'Neill's approach to this story is ruthlessly, unnervingly honest. Emma O'Donovan's story isn't one of healing and closure and happy endings, and it can be hard to read because of that, but it shows an important side to this story that we don't often see depicted in fiction.

The most striking thing about As
...more
may ➹ (semi hiatus)
FULL REVIEW F I N A L L Y POSTED!!

4.5 stars.

How do I review this when my emotions are a mess???

First off, let’s just say that EMMA IS AN ABSOLUTE BRAT. She is unlikeable, rude, and extremely self-centered. But I think that this is the point of the book: No one deserves to be raped, even if they are mean and selfish. And that’s just one of the reasons why this book is SO important.

Emma’s character arc is really hard to judge. Did she become a better person after she was raped, or did she just bec
...more
Vanessa
3.5 stars.

Asking For It is probably one of the first books I have ever read that deals with rape culture and victim blaming, that is a fictional book at least. And god is it an important topic, one that isn't discussed nearly enough.

Emma O'Donovan is beautiful and popular, and has a lot of clout and control over her life in her tiny Irish town. Everyone knows her and everyone loves her, at least until one summer night where her life changes. She can't remember what happened, but she can see the
...more
Ylenia
Sep 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ylenia by: Booktube
★ 2016 AtY Reading Challenge ★: The 16th book on your TBR.

All I am is a thing.
All I am is a collection of doll parts to be filled in and plugged up and passed on
.

Trigger warning for: rape, sexism, slut-shaming, victim-blaming, drugs and alcohol, self-harm.

This was an heavy read. I felt the weight of everything that's wrong with my generation on my shoulders.

To be honest this novel had its flaws. It was slow in some parts, a lot of repetition of the same stuff happened - pretty much all during t
...more
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
This is such an important book to read. And the forward by the author at the end is true. This is too much like a realistic story that I can't help but be sad. I'm so sad for all the females who have to go through this. Who are the victims, yet the media and their community make them to be the villains. There are definitely triggers in this book for all, so I do have to warn you. Some of it was just plain awful. The writing and pacing was on point. And the characters and dialogue each played a p ...more
Francesca
Right. I've put this review off for over a month now but it's time. I've been struggling with trying to put all my thoughts on this book into words. I wanted the review to be eloquent and to be written with the same amount of devotion that the book was clearly written with. If I'd written this review straight after I finished reading it, it would've likely been one long paragraph of incoherent, rage fuelled ramblings. By giving it some time, I have been able to process my thoughts, calm myself d ...more
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1,350 followers
Louise O' Neill is from Clonakilty, in west Cork. After graduating with a BA in English Studies at Trinity College Dublin, she went on to complete a post-grad in Fashion Buying at DIT. Having spent a year in New York working for Kate Lanphear, the senior Style Director of ELLE magazine, she returned home to Ireland to write her first novel.
She went from hanging out on set with A-list celebrities t
...more
More about Louise O'Neill

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“They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.” 127 likes
“We teach our girls how not to get raped with a sense of doom, a sense that we are fighting a losing battle. When I was writing this novel, friend after friend came to me telling me of something that had happened to them. A hand up their skirt, a boy who wouldn’t take no for an answer, a night where they were too drunk to give consent but they think it was taken from them anyway. We shared these stories with one another and it was as if we were discussing some essential part of being a woman, like period cramps or contraceptives. Every woman or girl who told me these stories had one thing in common: shame. ‘I was drunk . . . I brought him back to my house . . . I fell asleep at that party . . . I froze and I didn’t tell him to stop . . .’ My fault. My fault. My fault. When I asked these women if they had reported what had happened to the police, only one out of twenty women said yes. The others looked at me and said, ‘No. How could I have proved it? Who would have believed me?’ And I didn’t have any answer for that.” 80 likes
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