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Asking For It

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  17,888 ratings  ·  2,682 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 everyone

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published September 3rd 2015 by Quercus
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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 th…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
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  17,888 ratings  ·  2,682 reviews

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“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
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 o
Liz Barnsley
Aug 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

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
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
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
Barry Pierce
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who’s still confused who the real victim is when rape happened
Recommended to L A i N E Y ~back in a bit~ by: Éimhear (A Little Haze)
This book reminds me so much of this one girl I knew in college. No, she wasn’t raped. But there were pictures of her on the internet, all nude. I found out through my boyfriend at the time. One night he asked if there really was a girl name X at my college (we went to different ones) because his friend just forwarded an email with nude pictures of a girl with this name, who the email claimed goes to my college. I told him there was one, a senior and I didn’t really know her. I didn’t think anyt ...more
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
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I recommend this book to everyone because I believe everyone should read this book if they feel comfortable (trigger Warning, sexual assault, depression).

We need to step-up as a community, sexual assault is not okay and never has been okay. Bullying is not okay and has never been okay.

This book is extremely valuable to read for anyone, whether you enjoy reading or not, whether you are male or female, young or old, please consider reading this book.

Similar to Speak and All the Rage but Asking Fo
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
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 1, printz, starred-2016, 2017
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
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartbreakingly realistic. More thorough review to come with the #BangingBookClub
Aug 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trigger Warning :Rape

With recent books like What We Saw and Wrecked, Asking For It is a pertinent entry into society's must need discussion on the subject of sexual consent. This particular plot line takes place in contemporary Ireland and is from the viewpoint of rape victim, Emma/Emmie O'Donovan.

Let me be straight forward in saying that it is quite possible that readers are not going to like Emma. Emma is not the virginial shy girl in the corner that Hollywood likes to use as their cookie c
I knew going in that this would not be a pleasant read. I knew it would upset me, disgust me, make me angry and make me feel inconsolably sad. But I also knew that if someone was brave enough to write it, I could be brave enough to read it. This is an important topic and the entire world needs to have serious discussion about consent, rape, rape-culture, respect, compassion and survival. I think everyone should read this book. It’s flawed, full of horrible things, unlikable and hateful people, b ...more
Reading Corner
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 25, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
'Asking For It' is being regarded as one of the best novels to emerge in Ireland in recent years, and I really have to disagree with the praise that it is receiving from critics and the general public. I think that the book's message is responsible for its success, and not its writing. While the novel has an important message, the fundamental purpose of fiction is not to create social and political messages.

The narrative of the book is not overly deep or thought-provoking. Given that it is a fir
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

* 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
Mariah Roze
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).

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
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
THUG was another piece of realistic fiction I recently read that dealt with real issues. It was also easier for me to rate, because the bifurcation there was clear. I knew whom I was rooting for. Well, technically, the bifurcation was clear here too, and of course I was rooting for the prosecutrix. The girl who was raped. But Emma, the victim here, is not a nice person. She is a petty, jealous, selfish, horrible person who also steals just because. I don't care about any of this. What I do care ...more
Alice (Married To Books)
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
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Emma Donovan is the prettiest girl in their school, heck she's the prettiest in their entire town and boy, does she know it because she uses it to its fullest advantage. Yep, she's a certified mean girl, a bitch, a slut, however you want to call it and she's proud of it. She's full of herself and always makes sure to get what and who she wants. It doesn't matter if her friends get hurt in the process. She doesn't seem to have an ounce of respect to her mom, to her friends, and even to herself so ...more
“My body is not my own any more. They have stamped their names all over it.”
― Louise O'Neill, Asking For It

This is a book that makes you feel.
Any reader of realistic fiction Should not miss this one.


Of all the many books that I have read about rape culture this maybe the most bleak. Emma is a young woman who finds herself passed out on her own front doorstep.

When she awakens she is unable to recall The circumstances that led to this. As details come out about what happened to her, E
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
Feb 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so hard to read but the topic is so important.

The first chapters allow the reader to get to know Emma. She isn't the sweet, innocent girl and I actually wouldn't want her as a friend. But I think this was intentional, because it doesn't matter how sweet, flirty, bitchy, sexy the girl is. If she doesn't want it, you accept it and leave her the hell alone.

How everyone reacted after the rape was just heartbreaking. Even more so, when you realised that this happens way to often. Because w
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recognize how fucking important this book is and how angry it makes me feel. You can't even imagine how angry I am right now, how I'd like to throw the book at someone's face.
I am angry things like that - let's call it what it is : rape ; I'm angry that someone being raped could be treated like it's their fault. IT'S NOT. And it never will.
And let's be fucking clear one second :
- if you call a girl a slut for having sex with more than one guy, and she ends up being raped, you're part of the pr
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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

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“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.” 96 likes
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