Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

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Emma O’Donovan is a girl nobody would have as a friend: beautiful, jealous of her friends wealth, puppeteer and always loves to be the center of attention.

It’s the eighteen years old summer for Emma and her friends, and so parties, booze, the anticipation for the last school year and the expectation for what will come next in their future.

One morning, after a party, Emma wakes up on her family’s doorstep, she does not remember anything about the previous night and her friends try to avoid her. Soon Emma discovers the reasons behind their behaviours when she sees some photos of the previous day where she seems unconscious while having sex with some guys of her school.

Was this rape? Emma firstly declares she was aware and consenting, then she withdraw it – she actually does not rememeber, and the psychological weight of the situation begins to kick in. Emma was somewhat an easy girl: everybody know she was used to have sex never with the same guy, that she liked to be admired and she used to wear short skirts and low necked clothes. So the conclusion is that she was asking for it: she should have dressed in another way, beheaved in another way and then nothing would have happenend to her.

Louise O’Neill in Asking For It (#notaskingforit) focus the novel in the neverending debate seed: in a rape who is to blame? The blame changes if the victim wore a miniskirt or a dress? (Because there are instincts, it was practilly an invitation). The skill in dealing this topic stays in depicting a negative main character like Emma, because this way it’s harder to choose sides, and putting around her some apparently good friends (but a good friends is a friend in need, and nobody would like to have as friends Emma’s ones), and then abruptly changing the parts.

I think the writing sharp, and I appreciate the author choice to face difficult story, like she did in Only Ever Yours.

_______

* Asking For It by Louise O’Neill ★★★★☆

*I read this book in English

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