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by Louise O'Neill

Emma O'Donovan is eighteen, beautiful, and fearless. It's the beginning of summer in a quiet Irish town and she and her friends have dressed to impress. Everyone is at the party, and all eyes are on Emma.

The next morning Emma's parents discover her collapsed on the doorstop of their home. She is disheveled, bleeding, and disoriented, looking as if she were discarded.

To her distress, Emma can't remember what happened the night before. All she knows is that none of her friends will respond to her texts. At school, people turn away from her and whisper under their breath. Here mind may be a blank as far as the events of the previous evening, but someone has posted photos of it on Facebook under a fake account, "Easy Emma"—photos she will never be able to forget.

As the photos go viral and a criminal investigation is launched, the community is thrown into tumult. The media descends, neighbors chose sides, and people from all over the world want to talk about her story. Everyone has something to say about Emma.

ASKING FOR IT is a powerful story about the devastating effects of rape and public shaming, told through the awful experience of a young woman whose life is changed forever by an act of violence.


"Try to be brave, grown-ups. O'Neill's second novel may be scary, but it is riveting and essential. Teenagers will recognize its difficult truth and devour it—behind your backs, if need be … You may be staggered by Emma's inability to make a self-respecting decision, even as her story goes international. But you'll be lit up with pain and rage on her behalf, and grateful for the few who stand by her."
—Jeff Giles, The New York Times

"Who is Louise O'Neill? You better brush up, because everyone's about to start talking about her … the feisty, funny, and feminist author … we've been waiting for, that might actually change something."

"O'Neill's writing infects, inches its way under your skin, assaults you with tiny, relentless pinpricks."
—The F Word

"Any piece of writing that deals with rape is going to be affecting. What makes Irish author Louise O'Neill's latest work of fiction so traumatic and infuriating is that the writing was motivated by multiple real-life cases of sexual assault."
—Broadly, Vice

"A must-read in today's rape culture, this novel is a follow-up to O'Neill's first (also wonderfully feminist) novel, Only Ever Yours."

"This harrowing examination of sex and sexual assault for teens and young adults … deserves the broadest possible audience, and to be widely discussed by teens, parents, and educators. With the precision of a scalpel, O'Neill delicately carves out the subtlest ways Emma learns that beauty is supreme, and with equal accuracy hammers home the double standard that still applies to both women and men. The images are haunting, the topic is difficult, and the ending is frustrating yet sadly all too believable."
—Common Sense Media

"Louise O'Neill may still be relatively new to the scene, but the Irish author is already earning comparisons to feminist literary legends like Margaret Atwood, and being declared the best YA fiction writer working today … ASKING FOR IT … will find its way deep under your skin and send a chill down your spine."

"A powerful cautionary tale that will appeal to older teens as well as to adult readers."

"O'Neill's powerful novel digs into deep questions about rape culture that are difficult to read but essential to consider. More graphic and grim than Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, this UK import nonetheless is an important read for mature teen audiences."
School Library Journal, starred review

"A brutal, hard-to-forget portrait of human cruelty that makes distrubingly clear the way women and girls internalize sexist societal attitudes and unwarranted guilt."
Publishers Weekly

"Should be 'required reading' for teens … O'Neill's empathetic approach has created an important thing: a work of fiction that can help readers believe in the reality of injustice and suffering."
The Barnes & Noble Review

"She writes with a scalpel."
—Jeanette Winterson, author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit