The next morning Emma's parents discover her collapsed on the doorstop of their home, unconscious. Read more...
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The next morning Emma's parents discover her collapsed on the doorstop of their home, unconscious. She is disheveled, bleeding, and disoriented, looking as if she had been dumped there.
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. Her 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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-01
- Reviewer: Staff
O’Neill (Only Ever Yours) again examines the ways in which society devalues the bodies and lives of girls, this time taking on the subject of sexual assault. Emma O’Donovan, 18, has always been praised for her beauty, and she walks a line between cruelty and kindness to bend everyone to her whims. One night Emma parties too hard, drinking and taking drugs until she passes out. The next day she learns that she was the victim of a Steubenville-like gang rape, and the boys involved have plastered horrific and explicit photos of the assault online. Soon everyone in Emma’s tightknit Irish community has taken sides—mostly against her—and as a trial nears and the world watches, even Emma’s family abandons her. O’Neill’s treatment of how communities mishandle sexual assault and victimize its victims is unforgiving, and readers will despair to see Emma helpless in the face of injustice. It’s a brutal, hard-to-forget portrait of human cruelty that makes disturbingly clear the way women and girls internalize sexist societal attitudes and unwarranted guilt. Ages 12–up. (Apr.)