Asking For It by Louise O’Neill – Book Review

“They’re good boys really. This is all just got out of hand.”

Asking For It


I read this book as part of the Banging Book Club hosted by youtuber Hannah Witton and friends. This book club focuses on books that centre around sex.

Asking For It is a thought provoking book that focuses on the prosecution of rape victims. This is very current in our time especially with social media coming in to play when it comes to sexual assault. Which is used to great effect to show how rape victims now can no longer escape the torment of those prosecuting them in this young adult book.


The book is a great conversation starter for this issue and I praise Louise O’Neill for tackling such a tough subject in a way that was not bubble wrapped.


However, I do have problems with this book. The characters for one were horrible. They seemed one dimensional stereotypical teens. They had hardly any redeemable qualities. The parents were horrid in a way I can’t believe any parents can be. I had no connection with any of the characters except the main character’s big brother who seemed to be the only sane person in the town.


The novel also felt incomplete in a very unsatisfying and terrifying way. I felt like all the issues that were confronted were not talked about or resolved in a way that would help someone with no previous knowledge. I fear that some people who read this will believe the bad things that are said in the book towards the main character. I feel although that I can not fully explain completely how much this felt unfinished to me.This does not include the ending which I felt was understandable.


Also there was a comment early in the book that suggested another character had been assaulted but was never revisited which felt empty.


The most emotional part for me is the description of how the main character felt that she lost the possession of her body and how she changed from the person before to the person after.


The story did remind me of a news story I have seen from America and that made it seem slightly less original but I have no information on what the Author may or may not know about this news story.




I do recommend this book if you have an interest in women’s rights and the injustice of sexual assault victims. I wouldn’t read it if you have been a victim of this as it may be triggering. This book is emotionally draining and will make you angry. But its a subject we need to discuss.


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