I mean, I’m almost speechless about how much I love A Girl Called Shameless. Almost, but not quite. It was laugh out loud funny, heart breaking and heart warming all at once, and I may have thrown it across the room at least once because I couldn’t handle how amazing it was.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?
A Girl Called Shameless is the sequel to Laura Steven’s phenomenal The Exact Opposite of Okay. I reviewed The Exact Opposite of Okay in 2018, which you can find here if you are curious. If you just want the short version, know that I absolutely adored it.
A Girl Called Shameless deals with the long term effects of Izzy’s revenge porn crisis and the way it continues to haunt her, even now. There is no denying that Izzy is in a far better place than she was but when another girl at the school is victim to a similar attack, Izzy’s rage returns. This time, she is going to do something with that rage. And so, Izzy O’Neill, comedic genuis, writer and nacho lover, finds herself in the political sphere. The Bitches Bite Back team have begun a campaign, a campaign that they hope will change lives. If they can get people to listen.
This book is very topical and deals with many off the key issues to date. I loved the way it handled youth engagement with politics and ‘big’ topics with its trademark humour. That humour however didn’t detract from the core message however. It was a reminder to me that we all have power and we all have a voice that deserves to be listened to, even if it hasn’t traditionally been the loudest in the room. I’m excited to think of teenage girls reading this and realising that they get to have a say in the matter. I think I could have done with that reminder back then – it was certainly appreciated at the age of 24 too!
I also just love the character of Izzy. She’s strong and ballsy, and swears even more than I do. More than that though, she’s growing a little less afraid of showing her emotions in this book which I loved her for. It was a pleasant reminder that vulnerability does not equal weakness. We’re allowed to not getting it right all of the time and to not feel alright all of the time.
Ultimately, this is funny feminisim at its best. It will certainly make you laugh but even more importantly, it will make you think. This is a powerful book and one I cannot recommend heartily enough.