It girl Emma O’Donovan knows she’s the most beautiful girl in her small Irish town, and she uses her beauty to cement her social power. In her mind, all the boys want her and all the girls fear her. Emma likes the thrill of proving people wrong by doing the unexpected. One night she sets her sights on the star soccer player from the local team. Dressed to impress, Emma and her friends arrive at a party, and she finds that the soccer star has taken up with a younger girl from her school. Intoxicated, Emma decides to seduce his older teammate to make the star player jealous and get her revenge. Once she finds herself alone with the teammate, she realizes her mistake and wants to return to the party, but he forces her to stay. A short time later, he lets some other boys into the room, and Emma takes some drugs and loses consciousness. The next afternoon her parents find her disheveled, soiled, and severely sunburned on their front porch. When Emma returns to school on Monday, she finds her former friends furious with her and her social standing crumbled. Images of the party and its aftermath circulating on social media reveal the true horror of Emma’s experience, and she finds herself and her family crushed by sexual assault.
A painfully realistic portrayal of sexual assault, social media, and the culture of image, Asking for It tells a true story of our times. Unfortunately, this book seems all too relevant in today’s world. Disturbing and excruciatingly real, it highlights the need for a cultural conversation about consent and for adults to recognize the horrific effects that image centric social media can have on teens.