This book gives an accurate (as far as I can tell) and sensitive portrayal of OCD and General Anxiety Disorder whilst at the same time giving an interesting story and some awesome characters.
I really enjoyed Evie - she was very sweet and her reactions to her worsening condition as well as all the other stuff she had going on seemed very true to life. She definitely makes some bad decisions throughout the course of the book, but I still carried on rooting for her. I especially liked that the thing between her and the boy she is obviously supposed to be with was left unresolved, but hopeful.
There’s a good cast of supporting characters too, who are all well-fleshed-out. Guy the Baddie was a proper knob-end with all his emotional fuckwittage, and although it annoyed me when Evie kept wanting to be with him, I thought that this was a pretty accurate representation of a lot of relationships!
The plot kind of weaves around a bit, following Evie as she goes from college to home to disasterous dates to home to her friends... Sometimes the plot felt a bit - I’m struggling to find a better word than ‘weavey’, so I’m just going to go with that - but what made up for it was Holly Bourne’s writing. She has this chatty way of writing that pulls you right in and makes the words on the page flow very easily. You get the impression that if you met up for a coffee with her in Starbucks, you’d end up having a proper good old natter, setting the world to rights.
I really liked the fact that the author included feminist arguments and discussion in the book, even if at times it felt a little bit shoehorned in. The good intention is there, though, and she does a good job of pointing out issues like hidden sexism, the difficulty of being a woman living in a porn-saturated society and how far we really have still to go before we can achieve true equality. I especially liked the struggle Evie had with balancing her feminist beliefs with her desire to be liked by boys and be in a relationship. It felt very honest and real.
There were a couple of things that made me frown - I don’t necessarily agree with the importance the author places on the Bechdel Test (I get that it’s an indicator, but plenty of films with strong female characters doing awesome things fail the Bechdel Test. Sandra Bullock’s character in Gravity was just incredible, but the film fails the Bechdel Test as there aren’t two female characters who have a conversation that’s not about a man). I also wasn’t keen on the criteria the girls have for what makes you a woman - there were some references to being a woman if you menstruate or have a vagina. This is a little bit trans erasure-y for my tastes. I realise this is a contentious line, and it’s honestly not an argument that I want to start up here, but it did seem to jar a bit in what was otherwise a really good book.