I picked up ‘The Exact Opposite of Okay’ after seeing the book around YALC back in 2017. I wasn’t lucky enough to get an ARC, but I did get a chance to speak to Laura. I loved ‘The Exact Opposite of Okay’ and my poor book has been put though the ringer and the spine is a little abused. When I saw that Laura was writing a “A sapphic enemies-to-lovers retelling of Jekyll & Hyde” I knew I needed it.
Sadly, The Society for Soulless Girls was released last year during allergy disorder episodes, and I didn’t get a chance to read it when it first came out. However, The Society for Soulless Girls got jumped to the top of the TBR as Laura was going to be attending MCM. (Yesterday this is so odd to be writing in advance, hopefully I managed to get both my books signed yesterday..... I did)
As this is a Jekyll and Hyde retelling it explores the violent impulses that everyone has and what would happen if we gave in and lost control of our anger. I loved the books feminist twist not only does this book highlight current feminist issues but shows us the abuse inflicted on women throughout history. Friendly reminder woman could be institutionalised for reading and that’s before we look at the Salem witch trails.
Carvell College of Arts had to close 10 years ago when four students died under mysterious circumstances, and everything was swept under the rug as the North Tower murders. Carvell has now reopened and welcoming students like our two main protagonists Lottie and Alice who happen to be roommates. The book is told from their point of view. Lottie's and Alice don't really get along when they first meet as they are the complete opposites of each other. Slight Spoiler but having said that that this book is in the enemies to friends to lover’s trope.
I have a confession I think I am always going to be a sucker for dark academia. I mean who doesn’t love morally grey characters and the magical atmosphere of ancient schools. Who wouldn’t want to go to a creepy old school that had four murders, was a convent and rumours of an immortal cat like I’m packing my bags. Spooky isn’t just for Halloween people.
There’s a lot to love here enemies to lovers, dark
academia, rich atmosphere, a compelling mystery, and an appreciation of gothic
literature. It is also poignant, well written and I finished the book in one sitting,
and I cannot wait to read Laura’s Dorian Grey retelling (Every Exquisite Thing
- September 14, 2023)