Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

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Published: July 2014 by Quercus

Edition: Kindle ebook

Pages: 400

Genre: Dystopia, Feminist Literature, Young Adult

 

In this alternate reality women are bred to be just a few things, trophy wives for the superior men or the teachers and concubines that raise the next generation of women. Freida and Isabel are certain of their future, wives for some well to do men. But what happens when Isabel starts to put on weight, shaming herself and her fellow women? Will her best friend be able to stand by her as she falls down the ranks?

Only Ever Yours is a satirical dystopian look at the girl vs girl culture that is rife in our modern world. The girls in this school are bred with little love, instead filled with hatred for their fellow woman. The girls are set into a competition come pageant to appoint them to a suitable male to marry. Most of the girls show signs of disordered eating, in fact it’s encouraged throughout the book. They are also put on display and are verbally assaulted by the other girls, picking apart which bits of their body are acceptable and which are not.

Although all these things are bone chilling and make you want to scream these aren’t the truly scary parts. The scary bits are when the books mirrors the modern reality we live in. Seeing girls say things in the book about their classmates and thinking ‘I’ve heard that before’.

In short this is a delightfully exaggerated version of where our culture could go, much like Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. This idea of taking the humanity away from humans (in this case girls) is something absolutely terrifying.

Without spoiling anything the ending isn’t a Disney happily ever after but it fits with the story, after all this isn’t a happy go lucky book.

I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy reading about social constructs, feminism, celebrity culture and dystopian futures! An amazingly terrifying read!

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