Posted in Young Adult Lit

Only Ever Yours, by Louise O’Neill

only ever yoursOnly Ever Yours
Louise O’Neill
2014 by Quercus
ISBN – 9781623654542
Genre – Dystopian
Age – High School
4 Stars

In a world where girls are designed to fill a part for men, Frieda and her classmates put their priority on their appearance. For sixteen years all they have ever worked for is being the top ranked girls and fulfilling the wishes of men. In their final year the competition gets stiff, especially after meeting the “inheritants,” the men who have the luxury of picking the girl to bear their sons. Frieda has never felt like she was good enough, and has always compared herself to the other girls around her. Then, Darwin, the number one inheritant seems to take a liking to her. Can she hold her position as the most desired, or will she throw it all away under pressure?

This book is likened to a combination of The Handmaid’s Tale and Mean Girls, and I can totally see that, although it may not be as intellectually stimulating as Atwood’s classic. What makes this book particularly scary, is how close it is to reality. Women and girls in their teens are constantly tearing themselves apart and comparing themselves to the “more beautiful” instead of being confident in their own image. They are putting their entire worth into physical beauty, and in turn neglecting their emotional, mental, and intellectual well-being. I liked that this book was pointing a finger at those issues in our society. I hated every character in this book, but I hated them for exactly the reason I was supposed to, weakness and vanity. I enjoyed the play on current and ridiculously annoying television shows that promote the same principals present in the book, and giggled every time the shows made stupid points. I loved the ending, which I am not going to give away, but it was absolutely not what I expected. To be nit picky, I thought the dialog was super choppy at times, and hard to follow who was saying what, but that is my only real complaint.

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