Young Adult

Review – Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

OEYOnly Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill
Publisher: Quercus (2nd Jul 2015)

eves are designed, not made.
The School trains them to be pretty.
The School trains them to be good.
The School trains them to Always be Willing.

All their lives, the eves have been waiting.
Now, they are ready for the outside world.

companion . . . concubine . . . chastity.
Only the best will be chosen.
And only the Men decide.

Only Ever Yours is Irish author, Louise O’Neill’s debut novel that has made such a huge impact on me after I’ve read it. I didn’t know what to make of this highly disturbing yet scarily real book. I decided to give this book a go when I saw that one of the praises it got was “Mean Girls meets The Handmaid’s Tale“. As a huge fan of the teen classic film, I was expecting cliques of bitchy teens and their smart, sharp tongues. Boy, I have never been so mistaken in my life.

Only Ever Yours is a spin-chilling story set in the future where women are created. They are known as eves and they are created for a purpose. They undergo training in the School to pave a path for their futures. The way things are, there are only three options: be a loving and caring companion to men, be a concubine to satisfy men or the worst of the lot, a chastity who trains new eves.

The protagonist is frieda, one of the top eves who is in the running to be a companion. Drilled from birth, she must be good and not defy the rules and orders of the chastities. Her best friend, isabel has been going off the rails and frieda is worried that she might be in trouble. With the pressure of the Ceremony, frieda prepares herself to be the #1 to secure her future, but can she turn her back on the one who she ever truly loved?

I found this book really troubling and I had to wipe out the horrible and unsettling thoughts of the world Louise O’Neill put in my head after I’ve finished Only Ever Yours. A world where eves are manufactured to serve their purpose as objects to men is truly disgusting but it reflects on what the world is going through now. Women are objectified as companions to men.

A truly gripping tale of conforming to fit into the moulds that were designed by society’s expectations, Only Ever Yours is captivating yet haunting and it will no doubt leave a mark on you when you’ve turned the last page. This book is frightening as the events in the book could possibly become reality and it is extremely alarming. Only Ever Yours has given me much to ponder.

I’d like to thank Quercus for sending me a copy of review in exchange for a review. Only Ever Yours is out now on paperback and eBook. Louise O’Neill’s next book, Asking For It is out on hardcover and eBook on 3rd Sept 2015.

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