Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. ..
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known. . .

My Rating:4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Plot:

Only Ever Yours is set in a dystopian future where women are not born, but created. They are called eves and they are designed to be perfect.When you reach the age of 16, you are either chosen to be a Companion(a wife), a Concubine(a prostitute) or a Chastisty( a teacher). Our Main character freida( none of the female names are capitalized) is sure that she’s going to be a companion. But with the stress of their final year, freida begins to realize that her future may not be as secure as she thought it would be. Only Ever Yours is a very disturbing read, and a very tough one. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone triggered by mentions of eating disorders, because Only Ever Yours has a lot of negative body image discussion. It’s a very important read because while this is not the way our society is, there are reflections of the way we perceive women. In Only Ever Yours, the girls are only their for beauty purposes, and are taught that that’s the only thing they have to worry about. It’s very scary but it’s also very true. Only Ever Yours is a very important read, one that you should read if you are able to stomach it.

One aspect of the story that I had a lot of trouble with was the mention of “Aberrants.” Aberrants are people in this society who were born wrong, and have characteristics that are undesirable.They talk about how  they eliminated the gene that makes gay people, which was very hard to read about it. Especially since the synopsis kind of made me  think that isabel and freida were lesbians. So if you’re expecting anything like that, there’s none of that.I kind of wish that the author could have explored this issue a little more,because it just made me really feel uneasy and I felt kind of mislead.

Characters:

So the main characters in this story are freida and isabel. Then you have the other girls in the school, the most notable one being megan.All of these characters are not the most likable, because obviously they’ve been taught to bash and criticize other girls,and are very negative about themselves and others. It’s very hard to read a book filled with self-hatred but it’s  also very important. There are so many girls who feel this way and I think it’s great that this book discusses this. There’s really no development in terms of the way freida sees herself. This sets Only Ever Yours apart from other dystopians. There’s really no revelation, no realization of how corrupt the government is. They are unable to escape this horrible world, so they just have to live with it.With is very tragic, and one of the reasons why I love this book so much.The only way to escape this world is through death.

sidenote: If any of  you have read this. Do you think freida is a women of color?She’s described as having darker skin so I’m curious.

Have You read This Book?What Do you Think of It?

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill Book Review

  1. Hey! This book was SO important to me, a modern Handmaid’s Tale if you will, which is similar but written in the 80s?. I hadn’t thought about the commentary on “abherrants” so thanks for pointing that out. When I reread it, I will definitely have to analyze that part as well. I think freida is a WOC, but it’s very unclear, which I understand the ambiguity, but it also would have been good and important to discuss that as well. It’s very clear those with pale skin and light hair are considered the standard in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: December Wrap-up | The Book Thief Without Words

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