28 Jul 2015
Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill - #SassyBooks July
When Hayley suggested that we try out "Only Ever Yours" for this month's #SassyBooks read I knew there was a reason I trusted her taste in books. Dystopian fiction is one of my favourite genres and "Only Ever Yours" sounded like the perfect fit for me. If you don't already know about #SassyBooks then you can catch up with all of the details here, and read my review of our first book here.
In a world where girls are no longer naturally conceived, they are genetically engineered with one single intention in mind - pleasing men for the rest of their existence. The girls, or "eves" as they are known are raised in The School, withstanding numerous regimes that are designed to preen them to perfection. Once the eves reach a certain age their final fate is determined, proceeding either to be a Companian, Concubine or Chastity.
The story focuses on two eves in particular, freida and isabel, who have been close since a young age. With the mounting pressure of their final year in The School their relationship starts to crack and isabel starts on a path of self destruction.
Without a doubt this book has a lot of talking points, which may be apparent from the synopsis alone. Some parts were a really difficult read and it was certainly very thought provoking, but it was so cleverly written that I just could not put it down and finished it all in one night. It was darker than I had expected and the plot took a totally unpredicted twist (for me at least). The characters are so well developed, with intense emotions that I'm sure many people can relate to.
Like many other novels in the dystopian genre there was a clear element of reflection of our current society, however in my opinion it does so in a slightly more subtle manner. The use of capitalisation to highlight perceived worth was a great little trick. It reminded me slightly of an episode of Black Mirror and I would definitely recommend reading this book if you do enjoy that show!
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. There were some uncomfortable moments, but on the whole I found it intelligent, dark and brooding. It's been a while since I was unable to put a book down so kudos to it for that! I did think the ending was a bit abrupt, but I think it's more than deserving of 4/5 stars. Make sure you check out everyone else's reviews via the #SassyBooks hashtag!
Our next book is going to be All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr a piece of historical fiction about a blind French girl and a young German boy who's lives collide during World War II.
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