This book, you guys.
I decided to read this when Brave New World had left me in a bit of a reading slump (I really want to read but can’t seem to stumble through it). After a particularly frustrating attempt at making progress, I decided to just go ahead and buy the books in my Amazon basket. In this virtual shopping trolley sat Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill, the latest venture for Sassy Books.
It only took three pages for me to be hooked by the glittering brutality of O’Neill’s world. In a world barely surviving, women have been replaced by eves, girls who are designed with one purpose: pleasing the men who created them. They spent their whole life preparing for the ceremony which will decided their future. There Inheritants will decide whether the eves shall spend their days as a companion, concubine or chastity, left to run the Schools they grew up in.
The novel concentrates on freida, who suffers everyday as she struggles to compete with the other eves to be #1, to be perfect. Battling her weight, her classmates and her own reliance on medication, freida’s life is a harrowing look at our obsession with appearance. The scariest thing about Only Ever Yours is that her dystopian nightmare isn’t that far from our own reality.
The mystery of isabel, the eve who had once been top of the rankings and freida’s best friend runs parallel to the main story. It stays in the sidelines the whole way through, even when it all makes sense and your heart breaks for the sixteen year old. This isn’t a novel of happy endings, that’s for sure. I stayed up late to finish it and then found myself tossing and turning for a while after, wishing O’Neill had given me enough closure to sleep. And yet, I was also so glad that she didn’t. The brutality needed to remain until the last page. I needed to sit and think about what I had read.Even now, the morning after, the words are still racing through my brain and I want to find a way to make this book compulsory reading for everyone I come into contact with.
Have you read Only Ever Yours? What did you think of it?