Title: Only Ever Yours
Author: Louise O'Neill
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This book was given to me by the publisher, Quercus, through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I've been a total junkie for dystopian fiction--all kinds of it, actually--for more than two years now. It's one of my favorite genres, often because of how twisted and creepy it can get. And Only Ever Yours completely goes over-the-top creepy--just the way I like it.
In what used to be Great Britain, "Eves", genetically designed women--literally--are trained to be a tool to the men of their society, and Frieda and Isabel have been friends their entire lives. They will become Companions together, and their sons will be best friends. But Isabel is pulling away from Frieda, for reasons she can't understand, and Frieda's beauty, her only asset, is in jeporday when the stress begins to get to her.
This book was many things: heartbreaking, frightening, but the biggest word that comes to mind about this book is disturbing. This book is so frightening because it is entirely believable: a world built by men, and women only valued for their beauty and their ability to bear children, raised from the age of four by often very cruel tactics. At times, I was nauseated. I had to put the book down to break from this awful world that the author paints.
It sickened me all the more because it showed me how often women are pitted against one another in a world where we should be supporting each other. This book isn't for the faint of heart at all; it requires a really strong stomach sometimes. But that being said, I loved it anyway; this book is incredibly revelant and should be read by women of all ages.
But the society aside, I really enjoyed the characters, too: Frieda, who wants nothing more than to be liked, and to be secure, I could relate to that, because, after all, who doesn't? Horribly bitchy, social climbing Megan, and all the other Eves, desperate for companionship but also trying to look out for herself in a world where nothing is safe for them. And the men, of course: the almighty Father, his son, Darwin, and the other Inheritants. The bottom line: A cross between The Handmaid's Tale and Mean Girls, Only Ever Yours is a dark, disturbing dystopian achievement! Next on deck: The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford!