Winner of the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year Award.
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...or chastity. Only the best will be chosen. And only the Men decide.
©2014 Louise O'Neill (P)2015 WF Howes Ltd
"Deserves to be read by young and old, male and female, the world over in the same way Harry Potter and The Hunger Games were." (Sunday Independent)
"Utterly magnificent...gripping, accomplished and dark." (Marian Keyes)
"The Handmaid's Tale meets Mean Girls." (The Vagenda)
Only Ever Yours sits neatly alongside The Handmaid's Tale as an oddly feminist warning from a possible future. However, the vapidity of the girls - and the future without religion - make this a different prospect, despite the clear parallels between frieda and Attwood's Offred.
I do have issues with the performance - some words and phrases are clearly deliberately altered to signify the passing of time with the modification of language. The occasional mispronunciation - 'chaste' to rhyme with 'past' to give one example - which clearly isn't deliberate jars, and jars badly. Additionally, whilst the breathless and rushed delivery works for the 'Mean Girls' aspect of the novel, you're left strangely cold and uninvolved by moments of horror and pathos.
Would I recommend it? You bet. This book should be a mandatory 13th birthday present for everyone. Even boys. Perhaps especially boys.
Disturbing dystopian novel; a modern "Handmaidens tale". Crisply written from the main character's view point. You can almost taste the fear that pervades the novel. Haunting, beautiful. I liked best how you felt at times that you were in the main character's head, feeling her desperation and fear as she tries to survive a dysfunctional and cruel world.
Frieda, because she is so flawed, often unlikeable and very damaged.
Had I come to this for the first time just from the audible book I would not have loved this book so much, because the narrator was not skilled at showing the underlying fear that set a chilling backdrop to the surface bullying and bantering of the girls in their final year at school as they jostled for positions. The narrating was often harsh, loud and irritating, which to some extent was fine as the girls are largely supposed to be irritating and unlikeable, but the subtle shades of darkness were not there. There were times when the narration, in my opinion, should have been whispering, chilling, or depressed, but it wasn't. Also you couldn't always tell when characters were speaking or thinking, They melded into one in the narration. I just think that dark meaning was lost in the telling. I would not recommend this narrated version of this book.
This is a powerfully dark book that packs a punch of horror. It usually makes me cry and feel fear and despair.
I would strongly recommend this book but not this narrated version of it.
I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't. The dystopia isn't very convincing and leaves too many questions unanswered. If the Eves are genetically engineered/created, why give them free will at all? Or the choice of what to eat if they don't want them to be fat? If there are only 10 inheritors every year, what happens to the other sons born? Who does all the manual labour? Were the women in the girlband The Sluts companions, chastities or concubines? Too many loose ends and nagging questions, and the story just wasn't compelling enough to drown them out. And yes, I realise that it is a YA novel, but that's not usually an impediment to my enjoyment, or an excuse for shabby world building.
No, just by this author.
The teenage girls' voices were grating, but I'm not sure if this was the fault of the narrator.
None stand out, which is part of the problem.
Hard work with little reward.
This book left me stunned at both the frightfulness of the society one gets to glimpse at and the eerie similarities to our own.
If you intend to sleep soundly or feel at peace ever again, then stay far away. If however you value an incitement to compassion and empathy this book will give you that in spades.
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