freida and isabel have been best friends their whole lives. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions – wives to wealthy and powerful men.
The alternative – life as a concubine – is too horrible to contemplate.
But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty – her only asset – in peril.
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…
I am struggling to write this review because I can’t quite work out how I feel about Only Ever Yours. On the one hand, it is truly terrifying. It is a sign of being well written in the fact that I was left feeling a little bit disturbed and violated after reading it. The dystopian utopia that O’Neill has created is fascinating but to imagine a society that lives with these rules is a bit of a mind melt.
O’Neill makes you question the importance that we place on looks and beauty; she also makes you realise how dependant you are on social media and also how we relish and immerse ourselves in the lives of celebrities and celebrity culture.
However, I have to admit, I read Only Ever Yours because I found the cover to be interesting. There is a reason for the old adage ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but there is also a reason why people are paid mega bucks to design book covers. If you were to ask me if I liked Only Ever Yours I would have to say that I didn’t dislike it. However, it is not normally the type of story I would naturally pick up to read. It definitely has merit as a book because, as I have said, the concept is frightening but it was definitely not the kind of story I was expecting to read.
Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill is available now.
Follow Louise O’Neill (@oneilllo) on Twitter.