Sassy Books: Only Ever Yours

Tuesday, 28 July 2015
A big hello to all the sassy readers out there. It's that time of the month again where we are are all reviewing the #sassybooks book of the month. This month's book was Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neil which was a dark but interesting read. Last month we read I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson which was beautifully written but didn't quite cut it for me. This month was the total opposite as this book totally blew me away I was totally hooked and I couldn't stop thinking about it. So today's post will be a review of Only Ever Yours and we will be announcing August's book at the end of the post. I can't believe the summer has gone so quickly! Remember that this book club is cohosted by myself and Charlotte from Colours and Carousels so be sure to head on over to her awesome blog to check out her post as well. 

In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim. Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year. But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. 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've only heard good things about this book so I was expecting it to be a good read even if it would be a little difficult at times because of the subject. The story is told by Freida who is one of the higher rates 'eves' as she starts her final year of school. At the end of the school year the boys of the zone will be selecting their companions. Everyone wants to be a companion but there are 30 eves and 10 boys. So what we have is a very fierce competition to be on top. Freida thinks she has everything sorted but as her ranking starts to drop she will do everything she can to climb back up. Another notable thing is that in the book all of the female character's names don't start with capital letters whilst the male character's names are capitalised. It's done to show that the eves have less worth than the men. Also the eves are all named after famous models, it took me a long time to realise this!

This book was really, really dark at times. The girls are taught that being skinny is everything, that they should always be willing to pleasure their husbands and that they should be ashamed of menstruation. What was so terrifying is that these ideals are just the over exaggerated social norms of today. For example they are taught that people are fat because they are lazy and that's quite a common opinion in the western world at the moment. They also are taught to heavily criticise other women and they even have classes on this! Personally I thought that book contained a lot of adult content for what is considered to be a young adult novel. I would definitely recommend this for older/more mature teenagers as it is very harsh at times. It also contains content that could be quite triggering in a lot of different ways, so bear that in mind before reading this book!

In the end I gave 5/5 stars to Only Ever Yours and I think it's the best book I've read all year. It proposes some really interesting questions. I also liked that not everything worked out in the end, it left us questioning so much and left my mind racing all night. Here are some more reviews written by other bloggers participating in #sassybooks: Shy Strange Manic, Bethan Likes, Pixie Bebe, Life In Ginger, This Northern Gal, Momentarily Dreaming.

And next month's book? All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This book is set during the second world war which I personally love reading about in books. It follows a young French girl who is blind and a young German boy who is getting promoted up the ranks of the Hitler Young due to his engineering skills. This is an adult fiction novel that's working it's way up the charts at the moment. I've heard lots of good things about it from other book bloggers and booktubers. So I have high hopes for this novel! And seeing as the last two books were YA it seems like a good idea to try out some adult fiction. You can buy the book from Amazon here but I also noticed that it's on buy one get half price in Waterstones.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the book club this month, I hope you enjoyed reading the book. I would love to encourage as many of you as possible to participate this month. If you want to join in all you have to do is read the book and write a review. We post our reviews on the last Tuesday of the month so if you send me a link to your blog post before then I can include the link in my wrap up!

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