Ever wished you were prettier or weighed a bit less? Ever felt you weren’t good enough for the best looking men? Ever wished you could be friends with the coolest girls?
This is pretty much every teenage girl ever. And it’s the basis of Only Ever Yours, the stunning debut by Louise O’Neill. Only Ever Yours is a YA book I was reading for work. And it got under my skin in a big way. I wanted to read it all the time. It horrified me, yet I didn’t want to put it down. I had to know how it ended.
Set in a dystopian future, where women have been almost eradicated, the eves are girls who have been created, not born. They live in School until their 17th birthdays and there they learn all that is important for eves – to be pretty, to be good, to never show emotion and, above all, to always be willing. They have been waiting all their lives to be chosen, but will they be companion, concubine or chastity?
Freida has always known her place as the #3 eve, best friend of isabel, the #1 eve. But, as isabel distances herself from freida and the other eves, freida needs to find her way again. But is she good enough? Is she pretty enough? Is she thin enough?
In their quest for perfection, the girls starve, binge, purge and medicate, because that is the only way they know how to be the very best eves they can be.
This book is horrifying not just because it’s so wrong, but also because it’s so real. This might be a work of fiction, but the reality is, teenage girls do starve themselves, binge and take drugs in a bid for perfection. They are prepared to sell their friends out in order to get the best man or the coolest friend.
Only Ever Yours isn’t just a moral story with lots of important messages behind it, it’s a brilliant piece of fiction. It is a must-read for teenage girls and their mothers. I can’t recommend it highly enough.