Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

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.

Only Ever Yours, Book review, Louise O'Neill

Author: Sarah Mummy

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16 Comments

  1. Oh this sounds amazing! And very topical as scientists have recently created an embryo without an egg. I’m going to look out for it!
    Nat.x

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    • Eek! An embryo without an egg?! This really is well worth a read, thanks. x

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  2. I just wanted to say thank you for the recommendation. I bought this for my 14 year old daughter, who used to be an avid reader but had stopped reading. She read the book in an afternoon – she thought that ‘it was such a good book even though at times I didn’t want to read on’. The ending really shocked her. She is now lending it to a friend and deciding what to read next so thankyou!

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    • I’m so pleased that your daughter read it! It really is the sort of book you can’t put down. And the ending really is shocking 🙁
      I hope your daughter keeps reading now!

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  3. This sounds like quite an eye opening read, thanks for linking up to ReadWithMe

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    • I would definitely recommend it! It really puts a lot of teenage obsessions into perspective.

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    • That sums it up perfectly! It wouldn’t be my normal sort of book, but I thought it was stunning,

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  4. This sounds like an interesting read. Not something I would usually pick up but after reading your post, I’d quite like to read it now. 🙂 #ReadWithMe

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    • I would definitely recommend it! It’s not the sort of thing I would normally read either, but it was impossible to put down.

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    • I didn’t think it was my type of book either, but it was brilliant!

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  5. this sounds very interesting. I don’t read a lot at the moment (3 under four means I am always finding other jobs to do!) but when I do read I tend to choose YA or short reads. this sounds really interesting #readwithme

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    • I can imagine three under 4 must make life quite challenging! I had three under 5 and that was tough enough! I would definitely recommend this book.

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  6. This sounds so interesting but horrifying at the same time. A great read for teenage girls #readwithme

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    • That sums it up perfectly! I really think all teenage girls should read it, it puts so much into perspective.

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