A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

English / Great Britain

Only ever yours

O’Neill, Louise (text)
London: Quercus, 2014. – 392 p.
ISBN 978-1-84866-415-9

Perfection – Peer pressure – Drug addiction – Suicide – Free will – Male domination – Dystopia

In this thought-provoking debut novel, Irish writer Louise O’Neill presents a dire world characterised by male domination and outward appearances. The dystopian story is set in a society where girls – collectively called “eves” – are created artificially, bred in factory-like “schools”, and seen as objects rather than individual persons. Bodily perfection and obedience are the only qualities that count. The captivating first-person narration describes the life of sixteen-year-old freida (aka eve #630) during her last year at school, when she starts to crumble under the immense pressure and is sucked into a downward spiral. The dense writing style, riddled with ingenious details, makes readers feel the oppressing atmosphere and the girls’ self-destructive competitiveness. In an extreme take on popular casting shows such as America’s Next Top Model, O’Neill’s shocking novel offers harsh criticism on today’s society and the image of women. A must read for readers of any age and gender. (Age: 16+)