C.G. Drews's Reviews > Only Ever Yours

Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill
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really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, read-2015, dystopian

I've put off reviewing this FOR A LONG TIME. It's too hard. I cannot...I don't even have properly formulated thoughts. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO RATE IT. *frets and sweats* (I'm buddy reading this with my friend, also...when she finishes we can discuss and I will be so grateful, but in the meantime, if you've read it, comfort me. PLEASE. HELP.)

This book is basically a futuristic world were women are treated as...barbie dolls. They're only there for sex. They are nothing. An insult is, "Don't be academic." It's the most sickening society in the world and really really awful and hard to read about. I struggled. I did. While I HATED it with a fiery passion, that doesn't mean the book isn't good. (Gah. Which makes it hard to rate.) I think it also highlighted some huge issues in today's world and just exploded them, so we can take a real good look at our tendencies. Like society's definition of beauty. And the viewpoint of mental health.

Not only is it (basically) about futuristic sex slavery, it's about eating disorders too. These girls must be perfect. They can't be fat. They constantly chant how evil and horrible "fat girls" are. Is sickening. If they put on a few pounds, they get torn to shreds by their peers. It basically just shredded my brain the way they had bulimia and anorexia and how this impacted their psychological health too. ERghhhh. I WANTED TO SCREAM AND CRY.

The writing is utterly addictive. I think the entire book was a tad too long. Like it made a point, heck yes, it made one. But at times I felt like we were just repeating the same horror story again and again and again and....move on, please. I'm not sure, though, if this was just because I was so uncomfortable. But the attention to detail was amazing. Even just down to the fact that the girls didn't have capitols in their names, because they were WORTH a capital letter. Omg.

But there was ONE real critique I have...it's narrated by Frieda (well frieda), and now and again another girl in her year pops up who's name is...Freja. HECK YES THAT WAS CONFUSING. I wishwishwish the secondary minor character had a totally different name. My brain was struggling with the entirely-new-world as was. Luckily she wasn't in the book so much.

The moment I closed the book, I just screamed, "BUT THIS IS POINTLESS." It's not. It's a story with a point but no conclusion. I did struggle with that (hence it took a few days to even attempt reviewing), but honestly? This was a good but sickening book. I felt 98% uncomfortable the entire time. It is 100% depressing. It is 1000% well-written and thought provoking and feels stabbing and....gawsh. Hold me. I'm just going to howl.

I didn't like the book, but it was eye-opening and I'm so glad I read it. It was so painful. It was so depressing. I seriously have no idea what to think. IT WAS A GOOD BOOK BUT IT WAS ALSO HORRIBLE, OKAY??
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Quotes C.G. Liked

Louise O'Neill
“I want to hide, fold into the shadows and become invisible so no-one can look at me any more.”
Louise O'Neill, Only Ever Yours

Reading Progress

November 13, 2014 – Shelved
November 13, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
January 31, 2015 – Started Reading
January 31, 2015 –
page 150
38.27% "This book is seriously warped and freaky and well written and....ugh."
January 31, 2015 –
page 211
53.83% "This is depressing."
January 31, 2015 –
page 357
91.07% "I have no idea how this is going to fit in a satisfying ending. o.O"
February 1, 2015 –
page 390
February 2, 2015 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 2, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
February 2, 2015 – Shelved as: dystopian
February 2, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-31 of 31 (31 new)

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message 1: by Elizabeth (new) - added it

Elizabeth Have you ever read Sold by Patricia McCormick? I think you might like it more than this...

The Quiet People Wow Cait. Every time I finish a book that I think I can recommend to you, you beat me to it. I totally agree with your review - it's not a likeable read, but it's damn addictive. I just hated how the ending felt rushed, and Isobel was supposed to be central to the plot, but barely featured.
Oh, and the Freida/Freja confusion was an issue for me too!
In short: chilling book, but very well written.

C.G. Drews @Nevillegirl: I HAVE. That one totally scarred me and was...amazing.

@TheQuietPeople: Oh yes, it was confusing about Isabel, right?! I was so freakishly curious about her the WHOLE time. I did struggle with Isabel/Frieda's friendship sometimes, though, because I literally never saw them being friends. 0.0 DEFINITELY CHILLING.

Pepperpots Your review is spot on!

C.G. Drews AWK! Thank you for reading it!

message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary Basically all of this + Isobel confused the shit out of me. So much of the time I just wanted to yell "USE YOUR WORDS" but they don't have any sort of proper emotional anything so they don't.

But I'm like "Isobel you are outside of this for the reason you can use words USE YOUR WORDS" and yeah I can see this felt kind of rushed/slipped in.

message 7: by Elm (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elm It HURT. The BOOK HURT! I was crying and sobbing and howling by the end of it I couldn't I just oh my god NOOOOO NO NO NOOOOO NOOOOOO!!!!
It is the best book I have ever read. It made me feel ill. I don't want to reveal spoilers ugh I have too much to say :( Darwin. That's all. Darwin. What do you think of him?

message 8: by C.G. (last edited Jun 14, 2015 04:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Elm: THIS WHOLE BOOK I HURT I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH YOU. Looking back, I think I should've given it 4-stars. *whispers* Is it okay to change ratings?! I have no idea. It totally kept me up at night, seriously, the writing! The characters! BUT THE ENDING WAS JUST SO SAD. And pointless. *hugs all the poor characters*

message 9: by Elm (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elm Ahh I know how you feel! But - I don't think the ending was pointless. In fact, I think it PROVED a point. It proved that - hang on, I don't want to give spoilers in case people haven't read it. Message me?

message 10: by Elm (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elm Also - course it's okay to change the rating! GO ON! I gave it 5 because it was so well done. Who's your favourite character?

Joanne Oh, Caaaait! This book was SO good! It scared the crap out of me! And I think the ending was perfect because it suited the world they lived in. I feel the book was a snapshot of their world, rather than other dystopias where it's a fight against the dictatorship. The ending broke me, though. Still, the ending upsets me so much. So, so good. So powerful.

message 12: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Joanne: AGREED. I was really really disturbed...like...freaking out about it. xD It's incredibly written, though, and I want to read like ANYTHING this authors writs, basically.

message 13: by Beth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Beth Bonini You did a fantastic job of summing up this book -- and also my feelings about it. It was painful and horrible and often really tiresome, but it also seemed worthwhile. I wish every young girl who thinks her physical appearance is pretty much the sum total of her worth (not to mention a bargaining chip) would read it.

Becky Shaknovich I think the names of the girls in this book were chosen based on the names of models who are currently famous "it girls." For example, cara in the book is known for her eyebrows, as is Cara Delevingne. freja may be named for Freja Beha Erichsen; agyness for Agyness Deyn, etc. It could just be a coincidence, but maybe that's why the author chose to name a character freja when there's already the similarly named freida as the main character.


Thanks for helping me articulate my feelings. Seriously, thanks.

message 16: by C.G. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C.G. Drews @Monica: XD YOU'RE WELCOME.

Isabelle (the Book Dutchesses) This describes perfectly how I felt about this book. After a few days I realised how good it was but I needed my roommate to comfort me in the middle of the night when I finished it because it left me feeling so hopeless somehow!

Bethany This is exactly how I felt about the book! I read it for like 2 hours at midnight when I got back from work because I was so addicted.. But I hated reading it too because of just the way everything was so awful and NOTHING went right for her.. Arghhhh

Becca Ashworth I loved the ending. It just felt like it fitted in for me, I would have been disappointed if she tried to formulate an improbable positive ending, but despite this, it still shocked me. I just thought it was fantastic, if tragic. The whole novel is a dystopian tragedy and so brilliantly done.

message 20: by Zoe (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zoe Just finished it and I agree with you 110%. I think what's so brilliant about this is how eerily plausible everything is. And omg that ending!!

message 21: by Zoe (new) - rated it 3 stars

Zoe Also I thought it was really interesting how O'Niell decided not to captalize the girl's names.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Your review voiced so many of my frustrations and conflicting emotions with this book. Like after I read it, I just wanted to curl into a ball and cry. Thank you for echoing my thoughts almost to a T.

message 23: by Zara (new)

Zara Hoffman Now I want to read this.

message 24: by Fadilla (new)

Fadilla Putri I feel you! It's like when I read O'Neill's another piece of writing Asking for It, I couldn't keep my mind off of the book for days. The book haunted me. It was very good but depressing. Thanks for the review! Would like to add Only Ever Yours to my to-read list.

Hannah I am almost half way through and you've nailed it- it is so sickening but at the same time it's impossible to put down.

Emily Rose The last paragraph is literally my exact thoughts. You kept waiting to get better but it only got more sad.

message 27: by Milly (new) - rated it 1 star

Milly Judge Omg this sums up my feelings completely.

message 28: by Natalie (new) - added it

Natalie West I'm reading it now, only on chapter 7 and came back to goodreads to see how I thought I would be interested in this book. It's pretty much reiterating the same concepts and dynamics over and over again and it's sticking me crazy. I kind of want to DNF it but it's hard for me to do that. It's been a real struggle to finish.

i-am-a-book-fangirl I read this review because I have no idea how to rate or review it either. I read the book when I was younger, maybe even too young to comprehend what O'Neill was saying. I also hated it but I knew that it was well-written. I kept reading though because I felt that it was important to see the story through. I might go back and re-read it now to pick up more than when I first read it.

Caroline  Stolz This is the most spot-on review I have ever read

Sarah I’ve just put it down. This is it. These are ‘the feels’ in a nutshell.

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