Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill


Liya Zhang

“Only Ever Yours” by Louise O’Neill is a book not meant to be enjoyed. It’s the complete opposite; it’s supposed to be loathed.

Liya Zhang, Staff Writer

“Only Every Yours” Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill is a book not meant to be enjoyed. It’s the complete opposite; it’s supposed to be loathed. However, it is just this loathing that surfaces a sense of understanding when you finish the last chapter. The beauty of this story resides in its paradoxical nature the very thing that may make one despise it is also what makes it great.

Women, also known as eves, are laboratory bred and only used for one reason: pleasing men. Their future is bleak as they attend the School to become companions, concubines, or chastities. The book revolves around frieda (the author purposefully lowercase to emphasize women’s lack of importance), a girl in her final year of school anticipating the arrival of the Inheritants the boys who determine their futures. As her best friend, isabel, begins to sway from the strict rules, frieda faces social pressures and betrayal. Frieda must decide between her formidable future as a companion or her love for her best friend.

I would give Only Ever Yours a 4 out of 5 stars. O’Neill vividly builds the oppressed world as a girl, showing the yearning of being completely beautiful for a man. She also writes a clear descriptive personality for each of her characters, each one displaying their own flaws and faults.

In the end, Only Ever Yours isn’t just a story, it is a face of reality. This novel sheds light on the misogynistic struggles in today’s world and the depths of society’s constant fixation on becoming flawless and the malicious envy the idea of perfection creates. This is only the tip of the iceberg. 

I recommend reading this book for ages 13 and up due to the serious issues contained such as self-harm and mental illness, occasional language, and mild romance. Regardless, I think this is a very powerful book. So if you like plot twists and dystopian worlds, this is the book for you.