Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill

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Winner of The Bookseller Young Adult Book Prize 2015 - Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize Best Fiction for Teens Award 2015

In a dystopian future women are created to 'perfection' for the pleasure of men for beauty in this world is the first duty of every girl. Drawing parallels with a sort of Mean Girls of the future where beauty is the top of the class system, this sometimes harrowing tale is also completely gripping and it's frightening to see quite how horrible girls can be to each other when beauty is the most important accolade to hold.

In an interview Louise gave to the Guardian children’s books site about feminism and Only Ever Yours, she said: “I wrote it because I felt tired. I wrote it because I felt intrinsically ashamed of the parts of myself that made me female. I wrote it because I felt a bit broken. I wrote it because I wanted to start a conversation about how we see and treat women.”

According to Charlotte Eyre, children’s editor of the Bookseller: “The book is a fierce, timely feminist tale that should be read by everyone, not just young adults, and it was the favourite of both our teen and industry judges.”

Erin Minogue, the teen judge on the panel said: “Only Ever Yours is not only a fast-paced and terrifying story but also a beautifully written and important book that everyone needs to read, regardless of age or gender.”


Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill

Freida and Isabel have been best friends their whole lives. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions - wives to wealthy and powerful men. The alternative - life as a concubine - is too horrible to contemplate. But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty - her only asset - in peril. And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. Freida must fight for her future - even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known...


A dark dream. A vivid nightmare. The world O'Neill imagines is frightening because it could come true. She writes with a scalpel' Jeanette Winterson

Utterly magnificent ... gripping, accomplished and dark Marian Keyes. '

Gripping ... like all the best dystopias, Only Ever Yours is about the world we live in now
Irish Times

Compelling writing ... this only-too-real dystopia grips from beginning to end SFX

The Handmaid's Tale meets Mean Girls The Vagenda

The bleakness of The Catcher in the Rye, the satire of The Stepford Wives and it made me recall Nineteen Eighty-Four ... a fresh and original talent Irish Independent

Deep, dark and frighteningly believable, this book will stay with you for a long time Marie Claire

Deserves to be read by young and old, male and female, the world over in the same way Harry Potter and The Hunger Games were Sunday Independent

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale with a post-millennial twist The Journal

About the Author

Louise O'Neill was born in west Cork in 1985. She studied English at Trinity College Dublin and has worked for the senior Style Director of American Elle magazine. While in New York, she also worked as an assistant stylist on a number of high-profile campaigns. She is currently working as a freelance journalist for a variety of Irish national newspapers and magazines, covering feminist issues, fashion and pop culture.

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Book Info


400 pages


Louise O'Neill
More books by Louise O'Neill

Author's Website


Quercus Publishing

Publication date

3rd July 2014




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