Friday, 27 June 2014

Friday Memes and 'Only Ever Yours' by Louise O'Neill

Book Blogger Hop

It has been a crazy busy week, or at least that's how it felt, with an ill little sister, going down to London for Orbit's Urban Fantasy Evening and going to the Lowdham Book Festival tomorrow. I haven't really been able to join any memes, so today I will do my best to visit as any blogs as possible and make up for my lack of attention!

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Billy over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. This week's question was submitted by RAnn from This That and the Other Thing.

Do you follow a lot of blogs but read them rarely or do you follow a few and read regularly?

That's a very good question. I follow quite a lot of blogs, more than I could read while also doing a degree and having a job, so naturally I can't read all of them all the time. I do try to take time out, usually in the weekend, to make a conscious effort to visit a lot of the blogs I follow. Unfortunately that time sometimes gets interrupted or has to make way for other things. I like following blogs though because their posts will still pop up in my feed and I will always be able to come back to those posts, whereas if I didn't follow I wouldn't really know.

This leads me to a question of my own. I just finished a marvelous book, Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill, which I saw on someone else's blog and then contacted the publisher about. Without reading a review on that other blog I never would've known about the book, but since I forgot to note down the name of the blogger I can't thank them. Does that ever happen to you? And do you note those indirect recommendations down?

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 are hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader and Freda at Freda's Voice respectively. This week I'm using Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill which I finished about half an hour ago. It's an amazing book that I seriously recommend to everyone! It reminds me of a modern-day The Handmaid's Tale, in all the right ways.
In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.
For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.
Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.
But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. .. 
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…
'The chastities keep asking me why I can't sleep. I am at the maximum permitted dosage of SleepSound, they say, eyes narrowed in suspicious concern.Are you taking it correctly, freida?Are you taking it all yourself, freida?Yes. Yes. Now, can I have some more? Please?'
The beginning already introduces the reader to quite a lot of the subtleties in the book, such as the fact that the girls' names are never capitalised, that they are constantly observed and that there are different categories.

'The rest of us exhale in relief as the chosen two walk to the top of the room as if their feet are made of lead. They step into the glass boxes flanking the chastity's desk, and magnified fotos of the two girls are projected, side by side, on to the mirror-board behind them, each image eight feet tall.'
This scene is an example of the many scenes which seem incredibly realistic despite being very alienating as well. We tell ourselves we'd never shame girls about their perceived imperfections by blowing up their images to life-size and comparing them to each other, and yet that is something we do every single day, to ourselves and to others.

So, those were my memes for today! Leave a link to your blog in the comments if you'd like me to drop by although I'll try to beat you to it!


  1. Ooh, this one sounds frightening...and plausible. Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

  2. Sounds like an interesting novel. Worth checking out!

    Here is my POST.

  3. I like frightening so I might give this one a go ;)

    My BB and 56

  4. This sounds like a chilling, gripping story. I'm intrigued.
    Here's the link to my Friday post: INTERIOR DESIGNS.

  5. Sounds frightening but interesting. It is a struggle to keep up with all the blogs I follow and I worry about missing something great!

  6. Sounds like an interesting read--one that really makes you stop to think.

    My Friday post:

  7. I follow for the same reason to find good posts that I wouldn't have known about had I not followed via e-mail or bloglovin'.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

  8. Freida? LOL No way!

    Happy weekend!

  9. A modern-day The Handmaid's Tale? I'm in! :)

  10. I hadn't ever heard of this one. Sounds interesting. I don't have time to visit all the blogs I would like to, but I try to visit some each day.

    Here is my Bookish Memes post.