Author: Louise O’Neill
Pub Date: April 7th
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. . .
There is a semi-spoiler at the end, it’s in the smallest print possible.
This book was interesting to say the least, I recommended it to one of my friends when I was only a a fourth of the way through, knowing she would enjoy it. On NetGalley the publishers marketed it as The Handmaid’s Tale meets Mean Girls. My favorite book meets my favorite movie, so naturally I had to read it, along with the amazing reviews it had been getting. I was ready to love it to bits and pieces, here I am almost a month after it was released having just finished it, mainly thanks to school, traveling and another book, which will get a review closer to publication.
I loved the society in this book, well loved probably isn’t the right word. There’s no word to accurately describe it because it was today’s standards on crack. It explored so many of today’s issues such as beauty, drug addiction, love and sex in a very believable way. It was very thought out and I felt if I was thrust into this world, I would know the ins and outs of it, granted I’d be absolutely starving and would hate life, but I could survive without making stupid mistakes like a certain main character.
In this book the girls names are lowercase and are generally referred to as numbers instead of their names, to symbolize how they are all interchangeable.
Now, for isobel. I didn’t quite understand her, until I got to the very end, so if you get frustrated or annoyed, don’t worry, just read.
In the beginning of this book I loved it. I was flipping through the pages so fast you’d think they would be getting deleted if I took too long to read them. The characters gripped me and I felt really bad for frieda, losing her best friend and having to deal with impossible beauty standards. I began to believe that she was going to get her happily ever after. I really loved the relationship between her and Darwin, if felt like the only thing real in this book.
However, as the book went on I did not feel as bad for her and eventually grew to the point where I was annoyed with her and wanted to shake some sense into her. She wasn’t doing the right thing, she could never say anything right and it really did not seem that difficult. She got to the point where she was so annoying, it was just the same thing over and over and over and over.
SPOILER:In the end I thought she got what she deserved (until the last couple pages.)
I feel like I need a story of the same society from a chastity’s point of view and an Inheritant’s point of view.
Also the blogger whose review finally got me to sit down and read it: The Mile Long Bookshelf
In all: 3 stars
I would like to thank NetGalley and Quercus (US) for providing me with an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.