Throwback Thursday – Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is: 

 

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

Only Ever Yours

Published July 3, 2014 by Quercus

 

Goodreads Description:

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. . .

 

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve finished the last page.

With elements of The Stepford Wives, 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale and Mean Girls’ this book is ABSOLUTELY one of the more unusual, disturbing, and intriguing books I’ve read.

This novel takes place in a “future” world where women (called eves) are created purely for male pleasure. They are no longer bred naturally but manufactured to become one of three things when they hit the age of seventeen….companions, concubines, or chastities. A companion is a version of a physically perfect wife whose duty is to bear sons and look after their husbands. Concubines are for the man’s sexual gratification. Chastities are not chosen to be companions or concubines, so they run the school and take care of the eves.

freida and her best friend isabel hope they will be chosen as companions so they can raise their sons together. But when self-esteem starts behaving strangely, freida finds herself having to choose whether to support her best friend or keep her distance.

But not everything is as it seems…

This story blew my mind. Cut off from the outside world “eves” are trained how to stay beautiful and make men happy. They are told, “there is always room for improvement” and strive for perfection. They are discouraged from showing any emotions and crying is prohibited.

The school setting is very similar to the current high school environment but creepier and with perverse learning plans. At times it was difficult to read especially when they were set in competitions against each other in a “forced” bullying way.

The author was incredibly thorough with details. For example, all female names were in lowercase to show their “place” in society. The story includes issues from current times including eating disorders, peer pressure, bullying and self-esteem issues.

An extremely dark but gripping book that will stay with me for a very long time.

Highly recommended!!!!

REVIEW – The Intermission by Elyssa Friedland

The Intermission

Published July 3, 2018 by Berkley Books

 

Cass and Jonathan Coyne have been married for six years. They have always been confident in their love for each other.

But lately, Cass finds herself wondering what it would be like to be single. She’s also been feeling anxious and has been having a lot of trouble sleeping. Is it a coincidence that this all started after she quit her job so they could start trying to have a baby? Having children is her opportunity to do everything better than she had it. But at the same time she’s terrified because it means she’ll be even more dependent on Jonathan.

Cass and Jonathan grew up in very different worlds. It still surprises Cass that she doesn’t have to worry about money anymore. She just wishes that she didn’t feel so unworthy of Jonathan’s love.

Jonathan is positive he still loves Cass as much as he did when they were first married. He believes it was fate that brought them together.  However, some days he feels like he knows everything about Cass, then the next day he feels like he’s married to a stranger.

“Cass said a lot of things, and didn’t mean half of them. His marriage ran a lot smoother once he realized that.”

Jonathan feels their love for each other is bigger than these “little” issues. But are they really so little? Both Cass and Jonathan have secrets that they’ve kept for many years. What will happen if everything is revealed?

When Cass comes up with the idea of an “intermission” in their marriage, Jonathan is shocked. She doesn’t want a divorce but she thinks they can benefit from pressing pause, taking a break from each other. She proposes that they have a six month separation where they live apart and figure out what they want out of life…and if that life contains the other person.

Will Cass and Jonathan make it to the next act of their marriage? Or will they leave during the intermission?

When I read the description for this novel, I was really intrigued. I thought it sounded unique and I couldn’t wait to read it.

I liked how the story was broken into acts, the chapters alternating with Cass and Jonathan’s perspectives. The characters were well-developed, but I did have a hard time figuring out how I felt about Cass and Jonathan. One moment they were annoying me,  then the next moment, I felt for them, or could relate to something one of them said or did. I had a bit of trouble with the pacing of the story, and found that I was easily distracted at times. However, I really wanted to see how things turned out for Cass and Jonathan.

While I did have a few issues with his novel, I still found it to be an interesting and unique read, and I look forward to seeing what this author writes next.

I’d like to thank Berkley Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

Goodreads Monday – July 23, 2018

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part, simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.  Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog too!!

Today the book I’m going to show off is :

 

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers

Published September 18th 2018 by Pan Macmillan Australia

 

Goodreads Description:

The ten-day retreat at boutique health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises healing and transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage and absorb the blissful meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages. They are all on a path to a better way of living. Or at least a better waistline . . .

Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate these tired bodies and minds. But to what lengths will she go to achieve her goal?

These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them.

 

My Thoughts:

I have enjoyed many of Liane Moriarty’s novels and I’m always excited when a new one is going to be released. The description has me very intrigued and although this won’t be released until September, I’m already looking forward to reading it.

Will you be adding this to your list of books to read this fall? 

Music Monday: Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure

musicmonday

Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

The song and video I am sharing today is:

 

Queen & David Bowie – Under Pressure (Classic Queen Mix)

 

I love this song and it really describes how I’ve been feeling recently. Queen and Bowie…such a great mix!

I hope you enjoy!!

 

Under Pressure by Queen & David Bowie

Mm ba ba de
Um bum ba de
Um bu bu bum da de
Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you no man ask for
Under pressure that brings a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets
Um ba ba be
Um ba ba be
De day da
Ee day da – that’s okay
It’s the terror of knowing
What the world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people people on streets
Day day de mm hm
Da da da ba ba
Okay
Chippin’ around – kick my brains around the floor
These are the days it never rains but it pours
Ee do ba be
Ee da ba ba ba
Um bo bo
Be lap
People on streets – ee da de da de
People on streets – ee da de da de da de da
It’s the terror of knowing
What this world is about
Watching some good friends
Screaming ‘Let me out’
Pray tomorrow – gets me higher higher high
Pressure on people people on streets
Turned away from it all like a blind man
Sat on a fence but it don’t work
Keep coming up with love but it’s so slashed and torn
Why – why – why?
Love love love love love
Insanity laughs under pressure we’re breaking
Can’t we give ourselves one more chance
Why can’t we give love that one more chance
Why can’t we give love give love give love give love
Give love give love give love give love give love
‘Cause love’s such an old fashioned word
And love dares you to care for
The people on the (People on streets) edge of the night
And loves (People on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves
Under pressure
Under pressure
Pressure
Songwriters: Daniel Gonschorek / Axel Gundlach / Eric Lamont Smith / Volker Lindner / Frank Moesner / Harald Schubert / J. Supreme / Toyin (trooper) Taylor
Under Pressure lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc