Confessions of a Reader

'Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.' – Mason Cooley


6 Comments

Book Review // Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill

OnlyEverYours

Format: Paperback
Published: 3rd July 2014
Publisher: Quercus Books
Pages: 400

BUY: Amazon | Book Depository

This book will count towards my 2015 Reading Challenge.

2015RChallenge

Synopsis taken from Goodreads:

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:

OMG! My poor, poor heart. I am so cut up about this book. It was utterly, utterly heart-wrenching. It is definitely my favourite book of 2015 so far, and has made it on to my favourites list for sure. I am not going to do a lengthy review because words are just not enough, you have to read this for yourself.

The concept of this novel is scary, really scary. Girls are created to become one of three things; companions, concubines or chastities. They compete to become the top ranking eve, bringing a flair of ‘mean girls’ to the mix. Men rule in this world, women are completely inferior – they even have uncapitalised names, mostly referred to as numbers. They are trained to be good, happy, submissive and controllable. Brainwashed and treated like dirt, beauty is everything. Their aim is to please.

The shocking thing about this novel for me was how close to home it felt. Being a secondary school teacher I see the effects of celebrities, media and the need to ‘fit in’ amongst young girls on a daily basis. This book is obviously an extreme case. It is dark, very dark and some of the underlying issues are so prevalent in teenage girls (and many women) today.

I was completely intrigued by isabel and her story, her story becomes rather obvious towards the end. I can honestly say that I didn’t ever expect to be as devastated as I was by frieda’s story, it completely broke me.

I am definitely going to re-read this, I applaud Louise O’Neill for her fantastic debut novel. A truly astonishing read that ripped my heart completely in two.

StarRating5 out of 5 stars

Website: www.louiseoneillauthor.com
Twitter: @oneillo

 

 

Advertisements


8 Comments

#LittleLoves

LittleLoves

Hello!

#LittleLoves is a linky held over at But Why Mummy Why. I thought it would be fun to join in with this once a week.

The idea behind the posts is that they are a weekly chance to remember the little things you’ve loved that join up to make your week. You don’t need to be a parenting blogger to join in, all bloggers are welcome!

Better late than never this week!

Read

I have been reading The Ship by Antonia Honeywell this week. I am enjoying it but with such a crazy week haven’t been able to immerse myself within a book like usual.

The Ship

Watched

I have been binge-watching Hollyoaks this week. I normally have at least 5 episodes on my SKY+ so I’m never up to date! I loved the return of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway too. My favourite programme of the week is probably The Great British Sewing Bee, I love watching the creations and would love to have a go at sewing myself.

Image Credit

Heard

My little P laughed for the first time this week. He only did it the once (despite my best efforts to get him to do it again). My husband missed it, I’m sure we will hear lots more of it soon. It was the most adorable thing, ever!

Made

We made pizza this week! It was a nice change from shop bought, at least we knew the contents.

Wore

Our Mothercare Baby Carrier. We went to Denmark this week and used this to hold P around the airport. It was a life saver, although not so sure it will be as easy when he is bigger. It was nice to feel like he was safe with me, he seemed to like snuggling in it – he feel asleep the whole time.

Image Credit

And Lastly

We went to Denmark to visit my sister-in-law this week. We only went for two days, but for our first flight and holiday away from home with a three month old I felt this was enough. P was brilliant on both flights, falling asleep both times. It’s amazing to think that he has been on an aeroplane already – at 3 months old. It was lovely to catch up with the family and Denmark is a lovely place to visit. It is so clean and the culture is so different to here in the UK.

We also went to The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury to watch Shrek. It was a lovely afternoon out – we even managed to grab lunch. I missed P massively but mummy and daddy time was lovely. The show was fun (not the best I’ve seen) but still worth the watch. Gerard Carey was by far the show stealer, his portrayal of Lord Farquaad was just pure genius.

Image Credit

Hope you’ve all had a good week, would love to know what you’ve been up to!


Leave a comment

Literary Listography: My Reading Life in Lists

Hello!

Today I thought I’d share some pictures of my latest purchase. A gorgeous copy of ‘Literary Listography’ – a book made for the avid reader and list maker to document their reading lives. I absolutely love it, it is the perfect gift for a bibliophile. Listography books are fun, illustrated journals with thought-provoking prompts.

IMG_2070


The book itself is beautiful. It has been expertly made and is really excellent quality. It does have a hefty RRP of £12.99, I managed to find it cheaper here. Now I have the book though, I would definitely pay the higher price, it is such good value for money.

IMG_2076

This book has really covered everything that a book-lover could ever want in list form. There are over 160 pages, made up of more than 70 lists including: The Best Books about Falling in Love, Books that made me Laugh, Dystopian Books I Love and so many more.

IMG_2073

Each list has a double page spread with a water colour illustration on one side and space to compile your list on the other.

IMG_2075

I am really looking forward to filling this book out, I’m trying not to do it all in one go. This is the perfect gift for any book lover (or as a cheeky treat for yourself!).

Will you be purchasing Literary Listography?


2 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted buy The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their lists.

Top10

My 10 favourite book/TV/Film Heroines!

Books

Celaena Sardothien – Throne of Glass

Throne_of_Glass

Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games

TheHungerGames

 Hermione Granger – Harry Potter

HarryPotter

Tris – Divergent

Divergent

Agatha – The School for Good and Evil

SchoolOfGood&Evil

Film/TV

Zoe Saldana as Cataleya in ‘Columbiana’ (Film)


Image Credit

Olivia Pope – Scandal (TV)


Image Credit

Michonne – The Walking Dead (TV)


Image Credit

Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft in ‘Tomb Raider’


Image Credit

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow


Image Credit

I loved thinking about this topic, I had so many more – it was hard to choose only 10.

Happy Reading!


2 Comments

Book Haul #1

Hello!

So I know that I am supposed to have been on a book buying ban. But I just can’t help it. Here are the few books I’ve picked up in the last few weeks.

IMG_2047
IMG_2048Salvage – Keren David // Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill // The Sin Eater’s Daughter – Melinda Salisbury

TheDollsHouse
The Doll’s House – M.J Arlidge

The following books I have been given by publishers via NetGalley – thank you!

The ShipThe Ship – Antonia Honeywell

TheDeathHouse
The Death House by Sarah Pinborough

HowtoFly
How to Fly with Broken Wings – Jane Elson

ACOTAR
A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Happy Reading!


Leave a comment

#LittleLoves

LittleLoves

Hello!

#LittleLoves is a linky held over at But Why Mummy Why. I thought it would be fun to join in with this once a week.

The idea behind the posts is that they are a weekly chance to remember the little things you’ve loved that join up to make your week. You don’t need to be a parenting blogger to join in, all bloggers are welcome!

Read

I have been reading Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill this week. It is a chilling YA dystopian read that really makes you think about the influence of the media on young girls today. A great message, can’t wait to see how it pans out. Isn’t the cover a little creepy?

OnlyEverYours

Watched

The Walking Dead. Need I say more?

Heard

I’m absolutely loving Hold Back the River by James Bay.
Click here to listen.

Made

I haven’t really made anything interesting this week. Although I have printed out a few photos for our new bedroom makeover, ready to make a framed collage.

Wore

My oversized, slouchy jumper from Primark. And my sunglasses – in England, in February!

And Lastly

We are actually flying to Denmark as you’re reading this, to visit my husband’s sister. I’m looking forward to it, although I am a little anxious about the flight with a 3 month old. People do it all the time and it is a short flight, so I’m sure we will be fine.

I also booked some tickets for my husband and I to see ‘Shrek: The Musical’. I’m mega excited about this.

Image Credit

Hope you’ve all had a good week, would love to know what you’ve been up to!


2 Comments

Library Haulin’ #3

IMG_2043

Hello!

I have slipped a little with my book buying ban – but I’m not too cut up about it. I’m still loving the library – here are my recent finds.

IMG_2044
Charm by Sarah Pinborough
Charm is a beautifully illustrated re-telling of the Cinderella story which takes all the much-loved elements of the classic fairytale (the handsome prince, the fairy godmother, the enchanted mouse, the beautiful girl and, of course, the iconic balls) and puts a modern spin on the characters, their motives and their desires. This is fun, contemporary, sexy, and perfect for fans of ONCE UPON A TIME, GRIMM, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN and more.This edition contains 15 original pen and ink illustrations by Les Edwards.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
This is the diary of Cassandra Mortmain, which tells of her extraordinary family and their crumbling castle home. Cassandra’s father was once a famous writer, but now he mainly reads detective novels while his family slide into genteel poverty. Her sister Rose is bored and beautiful, and desperate to marry riches. Their step-mother Topaz has habit of striding through the countryside wearing only her wellington boots. But all their lives will be soon be transformed by the arrival of new neighbours from America, and Cassandra finds herself falling in love.

IMG_2046Baby Play for Every Day – 365 activities for the first year
I got this one obviously for Little P. After quickly flicking through it is a great little book, with tonnes of fun ideas and activities for less boring play with your baby.

Banish boredom, encourage your baby’s development and have fun being a parent with this treasure trove of ideas

This irresistible book contains an inspiring, age-appropriate activity for every single day of your baby’s first year, with baby games and beneficial activities for babies from newborn to 12 months.

Don’t buy expensive toys which are soon forgotten, use everyday objects to stimulate your baby’s growing imagination. No matter your budget, there are activities ranging from indoor and outdoor, to craft and messy play, to nutrition and pampering, to memory making and music. Follow it through day-by-day or dip in and out when the mood takes you. Featuring great advice and creative ideas for mums and dads.

With creative ideas and fun colours, Baby Play for Every Day is the perfect companion for parents and child carers with a new baby.

IMG_2045Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie
“I swore an oath to be avenged on the killers of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy.


I’m loving the sound of all of these books – I picked up Charm for my 2015 Reading Challenge, to finish a trilogy. You can read my review of Poison here.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?