Happy New Year everyone!
To get the Field Library Teens started on the Read Harder Challenge 2016 #FieldRHC2016 we are starting our first book. This book covers the challenge to read a Distopian/Apocalyptic novel. Nowadays there are plenty of novels that can fit that bill. Many of those books have become movies. Many of these books are scary and mirror real life events or rather what they could become.
With that being said our new book spotlight for the Read Harder Challenge is….(Drum Roll)
“Only Ever Yours” by Louise O’Neill follows frieda(There’s a reason her name isn’t capitalized), a young girl who was genetically modified to be the ‘perfect’ girl. She lives in a society where women can only be three things; a companion, a concubine, or a chasity. Women strive to be a companion because a companion offers the most freedom in a limited world. To be a companion is to be ranked in your class as the most beautiful girl. For some it’s a matter of life or death. As frieda and her best friend isabel navigate through their final year they learn about what truly matters to them.
This book scared me. There are a lot of cut-throat consequences to judging your worth simply on how you look in this world and this novel was a good estimation of the extreme. These girls are weighed daily and ranked on their appearance constantly. They are encouraged to insult one another in order to improve. A large part of this novel’s charm is when it borrows from our current culture. There are many situations in the novel that mirror celebrity culture; including but not limited to a parody of “Keeping up with the Kardasians” right in the book. This book carries a message about physical and mental agency that I haven’t seen in a YA book in recent years. I read this entire novel on Christmas Eve while my entire family was experiencing holiday cheer.
While this novel is a gem I warn you that this novel does have trigger warnings. There is mentions of behaviors related to eating disorders. I recommend if you are triggered by that to proceed with caution.
If you liked this book you may also like the classic novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. “The Handmaid’s tale” a novel that follows Offred, a woman who is in a system where her worth is measured by her fertility. She was a wife and a mother until the republic of Gilead came to pass.
If you decide to read this book let us know! Remember we are still taking registration for The Field Games: Read Harder Challenge. Registration will be accepted until February 14th.