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. . . (Goodreads)
It has taken me a while to review this book. Not only because I haven’t had time until now, but also because I don’t actually know how to review this book. This book basically took todays society and presented in one of the most shocking ways possible, that it really highlights the flaws in today’s society, which may be noticed, but are normally brushed away.
Women are no longer born, in this book, they are bred. They are bred for the sole purpose of pleasing men – whether as a companion, a concubine, or a chastity. They spend their entire lives worrying about the way they look. They have to keep to a certain weight, look a certain way, act a certain way – otherwise they are not considered to be attractive. I guess, this is how women act today. Most women do watch their weights, make sure they look presentable, don’t go out without hair and make up done, do act ‘ladylike’. All because we aren’t considered to be attractive if we don’t. It’s pretty crazy. O’Neill really does create a world that we should be scared of. Whilst we (women) may still be born naturally, we are heading in the direction of being this extreme in how we look.
The characters were people who I would run a mile from. They follow the crowds, swarm around the popular people, and will ditch you if you make a wrong move or if you are no longer popular enough. They are bitchy, typical girls in competition! I found it difficult to like any of the characters, including the main character, because there was just no characteristic shown that I would look for in a normal everyday person. Hell, even most of the chastities were horrible!! Thank goodness they weren’t my teachers!
Can I just say that ending?? O’Neill already broke me once with the ending from Asking for It and she went and did it again so soon afterwards in this! Whilst, I didn’t really like the MC all that much, I was still rooting for her a little bit, based purely on the society she is in and the amount of pressure she is under. I felt really sorry for her and I just… hated that ending!! She went through all of that, endured everything she did, just to get was she did. So unjust!
I really enjoyed this book. It was a scary, over exaggerated version of today’s society! The ending killed me, just like she did before and I look forward to more from this author. I gave this book 4/5 stars.