This book has left me practically speechless, believe the hype people! Two best friends fall out, they’re sixteen, it happens. The stress of the final year of school gets to most people. But if you’re school has been preparing you to life as a trophy wife and barer of sons, looks are valued more than personality, it’s slightly more at stake than your typical school. In this dystopia future, women are only good for two things: being a mother or being a whore.
There are far too many identifiable characters in this novel. Whether you were popular or not, we all know those girls and cliques. Louise O’Neill has taken Mean Girls, added a large helping of Stepford Wives and a sprinkle of classics that came before it. There are subtle nods to George Orwell’s 1984 and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, as well as that bit in Doctor Who Series Three, Episode Three Gridlock where sleep is available on prescription.
This is a very important book that has come at the right time. It deals with our dependence on technology and the power of cyber bullying. It deals with vanity and pride, how this is encouraged in young girls. All the things wrong with being a teenager in the modern world turned up to eleven. It’ll make feminist toes curl but it’ll (hopefully) empower women to act. We are more than mothers and whores.
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