Title: Almost Love

Author: Louise O’Neill

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Riverrun

The Blurb

When Sarah falls for Matthew, she falls hard.

So it doesn’t matter that he’s twenty years older. That he sees her only in secret. That, slowly but surely, she’s sacrificing everything else in her life to be with him.

Sarah’s friends are worried. Her father can’t understand how she could allow herself to be used like this. And she’s on the verge of losing her job.

But Sarah can’t help it. She is addicted to being desired by Matthew.

And love is supposed to hurt.

Isn’t it?

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill is one of the most uncomfortable books that I have read in a while. Don’t get me wrong, I genuinely love Louise O’Neill’s writing style and I have felt the exact same way reading the other books she has released (Only Ever Yours and Asking For It). O’Neill has an uncompromising way of writing stories that put you in situations that you either have strong feelings about or that make you feel unsettled.

Further to this, I personally feel that O’Neill creates characters that aren’t necessarily likeable. I really didn’t like Sarah. She was condescending yet felt everyone was looking down their noses at her. She made silly decisions but then felt that she was the injured party. She just wasn’t a character to fall in love with.

But that is the power of Louise O’Neill’s writing. She doesn’t allow you to rest on your laurels. She challenges you as a reader. If you read for escapism then Louise O’Neill’s books are not for you but if you like to be put in a situation that feels fraught with tension then pick up her books (all of them) today.

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill is available now.

For more information regarding Louise O’Neill (@oneilllo) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Riverrun (@riverrunbooks) please visit www.riverrunbooks.co.uk.

The Blurb

It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident.

One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.

The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there.

She doesn’t know why she’s in pain.

But everyone else does. Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night.

But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…

The Review

After reading Louise O’Neill’s debut – Only Ever Yours – last year, I was intrigued to see what else she had to offer. In my opinion, O’Neill’s follow up novel, Asking For It, was much more impressive.

Based on any number of real life stories, the narrative follows Emma – a pretty, popular, slightly nasty girl. She knows that she is good looking and she loves the attention that this affords her. However, one night at a party where she is drunk and has taken drugs Emma is sexually attacked.

But if she doesn’t remember it then it isn’t really a crime…is it?

This is the problem that many people who are attacked face. O’Neill is highlighting the injustices in society by which a girl has to assume a paragon of virtue to be believed if she is ever attacked. God forbid a person dresses provocatively or isn’t virginal. Emma isn’t but that doesn’t mean that she deserves to be attacked. Nor does she deserve the backlash from those who don’t believe her.

O’Neill puts it best in Asking For It when she writes:

“They are all innocent until proven guilty. But not me. I am a liar until I am proven honest.”

This is the attitude that we have in society and it is wrong. The victim keeps on being the victim long after the rape has taken place.

This is an important book. I really hope that young adults, male and female get the chance to read it and that it isn’t censored by adults. People need to read Asking For It.

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill is available now.

Follow Louise O’Neill (@Oneilllo) on Twitter.

Asking For It Louise ONeill

The Blurb

freida and isabel have been best friends their whole lives. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions – wives to wealthy and powerful men.

The alternative – life as a concubine – is too horrible to contemplate.

But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty – her only asset – in peril.

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…

The Review

I am struggling to write this review because I can’t quite work out how I feel about Only Ever Yours. On the one hand, it is truly terrifying. It is a sign of being well written in the fact that I was left feeling a little bit disturbed and violated after reading it. The dystopian utopia that O’Neill has created is fascinating but to imagine a society that lives with these rules is a bit of a mind melt.

O’Neill makes you question the importance that we place on looks and beauty; she also makes you realise how dependant you are on social media and also how we relish and immerse ourselves in the lives of celebrities and celebrity culture.

However, I have to admit, I read Only Ever Yours because I found the cover to be interesting. There is a reason for the old adage ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but there is also a reason why people are paid mega bucks to design book covers. If you were to ask me if I liked Only Ever Yours I would have to say that I didn’t dislike it. However, it is not normally the type of story I would naturally pick up to read. It definitely has merit as a book because, as I have said, the concept is frightening but it was definitely not the kind of story I was expecting to read.

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill is available now.

Follow Louise O’Neill (@oneilllo) on Twitter.

Only Ever Yours