Saturday, 7 May 2016

Six Degrees Of Separation: YA Edition! (Only Ever Yours; Louise O'Neill)

The first Saturday of May has arrived and Round 4 is here! I love this Meme so much, and have been really looking forward to finding out about this month's chosen book. This Meme is run by Jim from YA Yeah Yeah so be sure to check out his blog and maybe take part, it's a whole lot of fun!

The book Jim has chosen is another one I haven't read yet (feeling so behind the rest of the world right now...) but it's high on the pile! 'Only Ever Yours' by Louise O'Neill is Speculative/Dystopian YA Fiction that is very reminiscent of 'The Handmaid's Tale' in that women are bred just for the sole purpose of pleasing men. It's a great choice and there are so many paths you could go down with this one!



'Only Ever Yours' deals with some pretty hefty subject matter, but the main synopsis instantly drew the plot-line of another book to mind: Kiera Cass' 'The Selection'. Both books essentially focus on a competition between girls in which they compete for the love and affection of a man and the 'privilege' of being his wife. I imagine that O'Neill's plot is much darker than Cass', but no one can question the similarities.

'The Selection' has a cover you can't ignore, and is just one of many popular 'pretty dress' covers that can be found in YA. Another one such cover that receives a huge thumbs up from me is 'The Winner's Curse' by Marie Rutkoski. Gorgeous, flowing, frilly dresses that are shot at interesting colours and are strong colours. I love them both!

'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins, like 'The Winner's Curse', involves a rebellion. It's a pretty common story element found in YA Fiction (particularly Dystopian and Fantasy) but these two stories really made it an integral part of the story-line. In 'The Hunger Games' a failed rebellion caused the games to become an annual events and the misery of Katniss' people. In 'The Winner's Curse', it becomes a pretty hefty part of the last third of the book that completely changes the course of events.

'The Hunger Games' became massively popular after introducing a pretty cool element to the story: the games themselves. When I read 'Hunter' by Mercedes Lackey it involved a lot of similar elements. There are young teens, fighting monsters and facing perils while also being filmed, betted on and adored by the public.

'Hunter' was published by Disney-Hyperion (a publishing company whose books I don't seem to be getting along with so far). Another book that I actually read quite recently published by the same company was 'Passenger'. Both of them really didn't impress me all that much, which is a shame because the covers are both great and the authors highly renowned.