First of all, this isn’t a book you should read to escape. This is a book to awaken your past. To make you question your past thoughts, feelings and actions. This is a book to make you realise that we are still far away from equality.
Set in a dystopian Europe, girls are no longer born naturally. They are designed perfectly and groomed to become the perfect ‘companions’ by boys in their final year at the School. However, only a third will be chosen and the others will become ‘concubines’, expected to supply pleasure for men and nothing else. The story is about two friends, freida and isabel, as they both have to fight for their places as companions but then they both enter a path of self destruction, struggling to survive.
Like I said, this isn’t a book to make you let go of your worries and escape, this book highlights how society treats women and men and their stereotypical roles. It highlights how a girl mustn’t be too skinny or too fat, she must be happy go lucky at all times, mustn’t ask questions and above all, she must serve the men and do whatever they ask, for the Father, the leader of this horrific world.
I devoured this book in a day, and it was quite possibly the best book I have ever read. It was sharp, insightful and thought provoking, which all good books are. I spent the time after reading it questioning every decision I had ever made but also taught me a lot about self acceptance and that I’m not just here to serve this patriarchal world that we live in and to conform. It taught me to use my mind, and even though I defined myself as a feminist before this book, it strengthened my belief that men and women should be treated equally in this world. I encourage everyone to read this book, regardless of gender because you will be a better person for it.
Rating: 5 stars.