Paranormal Young Adult
Henry Holt and Co.
Available April 16th
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Three high school girls become the avenging Furies of Greek legend.
We were only three angry girls, to begin with. Alix, the hot-tempered surfer chick; Stephanie, the tree-hugging activist; and me, Meg, the quiet foster kid, the one who never quite fit in. We hardly knew each other, but each of us nurtured a burning anger: at the jerks in our class, at our disappointing parents, at the whole flawed, unjust world.
We were only three angry girls, simmering uselessly in our ocean-side California town, until one day a mysterious, beautiful classmate named Ambrosia taught us what else we could be: Powerful. Deadly. Furious.
Furious is a tale that beautifully mixes light and dark, casting a spotlight on three young women so we're able to see their features fully in the brilliance but at the same time drawing our attention to the shadows that result from such illumination; white and black at at first holding firm the line between them before eventually bleeding together into gray. While we often snort out a laugh at protagonist Meg’s relationship with best friend Raymond–the two of them providing some much-appreciated humor throughout–it is at times a challenging read, watching as a small taste of power creates a full blown addiction something that makes our hearts beat to a rhythm of pain. The scales of justice ever-so-slowly begin to melt in the face of Meg, Stephanie, and Alix’s anger, liquefying and reshaping into an iron fist of revenge, and we can do nothing but sit helplessly by and hope this story has a better ending than so very many of the original Greek myths.
Meg is an easy-to-like young woman, her recounting of several humiliating events right off the bat bringing a smile to our face as she immediately endears herself to us with her social awkwardness. We only come to care for her more as her struggles with her current foster home are revealed, and she solidifies our affection with her ability to still approach life with humor despite the seriousness of her circumstances. Her sweet nature and quick-to-laugh personality make witnessing her transformation into a vengeful dispenser of so-called justice all the more difficult, our mouths opening repeatedly to scream at her the mistakes she's making before snapping shut with painful force knowing she won't be able to hear us.
There is a tiny spark of romance threaded through this tale, Meg’s desire for a certain boy a catalyst for her Fury transformation, but the main focus is on the three young women themselves and the questions their actions raise. What starts out innocently enough with a select few people quite frankly getting what’s coming to them quickly escalates, the line between right and wrong no longer clearly delineated as the desire to punish blinds the girls to everything but the flaws of the people around them, with forgiveness unable to stand a chance in the face unadulterated anger. The girls’ transformations, both physically and emotionally, brings into stark relief how quickly and easily revenge can get out of hand, and how even the smallest of retaliations can open a Pandora’s Box that can never again be closed.
Though the final showdown is unfortunately over fairly quickly, one of the highlights of this story is the fact that the ramifications of Meg’s actions are not simply swept under the rug, the relationships she damages not magically fixed and wrapped up in a pretty bow, instead we get to see a glimpse–albeit a brief one–of the scars left when she tore her world to shreds. All in all Furious is an enjoyable tale, humor and the dark gravity of revenge combining with a myriad of moral questions to keep our minds fully engaged from beginning to end.
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