Hilary's Reviews > Fury

Fury by Elizabeth  Miles
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's review
Jan 10, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: contemporary, tri-review, young-adult
Read from November 18 to December 12, 2011

The teens of Ascension, Maine, are enjoying Winter Break. The holiday season is a time for parties and traditions. But someone knows who has been naughty or nice, and the popular crowd is about to be punished for any transgressions, past or present. The Fates, portrayed as three beautiful, mysterious visitors, will punish these young people with more than coal in their stockings.

Ascension only seems peaceful on the surface. In the popular teens’ social circle. Sasha Bowdler’s suicide attempt is the talk of Winter Break. What prompted the social outcast to fling herself from a bridge? Chase knows the answer, but he isn’t talking about this dark secret.

Emily is secure in her role: best friend to Gabby, the school’s most popular girl. But Emily has a secret, too. She has a crush on Gabby’s boyfriend, Zach. When Gabby goes to Europe with her family over the holidays, Emily and Zach hook up and explore their growing mutual attraction. Zach, who is constantly on the prowl for his next conquest, seduces Emily, who puts up little resistance. Both are literally “exposed” -- caught “in flagrante delicto.” Does the passion Emily and Zach share outweigh their betrayal of Gabby?

Readers will find that the characters are primarily flat stereotypes: rich teens who attend school primarily for its social opportunities and who spend most of their time partying, drinking, and sleeping together. Most are heedless of the consequences of their actions; they are egocentric and thoughtlessly, casually cruel. Only J.D. stands out as a positive role model. He is the school’s designated driver, conscience, and confidant. Despite his apparently blameless history, J.D. is caught up in the Fates’ relentless, remorseless retribution. Punishment, when meted out, exceeds the “crime.”

Despite the lush cover and promising premise, Miles’ debut novel relies on cheap thrills (interrupted coitus, a guy who times his arrival at parties so the girls have had enough time to get drunk so it helps him score), offensive language (”cock-block,” “slut,” “faggot”), and scene after scene of teens at their worst, with no redemption or growth for the characters.

The novel ends with an obvious set-up for a sequel.

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Reading Progress

11/18/2011 page 45
13.0% "Thought this would be about the Furies. It is about the Fates, instead."
11/18/2011 page 45
13.0% "An advance copy was provided by the publisher."
11/19/2011 page 186
53.0% "Sex. Booze. Betrayal. Where are these kids' parents?"

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