Wendy Darling's Reviews > Fury

Fury by Elizabeth  Miles
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1.5 stars The pitch for this book is fabulous, and it's easy to see why it got the green light: a group of beautiful girls, loosely based on the Greek Furies, punishes teenagers for their indiscretions. Add to that an insanely gorgeous cover using a model with glorious red hair in a flowing dress, and most people are going to be irresistibly drawn to it. I know I was. Even now when I look at this beautiful girl on the cover, I want so badly to forgive her for her toxic contents. But I can't do it, my lovely girl. I just can't.

The marketing package is actually very misleading. From the synopsis and cover art, I expected a fairly typical paranormal YA novel, but what's inside is actually much closer to horror-lite. Emily and Chase are both doing naughty, naughty things during winter break, and most of the book follows one drawn-out example after the other of all the dirty little things that kids can get up to. Emily's lusting after her best friend's boyfriend Zach. Chase is constantly looking for his next hook-up and may have been involved in the death of a girl last year. Pretty much all the teens in this town have some sort of sin to atone for, with the exception of the near-saintly, handy-car-service-provider J.D.

The Furies themselves are mostly just...pretty. Seriously, there is more time spent on descriptions of their physical beauty and their clothes and the red orchids they leave behind than on any real attempt to teach anyone a lesson. Because their lessons mostly involve luring people to their deaths, which isn't really helpful to anyone. Sure, the women in the original myths meted out death like candy, but they were also monstrously ugly and their stories were really short. If you're going to expect us to sit through several hundred pages of relentless pursuit and punishment, there has to be some sort of sympathetic quality in the main characters or some sort of redemption or justice in their deaths. And while it's true that nearly every boy in this book is a jerk and nearly every girl acts like a bitch (at least at some point) and the things these kids do are despicable, none of them are things they should actually be killed for.

The writing is inexpert (most of the back story and many events are just told, not shown), the dialogue is uninspired, the story is pretty sketchy and not very well structured, the characters are one-dimensional and mostly there to drive the plot, and the whole set-up just does not work. Why aren't these girls going after kids who have abused animals or pushed someone down the stairs or something like that? Because those scenarios aren't that sexy, that's why. This book is much more interested in exploring cheap, tawdry tricks and melodramatic or titillating scenarios including: (SPOILERS BELOW)

* A boy who casually cruises for hook-ups, timing his appearance at an event so girls have had enough time to get drunk so it helps him score

* A girl who makes out with her best friend's boyfriend, and is caught with her top and bra off (fresh from a shopping trip to Victoria's Secret, of course) by a fellow classmate

* Words like "cock-block" and "slut" are casually thrown around

* Drunk driving and texting

* Numerous near-death events

* Girls throwing coffee in the faces of other girls

* (view spoiler)

There is scene after scene of public humiliation, constant drinking, and disgusting behavior all around. I also despise the use of the word "faggot" for the sake of fluff entertainment, even if the people using it clearly aren't supposed to be.

There is a marginally interesting event towards the end which is clearly the set-up for the next book, but overall, this first installment in the series has very little to recommend it. The only time I've ever felt as turned off by the events in a book or as questioning of its redemptive value is when I went through the equally off-putting House of Night series, although *grits teeth* even that paranormal set-up was complex compared to this one.

I'm sure that like House of Night, this series is going to have its share of fans, however. I personally found Fury to be nothing short of infuriating.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

ETA: Readers who are interested in a great YA version of the Greek Furies myth would do well to check out Shirley Marr's Fury, a superbly plotted, well-written, and darkly funny interpretation of this story.
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Reading Progress

06/19/2011 page 14
4.0% "Wow. So this guy is kind of a jerk already."
06/19/2011 page 35
10.0% "Oh, man. Boys should not pout."
06/19/2011 page 111
32.0% "Hope the author is going somewhere with this Fury thing, because it's really irksome to read about main characters that are such jerks."
06/19/2011 page 137
39.0% "Annnd we've officially crossed over into the "totally inappropriate" category." 4 comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 104) (104 new)


message 1: by Limonessa (new)

Limonessa I was wondering whether to get this too. You're going to be our guinea pig.


Wendy Darling Because of the gorgeous cover, right?? I vaguely know it's some sort of paranormal YA, of course, but I'm too mesmerized by the hair to think of much else.


message 3: by Limonessa (new)

Limonessa Of course it's the cover! The title isn't bad either.


message 4: by Nic (new)

Nic Oh no! I was looking forward to this :(


Wendy Darling III know, so was I! :(


message 6: by Nic (new)

Nic LOL. I love your shelving for it "annoying main characters, heroines-wimpy, boys who are jerks" for those reasons I avoiding it now.


message 7: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 19, 2011 07:09PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Wendy Darling I never know whether people will be as annoyed by the same things as I am, but I was pretty incredulous and kept rolling my eyes while reading this.

Nic, those categories tend to be the common denominators among the books I dislike. With books like these, I have also been sorely tempted to add a" TSTL" shelf too, but thus far I've managed to cling to good manners.


Aleeeeeza aw, crap. what's up with all these horrible galleygrab books? i'm skimming through wildefire right now, which is...yeah, i'm sure you know :D


Wendy Darling Ugh, don't get me started on that one! What I want to know is: where is Mara Dyer? I want to see her come undone...


message 10: by Nic (new)

Nic LMAO :)


message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura Newcombe Oh man, I just downloaded this one and was about to start reading it. Now I'm a little hesitant…
Nonetheless, I can't wait for your review. (:


Wendy Darling It'll still be fun to compare notes, Laura! I've disliked many a book that other people like and vice versa. I look forward to reading your review, too.


message 13: by Tina (new)

Tina I almost downloaded this from Galley Grab but decided not to yet, since none of my friends here have reviewed it yet. I'm always hesitant in getting paranormal titles. :/ Now I'm very curious why this one didn't work for you.


message 14: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Can't wait for your review, Wendy. Love GR for this!


Wendy Darling I'm writing my review right now, which is taking longer than it should because I'm trying to tone down my irritation.

Paige, it seemed fairly obvious to me what this was supposed to be based on (um, title?), but your typical teenager may not have a clue. Nor will they learn anything about mythology from reading this book.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I also despise the use of the word "faggot" for the sake of fluff entertainment, even if the people using it clearly aren't supposed to be.

All of the things you mentioned would upset me, too, but this is by far the worst.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you, I feel so spared


message 18: by HєllyBєlly (new) - added it

HєllyBєlly too mesmerized by the hair to think of much else
Right there with ya! I am so glad that you are the guinea-pig for these tempting books!


message 19: by Ashelynn (new)

Ashelynn Good review. I have the galley on my iPad, and I'll still read it, or attempt to read it. Now I know I should probably lower my expectations.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy darling, I think you shouldn't hold back so much, you really need to learn how to express your feelings!

Just kidding! Great review as always. You really are my wonderful reviewing guinea pig. If you don't like it, I won't read it. :)


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

uh oh...sounds really horrible. I am on the fence with this one


message 22: by Catie (new)

Catie Here are my favorite things from your review:

1) "Because those scenarios aren't that sexy, that's why."
2) "Girls throwing coffee in the faces of other girls."

Ha! I love how #2 really shows how annoyed you got with this book - like after a while, even the little stupid things were really getting to you.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Ok, so I was looking at the cover & looking at this red headed chick when I noticed how incredibly long her right arm is! If you click to enlarge it, you'll notice her right arm goes on and on.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

haha, your right! That's just weird.


message 25: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana So, basically, it's all about sex.


message 26: by tonya. (new)

tonya. Oh, boo. I was looking forward to this one. Damn pretty covers!


message 27: by Vi (new) - added it

Vi Vi That's unfortunate...I mean this is a really cool idea. I still want to check it out though, as I'm not as irritated by over-the-top humiliating teen antics...I guess it depends on how it's done and how charitable I'm feeling.


message 28: by HєllyBєlly (new) - added it

HєllyBєlly LOL @ Michelle R, that is one seriously long arm, probably hangs down to her knee when she is standing up straight!


message 29: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 19, 2011 01:17PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Wendy Darling Pretty cover, really off-putting content. I don't blame those of you who still want to check out this book at all--I know I probably would. I will be very curious to to see what you think, though!

Catie, I included the coffee throwing thing because I still find that unacceptable behavior. I really hate it when people are terrible to each other, even if they think they have a right to be. I know teens/people may act this way in real life, but I don't like those people. And I find it irritating to read about them.

Tatiana: yes.

Michelle: hah! Trust you to find something weird.

Maja: yes. It really ticks me off when people bandy this word around.


message 30: by Lora (new)

Lora Blech. I had this on my "maybe" list (it's strange - I just had this feeling that I wouldn't like this), but I'll be taking it off now. Thank you:)


Erica (daydreamer) Sounds like, not a book for me. Thanks for your review. Too bad it was such a dissapointment.


Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead Wendy Darling wrote: "Michelle: hah! Trust you to find something weird...."

lol!


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

I just read some of this, and had to back out...I seriously can't stand a girl who's pining over her best friend's boyfriend. And who gets flattered when said guy notices her mole.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

Wendy Darling wrote: "I really hate it when people are terrible to each other, even if they think they have a right to be. I know teens/people may act this way in real life, but I don't like those people. And I find it irritating to read about them."

Wendy! this makes me feel you would NOT like Before I Fall. just FYI


message 35: by Limonessa (new)

Limonessa Wendy! this makes me feel you would NOT like Before I Fall. just FYI

I was going to say the same thing! I didn't like it for that exact reason.


Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I think so, too. I hated Before I Fall for that same reason.


Wendy Darling Lora, you would HATE this book.

Alexis: hah! The mole thing was pretty stupid. And Zach kept pouting, which I find unattractive on everyone. But especially boys.

Thanks for the BIF warnings, ladies. If the story and writing are good--and the author actually has something to say--sometimes the bad behavior doesn't bother me as much. Good to know that going in, though!


message 38: by rameau (new)

rameau Thanks for the warning.

I thought bad teenage behaviour in Before I Fall served a point, but if your tolerance level is nil then you should keep away from it.


message 39: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber Great review! I am so so glad I didn't download this one! Yikes.


Wendy Darling Thanks Amber! I'm still curious to see what everyone else will think, though. There aren't very many reviews of this one yet.


message 41: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber I know I would just hate it because of the language alone. Big turn off for me. That's too bad.


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh boy, not looking forward to reaching the end of it. I'm 100 pages in and ARGH!*wants to toss herself off a building but won't because she'll miss the sweet aroma of cupcakes*

Yes, I'll be putting this aside for a bit.


Wendy Darling Mocha, I'm glad Paige and I aren't the only ones frustrated with the book! So far most people seem to like it.


message 44: by Emma (new) - added it

Emma Louise i still want to read this haha. for some reason I enjoy reading books I can tear apart


Wendy Darling Hah, well...I try to restrain myself from tearing into books I review, but I understand the urge. There's a lot of illogical stuff in this one.


message 46: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy Thanks for your review. I feel like I don't have to write my own now because you've said it all. I feel that the author broke the number one rule of writing: show, don't tell.


message 47: by Wendy Darling (last edited Jun 20, 2011 07:04PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Wendy Darling Oh Amy, you should write your review anyway! I agree, the writing really was frustrating in this book. I spent most of my review talking about the icky stuff that goes on, but there were so many technical problems, too.


message 48: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy I may end up writing a review afterall. I run the teen blog for the library where I work (http://arlingtonlibrary.org/library-n...) and we're about due for a review that isn't all sparkles and rainbows!

Wendy Darling wrote: "Oh Amy, you should write your review anyway! I agree, the writing really was frustrating in this book. I spent most of my review talking about the icky stuff that goes on, but there was so many tec..."


Wendy Darling Well, then...you must save the teens from this kind of YA literature. It's really your civic duty. ;)


message 50: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy Haha, I'll remember to tell my boss that managing the blog is a civic duty. I like that one!

Wendy Darling wrote: "Well, then...you must save the teens from this kind of YA literature. It's really your civic duty. ;)"


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