Review of Fury by Shirley Marr
This review is a long time coming. I won a paperback copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway last year and I’ve only gotten around to reading it this month! Ack. I know. At least I’m making a tiny bit of progress with my review pile, right? Gah.
Let me tell you my story.
Not just the facts I know you want to hear.
If I’m going to tell you my story,
I’m telling it my way.
Strap yourself in…
Eliza Boans has everything.
A big house.
A great education.
A bright future.
So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder?
Before I tell you about the book, let me first say that it’s a hit or miss with me when it comes to young adult fiction. Most, if not all, the YA novels I’ve enjoyed have been sci-fi, fantasy or dystopian, and for some reason I’m a little impatient when it comes to teenagers in novels. I call it my “old fart syndrome.” Hah. However, I’m always open to YA and with Fury, it was the whole “confessing to murder” thing that got me interested.
So, let’s get to it. This is a book about high school kids, narrated by a high school girl from the rich side of town, so it read like a book for high school kids. I suppose the language was very ‘down’ with how rich high school girls talk these days. It was easy to read, but, personally, at times it was too “Clueless” or “Mean Girls” for me. Old fart mode. *whisper*
The whole story is narrated by Eliza and starts somewhere round the end of the whole thing that happened in the book. We read bits and pieces of the story in sort-of flashbacks, or rather, the story goes back and forth between the present and past until we get the whole picture and we finally understand why Eliza is confessing to murder. I kind of liked this style. It kept things from dragging and it was a nice way to keep readers guessing and discovering bits of the story at a time.
As for the characters, I didn’t really like them much for most of the story. It was just hard for me to like any of them, and I found the whole thing about high school cliques and their dynamics tiring. Although, I did appreciate how Eliza and her friends sort of banded together in the last part.
The book tackles a very serious issue and although I liked that it wasn’t handled in a graphic or insensitive way, I felt that there was something lacking about that part of the novel. Probably because it felt like the first three-fourths of the whole book was about the kids in their high school and who hangs out with who, and I didn’t feel any resolution about any of it.
Overall, this book was interesting in its own way and I really liked the present-past-and-back style, but the whole book left me wanting. Like I said, it’s really a hit or miss with me when it comes to young adult fiction and this one just didn’t blow my mind for some reason. However, I think it has many elements that most people who are into YA will probably like.
Disclosure: I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I was not compensated for this review nor was I required to provide a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Shirley Marr is an Australian author of contemporary Young Adult fiction who specialises in “writing about and for Little Lady Macbeths”. She arrived on the scene in 2010 when her manuscript was plucked out of a slush pile and published by Black Dog Books (now an imprint of Walker Books). The resulting novel, Fury, is a dark and funny murder story narrated by a petulant sixteen-year-old mean girl and has been described as “like Heathers as directed by Sofia Coppola” and developed a cult following.
Her difficult second novel, Preloved, was published in 2012 and is a paranormal love story for girls who don’t like paranormal love stories. It marks a departure from her dark roots and showcases the “B Side” of Shirley – which is closer to her own personality – softer, fresher and more youthful.
Shirley is currently working on her third untitled novel, which promises a return to bad girls, drama, revenge and intrigue. She wouldn’t mind if she alternated between light & dark with each subsequent novel, ‘cos just like chocolate, she likes both.
She is the only person she knows who has ever been kicked out of a bookstore for disruptive behaviour.