Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. BYR
Publishing Date: April 16 2013
Genre: YA, Mythology, Paranormal
Format: Paperback ARC
Page count: 352 (paperback)
Furious is a modern take on the Furies of Ancient Greece and Rome. They were female spirits or demi-gods of justice and revenge. There are a lot of different mythologies of the Furies, and in this novel, they were once goddesses. Now they are reborn into the bodies of three angry teenagers at an American high school – Meg, Alix and Stephanie. Alix is a surfer, Stephanie is a tree hugger, and Meg is a foster kid. We follow Meg’s story as she grows into her Fury powers and learns to take control of her life.
Wolfson’s biggest achievement in this novel is her startling clear characterisation. Each character is clearly defined and experiences some kind of growth throughout the novel. They all have different voices and different goals, and orbit around each other in their little dance of revenge.
Wolfson’s writing is clean and elegant but certainly not overly wordy and certainly not particularly poetic. It was fast to read and I found myself eagerly flipping the pages due to the writing being clear enough and the plot interesting enough to want to get to know what the characters were up to next. It’s a good formula and one that worked well with me. Wolfson also broke the novel into different sections with the use of stasimons, which are utilised in Greek plays. This shows how Furious is influenced by Aeschylus, who wrote a play featuring the Furies “Oresteia”. It was really interesting to read a novel when the author has clearly done a lot of research into the phenomenon/monster starring in it. Although there are a lot of different takes on the Furies, there’s no blatantly incorrect things written in (like an angel falling in love with a human and remaining in God’s favour COUGH HALO COUGH).
It’s actually hard for me to pin down why I liked this so much. It wasn’t perfect, but I do like mean girl stories. One of the reasons this doesn’t get 5 stars is because Meg’s always justifying her revenge because of her horrific home life – that is to be expected, as Meg is the one who openly holds a grudge.
Perhaps I would have liked it more if Meg was unabashedly gleeful in her meanness, but most of the time she seemed unaware of the wrongness of her own actions, convinced she was truly giving justice. I know that’s the whole point, and I wouldn’t want it to change, but I think that aspect of the plot bothered me just a little. The mean girl books I truly devour have the girl getting her comeuppance at the end, not a happily ever after.
Many thanks to Cuddlebuggery Book Blog for sending me this ARC.