Fury by Shirley Marr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Are looking for a book that’s a mix between mean-girl cliques and mystery? Well, I can say for certain that if you’re looking for that kind of book, Fury by Shirley Marr is definitely one fast-paced and interesting read. Although copies of this book may be hard to come by for non-Australian dwellers, it’s certainly worth a look if you’re willing to dish out more than a few bucks for an approximately three-hundred paged novel. It’s like a summer-read: short enough that you might be able to finish it on your free time on a vacation, yet able to keep your eyes glued to the pages until it’s over.
The story starts with Eliza Boans, a girl with the life most girls would die for, in of all places, a police station. Why? Charged with murder along with her friends, and all the police need now is a confession. Flashbacks relating to the incident are planted as Eliza stays in the police station. The way Fury is set up is intriguing, because in most mystery novels, it’s the Who killed him and why? question that goes on in the reader’s head, while in this case, the words that ran through my mind while reading were, Who was killed and why? It is definitely more psychology based, so if you were expecting the grand adventure you see in the Sherlock movies (or the British series!), you would probably not enjoy Fury as much.
As a main character, Eliza is definitely not the typical YA heroine or the clichéd Mary-Sue. You do have to give Ms. Marr credit for portraying her character. In plain and admittedly more vulgar English, Eliza is a rich bitch. Seriously! Some of the choices she made along the novel weren’t exactly the type of choices I’d make. As I said above, the author doesn’t attempt to cover her attitude up. Instead, she shows us the different, fiercely loyal side of Eliza not only in the flashbacks, but in the present situation. After all, she is still a human—and humans do have a bit of compassion deep inside them. Eliza Boans definitely earned a place in my top YA characters list.
While the main character was the cat’s pajama’s (don’t ask me why I used that term because I also have no clue why), that’s not to say the side characters were nothing more than mindless clones. Eliza’s friends, Marianne and Lexi, both added different impacts on Eliza’s narration. While I didn’t really understand Ella at all (what was she really planning to do?), Neil, the love interest, also needed a bit more depth. I just think there was more to them, and I would’ve liked to see the plot show a bit more of the personalities.
Plot. Okay, I admit it—before I even touched my copy, I was expecting something a bit darker than the usual YA fanfare. The last fourth was probably what I had been wanting, but the rest was like reading through any regular high-school story: there’s the mean rival just in front of you, the friend that you secretly envy, and evil teachers that want to ruin your whole life. In fact, I wondered twenty-percent into the novel when the action was going to start—and mercifully, the first stitch to the tapestry started to weave itself in.
I think the reason why I rated this book four stars instead of five is because it takes some time to develop. You watch the story grow slowly, until you’re presented with the problem—and then bang, the story is over. There isn’t much left. I think this is my own fault, since I do love books with tense-filled scenes, and Fury had none of that. It was more of a book you need to read through the lines to fall in love with, and if you would rather read about novels filled with dragon slaying would rather focus on why she hates her, you’ll probably enjoy it like I did, but not like it enough to give in a five-star rating.
Don’t get me wrong, Fury IS a great book, and a welcome addition from the perplexing amount of stereotypical YA novels that seem to stream out of the presses like the speed of ants trying not to get squashed from your thumb. It manages to twist in the similarities to the Greek myths of the Furies, while making the story relatable to some and showing people how far friendship can go. While I’m certain that a lot of people would enjoy this if it were made available to other countries, the book I decided to scour over the Internet for ages just didn’t live up to my expectations.
In a Nutshell
Do you happen to live in Australia or a country that sells Aussie novels? If so, this is certainly a book that you must read if you’re into YA. However, while Fury is an excellently written novel, it may not excite some readers. Four stars.
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