Thursday, April 11, 2013

ARC Review: Furious by Jill Wolfson

Furious
Author: Jill Wolfson
Publication: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); First Edition edition (April 16, 2013)

Description: We were only three angry high school girls, to begin with. Alix, the hot-tempered surfer chick; Stephanie, the tree-hugging activist; and me, Meg, the quiet foster kid, the one who never quite fit in. We hardly knew each other, but each of us nurtured a burning anger: at the jerks in our class, at our disappointing parents, at the whole flawed, unjust world.

We were only three angry girls, simmering uselessly in our ocean-side California town, until one day a mysterious, beautiful classmate named Ambrosia taught us what else we could be: Powerful. Deadly. Furious.

Yes, that’s us. The three Greek Furies, come to life, ready to take our revenge on everyone who deserves it. And who doesn’t deserve it, really? We’re done with chances. We are angry. The Furies have come to town.

My Thoughts: Amazing story! FURIOUS takes three angry girls who don't have anything to do with each other and molds them into the Furies of old. What the three do have in common is anger. Alix loves to surf but hates how the other surfers push her aside and really hate how her older, developmentally delayed brother is teased and tormented by the other kids and neglected by his irresponsible father. Stephanie hates how people are abusing nature and hates the way her real estate developing mother minimizes her concerns. 

Meg is the narrator of this story. She is a foster child and has been one from birth. She has gone from family to family and seen all the bad in the foster care system. She is currently housed with an older lady she has nicknamed the Leech. Her only friend is Raymond who is a gay genius who is a misfit because of his personality which even Meg agrees is annoying. And she has an unrequited crush on Brendon who is one of the surfer crowd which has caused Meg particular torment. She sees something different in him that others don't see. 

Enter Ambrosia who has been seeking revenge since the days of the ancient Greeks and who is determined to have revenge on the descendant of the ancient prince who caused her death. She brings out the girls not-so-latent anger. The girls start out small but soon their actions escalate as they try to bring about Ambrosia's idea of justice. Fighting Ambrosia is Ms. Pallas who is a teacher at Hunter High who happens to be teaching Western Civilization and who is Pallas Athena, Ambrosia's ancient enemy.

I liked the characters. I liked the writing style. I liked that the novel was formatted like an ancient play by Aeschylus complete with stasimons written by Ambrosia. I liked that Raymond remained the voice of reason.  I liked that the kids—especially Meg and Raymond—decided that they wouldn't be anyone's puppet. I liked watching Meg and Brendon's relationship develop and crash. And I especially liked that forgiveness was not automatic.

FURIOUS is an excellent entry into the group of current novels that are injecting Ancient Greek mythology into contemporary paranormal fiction. I recommend it highly.

Favorite Quote:
Even though my back is to him, I recognize the voice. Brendon. I'd know it anywhere, even underwater, I bet. Right now I want desperately to channel Ambrosia, to remain calm and aloof, to turn slowly and meet him with lowered eyes and a breathy greeting, to say something like: Hey yourself.

I whip around like I've been shocked with electricity.

The book I'm holding—one thousand textbook pages of Western Civilization—jumps out of my hand and lands hard on his right foot, sending him into a one-legged, hopping dance. Meanwhile the party invitation and pile of papers in my other hand—research on the Furies—fly through the air like confetti on growth hormones. 
I received the ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. You can buy your copy here.

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