Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fury by Elizabeth Miles — 384 pgs

Fury (Fury (Hardcover - Trilogy))Emily is having a conflicting winter break. While her best friend Gabby is away with her parents, she’s conscripted Em to keep a close eye on her boyfriend, Zach. But this in itself is quite a nefarious job, because Em has some deeply inappropriate feelings for Zach, and with Gabby absent, things begin to heat up in a very new way for Zach and Em. Meanwhile, all-star footballer Chase is being driven crazy by a flame-haired vixen who’s new to town. Chase isn’t really on solid footing at school because he’s hiding secrets about his home life and background, so when the beautiful Ty takes a sudden interest in him, he’s sure he can solidify his social standing by bringing her to the annual football dinner. But Ty is somehow...different. And though she ostensibly likes Chase, she always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and seems to always want to get Chase into very compromising situations. She also has two equally gorgeous cousins who have some seriously weird preoccupations and behaviors. As winter break stretches on, Chase and Em will discover the real secrets behind the new girls and come to discover that karma can be a real bitch sometimes. When all is said and done, someone will be dead and someone else will be tied to these strange new girls forever.

While I really liked the last section of this book and thought it took a turn in a very interesting direction, the majority of the story was mired deep in teen drama. Cheating boyfriends, gossipy high-schoolers and tenuous crushes were not what I had been expecting, so perhaps I was a little underwhelmed with it all. And perhaps I’m not the target audience for this book. I think teenagers who love angst will be all over this one, and I can see that for a certain set, this would be a really interesting read. For the most part, I didn’t really care about the personal dramas that were being played out on the page, and hungered for the promised supernatural flare that came bounding out of the corners towards the end of the book. I had been wondering if it would ever happen!

The crux of this story dealt with issues that many teenagers will be familiar with. Namely, illicit relationships between people who should be off-limits to each other, and crushes on improbably hot girls. Yes, there was a lot lurking underneath all that, but those two situations were the focus of the drama. At certain points, a supernatural “bone” would be thrown at the reader, but it was all sort of vague and never really seemed cohesive to me. Who were these strange girls and what was their agenda, was the question on my mind most of the time, and I never felt like that topic got a lot of play in the story. Most of the book felt like a morality tale, but I admit that at points, there were some startling developments and strange twists. And I enjoyed that aspect of the book. I really did. But there needed to be more of it. I didn’t get the feeling that there was a whole lot of supernatural stuff happening at the root levels of the story. It was mostly a tale of teen drama superimposed over a background of the strange and otherworldly, which is fine, just not what I had been expecting.

One of the things I really liked about this book was the platonic relationship that Em had with her friend J.D. It was sort of the bright spot of the book for me because there wasn’t a lot of sticky sexual tension going on between them and there seemed to be a real and very natural affinity working in their relationship. I liked that they spent time together in a genuine and unromantic way, and it was because of this relationship that I was able to see the more well-rounded aspects of Em’s character. I also liked how they mentally riffed on each other and lovingly teased each other. It was an aspect of the book that I really enjoyed and felt very organic, and I was happy at the eventual direction this relationship took. Far from being uncomplicated, this relationship was complicated in just the right ways and left me eager to see what the next book brings for two characters who are simultaneously being pulled away from each other and pushed close. The conundrum between J.D. and Em is delicious enough for me to happily pick up the next book in the series without any qualms.

While this book was not quite my cup of tea, there were some interesting developments towards the end that will keep me hooked into this new series, and I think people who are less annoyed with teen angst and drama would find some very likable characters. I admit I can be a curmudgeon about teen angst, so you can take my harping on it with a grain of salt. Beyond the somewhat plebeian aspects of this story, there lurks something interesting, I think, and I’ll be more than happy to go along for the ride to discover what it’s all about. An interesting, if uneven read.


This book was provided as a complimentary review copy.

17 comments:

Aths said...

I doubt this book is for me either. While it sounds fascinating, I'm sure all the teen drama will go over my head. I sometimes can't believe that I already can no longer identify with a teen. It's been only 8 years since I moved out of teendom, so I'm pretty surprised.

Alison's Book Marks said...

I try my best to avoid teen angst. It was too hard in real life, and I simply don't feel like I am the right reader for such books. Give me some good supernatural stuff anyday, though!

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

I’ve almost picked this up, several times but just haven’t ever been quite motivated enough to really do it. It’s interesting that the teen angst got to you because I think that’s been one of my biggest fears in reading it.

bermudaonion said...

I know what you mean. Some YA works for me just fine, but when it gets to melodramatic, I just roll my eyes. I'll have to think about this one.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love teen angst and drama! I think I was so busy being nerdy I missed out on it for myself (except for the acne part), so now I love to read about it! :--) Besides, I love the cover of this book, so I have to find a copy and read it! :--)

Jenny said...

Is this part of a series? I feel like there are so many lately with such similar covers that it's hard for me to tell them apart, lol. Sounds like something I actually might have liked when I was younger but I'm thinking not so much now.

Sandy Nawrot said...

Ugh! No more teen drama! I have no patience. It sounds a little like that Luxe series that was hot there for awhile. I think when people like you and I have our own little whirlwind of hormones raging under our roofs, you do not wish to get it in your reading time.

TheBookGirl said...

I'm convinced that I'm too old for this one, lol. I don't read much YA, and there is nothing about this one that suggests it would be worth going outside my comfort zone.

nomadreader said...

The publicity (it's been seemingly everywhere, right?) had me a little curious about this one, but you've confirmed it's probably not for me. I'm not a big of teen drama in my fiction, even though I often enjoy teen characters in fiction. I'm glad at least the ending worked for you!

Jenners said...

It seems like if you are going to have a supernatural element to a story, it should be developed and be a major thread or why bother?

Amy said...

Glad to see that you enjoyed this even if you didn't love it. I'm not sure it's a book for me though :) Thanks for the, as always, great review.

Zibilee said...

Jenny,
Yes, this is the first book in a planned trilogy. A lot of stories seem to be told in the trilogy format these days. I can't say it's my favorite method, but I can understand why they do it. I am hoping that the second book deals more with the supernatural element rather than the teenage aspect, but I will have to wait and see!

Darlyn (Your Move, Dickens) said...

Since I was completely traumatized by Fallen by Lauren Kate last year, I've stayed away from young adult fantasy. This one sounds very interesting, though. Does it have anything to do with Greek mythology?

geosi said...

Not for me, I think. Thanks for letting me know.

Zibilee said...

Darlyn,
Yes, actually, it does! I was totally sure that by the title and the description, a lot of people were going to be able to figure out what this one was all about.

Amy said...

Unfortunately, I am probably more annoyed or less patient, at least, with teen drama, than you so I'm not sure this is a book I care to read. Something about the write-up and the cover made me think this was a book teens would really like when O saw it in the Shelf Awareness Newsletter. I'm glad you found a relationship in it that was interesting enough to make the book worth reading...and a murder is often intriguing!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Great review! This makes me wonder whether this book is for me. I don't mind some mindless YA from time to time, but I don't like all the drama either - especially when I'm looking forward to an intricate supernatural world! I'll but it on my "maybe" list. Awesome cover though!

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