Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Furious by Jill Wolfson

So I've long been a fan of books who take Greek myths and modernize them in a believable way while sticking close to the myth itself.

This book takes the Greek myth of the Furies and gets a little creative with them. I'm not 100% familiar with the Greek myth of the Furies, I know the basics from the classical plays they've appeared in and their mention in The Iliad, but everything else is from tidbits mentioned in other books.

This is what I know of the Furies prior to reading this book. They are usually depicted as three women who have twisted features; tails for torsos, claws instead of fingers, kind of like a gorgon but no writhing mass of snake hair or turning people into stone powers. The Furies seek revenge for those who have been wronged and never received any sort of apology. The Furies are not inherently 'bad', they point out the flaws with what has been done and demand that it be righted.

Something else about the Furies; they were usually depicted in plays, and plays are works of fiction. The Furies don't seem to hold to one 'true' myth, but it is generally agreed upon that they are some form of minor goddesses that seek revenge.

I didn't blather on for no reason, this will come into play in a moment. So an Amazon summary, "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." AMAZON LINK OF JUSTICE

So the book begins with an oddball prologue spoken by 'Ambrosia' who sets the tone to be all about revenge and how we're supposed to believe that the book is all about her, because she's Ambrosia and everything should always be about her and her revenge. ...yeah that happens. But it only lasts for two pages so that's nice.

It leaps into a quirky description of our main character Meg; a girl who is very clumsy and tends to make a fool of herself although her intentions always tend to be good. Meg is also sixteen and been through the foster system for her whole life. This clashed with me for a bit because she has a friendship with the very quirky Raymond, yet she's only lived in her current foster home for six months. She has her whole life in this town and has for a long time, yet she seems upset about how often she's been shuffled through different foster homes and maintains the concern that her next placement will be in a different city. She never made a remark that it was lucky she was able to remain in the same town or anything of that nature so I'm perplexed by that dilemma.


Meg tends to make a fool of herself and as she's stewing over her current embarrassment of trying to give Brendon (the crush) coupons to a mini golf date but gets flustered after the fact, she ends up hearing an odd melody and standing up in her classroom saying, "I hate everyone" but doesn't realize what she's doing until someone snaps her out of it.

Thus begins the snowball effect.

Two other girls stand out as having a lot of anguish in their life for various reasons and Ambrosia brings them together.

Raymond is Meg's best friend and acts as the hesitant witness to the unfolding of their fury while trying to establish some form of rules for them to follow when they enact their revenge.

It's an interesting delving into the Greek myth, and because the knowledge of the Furies seems to be limited at best, I didn't mind where the story went with it as there were no 'true' guidelines to follow.

However, this is going into SPOILER LAND.

There is a teacher whose name is Ms. Pallas (for those who are familiar with Greek mythology, it is Pallas Athena) and to me, that screamed very blatantly who she was and what her purpose was in the story. It kind of ruined it for me. While reading the story, there are a lot of strong hints that Pallas is very opposed to Ambrosia and at the end it's revealed that she is Athena and the story wraps up.

But really? The teacher's name could have been Smith for all that it mattered to the story. There should have been more of Athena's demeanor in the character rather than just her name. There were hints of it, but there didn't seem to be an outstanding resonance with the goddess.

So the story kind of petered out for me in the end, and I was a little uncomfortable with how much contempt that the book held for high school society. I understand what it was trying to do, but I think the point got swallowed up in trying to maintain the myth, the high school voice, and pushing it towards the conclusion.

Yet, at the end of the book I was left with a content feeling although I can't exactly put my finger on why.

I did like how we saw why the girls were able to have so much anger in their lives to begin with, but Meg's demeanor did not portray her anger where the other two girls held the anger on their sleeves.

I don't know.

I'm on the fence on this one.

Happy reading!

No comments:

Post a Comment