Fury (Fury #1) by Elizabeth Miles
Simon Pulse, 2011
Sometimes sorry isn’t enough…
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems…
Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better—the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.
On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel…something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.
In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen.
As anyone who has been reading my review posts for any length of time has probably figured out, I have a massive love affair with anything that uses Greek Mythology and sets it in the modern world. As such, I figured that this book would be right up my alley. And for the most part, I did enjoy it (hence the three stars). But there were some things that really bothered me, which I’m going to attempt to talk about in as nonspoilery a way as possible.
When Sasha Bowlder jumps off a bridge in Ascension, Maine, it’s the catalyst for several other horrible things. Em decides to get together with her best friend’s boyfriend while her friend is out of town. Chase is dealing with the repercussions of his own actions. And both are about to realize that sometimes sorry isn’t enough: for the Furies are watching both Chase and Em, and are about to dish out their own brand of punishment.
First off, the book flips between Em and Chase’s points of view. And I have to say that, for much of this book, Em drove me absolutely crazy. See, she decides to hook up with Zach, who is her best friend’s boyfriend, and then proceeds to make excuses as to why this is okay. She justifies it to herself by saying things like Gabby (the best friend) is shallow and Zach deserves someone more grounded (like herself, of course). And she uses the “there’s something serious between us!” thing, too, which there totally isn’t. For much of the book, she sort of ignores the fact that she’s being a really horrible friend. Em also has a best friend named JD who is clearly in love with her. But when he says things Em doesn’t like (mostly about Zach), she throws tantrums and treats him like crap. Truthfully JD is a bit of a doormat, because he just takes it and ends up being the one to apologize for upsetting her. (I also felt that he was your token quirky character, too, or the well-used “male best friend whose really harboring feelings for the main character”, which can be eyeroll-inducing, but overall I did like JD.) Em just isn’t a very good person, and as such, it was hard to sympathize with her or relate to her in any way.
And then there’s Chase, who has clearly done SOMETHING because it is absolutely tearing him apart. Chase – for me – was the more sympathetic of the two, because he’s basically just trying to fit in. He comes from a poor family, living with his mother in a trailer park outside town, but doesn’t want the others to know his financial situation. He’s the star quarterback of his football team, and has “friends”. But he’s also a pretty awful person himself, because he hooks up with random girls and generally treats them horribly. That being said, the fact that whatever he’s done – and we don’t find out what it is until almost the end of the book – is totally tearing him apart and making his life spiral out of control (and frankly he has to withstand the far more serious punishment) makes me feel bad for him. His story arc just made me really sad.
Also, this book starts fairly slowly, and it takes a long time for the plot to come together. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a surprise for the reader to realize who the Furies are; if so, I’m sorry to say it’s dead obvious from the start. There are also a lot of really terrible things going on in this book, from characters throwing around terms like “slut” and “faggot” (I HATE this word), from characters trying to hook up with slightly-drunk girls whose inhibitions have been lowered (they actually say this in the book), from drunk driving/texting while driving, etc. I’m not sure if this is really how teens act nowadays or not, but it definitely seemed over the top.
Still, I’m interested enough to see what’s going to happen next that I’m definitely going to read the second book. In particular, I want to see what Em’s going to do next, and I’d like to see if the story line about Zach is going to materialize into something worthwhile (because while Em is punished for hooking up with Zach, absolutely NOTHING happens to Zach himself, even though he’s been cheating on Gabby from the start with a variety of girls). If not, I will be extremely disappointed, because he is by far the character who is the crappiest human being, at least in my opinion.
Anyway, this book could have been loads better, but the plot itself is interesting enough to keep me reading. I just wish I knew why on earth the Furies would choose to punish people in this small town in Maine. Surely there are others more deserving of their wrath.