Oh winter, where art thou? Friday is here, but I don’t think you are. When I lie on the ground to make snow angels, I find myself scraping my arms against the pavement instead. Not fun. Since winter won’t come to us, we’re going to bring winter to you with our Figment Friday Recommendation!
Unlike New York, mounds of snow (worthy of serious snow-angel-making!) abound in Ascension, Maine during the local high school’s winter break. Because there’s not a whole lot else to do when you’re snowed in, the characters spend winter break making some awesomely despicable choices in Elizabeth Mile’s Fury. The novel shifts between the points of view of Em, who’s sneaking around with her best friend’s boyfriend, and Chase, who’s blackmailing Em to keep her boyfriend-stealing a secret. It turns out both of them are unwittingly messing around with one of the Furies (yup, the judge, jury, executioners from Greek mythology!)–and she’s just about ready to lure them to their dooms.
Let’s see where Fury falls on the Figment Scale of Awesome! (Hopefully it’s on the right side–I’m not trying to find three women stalking and seducing me . . . actually, wait. That doesn’t sound so bad . . . )
+425 for perfectly capturing the childish decisions of teens who swear they’re adults. The characters in Fury insist they’re all grown up while drinking, sleeping around, cursing, being extremely hormonal, and screwing over their friends. Which can all pretty much be summed up as just being a teenager.
+78 for the dead deadbeat dad. Typically, we deduct points for dead parents in YA novels. But Chase’s father was hardly a stand-up guy what with his perpetual drinking and wife-beating, so his death in a freak factory accident is one we’re just going to keep our mouths shut about.
-85 for the biggest crime of ALL! Out of all the despicable things these characters do, the worst is definitely when Chase plagiarizes Em’s winning poetry submission to impress his Fury love interest. If you really loved her, Chase, you would sit down in a corner and write your own (likely unbearably cliché) love letter to her. Man, can someone get this guy a Figment profile?
+283 for setting. One of my favorite things in a novel is a fun and creepy town name. I love Alexandra Adornetto’s Venus Cove, Georgia (Halo) and Stephen King’s Desperation, Nevada (Desperation). In Fury, Elizabeth Miles has invited us to Ascension, Maine where vengeance is biting everyone in the ass–and, most impressively, it’s SNOWING!
+70 for Chase not being a botanist. This is a subtle touch, but it does a lot to differentiate the perspectives of Em and Chase: when the Furies hand off orchids, Chase simply dubs them “bloodred flowers,” while Em identifies them for what they are. Well done! No self-respecting jock would know the difference between an orchid or a rose or insert name-of-any-other-flower-here.
This brings Fury to a total of 771 furiously Figtastic points! If you’re pro-snow the way we are here at Figment HQ and disappointed by the lack of snowy goodness thus far this season, read this haunting tale of characters getting their just deserts.