Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fury by Shirley Marr

Let me tell you my story.
Not just the facts I know you want to hear.
If I’m going to tell you my story,
I’m telling it my way.
Strap yourself in...

Eliza Boans has everything.
A big house.
A great education.
A bright future.
So why is she sitting in a police station confessing to murder? 

Mate, this book, it's clever and sophisticated and smart and I am so thrilled Shirley Marr has come flying onto the YA scene.

The first thing you should know: This is one of those books where you are hooked from the first page. So, you know, be prepared for a page-flipping marathon because you won't want to put this book down.

I won't say much because I loved going in to this book blind, but... it opens after the murder and slips back in time to the build-up to the murder. You don't know who Eliza (our teen protagonist) killed or how or why - and it all unfolds so wonderfully. The stakes are raised, there's twists and red herrings and it's all delicately balanced: the fun with the serious, the fear with the bravery, the present with the past.

 This book has the best of both worlds: a killer storyline and snazzy gorgeously witty prose. The story about the murder is teased out beautifully - with Gossip Girl-esque drama alongside some much more serious stuff that goes down. I love how well Shirley Marr blends her own unique style into one whirlwind of a book:

  • It's a fun book, but a thinking book as well. 
  • There's slashes of violence and squeals of teen girl excitement. 
  • There's depth and fear and frivolity. 
  • There's friendships that are complicated in that way that teenage girls complicate things - fiercely protective of each other, secretly jealous of each other, hugging one minute and eyeing each other of the next.
  •  It felt true and absolutely teenager-y.

The voice is completely delicious to read. Snarky and funny and truly startling - simply delicious and a little unexpected.

Let me tell you about Eliza.... I ADORE her. Which is saying something as she is not always the easiest protagonist to love.Shirley Marr has a similar gift to Courtney Summers (Cracked Up To be, Some Girls Are) and Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall) in taking an unlikeable main character and captivating you with their unlikeableness (I'll use that invented word) and then making you somehow come to care for them by the end of the sordid affair.

She's a perfect blend of angst, wit, drama and you can spot little snatches of ache under the tough exterior. The teen voice in this is nailed. It's blast to read. I had a little wry smile on my face, there's plenty of amusing snickering moments and a few laugh-out-loud appreciations for Eliza's observations on people and life.

Random things to love:
(unrelated to the review - but I just can't help myself)

  • there's rats. And a pet rat named Ratattack. I love pet rats and how COOL is that name? I have a thing for stumbling across cool pet names in books.
  • There's a mention of Richie from The Manic Street Preachers. I was so MAD-Crazy about The Manics (back in the day...) and I thought I was the only fan Down Under :) Anyways, you all probably don't care - but it was just an awesome feeling stumbling across them in a book. So - yay! haha.
  • Ultra rich people living in an ultra rich estate. It's fascinating and almost other-worldy, the lives these people lead. (well, coming from me, a westie-girl :)
  • There's an ending that you will still be thinking about days after you're done.

Recommended: It's a wild, immensely enjoyable read. Sparkling, oozing with wit - a fresh thinking teens noir. Who knew reading about a murderer could be so much fun? I loved it - it's a brilliant addition to the Aussie YA scene and YA in general - a rocking thriller that's a blast to read. I really cannot wait to see what Shirley Marr comes up with next :)

Fury @ goodreads
Shirley Marr's funky website
Shirley Marr @ myspace
Shirley Marr @ facebook
Read an extract

Thank you ever-so-much to Black Dog Books and Shirley Marr for this review copy
Fury is available in Australia now :)

Oh - and who else is crushing on the cover? lovelovelove!


  1. You are bad for my TBR pile , Nomes! lol
    Excellent review!
    "..a killer storyline and snazzy gorgeously witty prose."

    I already love the book!

  2. I loved this too! And oh my goodness, isn't the cover just stunning? One of my favourite cover images for sure :D

  3. @ Misha - you would LOVE this :)

    @ Girl Friday - I know! The cover is stunning. So glad you loved it. We have the best taste in books ;)


  4. Love your review! 'Snarky and funny and truly startling - simply delicious and a little unexpected.' Sounds like my kind of story.

    Some many amazing Aussie YA titles lately :)

  5. @ Nic: thanks matey :)

    And I had a double take reading that quote from my review... for a moment I didn't actually remember writing that line and I thought - oh, yeah, that sums it up :)

    And yes, the Aussie YA goodness is unending :)

  6. I just finished reading this, so I'll probably put my own review up soon. But I pretty much completely agree with your review! Eliza definitely won me over -- I was totally devastated in the last few scenes, but what a pay-off, it was.

    Yay for more good Aussie YA!

  7. Your reviews rock!

    Your so clever and funny.

    This cover toootallly stopped me in my tracks.

  8. Awesome review! Sounds like you really enjoyed this one. I hadn't heard of Fury before but have now added it to my wishlist. It takes skill to create a protagonist that isn't too likeable at the beginning and have the reader still be able to relate to and root for them.

  9. AGGGG!!!! You're reviews kill me. I am now desperate for this.

    Is it available in the US?
    Of course not! *sob*

    I'll definitely be looking out for it or trying to track it down. I think the Husband's next posting needs to be the Oz as you clearly have the best YA scene in the world.

    Thanks for a great review.

  10. We're around the same age Nomes, so if we'd found each other in highschool we could have crushed on the Manic Street Preachers together, lol!

    thanks for the love

    I have a girlinkcrush on Nomes!

  11. i love the sound of this and i love the cover.
    i do wonder why the crazy, wild, loud teen girls always have red hair. i swear on the cover of tht type of book with that type of character they always do.
    oh well.

  12. Wow I have to read this! The cover is amazing, and I love murder stories!

  13. Dang, this one sounds good! I love a protagonist that is kind of unlikeable yet I can still root for. That cover is pretty cool too!! Yet another to add to my list. When will I ever find time for all of this??

  14. This book sounds so... dynamic. (Okay, I was looking for a better word, but that's all I got.) I just love the sound of it, and the vivid way you've described how alive it all is. I want!

  15. ohhh! i will have to pick it up.

    to tell you the truth: this book has stared at me (from my local bookstore) since it's release.

    i was very taken with the cover.

    you've sealed the deal for me.

  16. Awesome review, thanks for highlighting another YA Aussie author. For me 2010 has been the year of fantastic YA and Fury one is going straight on my wishlist!

  17. Let me tell you about Naomi.... I adore her back xx :)

  18. Wow! What a review! I'll definitely be looking out for this one!

  19. The cover is beautiful, especially the colours. The plot sounds fascinating as well. But, being the type of person who can't help it but read the ending, I'll probably spoil the end for myself, haha.
    TBR! :D

  20. Nomes, GREAT REVIEW!!!!
    I have had this one in my TBR pile for a while now and thanks to you, it has just moved to number one :)

  21. Thanks for the great review, I am totally going to read this now!

    :) Isme
    The Book Slooth

  22. Do you know if I could get Fury in the U.S? I've been wanting to read it for forever.

  23. What a gorgeous review. My tbr pile seems to build up every time I stop by :)


Thanks for the commenty love :)