Author: Shirley Marr
Publisher: Black Dog Books
Publication Date: May 2010
Length: 277 pages
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?
How can you not want to read Fury with a blurb like that? From the first page, Shirley Marr had me hooked. She teases out Eliza’s story (the narrative alternates between Eliza’s interviews with Dr. Fadden at the police station and flashbacks of the events leading to the murder) and allows the mystery to slowly come together.
One of the things that struck me most about Fury is that Eliza Boans is not your typical teenage heroine. She’s snobby, sarcastic and pretty unapologetic brat. For most of the novel, I found her positively unlikeable (which is usually the biggest factor in me putting a novel down unfinished). Yet there’s something so engaging about her, that like Dr. Fadden, you can’t help but being drawn in and wanting to hear more of her story. Marr manages to balance Eliza’s shallow nature, superficiality and temper with hints of vulnerability and a sense of integrity (particular when it comes to her relationship with her mother and Neil). I found Eliza to be quite a refreshing change from some of the tittering, passive female characters that can dominate contemporary YA fiction.
Fury is an intriguing read with a strong narrative – and I’m sorry for keeping the review so brief, but I don’t want to accidently give anything away! I will say that I felt that Fury invokes some incredibly strong visuals and I imagined it would be like Sofia Coppola directing Heathers (I can only imagine/drool over what she would do with one of my favourite – and possibly the most visually strong scenes – Eliza and her friends walking through the edge of East Rivermoor in party dresses and animal masks). Also, how stunning is the cover? Love it. For a novel that will challenge you, make you laugh (Marr’s writing is deliciously sarcastic and clever) and keep you on edge until the last page, Fury is one to read immediately!
Shirley Marr will be appearing at the 2010 Melbourne Writers Festival on September 1st at the following events: Virgin Voices - Fury and Colonising the Internet (with Steph Bowe). Go here for ticket information.