ARC Reviews, Reviews

The Furies

In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead.

She’s posed on a swing on her boarding school’s property, dressed all in white, with no known cause of death. Whispers and rumors swirl, with no answers. But there are a few who know what happened; there is one girl who will never forget.

One year earlier: a new student, Violet, steps on the campus of Elm Hollow Academy, an all-girl’s boarding school on the outskirts of a sleepy coastal town. This is her fresh start, her chance to begin again in the wake of tragedy, leave her demons behind. Bright but a little strange, uncertain and desperate to fit in, she soon finds herself invited to an advanced study group, led by her alluring and mysterious art teacher, Annabel.

There, with three other girls–Alex, Grace, and Robin–the five of them delve into the school’s long-buried grim history: of Greek and Celtic legends; of the school founder’s “academic” interest in the occult; of gruesome 17th century witch trials. Annabel does her best to convince the girls that her classes aren’t related to ancient rites and rituals, and that they are just history and mythology. But the more she tries to warn the girls off the topic, the more they drawn to it, and the possibility that they can harness magic for themselves.

Violet quickly finds herself wrapped up in this heady new world of lawless power–except she is needled by the disappearance of a former member of the group, one with whom Violet shares an uncanny resemblance. As her friends’ actions take a turn for the darker and spiral out of control, she begins to wonder who she can trust, all the while becoming more deeply entangled. How far will these young girls go to protect one another…or to destroy one another?

I am loving the “female rage novel” trend, aren’t you??

The Furies by Katie Lowe is another compelling addition to this developing genre. Following the new girl at the notorious Elm Hollow Academy, the Furies reads like The Craft, Mean Girls, and The Secret History all had a meeting and wrote a book together. It’s dark, explores the intense sides of humanity and female friendship, throws in a dash of witchcraft, and all for an enthusiastic Young Adult crowd.

I am always fascinated when a book explores female relationships as a primary plot point and this book definitely does that in spades. The girls in this book are sometimes brutal, mean, or downright wild but they are all one thing at their core: human. I loved the way the author played with mortality and fear and the ways we compete with each other whether we’re in competition or not.

Lowe’s writing style sets the perfect tone for this kind of story. Her descriptions are detailed and full, the plot is tight and interesting all the way through, but what I liked most was the way she wrote characters. Lowe’s eye to humans and their relationships is nuanced and examined and thoughtful, which gives the whole book an eerie speculative feel. The Furies does an excellent job of making the reader wonder what is going to happen next and if we really know the characters as well as we think we do.

Overall, The Furies was a great debut and an excellent contribution to the recent growth of “rage-lit.” It was fun, brutal, twisted, and consistently kept my attention on every page. I enjoyed feeling, raging, and going wild with the girls in The Furies, and I very much hope you will too.

Happy reading, friends! x

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It’s “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

The Furies by Katie Lowe

I’ve literally read less than a chapter of this so far but I’m excited about it. One of my favorite booktubers, Becca from Becca and The Books, has spoken so highly of this one so I jumped for it when Netgalley gave me the chance. This YA contemporary “murder mystery” sounds really compelling to me and I can’t wait to tell you all what I think about it when I’m finished. Thanks for the rec, Becca!

Mother Knows Best by Kira Peikoff

I started this yesterday as my first book in Reading Rush 2019. I won this book from BookishFirst and so far it’s really good! I’m only halfway through it, but it’s an adult thriller with a really interesting science angle. It brings up moral and philosophical quandaries about the future and technology, as well as about how far we would go to protect our family. So far so good! This book comes out in September so I’m eager to get it read for review! I’m using this for Reading Rush challenge #4: Read an author’s first book.

The Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

This is an adorable Middle Grade fantasy that my book club is featuring this month and I’m excited to read it! I’m still in the beginning of this one but I know that it the beginning of a beloved series and I’ve heard a lot about it, especially being someone who doesn’t read a ton of Middle Grade books. Looking forward to the rest of the adventure! I’m going to be reading this for Reading Rush challenge #1: Read a book with purple on the cover.

What I’ve recently finished:

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippencott

Aww I really liked this. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d heard basically nothing about this from people I know personally, but assumed that it was sort of like A Fault in Our Stars. It was, but also not really? It still felt interesting and fresh and, while it absolutely pulled on all of my heartstrings, I was actually relieved that it didn’t make me ugly cry quite like FiOS did. It was sweet, sad and hopeful all at once. Would recommend. I read this for Reading Rush challenge #2: Read a book in the same spot.

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

I finished six books during the #24in48readathon and I had SO much fun. This was one of the books I read! I also needed to read this book badly for review, since it’s scheduled to come out in just a few months. I won this copy from BookishFirst and was so lucky to get my hands on it, I know it’s a highly anticipated release. And honestly, for good reason! I enjoyed this a lot. It was dark, rich, indulgent, and all the best things about dark YA historical fantasy. I think you’ll enjoy this. Look for my full review soon!

What I think I’ll read next:

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Continuing my Harry Potter re-read! Man, things are getting dark and I am so excited. It’d been so long since I’d read these books that I forgot just how much I really enjoy them. I’m also going to be using this for Reading Rush challenge #6: Read a book that has more than five words in the title.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Arghhhhh thiiiiis boooook. I have been trying to read this book, so close to reading this book, for weeks now and somehow I still haven’t started it. How does that happen?! This time it’s going to go down though, cause I’m using it for Reading Rush! This will be challenge #3: Read a book you meant to read last year. Oops!

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

I know next to nothing about this book, BUT someone said it was a Little Mermaid retelling and I am all about that. I’m particularly in the mood since the awesome casting decision for the new movie, BUT that’s neither here nor there. I’m looking forward to reading this and I hope its good! I’ll also be using this for Reading Rush challenge #5: Read a book with a non-human main character.

Whew! There are literally too many books and literally not enough time.

What did you read this week?

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