Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Furious

Furious - See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I received in a swap with a friend.Titles like this are asking for puns to be made, so here's the required pun: Furious made me furious. Books about the famous Furies have never been too great to me, but I wanted so desperately for this one to show me this particular subset of Greek mythology has hope in YA. Apparently not.To put it frankly, our narrator Meg is a moron. Observe (all quotes are from the ARC):"Maybe there was more tolerance of people who were a little different [in the past], and life was more fair (ARC p. 23)."She doesn't seem to remember that until very recent times, being anything other than a straight white male meant life sucked for you. Even now, straight white men still have the advantage. Her naivete is on display here, but also is her lack of knowledge regarding history. If she had better than a D in it, that's baffling."Other girls who surf, even the really good ones, also flirt shamelessly. Around guys, they pretend to be less skilled than they really are (ARC p. 26)."The former part of that sentence is no problem, but the latter is. Why stereotype women, especially surfer women, like that? She presents it as if all surfer women are like that when they're not.In general, she's also very judgmental. When she complains in her mind about how one or two classmates use Wikipedia to do their projects, what does Meg do not one-hundred pages later? Use Wikipedia to look up the Furies! Nu-uh, she lost that right. Besides, using the Internet to look up what supernatural being you and/or your love interest might be is so basic. Get your Nancy Drew on and investigate the old-fashioned way!Shortly after those two quotes, I came to a realization: this is one of those novels that sacrifices realistic characterization/worldbuilding in order to make characters act certain ways or make certain things happen when they wouldn't in a realistic world. This is a small area in which "it's fiction/fantasy!" will never apply. The high school students around Meg, Alix, and Stephanie are borderline cartoons with names to match. The name of a group of bullies? The Plagues, and only one member of it doesn't have a nickname like Pox or Gnat.The stasimons and prologue, told in Ambrosia's point of view (her name is about as subtle as a steel hammer dropped on your bare foot) drain so much suspense and mystery from the story too. Ambrosia's story is told through the four bits of POV she had before I quit reading and she also reveals the fact that she's evil as all get-out and there's a goddess of justice trying to stop the girls from tapping into their powers. The subtle hints we see through Meg's POV are enough, but Ambrosia has to come in and make it too much.Then we come to ARC p. 164, aka the straw the broke the camel's back:"Look around at the better world [the Furies] have already created. You have to admit that life is a little more peaceful here at our Hunter High. A lot less mean-girl antics by the twins formerly known by their breast size."The twins in question? Are named Dawn and DeeDee. And yet the novel has to specify that their derogatory nickname (the Double Ds) comes from their breast sizes and not their names, which is a perfectly viable explanation.NO. Rule number three of me: NEVER make fun of a woman's breast size, whether they're size A, J, or any other size. People have made fun of me for that very reason all my life and there are only a few ways to get me angrier more quickly. As I saw when I posted a status update about that quote, I'm far from the only girl who has been made fun of for that and it's a sore spot for many.Stop personally offending your readers with stuff like this and start watching what you write. Ask yourself one question: does that offensive crack really need to be there? Nine times out of ten, the abominable things people include in books for the sake of "realism" can be left out without any change to the content. No one will call a high school boy in a YA novel unrealistic for not calling something retarded. Trust me.After the crack at the girls' breasts, I have no intention of reading on to see the girls realize that they're in the wrong, which is what tends to happen in books about the Furies. Instead, I'll tuck my tail between my legs and run away from any Furies-related books in the future. They're bad for my blood pressure and just plain bad.