Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Furies

The Furies
Natalie Haynes

Published August 2014

First Sentence
"The first thing they'll ask me is how I met her."

Publisher's Description:

When you open up, who will you let in?

When Alex Morris loses her fiancé in dreadful circumstances, she moves from London to Edinburgh to make a break with the past. Alex takes a job at a Pupil Referral Unit, which accepts the students excluded from other schools in the city. These are troubled, difficult kids and Alex is terrified of what she's taken on.

There is one class - a group of five teenagers - who intimidate Alex and every other teacher on The Unit. But with the help of the Greek tragedies she teaches, Alex gradually develops a rapport with them. Finding them enthralled by tales of cruel fate and bloody revenge, she even begins to worry that they are taking her lessons to heart, and that a whole new tragedy is being performed, right in front of her...

Dear Reader,

This was not the book for ME. Let me explain this... I think the publisher's description is very misleading, I was under the impression that it would be more thriller than anything else. This was NOT the case. Do not be fooled into thinking this is the next "Gone Girl", because it doesn't even come close. I might end up judging this too harshly because I don't like getting tricked. For example, if you notice above it says, "Finding them enthralled by tales of cruel fate and bloody revenge, she begins to worry that they are taking her lessons to heart, and that a whole new tragedy is being performed, right in front of her..." DUN, DUN, DUN! This statement has a miniscule bit of truth in it but mostly is completely wrong and exaggerated. I don't think this book needs to falsely advertise and give the readers wrong ideas, hoping it will sell books, they will only get disappointed because it ISN'T what they expected. Even if the book is good, the Author won't get the credibility she deserves from her readers if they fall into the wrong hands.

That being said, The Furies does have a lot to say and would be perfect for the teen that is just starting to learn the Greek tragedies/plays. I mean wow, does this book break them down... which is wonderful for someone who HASN'T had classes in the plays before but for the most part I felt I was reliving those moments back in High School. Why would I want to read entire chapters dedicated to discussions that I've already hashed out? I can totally understand a teen being really into this, and the Author does a wonderful job breaking this down for someone to understand the plays better BUT for an adult, I don't think so. This might be one of those cases where I think being a YA book is really meant for a teen and not for everyone. I just wish that the publicity for this book could put it in the direction it needs to go... and not into the readers who expect some big mysterious "reveal".

I did enjoy the 'Dear Diary' parts from Mel (one of the students), her experiences on being deaf are very interesting and her character stood out the most for me. I wish we could have followed her around more instead of having to sit in on "classes" discussing the greek plays. I wanted to feel a stronger connection to all the other characters in the book but I just couldn't see how with all the stuffing given to 'teaching'. To be honest with you, the book had a lot of potential though, the writing is pretty good and the Author does have an excellent grasp on certain themes (life choices, death, tragedy, friendships). She also does a great job picking out those important themes from the plays and giving the reader a lot to think about (as well as the characters). I wouldn't say this book is bad, just picked for the wrong type of reader. I think this might be the perfect book to give my teenage cousin who might be able to relate to the teachings in this book and wouldn't get bored with the many discussions of various greek plays. I know I would have enjoyed this book tremendously at that age. So shame on you, whoever picked the marketing ploys and blurbs that are downright misleading... I can only hope changes are made and the marketing turns directions to place this book in the RIGHT hands.

Happy Reading,

The Furies

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Left: Hardcover - Right: E-Book

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