Fury by Shirley Marr
Black Dog Books, 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?
If I can judge books by their cover (I know I can, I just don’t do that. Not too often, anyway), Fury by Shirley Marr is one book that I will judge positively. See that really gorgeous cover? I would’ve bought this book just for display on my shelf even if I don’t know if I will like it. I would even keep this book just for display even if I didn’t like it because the cover is just so morbidly beautiful. Don’t you think?
Actually, I don’t think I’d let this book go even so because it’s so hard to acquire — I had to ask my friend who flew to Australia to get my a copy because this is practically unavailable anywhere else. It is available from Fishpondworld, but it costs twice the normal paperback, too. It’s kind of a good thing I liked the book, so I won’t feel too guilty saving shelf space for its gorgeousness, and I feel like the price was pretty worth it.
Eliza Boans has everything: a huge house, great education and grades, and basically a bright future. Never mind that her hotshot lawyer mom (who deals with things besides insurance general) barely pays attention to her, or that she’s just really sick of everything in her life. Whatever Eliza wants, she can get — the perks of being born under privilege. So if she’s got everything and there is possibly nothing else she could ask for, why then would she commit murder?
At first glance, I thought this book is about some psychopath who just got bored about her life and decided to go on a killing spree. Other reviewers praised Eliza’s voice in the story, about how she seems to lack remorse and her wit and all that, so I was expecting to read about a girl who kills just because she had nothing else to do. But my expectations were far from the truth. Eliza is a witty narrator whose voice shines with authenticity, but even with that, I wasn’t sure if I would be friends with her. Come to think of it, I don’t think she’d even pick me as her friend, anyway, if I were one of the privileged students of Priory. She is without remorse for a reason, and despite knowing that what she did was wrong, as a reader I can’t help but sympathize.
The mystery behind Eliza’s confession and the things leading up to it unfurls gradually and naturally, and I was kept guessing to what exactly happened. For a moment there, I almost felt like I was Gossip Girl, being privy with the rich boys and girls’ lives, and seeing just how many things could go wrong with these things. I liked how each of Eliza’s friends were given enough spotlight but not too much that we know too much about them. I especially liked how the author built Eliza’s friendship with Neil — it was my favorite part of the book, and probably also the saddest, but it feels like there’s nothing else that can be done with it. I couldn’t connect with Eliza at first, when I wasn’t really sure what to make of her, but her honesty and loyalty won me over, making me want the best for ever even if I’m not sure what it is exactly.
Fury doesn’t really end in a happy note, if you’re looking for a happy ending. It leaves unanswered questions that readers are left to ponder. Books with an open ending are some of my favorite books because it leaves readers to imagine what could happen and to contemplate on what should happen based on their own beliefs and convictions.
This is my first Shirley Marr, but it will definitely not be my last. In fact, I’ve already asked my friend who’s going to Australia this month to get me a copy of her second book, Preloved. Ah the lengths readers go to get some books. :) I think Shirley Marr’s Fury will be a hit for readers who liked the friendships in Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and the social hierarchies and complications of Courtney Summers’ Some Girls Are. It doesn’t have the drama or romance of the former nor the grit and intensity of the latter, but if those books are your thing, then Fury should be in your TBR pile. :)
My copy: paperback, bought by a friend from Australia