Reviews

The Furies by Katie Lowe

perusinghannah's review

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5.0

Just give me any toxic girlhood friendship and a grief-stricken protagonist fueled by rage, and I will read it. And then love it, as was the case with The Furies. When I saw the 3.01 average I thought I might (widely disliked toxic girlhood books are my jam, after all), but when it comes to this book, I can also say that it's marketed all wrong. 

To this day, the most chosen labels for The Furies on Goodreads are "Young Adult" and "Thriller", and I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that this book is neither of these things. This is adult lit fic, leaning into dark academia, and if you go into this expecting anything else you are going to be disappointed. 

As for my reading experience, it did everything exactly right. I loved Violet as a protagonist. She's one of those young girls you don't know whether to shake or hug, and I felt her loneliness and desperation to belong to someone came through beautifully on page. Her relationship with Robin was pure crack to me, too, especially when it started to slowly rip along the seams. 

And all these things I loved were aided by the writing style, which wavers between near-hyperreality and then hazy confusion depending on where Violet is at, mentally. It made the whole thing come alive even more for me, and I am really excited to pick up the author's other book to see if her style is a consistent one. 

So would I recommend this? Actually, yes, if you go into it with the right expectations, and especially if you like this same, overly specific niche. I think if both those things are true, you'll have a fantastic time. 

exorcismemily's review against another edition

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4.0

"Heaven help the woman who is perceived imperfect, or of unusual character."

I read The Furies a while back, and apparently I never posted a review for it. I enjoyed this one! I know there are some pretty mixed reviews. I think part of the reason I enjoyed it more than others is because I had the opportunity to be informed by the early reviewers that this is more of a slow burn drama than an intense thriller or horror story. This is totally fine, and the book still has horror and thriller vibes, but I'm glad I knew in advance. I wouldn't fully compare it to these stories, but it's a little reminiscent of Bunny, Foul is Fair, and The Craft (and I love all of these).

Although I enjoyed it, I felt that there was too much reliance on school lessons. Everything they learned in school somehow magically pertained to what was going on in the story, and eventually, I was annoyed by it.

I wish the book would have gone a little deeper with the characters, but it was still an entertaining read. I recommend The Furies if you like gothic witchy books!

CW - rape, animal sacrifice / cruelty

shimmery's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5 stars rounded up.

The Furies has all the elements of other popular campus novels (The Secret History, If We Were Villains): a group of students at a private school singled out for their intellectual superiority; a murder; excessive drinking and drug abuse and the keeping of secrets. But The Furies is more feminine than these other books, exploring girlhood and the juxtaposition of expected innocence and ugly wickedness that comes with it.

I would like to read essays written by the author of this book — there were some really interesting ideas in the girls’ classes about the imagination of children and the shared world of stories they can create and how this intersects with reality.

The book grew on me the more I read it — what I found frustratingly cliche in parts (middle class girls shoplifting, the eating disorders, the gossiping) I came to appreciate as being inherently tied to the experience of being an adolescent girl (there is a reason these cliches exist). All these things are ritualistic and explain the appeal of witchcraft to teenage girls — it’s always about wanting power that young women otherwise feel without. The characters aren't particularly deep or original and yet I was OK with that.

I liked the subtlety of the reveals at the end, and that the story was left mysterious without everything fully explained. I think for scholars who study modernity as the author does there will be extra layers to the book. Overall a very readable book perfect for when you’re in the mood to read something a little darker and pretty little liars esque.

toofondofbooks's review against another edition

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4.0

This book wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be but I did very much enjoy it. It follows Violet, a teenage girl who is trying to come to terms with the loss of her dad and younger sister in an accident. She moves to a new school and there she meets Alex, Grace and Robin. She’s soon a part of their clique, and yet someone always on the periphery because she doesn’t know all of the secrets. The school has a dark history, the site the school stands on is the scene of where a witch was supposedly burnt in the 17th century. The witchcraft forms a part of the girls’ obsessions and things get dark. Once I got into this novel I found it hard to put down. On the surface it’s another novel about girls gone bad but actually it has so much more depth to it than that; it’s a real exploration of what makes people tick and how others can get drawn into things that they know they shouldn’t be doing. I recommend this one!

This review was originally posted on my blog https://rathertoofondofbooks.com

libraryoflolabelle's review

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challenging dark mysterious tense medium-paced

5.0

mehsi's review against another edition

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1.0

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Welp, I was so looking forward to reading this one. I kept hoping my wish (as I wished for this one) would be granted. And it did! However… it took me 3 days to finally get through this and it wasn’t easy at all. I had to force myself to read a certain amount so I could get through it without it taking to long.

What went wrong? Well, the blurb and the cover looked awesome. Boarding school? Sign me up! Murder? Oh yes! Potential black magic and strange rituals? Ohhhh. What more could I want. Sadly, this story is what I wanted. The boarding school? Well, I wouldn’t call it that as everyone seemed to go home every day. It was more of an elite super school for kids who are smart. Murder? Well there is some murder, but eh.

What else went wrong? The characters mostly. Robin is just a freaking psychopath and should be locked up from the early pages of this book. She is unstable, her mind is unhealthy, she makes it seem like it is all someone’s problem, while she is always the cause of the disturbance or terrible events. She drags people down to hell with her. She only cares about herself it seems. At least what I could read from the book. She makes it seem like she cares all about someone, but then something happens and you see her true colours. She is a manipulative bitch. :{

Violet? Well, she started off pretty decent and I have to say I liked her at the start, smart, responsible, but as soon as she gets involved with the group of girls, and especially Robin, she changes to a weak, unstable, wtf is wrong with you girl. I was so frustrated with her constantly as she kept doing things that no one should ever do. And sure, peer pressure is a thing, but this went much further than that. She went to use drugs, drank all the time, was spineless and constantly cared only for the compliments of the girls (especially Robin) and would do anything and everything for them. Like with the Dean? She could have just ran away or say no or anything, but instead she did all those things. I just wanted to shake her. Later on things escalate further to the point that I was just cringing and wondering what the hell was wrong with her. Eventually I would call her almost as bad as Robin. Maybe less crazy though (just a bit), but still unhealthy.
I guess the whole accident that happened back when she was younger and that costed her not only her father but also her sister, and following that her mom who fell into addiction and neglect, also didn’t help with things. Maybe if she had a good family, parents who care about her, maybe she wouldn’t have fallen for the tricks of Robin, maybe she could have been stronger. All those ifs, and we will never find out.

As for the other two girls. Well, they were around and at times they had their says, we see that things aren’t good for Grace due to her abusive father, but other than that, these two just fell in the shadows/background quite fast. They were part of the group, but the focus of the book was clearly the very unhealthy relationship between Robin and Violet.

Annabel, I do wonder how much she knew. Did she know what her students were up to? I am guessing yes. This given various situations were with one glance she seemed to tell all, and with her speeches, her warnings, and then later on something else. If she truly knew, why didn’t she stop the girls? Why didn’t she cut them off from the early times?

I actually felt sorry for Nicky. She was a gossip, at times seemed to only care about that and spreading it, she also seemed like the most fun character. Quite a few times she talks to Violet, tries to be there for her and invited her to parties and such.

The story borders on boring to wtf am I reading, and I really had to push and push myself to keep reading. The speeches by the teachers, while I did like that they fitted the theme of what was going on at the moment, were also terribly dull.

The whole Dean thing and how that ended…. just o.0

I have to be honest and say that I still have no idea who killed
Spoiler Emily.
Really, with all that happened in this book and how my mind just seemed to tune out at times, now that I think back, I just don’t know. Probably really terrible of me, but sorry this story just sucked the joy out of me.

The ending made everything even worse. The things that happened in there, the girl on the swing, the thing with Grace and Alex, and then there is Violet’s decision. What the actual hell? Why would you do that? After all that happened…

I could probably give a ton of more reasons why this book wasn’t for me, but frankly I want to forget about this book and just go to my next (hopefully) better read. I am sure there is an audience for this book, but it isn’t me.

Also BIG BIG Warning for the rape scene. Yes, there is one, and yes I would count it as that given the character’s reactions and her clearly being against what was happening. Later on it also has consequences for her mental health, she is just not stable. It is not going well. She keeps getting flashbacks. :\

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

outoftheofficeagain's review against another edition

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4.0

At 3am this morning, when I couldn’t sleep (for a plethora of reasons) I thought I’d read this book as I’d heard it was slow and atmospheric and maybe it would lull me back into a deep slumber… but 4+ hours later I had finished it. 

Okay, it is slow, but in a way that really worked for me. And it is reminiscent of the film The Craft, but it’s beautifully written and full of the “academia of it all”. I love a story like this where we are in the lectures alongside the characters. It’s dark and I think it’s worth noting that triggering things happen. We have four girls that are facing an onslaught of devastating realities from losing parents, having abusive parents, drug use, and the predatory nature of the teenage boys that surround them. But they also commit atrocities too in pursuit of invoking the furies (of Greek myth). It’s also set in a coastal town in the 90’s at an all girls prep school. Secret societies? Yes. A gnarly old tree they call the wych elm and folklore of a tried and killed “witch”. It’s set in seasonal parts and that is one of my favorite things. The bulk of the novel happens in Spring but in the Autumnal section there is even a Halloween party (if not for very long). 

It’s a mystery but it isn’t concerned with the clues, and yet it unfolds in (what I found to be) a satisfying way. I’ve seen this described as both YA and adult but to me it was just a solid novel with teenage girls taking the focus. I ate it up. 

leviroma's review against another edition

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4.0

fellas is it gay when you become friends with a girl as a girl and want to know every part of her and form an intense relationship that cannot be compared to any infatuation you've ever had in the first few weeks of knowing each other

samjoc's review against another edition

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slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

0.5


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

obsessively's review against another edition

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challenging dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0