The Furies

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Member Reviews

The Furies is a YA novel about 16 year old Violet, the only survivor of a tragic car accident that claimed the life of her sister and father. Her poor mum isn’t coping very well and Violet is sent to Elm Hollow Academy.

Drawn into a gang of girls, who really aren’t good for her, they introduce her to smoking, boys, drugs and of course witchcraft!

The story is told by Violet, as an adult she is re-visiting her memories of this time...and is a tale of toxic friendships, cruelty, fear and coming of age...the life of a 16 year old.

I would like to thank the Author/the Publishers/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review
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ho wouldn’t want to be a part of the cool kid’s clique at high school?

I mean, I wouldn’t. They were far too intimidating for nerdy little me. But you can see why people look up to them. Want to be them. But would you kill to be a part of them?

The Furies is a creepy, dark, Skins-meets-The Craft take on what life would be like if you could (possibly) do magic. It’s set in a sleepy English seaside town (though, to be honest, this came as a surprise to me. I thought it was set in America) with an elite girl’s boarding school. This is the school that Violet joins, soon after the car crash that killed both her sister and father. She soon finds herself drawn to an elite study group held by the art teacher, Annabel, and soon things start to spiral…

This book is all about how toxic female friendships can be. Lowe does a great job of portraying the nuances of Violet, the narrator’s, friendship with Robin, but Violet felt like a lost soul, in thrall to her darker, more interesting friend and to Annabel. Her rebelliousness, taking drugs and sleeping with boys, feel more like petulant foot-stamping than a woman coming into control of her own agency.

That’s not to say I didn’t like it. Though the storylines can be a little cliché, Lowe’s portrayal of a group of damaged adolescent girls is fascinating, especially the way that they play off each other as they start to flirt with the idea of witchcraft. I could relate to a lot of the dynamics in the group from my own time at school (though massively watered down, of course) and their slow spiral from rebellious teens to dangerous liabilities was fascinating to watch.

I also loved Annabel’s discussions of women over the ages. The idea that women have been taught to put aside their power, to suppress it when they should be embracing it- and how they’ve been portrayed in classical literature to boot- was really thought-provoking, a dark undercurrent to the girls’ actions. What they’re doing, after all, is just the latest iteration of a history of female revenge. I especially liked how nebulous the witchcraft in the book is- is it happening, or is it all in their heads? Either way, the girls are determined to make their darkest wishes come true.

By the end of the book, I was hooked. The Furies is one of those slow-building thrillers that sucks you in. Well-written and twisted, it taps into the darkest fears- and wishes- of teenage girls, with devastating results
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The new girl at school struggling to find her tribe is befriended by a trio who enjoy dabbling in witchery – so far so The Craft. Thankfully, Katie Lowe’s debut novel isn’t a rehash of the 90s movie but instead is an absorbing take on toxic female friendship, infatuation and rage.

Set in an English seaside town in 1998, The Furies opens with a striking visual image – a dead 16 year old girl, found posed on a swing on school property with no obvious bodily injury. Four people know the identity of the girl and how she died and through flashbacks our protagonist, Violet, narrates the year leading up to that fateful night.

Violet joins the most prestigious of all girls’ schools – Elm Hollow Academy – following the death of her father and younger sister in a car accident. She’s reserved, withdrawn and lives with her mother who is so consumed by grief she barely registers Violet’s existence. At Elm Hollow the teenager therefore finds herself drawn to her polar opposite – the gregarious and loud Robin, who welcomes her into a private study group she attends with friends Grace and Alex and led by enigmatic art teacher Annabel.

During their private tuition the foursome learn about the mythology and witchy history of Elm Hollow and find themselves drawn to teachings on ‘the Furies’ – also known as the Erinyes, the female deities of vengeance. As friendships intensify the girls call on ‘the Furies’ to wreak vengeance on those who have wronged them. There are moments of real horror in Lowe’s prose, as she details the unravelling of the girls’ psyches and descent into violence.

The Furies examines the toxic form that some female friendships can take as well as class, privilege, obsession and anger, which are both timely and timeless themes. With the characterisation of Violet and Robin being so vivid, and their friendship so intense and suffocating, it unfortunately makes the characters of Grace and Alex feel two dimensional at times.

Despite this The Furies is an assured and at times haunting debut, that will stay with you long after you’ve put the book down.
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This book just wasn't for me. I loved the premise of this, however, I just felt that this had all been done before. I couldn't connect to the characters and unfortunately this just really underwhelmed me.
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This was such a brilliant read. Katie Lowe has delivered a solid and well written book here. People should definitely read this novel like NOW!
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You know, The Furies was not what I expected. I'm not one to properly read the blurbs (because I'm too scared of the spoilers) and when I skimmed through the synopsis I noticed my buzzword "murder" I was sold. I kept putting off reading it because of mention of witchcraft, which I'm normally not very keen on. 

But let me tell you, I really enjoyed it. I actually found it very interesting to read about the history of witchcraft; plus the narrative drives very little on actual witchery and black magic.  

I enjoyed the tone of the voice the narrator carried the story throughout the book. I loved the poisonous friendship between the group of girls. Do you remember feeling the ultimate need to fit in with your peers? When you would've done anything to be accepted and loved. Yeah, that!

I really liked the characters, it didn't feel like too many unnecessary names were introduced, so it was easy to remember them all. 

My only criticism is that I found the sentences very long and distracting. There were parts of the book where I started to skim through the text because the "waffle" got a little tiring. 

I probably wouldn't read it again, but I would recommend picking it up if you're after a YA mysterious thriller, that includes toxic friendships, murder and a little history about witches. 

"Everything comes to nothing, everything perishes, everything passes, only the world remains, only time endures."
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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!
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Toxic friendships, peer pressure and bad girls, taken to the very extreme. Dabbling with drugs to be part of the popular crowd is something, but witchcraft and murder? This makes it so much more exciting. I loved how it was a book about friendships and trying to fit in while also being a book about murder and summoning ancient beings of vengeance at the same time. 

I loved how awful Robyn was. How toxic she was and how she just kept pushing the girls further and further into witchcraft and worse. I liked the relationship between all four girls to be honest. But Robyn's interactions with each of the girls was the most interesting. 

The only problem I really have with this isn't really a problem at all. I'd like a good witch book about nice witchcraft and real Wicca, but this wasn't it. It was a great book regardless and I'm really happy about how good it was.
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To be totally upfront this book wasn’t for me. All though to be fair to it I’m not sure I am the intended audience. I don’t mind darkness in a book, but I found this book disturbingly, cloyingly dark and permeated by a bleakness that didn’t let up from start to finish. There are no redeeming qualities in the characters, in fact they often come across as highly unlikeable and it’s because of this that I couldn’t hitch my emotions wagon to any of them and really engage in their stories. I had also expected more of a supernatural angle especially given the references to ‘The Craft’ movie - this feels like a bit of a red herring.

However, to caveat because I don’t want to just rubbish this book, it may not be for me, but it will find an audience. To the authors credit it is beautifully written and captures a specific period in time. The relationships between the girls definitely come from a place of experience and I think these relationships will be familiar to many and definitely engage this audience.

A not for me ⭐️⭐️ out of five.
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I enjoyed this modern take on the Furies of Greek mythology - an evil bunch. Added into our story were modern day elements of neglect, a need to be accepted and possibly abuse. I particularly liked how the character narrating, did so from some point in her future. 

Parts of the story appeared dark and sinister and yet others seemed almost childlike and the reader is left thinking, no, this could never happen. Depends on your take on life and whether or not you believe in coincidence?

A different kind of read and enjoyable for teens and adults alike.
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A book which I feel has been written complicatedly? Maybe other readers like this style of writing, unfortunately, I don’t. I had to reread some parts a couple of time, a lot of confusions along the way. Admittedly, when I first read the book, I didn’t like it at all. I closed it after chapter one. But since uni is finished for the year, I thought I’d give The Furies another go before putting it on the DNF pile. I’ve managed to finish it, yay! I really wanted to know what happens to the character and the truths behind the deaths.

The characters…wow. I never disliked so many characters in one book before. I honestly don’t like any of the characters.

Violet was a girl who very much wanted to fit in, to feel wanted and to be loved. Her mother had withdrawn from the world, after the death of Violet’s father and sister. Violet’s mother left her uncared. Yes, it was unfair that her mother treated her this way, but it was no excuse for Violet’s behaviour and the choices she made. Her judge of characters was terrible. I think she knew she was treated badly or knew the actions of her so-called friends were bad, but she didn’t do anything about it. Robin, Violet’s new best friend was definitely mentally unwell. The girl needed help. Her actions scared me because they are rather unpredictable.  

The book is meant to be about four girls, however, it was heavily revolved around Violet and Robin, and Violet’s obsession with her new friend.

I feel like the witchcraft in this book is not as oomph as I thought it would be. A little disappointing. The Furies is a mysterious, creepy and dark story. It contains toxic friendship, witchcraft, and sex. Although I skipped the sex parts, so I can’t tell you how detailed it was.

Received a copy of The Furies through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Katie Lowe and HarperCollins UK for the opportunity.
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I absolutely adored this book, the perfect mixture of witchcraft and a secret society which are two of my absolute favourite elements in literature.
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I really wish I'd loved this one! 

I was so excited for a Craft-esque story of teenage toxic friendship and magic, but I found both aspects to be slightly lacking. I couldn't understand the pull that Robin had over Violet, as she really wasn't presented as being very appealing, even in Violet's unreliable narration. I get that teenage girls often have love/hate relationships, but I didn't see enough of anything except hate! The other girls in their group stayed mostly in the background, so I didn't have much of a chance to connect with them. Violet made endless bad decisions that made me lose sympathy for her very quickly, and I didn't think her backstory really played much into the plot. 

Magic-wise, I enjoyed it, but I just wanted more! It's left ambiguous as to how much of the magic that the girls do is real, and how much is self-fulfilling prophecy, or more like giving themselves permission to do the things they ask for. I'm not a fan of books with physical murder, and I would have liked this to be more on the magical side.

I could not work out the setting. At times it seemed very British, but at others, it was very American. I didn't understand the college setting as they weren't the right age for it to be American college, but if it was a UK college, then the details were all wrong, from having a Dean to the year being in semesters. It may not bother other readers, but I found it extremely obtrusive that I just couldn't get a fix on it. 

Overall, this wasn't bad, it just really wasn't what I was expecting. It read more like an attempt to update The Secret History than a story of witchcraft, which may be exactly what someone who's not me is hoping for - in which case, great! But it only gets three out of five stars from me.
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I really enjoyed the first half of the book, but felt it faltered a little towards the last half. It was well written and conveyed the feeling of being young, powerful and unique; the friendships and trauma of being a teenager. I would read the next book by this author.
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A brilliant and dark twisted novel.

A new girl starts a new school where she is privileged to get a place, sponsored because of a family tragedy. But the friends she makes are also suffering their own tragedy, a girl is missing. 

With twists and turns and witchcraft thrown in, it is a modern day version of the craft
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I should have loved this book, in fact, I really wanted to love this book but for some reason I just didn't 'get it', and it took me a long while to get into, which rarely happens with me.

Violet is attempting to get over from the loss of her father and younger sister in a car accident. If that wasn't hard enough, she is also the new girl at a prestigious private school. And being the new girl is always a struggle, even when you're not grieving!

Elm Hollow Academy has an unpleasant history involving witchcraft, taught to the girls in their advanced history lessons but sold to them as nothing more than mythology.

The girls though are at an impressionable age, and want nothing more than to believe the tales of witchcraft.

When a former missing person is found dead at the school, Violet is left wondering who she can trust. Can she even trust herself?
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I heard great things so I was slightly disappointed wondering what the hype was. A typical YA story with bitchy girls and a slog to get through.
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On paper I should have absolutely loved this book, but something about it just left me feeling disconnected from the story. It follows Violet as she recovers from the tragic death of her father and younger sister in a car accident while also becoming the new girl at a prestigious private school. Once there, she finds herself embroiled in a group of girls and what follows is an exploration of the ways in which girls can impact upon one another at an impressionable age. Also, throw in a late nineties setting and a little bit of witchcraft and it should be a recipe for perfection, but it just didn't quite work for me. I really liked the writing, which was much more lyrical than I expected, but I think my issues were with the plotting, which seemed a little disjointed and haphazard at times. I also felt that some elements stretched the suspension of disbelief too far to be credible, which threw me out of the story. What I would say is that there is a real authenticity to the relationships between the girls at the core of the novel - so much so, that it made me genuinely uncomfortable at times how easily influenced they were by each other. I also thought that the author tackled some difficult topics with grace and compassion, but overall, I was unfortunately left feeling a little disappointed.
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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I am an absolute sucker for witchcraft stories! So naturally I was all over this! 
I do think that I'm being sweeter on this than I would be if I didn’t have a soft side for witchcraft stories as it was by no means a perfect book, but my bias to the trope has left me a little more lenient than others may have been. Others may simply view The Furies as a typical YA novel but with some witchy vibes.

The Furies is a pretty fun exploration of what happens when girls go bad, and let me tell you - teenage girls can be incredibly cruel and, as evidenced here, dangerous!

Naturally, this book has kind of been done before, but it was still a fun read, but I do feel like the depths weren’t fully realised in both character and theme. 

But there's absolute potential from the author and I really look forward to seeing what she does next!
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The Furies is an atmospheric YA novel of teenage rebellion, witchcraft and pack mentality. It tells the tale of the four teenage girls at a private girls’ school, where another teenager has been found dead, and the premise sounded so interesting, so I picked it up despite not usually reading a lot of YA novels.

We don’t know who main character Violet, who has been thrust into the school life after her father and brother die in a car accident, can trust – if she can even trust herself? – and there’s a sense of threat as she tries to navigate cliques, after school ‘activities’ and legends passed down which seem to be designed to scare and shock. Her friends and peers seem to be incredibly annoying, self-obsessed and scheming, and I didn’t find them at all likable – perhaps I’m just too old? – so I didn’t really care what happened to them, apart from Violet perhaps, but still appreciated the creepiness that unfurls throughout its pages.

Some of the novel felt a little long and for me could have been trimmed down. I know this is a novel about teenage girls, so it’s to be expected, but at times I felt like there was too much ‘teenagers desperately showing how cool and grown up they are’ , which reeked of desperation from Violet and her gang. I know that’s kind of the point of the novel, but damn they were annoying!

The Furies really is filled with teenage drama, so if that’s your cup of tea then this novel will be right up your street. It’s an entertaining and fun (if a little dark) read, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to.
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