Furious Thing
From the critically acclaimed author of Before I Die comes a remarkably affecting story of a girl who burns with anger for reasons she can't understand, and the power and risk that comes with making noise. Fans of E. Lockhart, Jennifer Niven, and Gayle Foreman will find their own fury in this exceptional novel for our times. Bad things happen when you're around, Lex... That's what her stepfather tells her. That's what she believes about herself.But how can she convince herself and everyone around her that her anger doesn't make her a monster? If only she could stop losing her temper and behave herself, her stepfather would accept her, her mom would love her like she used to, and her stepbrother would declare his crushing desire to spend the rest of his life with her. She wants these things so badly, she's determined to swallow her anger and make her family proud.But pushing fury down doesn't make it disappear. Instead, it simmers below the surface, waiting to erupt. There'll be fireworks when it does...An intensely real story of manipulation and identity, Furious Thing is about the slippery slope of manipulation and how one girl can fight to claim back the spaces that belong to her.

Furious Thing Details

TitleFurious Thing
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 7th, 2020
PublisherDavid Fickling Books
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Furious Thing Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    ‘I’ll change,’ the girl said. ‘I’ll be good from now on, I promise.’ She wanted it to be true. She wanted her family to love her. But fury sat in her belly like a vicious snake. And some promises are hard to keep. This book hurt me so much. I feel wrecked after reading it, honestly. I want to say it was hard to put down, which it was, but then you might wonder why it took me a whole week to read it… Well, even though it was hard to put down, it was also incredibly tough to keep reading. I ‘I’ll change,’ the girl said. ‘I’ll be good from now on, I promise.’ She wanted it to be true. She wanted her family to love her. But fury sat in her belly like a vicious snake. And some promises are hard to keep. This book hurt me so much. I feel wrecked after reading it, honestly. I want to say it was hard to put down, which it was, but then you might wonder why it took me a whole week to read it… Well, even though it was hard to put down, it was also incredibly tough to keep reading. I really wanted to know what happened, but I had to take breaks. I’ve read many books with more harrowing premises than this one, but there was something about this book that made me so sad. So deeply heartbroken that I couldn’t read it in one sitting.How to explain it... Downham really captures the dynamic of emotional abuse in this book. She portrays a situation which is complicated, multilayered and completely utterly unfair. The title feels appropriate, not just because the protagonist - Lexi - is furious, but because I felt furious reading it. Furious and frustrated and scared for her. ‘I don’t want to be a monster.’ In Furious Thing, Lexi can't stop losing her temper. It builds and builds until she explodes, screams, and throws things. Everyone wonders what is wrong with her and she... can't explain. What is so wrong with her life? She has a loving mother and soon-to-be new stepfather. A little sister she adores. A place to live and food to eat. Nobody hits her. So what is it then?This is a book about the kind of insidious manipulative behaviour that straddles the line between regular familial dysfunction and emotional abuse. It is even more upsetting, I think, because there are no easy answers. There were times while reading this book that I felt suffocated by the narrative, like I couldn't breathe because the situation was so sad, infuriating and hopeless. And lonely. Just the intense loneliness of it all.I especially liked how the author made Lexi herself such a complex character. She's not even someone you can easily like, but, wow, I hurt so bad for her. Even when she makes terrible decisions. Even when she's a hypocrite about the whole Cerys/Kass thing.If I were to say anything negative, it would be that I felt a little underwhelmed by the ending. And yet I am not deducting any stars because I appreciate when authors don’t tie things up neatly. True, the ending is almost disappointing, but maybe that's the point.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Nenia ⚜️ Author of Filthy Trash and Unhinged Psychos ⚜️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestLex used to have a fairytale life with her mother, and the two of them shared the close bond of people trying to hunker down against the rest of the world. Then Lex's mom met John, the man who seemed like he was the answer to all of their problems: the prince who sweeps the princess off to happily-ever-after. But John isn't as nice as he appears; and Lex, once the apple of her mother's eye, is losing herself to a furious and sweeping Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestLex used to have a fairytale life with her mother, and the two of them shared the close bond of people trying to hunker down against the rest of the world. Then Lex's mom met John, the man who seemed like he was the answer to all of their problems: the prince who sweeps the princess off to happily-ever-after. But John isn't as nice as he appears; and Lex, once the apple of her mother's eye, is losing herself to a furious and sweeping anger.FURIOUS THING is such a good book. It's nonstop drama, from start to finish, but has more value than a book written purely to titillate. It's about a girl who is the victim to emotional abuse in a toxic and enabling family dynamic, who acts out with anger, and nobody bothers to understand why she's upset. The book is about Lex struggling to deal with her anger and trying to break the vicious cycle, all the while trying to show other people the side of her stepfather that nobody else seems to see.I think this will be a really hard read for some people, because as other reviewers before me have said, there aren't any easy answers. Many of the things that Lex does are wrong, but her sister, mother, and stepfather aren't blameless, either. It really shows the fine line between emotional abuse and the usual family flare-ups, and how a toxic environment can amplify maladaptive behaviors. I didn't really like anyone in this book but it was a great story and I couldn't put it down; I had to see what happened.If you like books that challenge your way of thinking about the world and don't provide you with all the answers, I think you'll like this book. It kind of reminds me of those edgy YA novels that came out under the Speak imprint in the mid-2000s; it has that same kind of "voice." I really enjoyed it.Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!  4 stars
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  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    I am going to sit here and wait for the reviews of Furious Thing to come out in a few months, in which people will be complaining about this novel's "unlikable" main character. Is Lexi unlikable? Does she need to be "nice" to appreciate this story? You tell me.Lexi is a furious thing. She throws chairs out of the windows, she is defiant and relentlessly combative with her almost step-dad, she seems to blow up in anger at every turn. There is an added creep factor of her being wildly attracted to I am going to sit here and wait for the reviews of Furious Thing to come out in a few months, in which people will be complaining about this novel's "unlikable" main character. Is Lexi unlikable? Does she need to be "nice" to appreciate this story? You tell me.Lexi is a furious thing. She throws chairs out of the windows, she is defiant and relentlessly combative with her almost step-dad, she seems to blow up in anger at every turn. There is an added creep factor of her being wildly attracted to her step-brother. Is Lexi just plain trouble? Or is her anger the only thing that keeps her aware of her family's dark dysfunction?This is the first YA novel I've read that takes on gaslighting and emotional abuse. It's easy to identify physical abuse. But Lexi's step-dad's pervasive gaslighting behavior, with his constant games of hot-and-cold, silent treatments, walkouts and emotional manipulations, is harder to pin down for what it is. Downham does a phenomenal job of painting an atmosphere of psychological duress that bends Lexi's perception of what is real and what is not. This rage-filled novel is hard to read and impossible to put down.However, I do have a few things that left me annoyed. There is a desire in every YA novel to arrive at a happy ending. I understand this goal. Hopefulness and so on. But HEA doesn't always fit the narrative. It definitely doesn't have place in this book. (view spoiler)[The sugar-coated, rosy ending here is just unnatural (have you read Bastard Out of Carolina? this is what a realistic ending is). (hide spoiler)] And then, there is whole story arc about a psychotherapist and Lexi's family trying to get her on ADHD medication that left me feeling... odd. (view spoiler)[Medical ethics aside, Jenny Downham seems to be firmly in an anti-medication camp. I am willing to allow that maybe Lexi's opinions don't reflect Downham's. But the fact that there is no effort in this novel to say that both therapy and medications are legitimate methods of helping people in distress, prove the opposite to me. That Lexi needs mental help is a FACT. (hide spoiler)] I am curious what other people think of this.
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  • Annabelle Heath
    January 1, 1970
    Jenny Downham is up there in my top authors list. Every book she writes has the power to break your heart into tiny pieces and put it back together again, a bit battered, but altogether better for having had the experience.Her latest book, Furious Thing, is no different. In typical Downham style, Furious Thing addresses a difficult topic with nuance and sensitivity - this time turning her prodigious skill to the subject of domestic violence. But not the sort of domestic violence with punches and Jenny Downham is up there in my top authors list. Every book she writes has the power to break your heart into tiny pieces and put it back together again, a bit battered, but altogether better for having had the experience.Her latest book, Furious Thing, is no different. In typical Downham style, Furious Thing addresses a difficult topic with nuance and sensitivity - this time turning her prodigious skill to the subject of domestic violence. But not the sort of domestic violence with punches and blacked eyes that we are perhaps better as a society at identifying these days, this is the emotional side of domestic violence. The manipulation, the coercive control that's so poorly understood and recognised that in England, it's only been against the law for a couple of years.Lexi is a delightful character, full of rage and fury as she watches her mother reduced to the shell of the woman she once was. She's learned over the years that her greatest power is her 'monster' - the outbursts of rage where she succumbs to her desires to throw laptops out of windows, or smash chairs through windows. She does some truly awful things, but as a reader you can't help but sympathise with her - and as a result question every time you've shook your head at a child or young person acting out and assumed they were spoiled or out of control, when really it might be a symptom of underlying issues at home.I love also that there are no easy answers in this. Nothing is neatly resolved, and everything has two sides to it. It portrays the complex and difficult nature of adult relationships and parent child relationships with authenticity and honesty. You want to scream at Lexi's mother from time to time, but you also can't help but feel for her.This book should be given to all teenage girls. If you are one, go out and read it. If you know one, buy it for them. Its message of courage and believing your voice should be heard - and that it's okay to be furious sometimes - is one that needs to be spread. Too many young voices are silenced by the adults in their lives, and too many adults don't know the signs to look for them. Read this book, feel the heartbreak, and maybe get a little bit furious too.I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tilly
    January 1, 1970
    4 stars Trigger warnings: child abuse, bullying, gaslighting and domestic abuse.This book took me massively by surprise. I did not expect to be so gripped or emotionally invested but that goes to show the talent with which this book was written. The book is about Lexi, our main female character who struggles with anger issues and can't work out why. It is jeopardising her school and her personal life when she never really means to make things bad for herself.I loved Lexi. She was brilliant, a 4 stars Trigger warnings: child abuse, bullying, gaslighting and domestic abuse.This book took me massively by surprise. I did not expect to be so gripped or emotionally invested but that goes to show the talent with which this book was written. The book is about Lexi, our main female character who struggles with anger issues and can't work out why. It is jeopardising her school and her personal life when she never really means to make things bad for herself.I loved Lexi. She was brilliant, a fighter and completely loving and loyal. She fought for what she believed in and stood up for others but also had a vulnerable side to her that others took advantage of.I didn't think the blurb truly summed up what this book was about of put out all the trigger warnings which are written above. I almost think it was better not knowing where it was going or what was causing all this anger as we all learnt with her the problems she faced.I read the book in 2 sittings and it was both an easy and utterly gripping read. The writing was excellent and I will definitely look out for Jenny Downham's books in the future. Please note that I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tika
    January 1, 1970
    Review coming soon...
  • my bookworm life
    January 1, 1970
    I was very kindly sent a copy of this book from the publishers as i took part in the Bookstagram review tour over on Instagram. Years ago i read and loved 'Before i die' by this author, i fell in love with that book instantly from the first page, and just adored Jennys writing!, so all those years later it was really lovely to re visit that writing and excellent story telling. As with the previous book, the writing again is just brilliant! so easy to get stuck into and it flows what feels like I was very kindly sent a copy of this book from the publishers as i took part in the Bookstagram review tour over on Instagram. Years ago i read and loved 'Before i die' by this author, i fell in love with that book instantly from the first page, and just adored Jennys writing!, so all those years later it was really lovely to re visit that writing and excellent story telling. As with the previous book, the writing again is just brilliant! so easy to get stuck into and it flows what feels like effortless through the pages. I fell instantly in love with central character Lexi, who i just thought was wonderful, and loved following her through this book. She was easy to relate to, her emotions were valid and it was just really moving following her journey dealing with them. I had a few moments reading this that really touched me! and that's just such proof of Jennys wonderful writing and character building.This to me is such a good example of a YA that doesn't strictly feel like a YA, in that sense that i feel it can be read and enjoyed by other age groups, i am 30 so i am not in the YA target market but i really love a good YA book! and i always say that they hold some of the most powerful and emotive stories i have read, and have such brilliant central characters. This year has been excellent for YA and quite a few have gone straight on my 'Favourites of the year' list.This book tackled some hard hitting and emotional topics, the main one being Lexis relationship with her Step father, who is very emotionally and verbally abusive to her. These scenes in which she is with him and they have interactions are incredibly uneasy, and i know they will resonate with many readers sadly, but i think it's brilliant to include such a rocky and dark topic because it will help raise awareness to it, and especially for teenagers too. Also just the issues that Lexi is dealing with in terms of her anger , that is another topic that i really thought was brilliantly handled, and will be good to see represented by many too. I thought it was just so heart warming that she was incouraged to just feel exactly what she was feeling, and to not be ashamed , just to simply feel it and ride that wave out. I have seen some comments regarding Lexi's relationship with her step brother, and how that is really uncomfortable reading etc, and i totally get that but for me i just kind of didn't think on it too much, i liked the end of that topic, and how it was dealt with, but i do agree on it being very strange and maybe a little out of place here. So once again, this author has delivered for me a really enjoyable and emotive read. With a main character i was always rooting for and wanted the absolute best for!. A story that progressed at such a great pace, and that tackled some hard hitting subjects but done with such care. And a YA that doesn't read or feel like it's strictly YA.
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  • Jodie (jodie.loves.books)
    January 1, 1970
    I have to start this review off by saying just how much I enjoyed reading this book! I haven’t felt so immersed in a story for a long time and I genuinely lost myself within its pages.In Furious Thing, we follow Lex, a 15 year old living with her Mum, Half-Sister and Stepdad. She has been accused of having an awful temper and behaviour problems by her Stepdad, John, who she really does not get on with. We experience Lex’s friendships and relationships and follow her bravery and fierceness to do I have to start this review off by saying just how much I enjoyed reading this book! I haven’t felt so immersed in a story for a long time and I genuinely lost myself within its pages.In Furious Thing, we follow Lex, a 15 year old living with her Mum, Half-Sister and Stepdad. She has been accused of having an awful temper and behaviour problems by her Stepdad, John, who she really does not get on with. We experience Lex’s friendships and relationships and follow her bravery and fierceness to do the right thing. I don’t want to say anything more about the plot as I’d hate to spoil it for you, but I absolutely loved the concept and I feel like it’s a very important story that needed to be told.The writing throughout the book was just perfect. It flowed beautifully and I was fully immersed in this story and in Lex’s life. Everything was spot on, from the plot, to the descriptions, to the development and to the characters! It was just wonderful and such a powerful book with important messages.There are TW’s for Furious Thing so please do be aware of that before picking this up but overall, I highly recommend it! - 5 stars🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟Thank you to David Fickling Books for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • ThatBookGal
    January 1, 1970
    Furious Thing takes a topic that has been explored in a myriad of ways, but approaches it with a cautious and refreshing attitude. This is domestic abuse, explored from the eyes of a teenager, with no physical violence, just a slow burning realisation that a man is controlling every aspect of family life.Lex is understandably angry. Her stepfather is a tyrant in their household, and has decided that she is the root of every problem they have ever had. Her school is unsupportive, she doesn't know Furious Thing takes a topic that has been explored in a myriad of ways, but approaches it with a cautious and refreshing attitude. This is domestic abuse, explored from the eyes of a teenager, with no physical violence, just a slow burning realisation that a man is controlling every aspect of family life.Lex is understandably angry. Her stepfather is a tyrant in their household, and has decided that she is the root of every problem they have ever had. Her school is unsupportive, she doesn't know who to turn to for help, and her perception of self, sees her deciding that she is indeed a monster. You can't help but empathise with her, and want her to scream a little louder. As well as the domestic abuse, that is the central theme to the novel, there are a bunch of other issues touched on, that kept the book unpredictable and gripping. I particularly enjoyed the fact that Downham was able to keep the book free of the classic perception of violence. Instead of using shock tactics, its an accurate portrayal of living in a household that's in the grip of a bully. *** Thank you to the publishers for providing my copy, in exchange for an honest review ***
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  • Tamara de Vries
    January 1, 1970
    I love this book so incredibly much! Spontaneously bought it on a trip, and I do not regret it at all.As a girl who struggles with anger issues herself, I can relate to Lex very well, which makes reading this book even better. Jenny's writing style is very direct, refreshing and just nice to read. 10/10 would recommend.
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  • yorkshirebooknerd
    January 1, 1970
    “It’s a quiet thing he does, a smoke and mirrors thing. He takes away everything good inside you and replaces it with fear.”This book is perfectly named as it left me furious! Of course the fact that I felt so strongly about this book is testament to the fantastic writing and the heartbreaking story the author has created. I’m giving you fair warning there are spoilers ahead and this review contains some strong opinions that some people may find offensive.Our MC is fifteen year old Lexi, a young “It’s a quiet thing he does, a smoke and mirrors thing. He takes away everything good inside you and replaces it with fear.”This book is perfectly named as it left me furious! Of course the fact that I felt so strongly about this book is testament to the fantastic writing and the heartbreaking story the author has created. I’m giving you fair warning there are spoilers ahead and this review contains some strong opinions that some people may find offensive.Our MC is fifteen year old Lexi, a young woman full of fury, a fury that she doesn’t really understand but that affects her education, her relationships and her family. I adored Lexi! Although she had her typical teenage moments, she was so fierce and strong, tenacious and determined. I loved how loving and loyal she was despite the circumstances. She really is an exceptional and brave young woman and an inspiration to other young people.Ok so here it comes...this whole story boiled my blood! I know I shouldn’t judge and you never know what people are going through but Lexi’s mum made me so angry. She was so weak and selfish. She completely put herself before her children. She allowed her fiancé to systematically destroy her daughter which in my opinion is inexcusable. For most of the story it appears that she agrees with the things her fiancé is doing and believes that he has Lexi’s best interests at heart but even when she can see her daughter isn’t right she continues allowing him to treat her abysmally. She must be aware of the impact her toxic relationship is having on her two daughters but chooses to ignore this as he is her “soul mate” and “she can’t breathe without him”. Sorry but what a joke. She uses her youngest child as a way to punish her fiancé and leaves her older daughter behind to face the music. I just didn’t like this character AT ALL!!Now don’t get me wrong I’m not blaming everything on her because the real monster of the story is her [insert expletive of your choice] fiancé, John. What a piece of work this guy is. A controlling, manipulative bully! He is so disgusting he actually made my skin crawl. Like all bullies he’s actually a huge coward with so many insecurities that he feels the need to exert his authority over everyone and everything.The fact that Lexi’s mum and stepfather were so horrendous made me root for her even more than I already was. She wasn’t prepared to stay quiet just to keep the peace. She was determined to try and protect her mum and little sister regardless of the consequences for herself. Speaking of which Iris was also a little gem! I won’t spoil anything but there’s one particular scene that had me laughing out loud at her antics. She was a little ray of sunshine and kept Lexi going when things got tough.I loved this book and felt emotionally invested in Lexi’s story. The writing style was engaging and flowed perfectly, injecting the right amount of details when needed but kept the focus on the characters and the emotions.A powerful story that wasn’t always easy to read but was brilliantly told and leaves the reader with one very clear message: “Joy exists in the world. And you deserve it”.5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thank you to @darkroomtours and @dfb_storyhouse for providing a #gifted copy as part of the Bookstagram tour. All opinions are my own and provided willingly.TW - child abuse, gaslighting
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  • Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. This book really took on gaslighting and made you FEEL it. I was as furious as Lex was, and yet, when I looked at the facts, nothing legally could stop John from being who he was. It's infuriating. That hot-cold behavior, changing from charmer to demon... It's enough to make anyone feel insane, like they're making it all up. However, we watched Lex's story and KNEW she wasn't making anything up, which is why it was all the more aggravating.Listen, you're gonna find Lex annoying. She IS Wow. This book really took on gaslighting and made you FEEL it. I was as furious as Lex was, and yet, when I looked at the facts, nothing legally could stop John from being who he was. It's infuriating. That hot-cold behavior, changing from charmer to demon... It's enough to make anyone feel insane, like they're making it all up. However, we watched Lex's story and KNEW she wasn't making anything up, which is why it was all the more aggravating.Listen, you're gonna find Lex annoying. She IS annoying. But when you get the whole background story of her life, is it any wonder why? She's only 15 (almost 16) and she's been walking on eggshells for 6-7 years. She's a kid. A neglected kid who is dealing with mental abuse every day. There were things in here that I found so poetic and thought-provoking, such as Kass mirroring John without realizing it or Iris, the 6 year-old girl, being the only one to see Lex "do her monster." There was some real good stuff in here.That being said, there were some not great things too. I couldn't help but feel angry for Cerys since Lex was never going to own up to her actions... And yet, they'll remain friends because Cerys will never know. Not cool. Also, having ADHD doesn't make someone "crazy." I don't know, there are plenty of behavioral disorders out there that could have been used to make Lex feel like she was losing it. ADHD? You're gonna fight about meds that are used to focus your energy? I guess the real point is that Lex didn't feel anything was wrong with her at all, but agonizing over an ADHD diagnosis seemed kind of pointless to me. (Then again, this is coming from someone who has been diagnosed on separate occasions with bipolar disorder and then with depression, so maybe I have a biased view of mental health diagnoses. I apologize if being diagnosed with ADHD feels embarrassing.)Overall, an intricate book that made me think. I know I'll be thinking about this one for a while.
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  • Victoria Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Faye and Jess at Dark room tours providing me with a copy of this to review.When I first saw the email about this bookstagram tour I was initially drawn in by the colours on the cover, but then I read the synopsis and I knew I just had to read it.“Bad things happen when you’re around, Lex…That’s what her stepfather tells her. That’s what she believes about herself.But how can she convince herself and everyone around her that her anger doesn’t make her a monster? If only she I would like to thank Faye and Jess at Dark room tours providing me with a copy of this to review.When I first saw the email about this bookstagram tour I was initially drawn in by the colours on the cover, but then I read the synopsis and I knew I just had to read it.“Bad things happen when you’re around, Lex…That’s what her stepfather tells her. That’s what she believes about herself.But how can she convince herself and everyone around her that her anger doesn’t make her a monster? If only she could stop losing her temper and behave herself, her stepfather would accept her, her mom would love her like she used to, and her stepbrother would declare his crushing desire to spend the rest of his life with her. She wants these things so badly, she’s determined to swallow her anger and make her family proud.But pushing fury down doesn’t make it disappear. Instead, it simmers below the surface, waiting to erupt. There’ll be fireworks when it does…”This novel is truly heartbreaking, like all teenage girls sure Lex has her moments and a bit of an attitude, but watching the way her stepfather would treat her, all while her own mother just stood by and watched was absolutely soul crushing.No matter what Lex tried to do it just simply was not good enough for John, as a reader it was so obvious to see the turmoil he was putting Lex through, so much so that I was getting frustrated at her mother for doing nothing about it, in fact when she allowed him to put her daughter on medication I was beyond outraged. This man had come into her home and was literally destroying her child and she did nothing because in her eyes he was her soulmate.I can’t help but think that Lex and Iris would have been better if social services had been involved and had them taken out of that household.The whole atmosphere was so toxic for them, whenever the parents would argue Iris would ask Lex to do her “furious thing” to take the attention away from her mother.I did start to think that things were looking up for Lex when one of her classmates had concrete evidence of what John was like, but in typical John fashion he managed to bully his way out and Lex was made to look like the one in the wrong yet again.I have so many emotions about this novel, a lot of them make me very angry at the situation that Lex was in and I worry that I could post too many spoilers, but I think it is safe to say that Jenny Downham wrote a book that is so emotionally gripping it will stay with you long after you have finished it.Also I just have to say, nobody is your soulmate if they are willing to destroy your child day by day, do the smart thing and walk away.
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  • Georgia_books
    January 1, 1970
    3.5Lex is angry, she doesn't get on with her step father and her relationship with her step brother is beyond complicated with everyone telling her that she's the problem she's beginning to wonder, are they right?The premise of this book really intregued me. I mean, teenagers having troubles at home, struggling to come to grips with their emotions and figure out the world.. Super relatable. And I did enjoy this book, it was a quick read and it plucked at the ol' heartstrings. However I found the 3.5Lex is angry, she doesn't get on with her step father and her relationship with her step brother is beyond complicated with everyone telling her that she's the problem she's beginning to wonder, are they right?The premise of this book really intregued me. I mean, teenagers having troubles at home, struggling to come to grips with their emotions and figure out the world.. Super relatable. And I did enjoy this book, it was a quick read and it plucked at the ol' heartstrings. However I found the relationship between Lex and Kass slightly uncomfortable to read at times, I get that they were younger when they met but I just couldn't really look past it.I found John's behaviour quite difficult to read at times too, he's the evil stepfather of course he's supposed to be unlikeable but the emotion abuse was super upsetting. Especially when there wasn't even really a light at the end of the tunnel.Although difficult at times this book did touch my heart and I enjoyed reading along on Lex's journey and seeing her blossom.
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  • Latkins
    January 1, 1970
    In this impressive YA novel, 15-year-old Lexi is furious. She behaves badly – destroying and throwing things, talking back to her teachers, disappearing and lying her mother. But what is the cause of all this anger? For many years she’s lived with her mother and her almost stepfather John, and with her beloved little half-sister Iris, who is six – and now her mother and John are about to be married. And she’s long been in love with John’s son Kass, and is missing him terribly now he’s gone to In this impressive YA novel, 15-year-old Lexi is furious. She behaves badly – destroying and throwing things, talking back to her teachers, disappearing and lying her mother. But what is the cause of all this anger? For many years she’s lived with her mother and her almost stepfather John, and with her beloved little half-sister Iris, who is six – and now her mother and John are about to be married. And she’s long been in love with John’s son Kass, and is missing him terribly now he’s gone to university in Manchester. They seem like an ideal family, but people don’t realise that John is a manipulative and deceitful bully. He undermines Lexi’s mother, by treating her badly and cheating on her, and constantly humiliates Lexi when she reacts to his cruelty. And now John is insisting that Lexi sees a doctor, as he claims that she’s mentally unstable. Is Lexi really unstable? Will her fury ever end? This is a well-written and engaging exploration of coercive control or ‘gaslighting’ which shows how it can affect a whole family.
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  • Marie
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars.This one’s really good. Very raw, intense, disturbing and outright.The main protagonist, Alexandra, is one of the few characters that readers can relate to on a deep, genuine level. This is because she’s plausibly imperfect and profoundly human. And no, I’m not talking about those cutely clumsy, angsty, messed up characters that often appear in ya books and are said to represent “real-life” misfits. No, Lex is the right thing. I did resonate with her at many places, we have plenty of 3.5 stars.This one’s really good. Very raw, intense, disturbing and outright.The main protagonist, Alexandra, is one of the few characters that readers can relate to on a deep, genuine level. This is because she’s plausibly imperfect and profoundly human. And no, I’m not talking about those cutely clumsy, angsty, messed up characters that often appear in ya books and are said to represent “real-life” misfits. No, Lex is the right thing. I did resonate with her at many places, we have plenty of things in common even though our personalities differ.Extra points for the diversity of characters: Lex has a very complicated relationship with her step-father who happens to be a psychopath, her mother who’s fallen for his charm and plans on marrying him despite being mistreated, Lex being hopelessly in love with her step-brother Kass who doesn’t want to be like his father and all the others.
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  • Barbara Band
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books where you get a feeling of apprehension from the first page, a sense that something is not quite right but you're unsure of why. And this feeling grips you throughout the book.Lexi is angry and in trouble at school. She lives with her mum and (soon-to-be) stepfather, his older son and their younger sister. She tries to make her family proud of her but it seems that everything she does is wrong, every disaster is always her fault, and all she really wants is for life to This is one of those books where you get a feeling of apprehension from the first page, a sense that something is not quite right but you're unsure of why. And this feeling grips you throughout the book.Lexi is angry and in trouble at school. She lives with her mum and (soon-to-be) stepfather, his older son and their younger sister. She tries to make her family proud of her but it seems that everything she does is wrong, every disaster is always her fault, and all she really wants is for life to go back to how it was before "he" came on the scene.I devoured this book in one sitting. My only gripe would be that there's a scene where Lexi offers herself to her stepbrother, Kass, which isn't really necessary plus everything ends up too nicely rounded off but then I guess most YA books need a "happy ending".
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  • Rachel Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to give this book to my 14 year old daughter to read to show her it's ok to be angry and to never let anyone tell her how to feel.This book addresses the effect of emotional abuse and it is so well done. It shows the manipulation and control one person can have over a family and what can happen when someone gets angry about it. Reading about Lexi and her stepfather is heartbreaking but also is reading about her mother and hearing her stick up for him and Lexi reminiscing what her I'm going to give this book to my 14 year old daughter to read to show her it's ok to be angry and to never let anyone tell her how to feel.This book addresses the effect of emotional abuse and it is so well done. It shows the manipulation and control one person can have over a family and what can happen when someone gets angry about it. Reading about Lexi and her stepfather is heartbreaking but also is reading about her mother and hearing her stick up for him and Lexi reminiscing what her mother used to be like.I've seen some people being uncomfortable with her relationship with her stepbrother but I understand it. He was nice to her when she was pushed aside by the people who were supposed to look after her.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    This is another proof I picked up from YALC and I so wanted to love it. Sadly I didnt. I dont know why exactly, the writing was amazing, the plot was gripping, and the characters were relatable. But I read the whole thing in one sitting and I struggled to get through it. I would definitely recommend it but personally I didn't have a connection to the book that made me fall in love with it. That been said it could be because of the dark themes of the books, but who knows. Worth the read for This is another proof I picked up from YALC and I so wanted to love it. Sadly I didnt. I dont know why exactly, the writing was amazing, the plot was gripping, and the characters were relatable. But I read the whole thing in one sitting and I struggled to get through it. I would definitely recommend it but personally I didn't have a connection to the book that made me fall in love with it. That been said it could be because of the dark themes of the books, but who knows. Worth the read for anyone interested!
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  • menna
    January 1, 1970
    I had a problem of how mental illness was portrayed, women can be both mentally ill following trauma and not 'hysterical'. there's a middle ground though I understand what the author was trying to do with the history of women getting locked up for their so-called 'hysteria'. I expected that view would change, that someone would make the protagonist see that being mentally ill isn't an insult but it never came. I really loved the message and the characters though so 4 stars.
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  • Jenna Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! This book gave me all the feels from I seen the cover. It was a magical story that also hit home about what goes on in this world. A teenage girl, dealing with everyday life and also having to put up with a controlling step father. Not only is she being controlled but her mum too. This story touches on what happens in a life like this. It's eye opening and I couldn't put the book down. Absolutely loved how beautifully and well written it was
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  • Meg Drury
    January 1, 1970
    "If you're not angry you become afraid - afraid to stand up against things that are wrong, afraid to speak out, afraid to act. A healthy girl should be furious, because it's an unfair world." LOVED. THIS. BOOK.
  • Sasha
    January 1, 1970
    This book was so awesome! Fierce, feminist and furious. review to come.
  • Gabriela Pop
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @ 100ish pages - not bad, just not quite pulling me in and the whole 'crushing on the stepbrother' thing made me awfully uncomfortable
  • Kirsty Stanley
    January 1, 1970
    4.25 stars
  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    Emotional, devastating and necessary - I can't wait to recommend this one to everyone.
  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating 4.5Full review to come
  • Pauline
    January 1, 1970
    It was uncomfortable to read but I thought about this book a lot afterwards.
  • Sophie Lupin
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this a lot more then I expected to. It was heart breaking and warming at the same time.
  • Susannah
    January 1, 1970
    Intricate, quite dark, I really enjoyed it.
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