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Furious Thing

by Jenny Downham

'new gen' - Great Books for Young Adults

LoveReading View on Furious Thing

Empathetic, insightful and buzzing with drama, the brilliant Jenny Downham has done it again in this vital, true-to-life treasure about a young woman’s struggle to stand up to her bully-boy stepfather.

“She threw things and slammed things and swore. She was clumsy and rude and had no friends. Her teachers thought her dim-witted. Her family despaired.” On the verge of turning sixteen, Lexi is a firework of frustration. Her furious outbursts are getting worse now John, her soon-to-be-stepdad, has taken over their family home, and his son – Lexi’s best friend (and long-time crush…) – has moved away to uni. On top of that, her younger half-sister is John’s favoured child, while she’s blamed for everything that goes wrong, including - most viciously of all - what happened to her beloved granddad. It’s no coincidence that the intensification of Lexi’s rage coincides with John’s increasingly coercive behaviour. Thanks to his constant criticism and angry desire to have everything exactly how he likes it, Lexi can see that her mum has become a shadow of herself. Trapped in this unbearable situation – one in which no one listens or believes her - what else can Lexi do but kick out?

Interwoven with fairy tale motifs that combine to create a satisfying whole at the novel’s heartrending climax, this is a brilliantly exacting exposé of coercive control and emotional abuse, and a powerful portrayal of a young woman’s refusal to give in. Lexy is a dazzlingly-created character that readers will root for and empathise with. Her battle to break the abuse elicits much compassion and sympathetic fury, while her irrepressible wit provokes plenty of laughs.

Joanne Owen

Furious Thing Synopsis

Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award and the YA Book Prize

Lexi's angry. And it's getting worse. If only she could stop losing her temper, her step-father would accept her, her mum would love her again, and her step-brother would return her feelings. She wants these things so badly, she tries to push her fury down. But it isn't easy. Her rage is there for a reason. And if she stays quiet - she might just lose herself...

Furious Thing Press Reviews

'Wise, gripping and skilfully told... It gives permission to rage when fury is warranted' The Sunday Times' Children's Book of the Week

'Piercingly well-observed... a masterpiece of shame and desire' Financial Times

'A painfully enthralling, fiercely feminist account of emotional abuse and appropriate rage' Guardian

'Powerful' Observer

'Furiously brilliant' Holly Bourne

'Breathtakingly good' Lisa Williamson

'A wonderful book brimming with empathy and justified anger' Patrice Lawrence

'It shows how we all have the power to protect ourselves, to stand together, to stand for what's right' Happiful Magazine

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788451260
Publication date: 04/02/2021
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781788450980
Publication date: 03/10/2019
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788451260
Publication date: 4th February 2021
Author: Jenny Downham
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Format: Paperback
Genres: NewGen - YA Fiction,
Categories: General fiction (Children's / Teenage),

About Jenny Downham

Jenny Downham was an actress for many years before concentrating on her writing full-time. She lives in London with her two sons. Her book Before I Die was critically acclaimed and was short listed for the 2007 Guardian Award and the 2008 Lancashire Children's Book of the Year, nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Medal and the 2008 Booktrust Teenage Prize, and won the 2008 Branford Boase Award. Get to know Jenny more by watching her 30 second interview.

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