Thursday, February 11, 2021

Teen/YA Review: Furious Thing

I just finished listening to a YA novel on audio called Furious Thing by Jenny Downham. I loved her earlier novel, Unbecoming, so much that I chose it as my Best Teen/YA Book Read in 2016. Like that earlier novel, Furious Thing is a family drama, dealing with relationships between children and adults in a family.

Lexi is 15 years old and is constantly told that she misbehaves and has a bad temper. She is filled with anger that often comes out at the worst times. She believes that everything in her family would be OK, if only she could change herself so that her stepfather would like her, her mother would love her like she used to, and maybe she'd even have friends. It's clear that her 6-year-old sister, Iris, doesn't have the same problems she does; everyone adores Iris, who behaves perfectly. The only person Lexi can talk to is her stepbrother, Kass, but now he's off at university. Lexi works hard to transform herself, pushing her anger down deep. Yeah, you know how well that's going to work! She's constantly in trouble, both at home and at school, and she mostly feels helpless to stop it. Even when she tries hard to be better, eventually, the anger bubbles to the surface.

I had to stop myself from describing more about the novel because there is just so much here, but to tell you too much would spoil the story and give away what's coming later. Downham has a talent for writing strong, well-developed characters and for digging deep into issues affecting many people, and this novel is no exception. There is so much more to it than first meets the eye. It's not just about Lexi but about complex family dynamics, blended families, and the effects that parents have on children (and vice-versa). Even the book's title has a more complex meaning than first thought. I was slightly impatient with the story at first, until I realized that appearances were only the tip of the iceberg and there was plenty of depth here. I enjoyed listening to the novel on audio and was rooting for Lexi through all of her challenges! The ending was not fairy-tale perfect but satisfying.

384 pages, David Fickling Books

Scholastic Audio

Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. My review is my own opinion and is not influenced by my relationship with the publisher or author.


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Listen to a sample of the audiobook here and/or download it from Audible.


You can buy the book through, where your purchase will support the indie bookstore of your choice (or all indie bookstores)--the convenience of shopping online while still buying local!



Or you can order Furious Thing from Book Depository, with free shipping worldwide.


  1. I haven't heard of this novel, but it sounds really good.

    1. It was - I love this author - she writes characters and situations with so much depth.

  2. You have a way of making me want to read books.