Let’s Talk YA #15

A little while ago the lovely Emma from Never Judge A Book By Its Cover and I launched Let’s Talk YA. You can check out all of the books I’ve previously recommended, all of which are incredible UKYA books that I think need to be shouted about more.

It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these, due to personal stuff and school, but I’m hoping to make them a regular feature again.

Today, I’m discussing the fierce, feminist and eye-opening Furious Thing by Jenny Downham.



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.

Why I Love It:

This really taught me about the twisted, insidious nature of gaslighting and emotional abuse, something which I didn’t know a lot about going into the book. Downham has created a brilliant, eye-opening story that you will be hooked by.

Downham creates the toxic, claustrophobic and enabling atmosphere that allows this terrible abuse to occur and it’s so unnervingly mundane. As usual, she tackles this tricky subject with nuance and sensitivity, allowing grey areas to exist where there are no easy answers. She writes in a such an easy, flowing style that pulls you right in and allows you to really engage with the ideas discussed.

Lex was such a relatable, yet flawed character struggling with her own emotions and trying to break this vicious cycle. I really liked her tenacious nature and her strong sense of love and loyalty. Through the story, she learns the true value of her voice and imbues the whole book with righteous anger that I deeply connected with. This is an aptly named book, as it certainly enraged me and pushed me to learn more about gaslighting.

Furious Thing was an emotional gripping, intensely powerful story that opened my eyes to a devastating issue and deserves to be read by everyone.

Let’s Talk!

Have you read Furious Thing? What did you think? 

As always, please check out Emma’s blog for her recommendation and we will be talking on Twitter, so please get involved and use the hashtag #LetsTalkYA.


8 thoughts on “Let’s Talk YA #15

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