Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Chilling
About the book:
The Lovely Bones meets Black Swan in this haunting psychological thriller with twists and turns that will make you question everything you think you know.
It’s too late for you. You’re dead. Those words continue to haunt Claire Cain months after she barely survived a brutal beating in Chicago. So when her father is offered a job in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out will offer her a way to start anew.
But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire feels an overwhelming sense of danger, and her fears are confirmed when she discovers the body of a popular high school student in the icy woods behind the school, surrounded by the town’s feral cats. While everyone is quick to say it was an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it, and vows to learn the truth about what happened.
But the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to realizing a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley….
Holly Schindler’s gripping story is filled with heart-stopping twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very last page.
Feral was honestly a pretty interesting book, and had a concept I could really get behind. There were parts of it that I was iffy about, but for the most part, it was a worthwhile read, and I'm definitely glad I decided to take part in this book tour, because this book brought something new and refreshing and most of all, chilling, to the table.
Okay, so if you read the description blurb above, you'll know that Claire Cain is spending her semester in Peculiar, Missouri and notices that the death of this girl Serena is really starting to mirror the circumstances of her own attack just months ago. As the book goes on, it becomes clear that Claire is definitely suffering from some sort of PTSD because she starts to confuse the incident in Chicago with her time in Peculiar more and more, finding herself in spells of dazed panic, thinking she's in places and situations she isn't. I really like how her character is dealt with because when I was reading the passages where she described how she felt like she had no control, I could really feel the sense of desperation, and I could feel the way her dynamic with her best friend was changing because she didn't know how to talk to her anymore. Schindler did a really good job describing these characters.
In fact, the characterization in this book is spot on. We have Becca, who is introduced as a pretty cheerleader airhead type and was the best friend of Serena, the girl who was found dead in the woods. At first we think she's as vain as she appears but she softens up and really shows a more mature and kindhearted side. Then, there are the guys. Chas is typically standoffish and kindof mean and Owen has something to hide. Rich refers to their whole group as "the bold and the beautiful" which was something I really liked and tends to keep to himself but helps Claire out.
The middle of this book, in my opinion, kindof dragged on a bit and not much happened. There was a lot of filler and a lot of exposition and a good chunk of it was unnecessary. I found myself starting to wonder if anything was actually going to happen. However, things did start to happen and Claire and Serena's paths started to intertwine and we found out exactly what Serena's fate was and how Claire factored into it. In my opinion, it was slightly...I wouldn't say far-fetched (well, it is but not in a negative way) but...weird, I guess, for lack of a better term. Not in a bad way. Definitely interesting. Definitely worth checking out.
I also really appreciated that the book was well written. The dialogue was well formed and the book language was sophisticated which added to the voice and really matters in a book like this.
I think some of the plots, especially having to do with the ferals, could have been a little more refined, but they were definitely promising and I really enjoyed them and I really loved the whole vibe this book gave off and the eerie feeling from start to finish. I got the whole Black Swan feeling and I think it definitely merits the comparison and I would totally recommend the book, although I wish the middle didn't drag quite so much.
I really needed to read this book. I personally feel like I've been stuck in a rut of reading the same genre and same type of book over and over and this was something new and something different and I enjoyed it a lot and I hope whoever wins it will too!
About the author:
Holly Schindler is the author of the critically acclaimed A BLUE SO DARK (Booklist starred review, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year silver medal recipient, IPPY Awards gold medal recipient) as well as PLAYING HURT (both YAs). Her debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY also released in ’14, and became a favorite of teachers and librarians, who used the book as a read-aloud. Kirkus Reviews called THE JUNCTION “...a heartwarming and uplifting story...[that] shines...with vibrant themes of community, self-empowerment and artistic vision delivered with a satisfying verve.” Bloggers also quickly fell for the book; Susan at Bloggin’ ‘bout Books said of THE JUNCTION, “Triumphant and compelling, this is one of those books that will make you cheer. And look a little bit closer for the unique beauty in all of us.” FERAL is Schindler’s third YA and first mystery / thriller. She encourages readers to get in touch, and can be found at hollyschindler.com, hollyschindler.blogspot.com, @holly_schindler, Facebook.com/HollySchindlerAuthor, and http://hollyschindler.tumblr.com/
Win (1) signed hardcover of FERAL (US/CAN Only)