Author: Holly Schindler
Release Date: August 26th 2014
Rate: 4 Stars
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 is a gripping young adult thriller that tells the story of two girls who are linked by horrible circumstances. Claire Cain is the main character of the book. She begins the book by living in Chicago with a good life - a super close best friend, awards for her journalism articles, and even a small piece of fame after exposing and busting a drug ring that infiltrated her private school. Claire's life is going according to her plan - which all leads to becoming an important journalist one day. One day during an ice storm, her entire world is turned upside down when she gets attacked and almost beaten to death by the drug gang she got arrested. After her physical injuries finally heal, life doesn't feel the same for Claire, so she agrees to go to the small town of Peculiar, Missouri with her father. On the day that Claire arrives in Peculiar, an ice storm is hitting the town - and the fate of another teen girl who wants to be a journalist is being decided. Only this girl, Serena, isn't as lucky as Claire - she is killed and her body stashed in the woods outside the school. Things go from bad to worse when Claire discovers Serena's body and begins to "see" the truth behind Peculiar. But what exactly is truth and what is in Claire's mind? She needs to find out what really happened to Serena before she becomes the next victim.
I absolutely love thrillers, so after reading the description of this book, I knew I had to read it. The concept of the book was a great one - part mystery, part thriller, and part paranormal/ghost story - with the main character having to determine what's real and what's in her head before it's too late. The characters were all well written, especially the lead character - Claire. She's strong and smart, but she's also suffering from some PTSD after her brutal attack. She has some trouble recovering emotionally from the incident and the terrible situation in Peculiar only makes things worse. I really liked getting to know all the sides of Claire's character - to watch her piece together the mystery of Peculiar, of the horrible things that happened to her in Chicago, and just how much damage it has caused her. The other characters were well written - the author did a great job of making some characters red herrings before throwing huge twists and turns into the plot. I always love trying to figure out what's really going on or what happened before the main character does, but I kept come up short with this book. I would think I had things figured out, but then a bit twist in the plot pops up and I'm stuck again. I was definitely reading as fast as I could to finally see the truth and what actually happened. The plot was very intriguing and blended several genres together to create an original story that will appeal to a lot of readers. Along with the plot twists and the unique story line, the author uses fantastic descriptions and vivid imagery to make the reader feel like they are right beside Claire in Peculiar, trying to figure out what's going on. I found this to be a wonderful thriller that fans of the genre will definitely want to get their hands on. I also recommend it to those who enjoy lots of other genres as well - there's a bit of something for everyone. I'm definitely going to keep my eye on the author to see what she comes out with next!
“Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A Blue So Dark…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“From the opening pages readers will be immediately immersed in this dark story…[which] has echoes of classic Hitchcock. Issues of cliques, peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, post-traumatic stress syndrome, teacher-student relationships, and pet abandonment will provide substance for discussion.” – School Library Journal
Here's my playlist for the book:
1. Bring Me to Life - Evanescence
2. Demons - Imagine Dragons
3. Coming Down - Five Finger Death Punch
4. My Immortal - Evanescence
5. Savin' Me - Nickelback
6. All Around Me - Flyleaf
7. Ocean Breathes Salty - Modest Mouse
8. Fear - Sarah McLachlan
9. Red Sam - Flyleaf
10. Frontier City - Kings of Leon
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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/
Giveaway is open to US/CAN Only | Must be 13 or older to enter
Win (1) signed hardcover of FERAL (US/CAN)