Monday, August 25, 2014

[Review: Feral by Holly Schindler]

Author: Holly Schindler
Series: None
Pages: 432
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Thriller
Date Published: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


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.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Feral,

Well, you were creeptastic, weren't you? I liked that you kept me guessing and taking me on all these twisted roads, so even though I thought I had the end figured out I still wondered. Of course my first thoughts were correct, but book, you made me doubt those things that I knew to be true, and to me that marks a really good thriller. Throw in some feral cats who get a little too hungry, the voice of a dead girl and a girl who has a lot of issues herself and you understand what a thriller really is. Thanks for being so awesome and managing to creep me out at times. It takes a lot, so bravo for you!

-The White Unicorn

Seriously, Feral will give you the creeps. Schindler has weaved a tale that makes you wonder what you're really looking at. Are all the freaky things happening in Peculiar really real, or is something else going on? It's one of those answers that you crave as you pour through the pages. Schindler blends reality and fiction together in a way that makes you feel eery as you read Feral. She slaps you with some pretty brutal visuals and yet lets your brain take over in such a way that you, as the reader have control over how gruesome everything is in your own mind. I'm a big fan of that kind of writing style and I think it does wonders for this novel. It gives it scope and lets it breath freely.

Schindler uses Claire as her main character and the things that have happened to her are terrifying. You instantly feel sorry for her, because she feels sorry for herself, but your respect for her grows as the story progresses. Claire is a fighter and even though she has her issues (understandably) she still manages to pull herself together when she needs to the most. Her interactions with the people around her are skewed, because you're seeing all the weird happenings in Peculiar through her eyes. It's what gives the book it's vibe, but I did feel like it also gets in the way of really getting to know the other characters. In the long run, I have to admit that this didn't really bother me, but I can see it being an issue for some.

I liked that Schindler keeps away from romance. She gives the mystery and healing happening inside of Claire full focus and I couldn't be more pleased with her choices. There is a slight flirtation between Claire and Rich, but it's so slight that it's barely there. I do love their friendship though, it seems the most pure and true out of all the relationships in Claire's life. 

The way that Schindler weaves the stray cats of Peculiar into the story was good fun as well. Nothing is creepier then some wild cats snacking on a body and as an author, Schindler uses them to her advantage. Throw in the fact that Serena (dead girl) also has some time to shine in the book and you have a book that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next!

 4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!


Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

I didn't enjoy it as much as you, yeah it was creepy and that worked for me. I loved that about it, but it was probably the only thing I loved about it. I mean, I got it, but I expected something completely different up until it started getting too crazy and it clicked. I guess me and the book just didn't get along this time. :( But glad you enjoyed it! :)

Nicole said...

This one might scare the whits out of me so I'm not sure that I am going to read it but I am glad that you enjoyed it!