Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: Feral by Holly Schindler

  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: 8/26/2014
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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

I love psychological thrillers. I am a big fan of books that mess with your head and keep you second guessing. This book was disturbing and creepy. I didn't really like the main character very much, but I did like going through the story in her head. She had a past trauma that lingers, and it is a big part of how she goes about things in a new place with new friends. Of course there is a dead girl who she happens to find pretty much right after she gets to the new place, and that sets things in motion. The girl reminds her a lot of her situation, and she feels like she needs to know more and find out exactly what happened. The only thing is she keeps having flashbacks of her attack and seeing really odd things that she can't really explain.

Claire is a very smart, pretty girl. She is a great journalist and has won awards. One especially significant publishing was to help her friend out. When a boy tries to frame her for drugs, Claire blows the whole thing up. She never expected that it could get her into trouble, and never considered her life could be at risk. So fast forward to after she was attacked and she is in a new town with her dad. She is ignoring her best friend because she doesn't want to be treated as if she's broken. First thing she encounters are feral cats once they get to town. She also encounters a few teenagers who are looking for their missing friend. The one she happens to find dead in the woods. She starts seeing things and going into flashbacks of her own beating. Slowly she is falling apart and knows she needs to find out what really happened to Serena. It was hard to tell what was in her head and what was real.

The other characters didn't really do much for me. They were there, they were all part of the story, but I never really cared about getting to know them better. I didn't like Serena's BFF who I can't remember the name of now. She always seemed to have her own agenda, and acted like she was the center of the universe. Yes, she was sad that Serena was gone, but she was more sad that she never treated her the way a real friend should. The other guy across the street who I also am blanking on the name was okay. He was there for Claire when she needed him, and was truly a good friend to her.

This book does mess with your head. Since I hadn't read the synopsis since forever ago, I didn't know if this was laced with paranormal or not, so I wasn't sure what was in Claire's head and what wasn't. It was apparent that she was not okay, and that she was mentally damaged from her attack, but I didn't know what was brought on from that and what was actually happening. Either way, it was creepy. I think that the mental illness aspect is scarier than any paranormal thing could be. The mind is a fragile thing, and can easily break. Though I really enjoyed this book, I didn't love it. I thought the writing was good and I loved how everything all came together in the end. It's a book I would recommend to fans of this type of read.

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.


  1. I've been curious about this book for some time now because of the psychological thriller aspect but I wanted to see what people thought of it first before downloading it. I usually need to feel a connection with characters, and it doesn't look like these characters are very likeable or memorable. I like that the book messes with your head though! Those are some fun books.
    Lovely review, Amy!

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