Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: Feral by Holly Schindler

Title: Feral
Author: Holly Schindler
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Harper Teen (August 26, 2014)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Description:
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.












I love when a book turns out to be darker and more twisted than I could have imagined.

 I love when I get so wrapped up in the story that I too want to look behind my shoulder and make sure no one is following me, or that my neighbors aren't peering at me from closed blinds, that there are no ferals running rampant behind me, lurking around the corners and lying in wait for just the right moment to pounce. 

The imagery in this is so beautifully done. So vivid and horrifying, so cringe worthy that I don't know whether to be in awe of the author's talent or slightly disgusted by it. 

We are thrust right into a dark and horrifying scene only to be thrown right into another one, similar in circumstance but with very different outcomes. Two girls destined to have their lives intertwined by a violence that was as disturbing to read about, as it was gut wrenching to imagine and even though at times I felt sick to my stomach with the vivid details, I also found myself completely fascinated by it as well. 

This book was such a crazy ride. It had so many ups and downs to it. So many “huh?” moments that you never quite got a grasp on what was reality and what may have been the ramblings and imaginations of a very disturbed and very broken young girl.

But either way, I was there, right with it holding on tight right up to that very strange, very curious ending. In fact, I would even say I was really into this until that ending. The ending was just too weird. Too  many twists and things happened that just had me questioning everything and not questioning in a kept me guessing way but a questioning in a what the heck just happened kind of way. 

It wrapped up a little too neatly with explanations for everything without really explaining anything. Ghosts, possessions, demons, imaginations, hallucinations? PTSD? What?

I still don't know how I feel about this one. Was the writing good? Yes it was. 

Was I pulled into the twisted slightly macabre storyline? Why yes, yes I was. 

Was it all just a little too weird and a little too descriptive but still irresistible? Again, yes.

But was I happy with it all? 

Honestly, still not sure. So for now, I am going to give this one a very neutral but still very well earned three stars. Why three and not four? Because that ending threw me and I think I still need to process everything that happened and how it all ended. Bit the writing, the writing I can't deny. The author has talent and that talent needs to be acknowledged and recognized. 







*All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the author or publisher. I was not compensated for this review.*

42 comments:

  1. This sounds terrifying. I don't read much horror books but I do love horror movies and I'm glad that this one is written vividly. It just sucks that the ending leaves a lot to be desired.

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    1. It really does because other than that it was really good and gruesome.

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  2. I have seen this one around but haven't read it yet. I love it when a book captures you and even though you think you're going crazy for a while the story is something you cannot get escape from. But that ending doesn't sound really promising. Great review, Ali :)

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  3. Yeah . . . have I mentioned that I'm a HUGE chicken? B/c I really am. A book that's going to make me want to continually look over my shoulder is a book that I might consider reading . . . on a sunny day . . . at the beach . . . unless it's about sharks, and then not even then . . . and DH would need to be nearby too, LOL. So maybe . . . ;)

    Really great review though. I'm sorry you seem to be having bad luck with endings.

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  4. Oh my gosh. I'm so with Jessica. Chicken party of two apparently. lol I do love books like this but I freak myself out so bad too. One I'd have to save for when I'm visiting at home or have company staying over. lol Thanks for the intro to it :)

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    1. I usually am too but this really wasn't too bad, at least I didn't have any nightmares. :P

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  5. I don't know if I downloaded this one off Edelweiss, but this sounds right up my alley with the creepy factor and you not being able to grasp what's going on in some scenes. I would definitely enjoy this one.
    Lovely review! :)

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  6. I like dark and twisted for sure Ali, but I'm a little nervous about the ending you mentioned! I tend to like my endings nice and neat with all my questions answered and a little information about what the future holds for the characters. I don't do well with strange endings or open endings, so I'm worried the weirdness won't quite work for me as it didn't really for you. Still, the rest of the story sounds amazing:)

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    1. The ending was bizarre but I think even with it, it is still worth the read.

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  7. Sounds like this book will keep you on your toes.

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  8. Oh Wow Kindlemom you've got me hooked especially your comparisons

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    1. Oh I hope you decide to read it then. :)

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  9. I really wasn't sure about the ending either, I felt like maybe we were tricked into feeling one way and then it was completely different. HOWEVER I kind of wonder if that was genius of her. I don't know, but it certainly messed with my head!

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    1. You're right that was exactly how it was Candace and you could be right on the other account as well, it might be genius, I am still up in the air about it, even now.

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  10. I've been curious about this book since I got wind of it. And since I'm on a horror kick at the moment, what better way to sate my appetite for two genres (YA, horror) than reading this? Too bad the ending was unsatisfactory though.

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    1. You never know, you might like it way more than I did and especially after now you know to be on the high alert of it to get really weird.

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  11. Lovely review. It's great that the writing is so well done and you found yourself fascinated - if not a bit disgusted- by the story. Sorry about the odd ending though!

    -Lauren

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    1. Thanks Lauren and yeah, it was good and disgusting but in a good morbid type of way for sure.

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  12. Wow, it seems to have been for you quite an experience reading this book! Glad you enjoyed it! I'm not really into dark books because they freak me out!! But I do read them from time to time so will check this one out! Great review! :)

    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

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    1. I hope you do check it out because it was quite unique.

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  13. This sounds absolutely wonderful! :D I love the sound of the creepiness in this one, and am excited to give it a try. Thanks for sharing and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

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  14. This sounds quite interesting! Wonderful review, I can't wait to read this now :)

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  15. I hate when the ending of a novel completely throws you for a loop and nearly ruins the entire book, but I love when a story is full of such realistic imagery it seeps into your real life. I'm not sure this is for me, not with that ending, but I'm certainly curious and will be keeping this author on my radar. Wonderful review!

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  16. This sounds amazing! I mean, other than the fact that the ending threw you off. I have been looking for scary, thriller books and this looks like it would be a great one. Thank you for sharing. I think I am going to have to read this one.

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    1. I hope you do check it out Natalie. :)

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  17. Oh you have me curious as to the ending and I love how dark and twisted this sounds Ali!

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    1. If you are prepared for a crazy ending I think you will like it more. ;)

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  18. Yeah, this sounds really good. Ugh, the ending ... I don't know if I can deal with another one like that anytime soon.

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    1. After the last one you had, I would say no. ;)

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  19. I am almost sad to see that you got a ARC copy..heheh! Kidding. I am soooo glad for every ARC copy you get. I tried to buy it last night, and realized it hadn't been released yet :)

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    1. Opps, sorry about that! It isn't too long before it releases though. ;)

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  20. I am planning to start this soon. I am not sure if I will like it or not. Thanks for the review. It really is helpful.

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    1. I bet with the heads up you will like it more. ;)

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  21. Oooh, sounds like it has dark, rich and atmospheric written all over it. Yay! I love being surprised by a book and it turns out "to be darker and more twisted than imagined." And Eeek, I'm so curious about that ending now. Glad you enjoyed the writing, Ali :)

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