Feral

Holly Schindler. HarperTeen, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-222020-2
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, with its gut-wrenching portrait of mental illness. This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking. Claire Cain was an award-winning high school journalist in Chicago when she was beaten nearly to death for a story. Serena Sims lost her life while pursuing a lead in the more confined purview of Peculiar, Mo. Their stories intersect when Claire’s father’s sabbatical lands her in Peculiar just in time to discover Serena’s body, surrounded by the eerie feral cats that infest the town. Schindler avoids cardboard character types—yes, there are jocks, princesses, and nerds, but the author reveals them as people squeezed into their labels, not defined by them. And while there are touches of romance, both good and bad, adolescent hormones don’t define the plot, either. This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees. Ages 13–up. Agent: Deborah Warren, East West Literary Agency. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/09/2014
Release date: 08/01/2014
Ebook - 432 pages - 978-0-06-222022-6
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