Mini Review: Feral by Holly Schindler

Author: Holly Schindler
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publisher: Harper Teen
Expected Publication: August 26, 2014

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.


Mini Review
When I first picked up Feral, I thought it'd be a fun, unique,paranormal story that I could sink my teeth into. Sadly, barely Midway through I knew that was not to be. I wouldn't call the story bad but it certainly was far from the story I was hoping it'd be and here's why:

First off, The characters bored me. While I like Claire and her struggles everyone else just felt like they walked off the page of the latest fall CW drama. Ie, they lacked any sort of emotional depth, but hey, they sure were nice to look at.

Secondly, I really didn't like the paranormal aspect of the story. The idea was interesting but the execution just was a bit too bizarre to keep me fully entertained.

Lastly, I didn't like how close the characters stories mirrored each other. It just felt like the Author was tring to beat us over the head with the similarities.

Now on the other hand, I did like some aspects of the story, at least enough to keep reading it. I really loved that the Author tackled the topic of PTSD and was very descriptive when it came to all the emotions Claire had because of that. I also oddly enough liked the cats. Sure they were a bit gimmicky but they worked for me. Lastly, I did like the Authors writing style. While the story was a bit bizarre, the descriptions of everything inside the world were nice. I like visual stories so that was a bonus for me.

Final Thoughts
Despite my overall optimism going into this book, Im rather disappointed how it turned out. Sure, it did tackle the topic of PTSD and that was certainly nice to see in this genre but the plot overall just fell flat and for me read like one big uncohesive mess. Would I read from another book from this Author in the future? Yes. However, Would I read Feral again? Probably not. 
With that being said, I'll be rating Feral by Holly Schindler .

*Copy reviewed provided by Edelweiss. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in an which way for providing them.

About the Author

Holly Schindlers debut YA novel, A Blue So Dark, earned a starred review in Booklist, was named one of Booklist's Top 10 First Novels for Youth, received a silver medal from the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and won a gold medal in the IPPYs. Playing Hurt, her first romance, was released in 2011. Holly Schindler's first MG, The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky, was released in 2014.

Her next YA novel, Feral, will release August 26, 2014; the novel has earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly.

She can be found online at, and at her blog, Novel Anecdotes (


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