Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review: Feral by Holly Schindler

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

Feral was certainly not like anything I’d ever read before! I really loved the prologue and the chapters told from the point of view of the dead Serena. The feral cats also were also a nice touch that added to the creepiness of the novel. The book ended up going in an unexpected direction and I had mixed feelings over the final resolution.

From the very first page, the author’s descriptive writing drew me in. The imagery was grotesque and I had chills over the idea of the deceased Serena being trapped inside of her dead body. Also, Claire’s horrifying attack in the first chapter was written superbly. The author definitely has the ability to create scenes that will stay with a reader for a long time.

The majority of the story was told from Claire’s point of view. Claire was a sympathetic character and I felt for her during her long physical and emotional recovery from her assault. I didn’t understand some of her decisions, like the way she withdrew from her best friend, but I liked that part of the book was Claire coming to terms with her past.

The pacing was mixed. The beginning was strong and had me turning pages, but by the middle, the plot stalled. I felt like some of the high school drama stuff could’ve been trimmed to improve the pace. Also, the plot went in a crazy direction and I’m not sure if I loved how all the conflicts panned out. Some of the scenes seemed a little over the top and if you’re a cat lover, you may not love this book.

Overall, I praise Feral for its originality. Although the plot wasn’t what I was totally hoping for, fans of YA horror books will likely enjoy the novel.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the novel for review!


  1. The originality and good writing makes this sound pretty good

  2. Wonderful review! Sorry the book didn't sit well with you, but I guess you win some and you lose some, eh? When I saw the blurb with Lovely Bones and Black Swan, I figured it was a dual personality thing LOL :) WRITE ON!