Monday, 28 July 2014

ARC Review: Feral by Holly Schindler


Author: Holly Schindler
Series: -
Pages: 432
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: 26/08/2014

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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.

Review: 4 out of 5 stars

Feral by Holly Schindler was such a freaky read! It hand my mind reeling from the very first page, I had absolutely no idea what was going on and I loved every moment of it.

Claire and her father have moved to small town Peculiar, strange things begin to happen and Claire is convinced the ghost of Serena Sims is haunting her so she makes it her mission to solve the mystery of her death which was brutally detailed in the first chapter. It was gruesome, thrilling, and suspenseful and to be honest I was baffled by what was going on; it was an edge of your seat angst-filled book that had me glued to the pages.

The characters were written well but not all of them were likeable, Claire was a broken character after a brutal attack left her for dead; with unresolved, big issues you could certainly understand her fears and reactions. Her father was an amazing support as was Rich who became a great friend. Becca’s actions were questionable and forced, she was guilt-ridden and I spent the book wondering if there was more to it, her interactions with the other characters gave me the feeling she was hiding something.

The murder/mystery aspect was done well, everyone to me was s suspect but there was a certain someone who did stand out and in the end I was right in accusing them. I won’t reveal too much to avoid spoilers but everything came together nicely, there were surprising twists and turns along the way that kept things interesting.

Holly Schindlers writing drew me in from the first page with her chilling, descriptive storytelling, the psychological aspect was done well as was the characterisations; even her imagery of the feral overpopulation of the cats was freaky! There were small parts of the story that did become quite sluggish but needing to know what was going on kept me powering through it.

What surprised me was the uncertain feeling this book has – there were no conclusive answers initially which left me confused but also intrigued by what was actually happening, the mental and emotional aspects were compelling, I was absorbed by the mystery and left saddened by the believability of the subject matter; it’s a story which makes you think and the overall message is heartbreaking.

Overall, Feral is a great psychological thriller with an intriguing mystery; it’s a book which is dark and gritty and held my attention throughout wanting to know more about Claire and what was going on with her, with feral cats, a freaky ghost, wonderful writing and an interesting cast of characters – Feral was a book that had me mesmerised and the outcome certainly surprised me.


Holly SchindlerAbout the author: (Goodreads) My 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, my first romance, released in 2011. My first MG, The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky, released in 2014.

My next YA, Feral, will release August 26, 2014.

I can be found online at, and at my blog, Novel Anecdotes (


  1. I've been hearing so many good things about this book, Sharon and I'm happy that you enjoyed it as well. It sounds creepy and incredibly well-written. I think I need to make sure to get a copy when the book comes out. I can tell I would really like this.
    Lovely review! :)

    1. It was definitely creepy! I think you would enjoy this one Nick.

  2. Oooh, I like the sound of this one but haven't seen too many reviews on it yet. I'm excited for the Harper Teen fall lineup!

    1. Me too Nereyda! they have some great books being released. This one was great!

  3. Yes please, Feral sounds creeptastic Sharon and I love that this kept you engaged. Dark and gritty psychological thrillers just scream read me!

    1. You'd love this one Kimba! the dark and gritty was done well.

  4. I a starting this one soon. I am glad to know that you liked it. Great review!!


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