Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review ~ Feral by Holly Schindler

Series: standalone
Genre: YA thriller
Pages: 432
Publication date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads 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. 
Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

Feral fell short of my expectations. My dislikes outweighed my likes by a LOT. On paper, I wrote out three times as many negatives than positives about this book. There were just so many things that didn't feel as good as they could've been.

What did I like? I loved the writing. There were great description and metaphors. When the book was creepy (I'll explain more in a bit), it seemed like a really good one. I'm a fan of creepy because it's so different from what I usually read. I also really liked the events . . . before they started to feel repetitive. Those are the three great parts of this book for me.

What did I not like very much? Quite a few things. While there were some pretty creepy scenes--a horrifying part involving cats as well as some moments/memories towards the beginning--the book itself didn't feel like a very creepy one. There wasn't much of anything special about the story or mystery. The mystery was predictable-ish and I definitely wasn't in the mood for predictable when I read it. The events didn't have much variety, so it started to feel repetitive after awhile. I grew bored when that happened. The characters didn't feel as fleshed out as they could've been and therefore didn't seem complex. Rich was . . . he was just THERE. He was one of the main characters, but he didn't have much presence. I didn't get to know him. I didn't get to truly know Claire that well either and I feel like I should've. She seemed to be very into journalism, but there wasn't a great focus on it. The cats . . . I was expecting more to them--some specific to explain their behavior, but I can't remember there being one. Lastly, I feel like there was meant to be some strong messages towards the end, but they didn't seem very well developed.

Overall, Feral wasn't as good as I was hoping it to be. It could've been a lot better! So many things fell short for me and even though there were things I loved about the book, I was left disappointed.

Do you like psychological thrillers? If so, do you have any recommendations that you don't think would disappoint me as much as Feral?

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