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3.34  ·  Rating details ·  696 ratings  ·  173 reviews
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 gett
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by HarperTeen
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Kendalyn Yes, sadly :( Not that it needs a sequel but I want one still.

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Average rating 3.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  696 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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actual rating is 2.5 stars? Ish? I'm afraid the cat mafia will target me if I give it any less...

To give credit where credit is due, Feral is truly unlike anything I've read before. Schlinder takes originality to new heights in here, and that's something to be noted, as mediocre and at times ridiculous this was for me. In some ways, Feral is the creepy YA novel I've been waiting a while for; Schindler doesn't hold back on the gore and gruesome descriptions, and as a whole her writing style fits
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, ebook
Feral was a very strange read. And I'm usually really good with strange - I love a book that brings something new and so bizarre that you're like WTF! the whole way through - think Charm & Strange or (Don't You) Forget About Me. Feral, though, was not this good kind of strange. It was cringe-worthy and full of absurd weirdness that just left me annoyed.

It starts with a girl - Claire - who gets attacked in a Chicago alley - apparently one of the safe alleys. Due to the anxiety she suffers from s
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Mini Review:

Ooh I don’t even know where to begin with this. Being a total wimp, I found myself underneath the covers while reading this. If you want a book with a creep factor, here is one you want to consider.

The opening of this book starts out really well. We are in the perspective a girl who has been murdered and her body is being dragged from the murder scene across an oval. The descriptions are pretty damn detailed and graphic, and had me on high alert f
Nemo (The Moonlight Library)
Claire Cain only just survived a brutal gang beating in a car park in Chicago, and when her father gets a job in small town Peculiar, so they pack up and move, hoping to give Claire a fresh start. Arriving at the same time as an ice storm, a local school girl goes missing and Claire later discovers her body in the mysterious woods surrounded by the town’s large feral cat colony. The town dismisses the death as an accident, but Claire’s journalistic integrity won’t let her rest until she really s ...more
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It doesn't take long to sense there's more to Feral than meets the eye. The story opens in Peculiar, Missouri, with dead high-schooler Serena Sims being dragged into the woods by an unidentified assailant trying to hide her body before police arrive. Who would have killed Serena, a standout journalist for the school newspaper? Who would drag her corpse across the dirty ground and dump her in the woods to rot and be feasted on by animals? It's a mystery to be unraveled in the four hundred sevent ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
If there’s one thing that can be pointed out in favor of Holly Schindler’s first YA novel, it’s the breathtaking originality of her story. Feral is unlike anything I’ve ever read: bold, gruesome and above all, beautifully written. In that, Schindler can easily be compared to Kendare Blake or Barry Lyga: authors who don’t shy away from gory details, but embrace them as a necessity for their narrative. Schindler’s writing is gorgeously lyrical, perfect for creating a deep, chilling atmosphere. It ...more
This is a DNF (did not finish review).

I tried. This book just did not hold my interest. First of all, if your character is dead, how can they possibly feel pain? Second, what's with all the cats? (Nice tie in to the title....) Third, I don't think I can take a book with high school angst right now.

Some readers may enjoy this book. Sadly, it wasn't for me.

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for a review copy of this book.
3.5 stars

Feral is a bizarre, disconcerting and unflinching novel that, while perhaps a bit longer than it had any need to be, managed to keep me intrigued from beginning to end with its eerie and original plot, amazing atmosphere, and intense psychological undertones.

After starting strong with back to back chapters full of gruesome descriptions and unflinching brutality, Feral took a while to get back into the rhythm with which it kicked off. Truth be told, there were several times in the story

I'm unfortunately looking back at Holly Schindler's Feral with some definite mixed feelings. It definitely could have been a fantastic horror novel, but to me I found it hard to connect to the story's characters and overall plot.
In the rugged, underbrush-riddled rural town of Peculiar, Missouri, at the beginning of a January sleet storm, and beneath the dimming orange hues of dusk, a body lay half out of the window that led to the high school basement.
Months ago, Claire Caine was
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
3.5 Stars

I love when a book turns out to be darker and more twisted than I could have imagined.

I love when I get so wrapped up in the story that I too want to look behind my shoulder and make sure no one is following me, or that my neighbors aren't peering at me from closed blinds, that there are no ferals running rampant behind me, lurking around the corners and lying in wait for just the right moment to pounce.

The imagery in this is so beautifully done. So vivid and horrifying, so cringe wor
Debbie Narh

1 Lonely Cloud.

Feral is a story about two girls told in third person. This, right here, is my first problem with this book. Lately, a lot of mystery/ thrillers are using third person which is great if you have a bunch of characters but Feral only has two. Two! More accurately, one and a half so there's no point for it. If the first thing about the novel pissed me off, can you imagine how many other things did also?

A lot, that's how many.

Not a lot happens in Feral, which makes it a half-assed
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I have read this book last year and enjoyed myself quite a lot. It started of extremely creepy - with scenes so brutal, repulsive and downright disturbing, I was sure this was going to be one of the creepiest, most horrific books I have ever read. But then, it kind of slowed down towards the end and got more confusing with every chapter. The creepy atmosphere thinned down and eventually disappeared all together, and all that remained was a pretty generic murder mystery. Not a bad murder mystery ...more
Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Claire was the victim of a horrible attack that left her scared both physically and mentally. When she moves to the small town of Peculiar, she somehow finds herself involved in uncovering an attack on another girl that resulted in her death.
Who killed Serena? And will Claire find out before something happens to her?

This was an okay story, but it did seem to drag
Valerie Sparkle
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
This was one of those books that was really good at the beginning but I didn't like how things turned out in the end.
May 03, 2014 marked it as dnf
Shelves: arc
This started out very strongly, and then devolved into a hot mess of "Whaaaat?" very quickly. This saddened me. I was reading this on my Kindle, and one of the very great disadvantages of ebooks is that you can't properly skim a book to the end. You have to navigate to the very end and then work your way backwards. Humph.

The book opens with a murder. Serena, a budding journalist and high school student from Peculiar, Missouri, has been killed. Only she's not quite gone yet. She still feels, but
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
Feb 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I received from the publisher via Edelweiss.

For about two weeks, my draft for this review has been empty except for one very grumpy, very spoiler-y line. While that would suffice to describe why I disliked Feral as much as I did, it's not exactly something I can post without getting in trouble. No one likes obvious spoilers and I can be a little more eloquent than that. Feral should be a solid mystery thriller with creepy cats abound, b
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Our story starts in Chicago, in an alley, where Claire Cain was viciously attacked by a gang of drug dealers. Months later, Claire's father wanted to get her away from the haunting memories and accepted his sabbatical semester in Peculiar, Missouri. Hopeful of a fresh start with no reminders of what she endured in Chicago, Claire found Peculiar living up to it's name when strange things started to happen with Claire somehow in the middle between a missing girl an urban legend and hungry
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, 2014
I'm so happy to be finally done with this book. It was so ridiculous that I had to make myself finish it. I wanted a creepy mystery. And what did I get instead? Some weird story with a stupid and frustrating protagonist.

This Claire was really trying to make stupid decisions to piss me off. Why did she run away from her new friends (whom I always got confused with, who dated who?) who clearly just wanted to help her and get her home? I could clearly see that the author wanted her in the forest to
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I loved this book, such a great and creepy mystery, lots of twists and turns, so enjoyable! Really loved this book!
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
A little strange and I wanted more connection with some of the characters. Unique mystery.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
This was a pleasant surprise. I wasn't sure what to expect. And even once I was into the book, I wasn't sure where it was going, but it was a good read. I did figure it out, but I still truly enjoyed the story. And the writing had some beautiful moments that I took a moment to appreciate each time I came across one. And I really like that. Definitely worth a read.
J. Taylor
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really great read.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Feral is a slow read, it shouldn't be a slow read, with barely over four-hundred pages you'd expect a brisk read or a speedy read, some late-night quickie, but this does not deliver such.

There is a great deal of repetition I never expected to notice, but with how some lines promote deja vu, I found myself rereading parts. Phrases you could turn a drinking game into may well include: fat tail, dragging something, entrails, and fog. The cats eat mice and for some reason it's hyper focused on. Tow
Michelle (Undeniably Book Nerdy)
Dark and weird but it kept my interest. Full review to come.

Full Review (originally posted on Michelle & Leslie's Book Picks book blog):
I read Feral in two days and after reading late into the night, I even dreamed about it--nothing scary, just from the point I stopped reading my subconscious kinda filled in the next scene. I've read three books by Holly Schindler so far, including Feral, and I gotta say this one is really different from her previous novels--Playing Hurt was an emotional summer
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blogs
How far would you go to escape the horrors of your past? To regain the life you had before? Well, for junior journalist Claire Cain, moving states away wasn't far enough. Danger and mystery follow her from Chicago to Peculiar, Missouri where she stumbles upon the corpse of a missing high school student in the woods behind the town's school, and it's up to Clair to figure out the truth behind the girl's death.

Wow guys. Wow. This is probably the fastest I've ever finished a book of this size (apar
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Claire has her whole life ahead of her. She is a budding journalist and loves writing the truth. When a new kid arrives in school Claire and her BFF, Rachelle, try to be nice to him, only for him to sneer at them. When some drugs are found in Rachelles locker, Claire knows that the new kid put them there. She shows everyone the truth and the new kid is expelled. A while later Claire is on her way home from the library when she is attacked by a gang of boys. the new kid included. She suffers an h ...more
Stormi (BMReviewsohmy)
I actually gave it a 2.5 rating on my blog. I was given this book by Edelweiss and publisher for a fair and honest review.

First Thoughts: This book went in a direction I totally wasn't expecting.

One of the definitions of Feral is existing in a wild or untamed state. This is the definition I would use to describe the main character of this novel. Feral from the blurb on the back made me think that this book was going to go one way, and at time I was slightly confused but not in a bad way. I just
Erin Arkin
Jul 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Feral by Holly Schindler was an interesting read. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure where this one was going to go but the first few chapters really grabbed my attention and from there I wasn’t sure what to expect.

The book starts out from the point of view of Serena who happens to be dead. We don’t really find anything out other than the fact that her killer is dragging her out to the woods behind the school. One of the things I liked about this story was that perspective – especially this chapter
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, harperteen, edelweiss
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 suspe
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Feral is one strange book for sure, but in a good way. It ended up being a little different than I expected but I thought it was pretty good. It follows a young girl named Claire, who was brutally and violently attacked and now it trying to pick up the pieces. Her father takes her to a small town to basically have a sabbatical, only it doesn’t turn out that way. She finds herself in a situation that no girl would want. She finds the body of a girl that has been missing, only it is surrounded cat ...more
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Holly Schindler’s work has received starred reviews in Booklist and Publishers Weekly, has won silver and gold medals in ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and the IPPY Awards, respectively, has been featured on Booklist’s Best First Novels for Youth and School Library Journal’s What’s Hot in YA, and has been a PW Pick of the Week. She can usually be found consuming large quantities of coffee and w ...more

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