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Feral Youth

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,114 ratings  ·  232 reviews
At Zeppelin Bend, an outdoor education program designed to teach troubled youth the value of hard work, cooperation, and compassion, ten teens are left alone in the wild. The teens are a diverse group who come from all walks of life, and they were all sent to Zeppelin Bend as a last chance to get them to turn their lives around. They’ve just spent nearly two weeks learning ...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Simon Pulse
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  1,114 ratings  ·  232 reviews

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Lala BooksandLala
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ahhh this is just the coolest book premise; it's a collaborative story and an anthology all in one! A group of teens at an outdoor education program for troubled youth tell each other stories to pass the time. I love survival type narratives, and I thought this would remind me of that show from like 15 years ago called Brat Camp (which I loved!) but the focus was definitely more on their stories rather than their time in the wilderness. Full of really solidly written pieces; Nikjamp and Young be ...more
Elle (ellexamines)
Feral Youth is an anthology / book hybrid about teens – teens who rebel, teens who feel screwed over by a world that wants the impossible of them, teens who are not the mainstream, and most importantly, teens who kick ass.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a book like this is so diverse - with the majority of authors nonwhite or openly queer or both, this anthology feels like an absolutely authentic cry for recognition, for someone to see. And that is exactly what I wanted, and exactly what m
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
“People spend a lot of time thinking about the planets that might orbit all those stars, but they ignore the worlds inside themselves.”

This was the best anthology I've read so far. And that's not because of the stories itself but because they hade more in common than just a certain topic that connected them all. It was because of the amazing frame narrative written by Shaun David Hutchinson. It set the right atmosphere and really fleshed out the characters. It was much easier to engage with them
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories

Solid short story collaboration! Feral Youth is inspired by The Caterbury Tales, which was all about people taking a journey and having a short story telling contest.

In this book we follow a group of teens who are sent to Zepplin Band, a camp for trouble youth. They spend some time learning to survive in the wilderness and then are promptly dropped off in the middle of just that.

They have to find their way back to camp and while doing so they all tell stories for a cash prize.

I was somewhat
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
4.5 Stars

I love anthologies and retellings so this was a perfect combination for me. The narration is fantastic – dark, humorous, honest. The transitions between stories are great, and I really liked the different character dynamics we get to see. Feral Youth fol
Claude's Bookzone
Feb 05, 2021 marked it as to-read
UPDATE 06/02/2021 - I am actually really enjoying this but need to set it aside for the moment. I thought it might be good for a particular novel study an English teacher has asked me to prepare for but it isn't a good fit. I will get back to this when I have time. ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it


Initial post reading thoughts:
I think Feral Youth may be one of the first anthologies I have ever read. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about reading multiple short stories by various authors, but this really worked. I think it gave a unique voice to each of the characters and their stories/perspectives.

Stay tuned for a full review coming soon!
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

While I was a bit disappointed by this one, I would still recommend it. There were a few hit and miss stories, but the amazinng ones made this collection for me.

Full review to come soon on!
Framed and modeled off THE CANTERBURY TALES, this anthology is a really clever look at storytelling. Who tells the truth and who tells the truth with a slant? I found most of the stories utterly fabulous, and the ones I didn't love as much were still really solid. Favorites were "Rule 16" and "Self-Portrait" and "A Cautionary Tale." Readers who love stories about "bad" and "misunderstood" teens will eat this one up.

Shaun does some of the most clever YA anthologies.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017


not gonna lie I was expecting more. It was cute and kinda funny, but mostly I couldn't tell Tim Floreen had written it. I was expecting something WAYY bigger than the ending with how Tim always manages to have me gasping and screaming at the pages by the end of his novels. It was definitely cute though so I'll give it that.
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
This book had it's ups and downs, overall I'm giving it 3.5 stars. This is a sort of mash-up between short stories and a regular plot, which I liked. And I liked most of the stories as well.
I'll give them each a really short review + rating:

The Butterfly Effect and The Chaos Effect by Marieke Nijkamp 4 stars
About a girl who burned down her grandpa's car and why - I really liked this, but by the time I got to part two of the story I had already forgotten what happened in part 1. It was still und
That’s why I like stories. They usually wind up revealing more about a person than what they’re tell you about themselves. It’s not that they lie intentionally, but when people describe themselves they’re really describing what they see in a mirror, and most mirrors are too distorted to show the truth.

3.5! Rounded up because I liked the concept of it and the little parts connecting all of them together. Having studied the Canterbury Tales in both high school and college, I kinda see parallels an
Suraya (thesuraya)
Compilation of short stories never really work for me but Feral Youth did and I'm very impressed! Probably because its not your typical compilation-- 10 teenagers were sent to a disciplinary camp for their crimes and so they shared their stories. Each short stories was written by different authors so obviously they have different styles and voices.

My particular favs:
1. The Butterfly Effect & The Chaos Effect - Marieke Nijkamp
2. A Ruthless Dame - Tim Floreen
3. Self-Portrait - Brandy Colbert
4. A
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I was impressed by Sometimes We Tell the Truth which also The Canterbury Tales retelling, so this book automatically on my to read-next list. Add that with some author names who I already familiar with.

A group of students dropped into the wild and got 3 days to find their own way to the camp, by their instructor. The teens are a diverse group who come from all walks of life, and they were all sent to Zeppelin Bend camp as a last chance to get them to turn their lives around. Gio, the narrator,
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Ten teens from a therapeutic camp are on a three day survival trip. One of the boys offers $100 to whoever can tell the best story. Some tell stories of how they ended up in trouble, some use allegories and readers have to decide if the narrators are fully, partially or not at all reliable.

Shaun David Hutchinson's VIOLENT ENDS was one of my favorite 2016 novels and I reread several times to figure out all the connections. I had difficulty staying focused on FERAL YOUTH, because
Tammie Tackett
Apr 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
I didn’t like it
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-lgbtq
"We are people. We are real. And we will not be ignored."

Mini Reviews

TW: sexual abuse, homophobia, suicide, homicide, rape, self-harm, drugs.

The Butterfly Effect by Marieke Nijkamp: 3.5 ⭐
Ridiculously short synopsis: girl with traumatic past loves fire. Something burns. Her past and present are presented and it isn’t really a pretty picture. Things aren’t clear.
Ridiculously short personal comment: I am…confused? But still very much intrigued? I liked the writing style and the mysterious atmo
This was... very strange. Admittedly, I still very much enjoyed it. It's hard to describe my feelings on a collection of stories that vary so greatly. The standouts in here (to me) were "A Cautionary Tale" by Stephanie Kuehn, "A Ruthless Dame" by Tim Floreen, and oddly enough, "Big Brother" by E.C. Myers. I really appreciate what this book set out to do and the overall construction of it was very interesting.

Some stories were severely weird. And I don't mean that lightly. I have no idea where t
Corey Thibodeaux
More of 3.5 - I enjoyed the ride. Set up like books such as The Canterbury Tales and Haunted, these short stories come in the form of a narrative. Bonus points for featuring in different authors - they added a wide range of voices.

A bunch of delinquents get tossed in the woods and need to find their way back to camp. Along the way, they each tell their stories of how they got there.

Summaries for my own reference:

"The Butterfly Effect" - Girl who plays with matchbooks finally lights a flame one
Jane (It'sJaneLindsey)
Feral Youth is a YA retelling of The Canterbury Tales, edited by Shaun David Hutchinson, so I was incredibly excited to read this. This anthology follows a group of teen delinquents at wilderness camp who are on a 3-day trek back to camp, and have a story telling competition along the way.

The stories in this collection run the gamut of genres: there is folklore, fanfic, creepy, and contemporary. Each character’s story is written by a different YA author, with Shaun David Hutchinson taking the n
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Full review:

An OK try at updating the Canterbury Tales for teens. I didn’t really get into this book, but Shaun David Hutchinson is a good author, so I don’t really know what happened here. If this had just been a book of stories, and the escape from the forest plot had been a separate book, I would have loved both, but together neither felt necessary. Rating: Three/Five

For fans of: Classical to YA Adaptations, Survival Tales, Random Characters Thrown Tog
Eliza Rapsodia
Feb 02, 2017 marked it as wishlist

Samantha (WLABB)
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, contemporary, arcs
An anthology, which was masterfully tied together with a compelling overall story.
"Nothing we did mattered because, to our families, we were only what we'd done to get sent here. It's all they would ever see."

This is their last chance. Each one of these "feral youth" have committed so sort of crime, and have landed themselves on the wrong side of the law. This camp is their chance to "rehabilitate" themselves, and avoid greater punishment. Anthologies are hit or miss for me, but I would put thi
This was a really good collection. Shaun David Hutchinson can seriously do no wrong in my opinion, and this was no exception. His narration fit perfectly with the full length stories, and tied everything together. The stories always, there were some that I liked more than others. Here is my breakdown:

The Butterfly Effect and The Chaos Effect by Marieke Nijkamp: 4 Stars
I liked The Chaos Effect better than The Butterfly Effect, but they were both pretty good. There's something ab
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
I loved this book! I've never read an anthology quite like this. It was a series of short stories written by different authors, but it was woven into a full book. So it wasn't just reading short story after short story. It was all threaded together. It was super cool. I think technically I'd give it 4.5 because I wasn't super into a couple stories. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this. In my opinion though, this wasn't exactly teen material. A few places were not stories I'd want my teenager rea ...more
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2021
Feral Youth takes story telling around a campfire to a WHOLE new level.

The story follows 10 teens that got themselves into trouble back home and got sent to The Bend, a program meant to give them a last chance to get their lives back in order through teamwork, compassion and blah blah..

The instructors dropped the teens in the wilderness to fend for themselves, with no food or water.

During their trail back to the camp, the teens tell the story of how they got sent to The Zeppelin Bend in the
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
4.5 stars!

These multiple-perspective books that Shaun David Hutchinson has been writing with other authors are fantastic! I highly recommend both this one and Violent Ends. There were a couple of stories in this one that I wasn't super crazy about but overall it's a really great collection.. flowed well, lots of diversity, powerful messages, etc. Look Down was super creepy too which I loved.

A Violation of Rule 16 - Suzanne Young
A Cautionary Tale - Stephanie Kuehn
Look Down - Robin Tal
I love retellings of classic stories, and I particularly love it when those retellings correlate to classics I am currently reading. This semester, I took Brit Lit. I and read excerpts of The Canterbury Tales (because it's too long to read in full for class), and so I was delighted to see Feral Youth offered in November as one of RivetedLit's free reads.

Reframing The Canterbury Tales as a group of stories told by teens forcibly hiking through the woods for three days in a program for "trouble
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Overall rating: 4/5

Overall narrative: The framing narrative of this was very fun to follow! And poignant, imo. Learning more about everyone via their interactions and their stories was nice. I enjoyed this short story collection overall, and it caused me a sleepless night, lots of sadness, so it's a solid 4 in my book.
Most of these stories deal with very serious topics, so please be warned before going in. The following reviews will not be spoilerish though.

Average rating of short stories: 3.4/5
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Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of many queer books for young adults. Find out more information at He currently lives in Seattle and watches way too much Doctor Who.

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