I absolutely believe that a good story is timeless - every bit as enjoyable a hundred years (or more) after publication as it is on the release date. A good story also appeals to all ages - and is why I’m drawn to writing for multiple age groups in multiple genres.
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.
YA Psychological Thriller
August 26, 2014
“Opening with back-to-back scenes of exquisitely imagined yet very real horror, Schindler’s third YA novel hearkens to the uncompromising demands of her debut, A Blue So Dark…This time, the focus is on women’s voices and the consequences they suffer for speaking…This is a story about reclaiming and healing, a process that is scary, imperfect, and carries no guarantees.” – Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“From the opening pages readers will be immediately immersed in this dark story…[which] has echoes of classic Hitchcock. Issues of cliques, peer pressure, bullying, self-esteem, post-traumatic stress syndrome, teacher-student relationships, and pet abandonment will provide substance for discussion.” – School Library Journal
“A heavily gloomy feel pervades this novel that shifts through phases of fantasy, mystery, psychological thriller, and thoughtful realistic fiction dealing with PTSD.” – Booklist
“Wow! This book starts off with a bang - two of them, actually - and then it sinks its claws into you and never lets go.” –
April Henry, New York Times bestselling author
“In the town of Peculiar, the cats aren’t the only ones keeping secrets… A dark and creepy psychological who-done-it that will keep you guessing until the very end.” – Jody Casella, author of Thin Space
“Feral was flawless, intriguing and deliciously deadly…Schindler truly is a master of her craft.” – Rabiah at Confessions of a Readaholic
“Feral is an exciting, creepy, smart, and mysterious psychological thriller…an amazing book that will give you the creeps, transport you to another place, and ultimately show the amazing strength that people have to persevere.” – Jessica at Jessabella Reads
“Claire was a really great protagonist…she wanted to be a reliable narrator, but she wasn’t always. And that lack of control drove her crazy and made the situation even worse…As a journalist, Claire hated that. And I loved it.” – Jess at Such a Novel Idea
“Brilliant. You had me, you convinced me…Damn, those feral cats are scary.” – Elizabeth Burns at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
“I was hooked and read until the early hours of the morning to find out ‘whodunnit’...” – The Bookish Outsider
“A novel with a mystery that will have you turning in circles, Feral is a chilling story that closely explores PTSD from a personal level.” – Sophi at Bookwyrming Thoughts
“Along with the plot twists and the unique story line, the author uses fantastic descriptions and vivid imagery to make the reader feel like they are right beside Claire in Peculiar, trying to figure out what’s going on.” – Steph at A Dream Within A Dream
“I recommend this to anyone who loves a good murder/mystery and psychological horror.” – Desiree at The Bookie Monster
“The writing and the tone matched really well…If I had to compare the creepiness and the gruesomeness to something, I’d say one of the more creepy episodes of Supernatural meets Criminal Minds.” – Overflowing Bookshelves
“Feral by Holly Schindler was such a freaky read! It had my mind reeling from the very first page, I had absolutely no idea what was going on and I loved every moment of it.” – Sharon at Obsession with Books
“Feral is not just the name of this book, it’s a theme that resonates throughout the story. Feral are the cats that overpopulate the small town of Peculiar. Feral are the nightmares that haunt Claire. Feral are the scars left behind by her attack, and the attackers themselves.” – Emily at Bitches n Prose
“Sensitive readers are courting nightmares by reading this intense, scary, and graphic story [which] could be a ghost story as Claire is sure that Serena is trying to tell her something. It could also be a horror story with vengeful ghosts trying to take over her body and feral cats who seem to know things. It could also be the story of a girl struggling with a mental illness. Evidence supports each of those possibilities.” – Kathy at Ms. Martin Teaches Media
“Holly Schindler has created a hauntingly creepy book. It was thrilling, spine tingling and…mind boggling! With its ghosts, chilling subject matter and downright fereeeeky cats, Feral is a must read.” – Natalie at Book Lover’s Life
“An Open Letter to Feral,
Well, you were creeptastic, weren’t you? I liked that you kept me guessing and taking me on all these twisted roads, so even though I thought I had the end figured out I still wondered. Of course my first thoughts were correct, but book, you made me doubt those things that I knew to be true, and to me that marks a really good thriller. Throw in some feral cats who get a little too hungry, the voice of a dead girl and a girl who has a lot of issues herself and you understand what a thriller really is. Thanks for being so awesome and managing to creep me out at times. It takes a lot, so bravo for you!” – Christianna at The White Unicorn
“Feral is a creepy, freaky, unique emotional thriller that will keep you enthralled till the end.” – Liza at Reading with ABC
“Words can't begin to describe just how much I loved this book.” – Tanya at Scenes from a Chaotic Mind
“This book is creepy.
You should read it.
With the lights on.” – Jen at Jenuine Cupcakes
“Schindler did a phenomenal job with making the reader FEEL like they were slowly becoming unhinged and unbalanced right along with the main character… I felt myself questioning my own sanity and judgment of what was real and what could be fantasy with each new page I turned.” – Kerri Maniscalco at Write. Eat. Repeat.
The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky
Dial / Penguin
February 6, 2014
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” meets Because of Winn Dixie in this inspiring story of hope.
Auggie Jones lives with her grandpa Gus, a trash hauler, in a poor part of town. So when her wealthy classmate’s father starts the House Beautification Committee, it’s homes like Auggie’s that are deemed “in violation.” But Auggie is determined to prove that there’s more to her—and to her house—than meets the eye.
What starts out as a home renovation project quickly becomes much more as Auggie and her grandpa discover a talent they never knew they had—and redefine a whole town’s perception of beauty, one recycled sculpture at a time.
Holly Schindler’s feel-good story about the power one voice can have will inspire readers to speak from their hearts.
Do you have a young reader in your life? Let them know they can meet me in the middle:
I adored getting to interact with the YA readership as I promoted my first two novels – usually through Twitter or Facebook. But I had to create a site where I could interact with the MG readership. I’ve devoted a page on the site to reviews from young readers themselves! Be sure to send your young reader’s review through the Contact Me page.
The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky
“Axioms like ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ and ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ come gracefully to life in Schindler’s tale about the value of hard work and the power of community…Auggie’s enthusiasm and unbridled creativity are infectious, and likeminded readers will envy her creative partnership with [her grandfather] Gus.” – Publishers Weekly
“Determined to save her home, Auggie [uses] pottery shards, vivid glass, and metal sculptures [to] transform the house’s exterior into a vibrant expression of the love within its walls. In Auggie, Schindler creates a spunky, sympathetic character young readers will engage with and enjoy.” – The Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Book Studies
“The protagonist perches in the reader’s heart as she goes about trying to “‘discover her shine.’” – NY Journal of Books
“Auggie’s rich engagement with her community and willingness to stand up for her beliefs are inspiring...Auggie’s own voice is strongly realized and effectively pulls readers into her world.” – School Library Journal
“Inspired by stories of her mother’s courage, Auggie refuses to back down [from the House Beautification Committee] and finds her ‘shine’ while inspiring the neighborhood to come together.” – Booklist
“…a heartfelt ode to DIY and rejection of cookie-cutter consumer culture.” – The Austin American Statesman
“Folk art is deceptively simple…an extension, and in many ways a celebration, of the ordinary… The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky is a piece of folk art disguised as a middle grade novel, and it takes a very clever author to pull off that trick.” – Susan at TheArtofNotGettingPublished
“Schindler’s writing style is smart, yet accessible, warm and delicious, without being too sugary and over the top. Young readers especially will love Schindler’s vivid, colorful word choices and way of describing things.” – Aeicha at Word Spelunking
“This book makes me want to stand up for injustice, embrace creativity and make something new from something old. This book should be on every middle grade child’s reading list.” – Darlene Beck-Jacobson, author of Wheels of Change
“Auggie and Gus wiggled their way into my heart and refused to leave... Holly Schindler has a beautiful way of writing. Her style is alive with personality and humor.” – Dena at Books for Kids
Character Sketch by
Character Sketch by
On the subplot regarding Auggie’s mother: “Even if a person is no longer present, her influence can still guide you.” – Liza at WhoRUBlog
“Holly is a brilliant author; this is a different style for her and I LOVED it!” – Candace at Candace’s Book Blog
“A thoughtful and profound look at the power of perspective and finding beauty in even the most challenging of circumstances.”
– Heidi at Geo Librarian
“Auggie doesn’t need somebody to fix things for her. She’s got grit and determination and an unusual eye for beauty. She’s not one to be kept down.” – Maria at Once Upon a Story
“The story is more than Auggie’s fight with the beautification committee. It’s also the story of her relationship with her grandfather and her absent mother. I found that part of the story very real and very touching. It added a level of depth that took the book from a good middle school book to a GREAT middle school book.” – Jill, blogger at The O.W.L. and Fifth Grade Teacher
“Triumphant and compelling, this is one of those books that will make you cheer. And look a little bit closer for the unique beauty in all of us.” – Susan at Bloggin’ ‘bout Books
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