"Gr 9 Up-From the opening pages readers will be immediately immersed in this dark story. Two brutal attacks are described in detailed flashbacks: one resulting in death, the other in extreme psychological trauma. Although each event happened at separate times and were miles apart, the victims seem to be eerily connected: both were burgeoning writers on their school newspaper staff; both lived a somewhat marginalized existence when compared to their BFFs; both were victimized in retaliation for their investigative reporting; and one wants the other one dead. Seventeen-year-old Claire Cain was rescued by Chicago police after having barely survived being attacked by a gang of teen thugs for snitching on them to clear her best friend's name. Even though she's been receiving treatment for the trauma, Claire continues to relive the horrible attack in her dreams. When Claire's father gets the opportunity to take a sabbatical from his job at the University of Chicago to do anthropological research in the small Missouri town of Peculiar, both Claire and her dad are hopeful that the change of scene will help her heal. She soon discovers the town's feral cat population right before getting swept up in the town's frantic search for a missing girl named Serena Sims. When Claire accidentally stumbles upon Serena's broken corpse in the icy woods behind the high school, she can hardly believe her eyes. The frozen corpse is surrounded by what seems to be the town's entire feral cat population. When she locks eyes with a battered calico, she gets an eerie feeling. With the discovery of Serena's body and the casual handling of her death by the local police, Claire's investigative juices, which have lain dormant for months, resurface driving her to dig for the back story and the truth behind the heinous act. Readers who like a gripping psychological thriller will thoroughly enjoy this psychological thriller 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.-Sabrina Carnesi, Crittenden Middle School, Newport News, VA"
To celebrate such a lovely review, I'm also running a short giveaway of a FERAL ARC on Goodreads. You can also enter to win a copy of my debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, which released earlier this year.