Author: Shaun David Hutchinson + more!
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre/Themes/Demo: YA, Contemporary, Anthology
Release Date: September 5th 2017
Page Count: 310
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.
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 to survive in the wilderness, and now their instructors have dropped them off eighteen miles from camp with no food, no water, and only their packs, and they’ll have to struggle to overcome their vast differences if they hope to survive.
What I Liked
The unique voices. First of all, this is the first anthology I have ever read. One of the coolest things about this whole book was the fact that it included stories from many different authors. This was especially interesting because it provided each character’s perspective with a unique voice. Each author writes differently and with their own unique styles which really made each character featured feel like their own person.
The diversity. Because each of the characters were written by different authors with different personalities, identities, cultural backgrounds; our full cast of characters became very diverse. Another benefit of anthologies written by multiple authors.
The concept. I loved the idea of this group of teenaged “delinquents” being thrown together at a camp that literally trains them in survival tactics and later drops them into the middle of the woods to test their survival skills and teamwork. This book doesn’t focus on the teens learning the survival tactics, but rather starts right at the moment that they are left to fend for themselves int he middle of the woods. I loved that they all decided to share their personal stories on what led them to be sent to the camp in the first place. I also really enjoyed the fact that once we learned more about each character through their stories, we were able to gain a new perspective of them. Maybe they’re not as bad as people made them out to be. Maybe they’re just misunderstood.
What I Didn’t Like
Bits and pieces. There wasn’t really a general dislike, but rather little bits and pieces from a few of the stories that didn’t really jive with me. There were a few stories that were just alright for me while others truly shined.
Overall, I enjoyed reading each of the stories and learning more about each of the characters through them. This was a great compilation of coming of age stories that are completely diverse, and in some cases, very relatable.
Breakdown of ratings for each individual story:
- The Butterfly Effect (3.5 Stars) and The Chaos Effect (4 Stars) by Marieke Nijkamp
- A Ruthless Dame by Tim Floreen: 4.5 Stars
- Look Down by Robin Talley: 4 Stars
- Big Brother, Part 1 (3.5 Stars) & 2 (4 Stars) by E.C. Myers
- The Subjunctive by Alaya Dawn Johnson: 3 Stars
- A Cautionary Tale by Stephanie Kuehn: 4.5 Stars
- Jackie’s Story by Justina Ireland: 3.5 Stars
- Self-Portrait by Brandy Colbert: 4 Stars
- A Violation of Rule 16 by Suzanne Young: 4 Stars
About The Author
Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, which won the Florida Book Awards’ Gold Medal in the Young Adult category and was named to the ALA’s 2015 Rainbow Book List; the anthology Violent Ends, which received a starred review from VOYA; and We Are the Ants, which received five starred reviews and was named a best book of January 2016 by Amazon.com, Kobo.com, Publishers Weekly, and iBooks. He lives in South Florida with his adorably chubby dog, and enjoys Doctor Who, comic books, and yelling at the TV. Visit him at ShaunDavidHutchinson.com.
To Learn More About The Other Authors, Click Their Names Here:
Thank you for reading!