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Feathered Library Binding – Bargain Price, April 8, 2008


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Library Binding, Bargain Price, April 8, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Three friends take a trip to Cancun for spring break in this novel about the dangers of trusting strangers. Told in the alternating voices of Michelle, the victim of assault and abduction, and her friend Anne, the story reads with the poetic lyricism of Francesca Lia Block and the thrills of teen-scream novels such as Lois Duncan's I Know What You Did Last Summer (S & S, 1998). When Michelle, Anne, and Terri land at the Hotel del Sol, they have different ideas of what they want from their vacation. Terri, a gorgeous blonde, disappears early in the novel to enjoy the benefits of the sun, sand, and drinking. Meanwhile, Michelle longs to take in Mexico's ancient temples and cultural history. Anne decides to follow her to the Mayan ruins. While there, the girls break one of the major rules their parents warned them about: don't take rides from strangers. The boys seemed like normal, American Midwestern teenagers but, when they drug Michelle's water, Anne quickly realizes that they are in a life-threatening situation. The story builds slowly, but readers who continue through to the end will find that the pace increases. An excellent choice for fans of the author's Boy Heaven (HarperCollins, 2006) and other teen thrillers.—Marie C. Hansen, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Terrible things can happen to high-school girls on spring break in Cancún. Vacationing Illinois teens Michelle and Anne know that; it’s just one of many warnings they’ve heard over the years from their mothers. Michelle becomes more apprehensive after Anne becomes mesmerized by Ander, an older man who takes them to Chichén Itzá and talks of Quetzalcoatl and blood sacrifice. But it is the familiar-seeming high-school boys they should have feared. Told in alternating chapters by Michelle in the third-person present tense and Anne in first-person past, this eerie story of attempted date rape and Anne’s absorption into the Mayan world will enthrall teen readers who have a taste for magical realism. The quiet, sinister beauty of the jungle contrasts with the frenzy of American teenagers determined to have fun; both are at the same time seductive and repulsive. From the opening sacrificial encounter to the very end, Kasischke maintains both mystery and suspense. A satisfying treatment of a familiar topic in a fresh and intriguing setting. Grades 9-12. --Kathleen Isaacs --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Library Binding: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060813180
  • ASIN: B005Q8INZ0
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,529,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Laura Kasischke teaches in the University of Michigan MFA program and the Residential College. She has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels. She lives with her family in Chelsea, Michigan.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
44%
4 star
33%
3 star
22%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
Each voice is very distinct.
Little Willow
Maybe I missed something important along the way but I'm just not sure what happened at the end.
donna cavaliere
It's a beautifully written cautionary tale.
SD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Laura Kasischke's novel Feathered tells the story of two best friends who travel to Cancun for Spring Break. After an auspicious start, the unexpected happens, and their dream vacation turns into a nightmare which they can't simply escape by waking - which, perhaps, they cannot escape at all.

This story wonderfully captures that feeling of freedom one gets while far from home, when it's possible (easier?) to be uncharacteristically impulsive. Fueled by the toxic intensity of perfect strangers, fast friends, and foreign cultures, the girls find themselves in an extremely dangerous situation, and, in the blink of an eye, everything changes.

Every high school student who is planning a big-deal trip for Spring Break (or for any break) needs to read this book - and so do their parents, teachers, and chaperones. Lest you think Feathered a run-of-the-mill cautionary tale, it's not. Truly, this book does not promote anxiety or xenophobia, but simple, basic caution.

Feathered is told in alternating points of view, with Anne telling her story in 1st person past tense in one chapter, then Michelle's story is described 3rd person present tense the next. Each voice is very distinct. Kasischke's lyrical writing shines, especially in Michelle's chapters. This is Kasischke's second novel for young adults, following 2006's Boy Heaven. Though the plots of the two books are vastly different, both offers twists, turns, and tension from start to finish, and both get my recommendation.

Feathered is on my list of Best Books of 2008.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. C. Thomas on May 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
...about making the wrong choice even when all evidence and emotion point to it being the right one. Michelle and Anne know better than to accept a personal tour of Mayan ruins from a stranger old enough to be their father, but on their spring break in beautiful Cancun it seems nothing can be truly dangerous. The novel captures perfectly the illusion of invincibility travel to a foreign country can create; the risks that don't seem risky when one is away from home. "Feathered" is also a smart examination of how trust is formed from instinct, and how dangerous it can be both to trust and question that instinct.

Since the novel is told from each girls' point of view in alternating chapters, the reader doesn't know whose instincts to trust. Is Ander, the older man, really as creepy as Anne thinks he is, or is he simply treating them like surrogate daughters, as Michelle wants to believe? Are those boys Anne trusts to give them a lift back to their hotel really safe just because they are sunburnt Midwestern boys from a familiar-sounding Illinois town? Each girl has seemingly unerring emotional, instinctual, and logical reasons for placing their trust where they choose. The novel's suspense is so well crafted the reader absolutely cannot guess which choice is the wrong one; which one will put them in danger.

The descriptions of Michelle's and Ander's exploration of the Mayan ruins are both beautiful and chilling. The depiction of Anne's long night alone on the road after tragedy unfolds is one of the scariest, most wrenching descriptions I've read in a while. One of the things I liked about this novel is that although the girls are victimized they are not portrayed as victims.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Miller on May 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If I told you this is a book about a spring break trip to Cancun, you wouldn't expect it to be full of delicious writing, would you? C'mon, 'fess up. You're thinking tequila, tanning oil, and wet t-shirts, right? You probably wouldn't expect it to spiral into an edge-of-your-seat page-turner, either.

Feathered is and does.

The setup is simple: three friends fly to Cancun, eager for fun, sun, and a taste of freedom. Two of them tell the story in alternating chapters. I thought I knew right at the outset what was going to happen, who would get in over her head, where disaster would strike.

I was wrong. The shifting perspectives, styles, and tenses all conspired to keep me from figuring out who really had a handle on what was going on. Suspense abounds, and it's almost impossible to untangle the elements of danger, safety, and trust before things spin out of control.
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Format: Hardcover
At the start, I expected a supernatural story with maybe a love adventure with a Mayan god ... After all, it's in the air with all the romances about Greek gods and it could have been moose. So even when I was expecting something terrible, I thought of a great happy end.ing Indeed, I read a surprising, intense and touching ending.
I did not expect that Laura Kasischke addresses in her novel a real trauma in a manner as poignant as well as being suggestive. A story full of realistic details would have made the reading difficult or unbearable.

It is a beautiful book about the excesses of youth who travel on Spring Break holidays. It is not a customs in France and high-schoolers or students don't take those breaks but some of them can go on Ibiza for the vacation and the result will be the same: too much celebration like an uncontrolled orgie. This does not mean that in Europe the dangers are not there, because everything can also degenerate to a party close to your house ...
But it is true that Spring Break is a cultural event in US and I was a witness in Miami. It's particularly full of drinks and bikinis and most of the time a great deal of fun...

It is true that the author could warn the readers against the evils of abuse of any kind: alcohol, drugs and meetings of strangers more directly. She wrote it openly through the advice given by Anne and Michelle's mothers. But as we all know, parents speeches are not always taken seriously. Laura Kasischke has redoubled its efforts while sprinkling the book with scenes where young people had high-risk behavior and lacked of common sense..

But it is the identification with the characters that the reader follow through this adventure that had the most impact.
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